Black Women's Health and Happiness

Insights into physical, mental, and spiritual health for women of color.

Does America Need 'Decency' Laws?

Have we lost all decency, respect, morals and values?

Katy Perry. Britney Spears. Janet Jackson's exposed boob in a “wardrobe malfunction" [yeah, right], and the latest…Beyonce in black leather and lace, with fishnet stockings for the halftime show at the Super Bowl 2013.

Don’t forget the sex breaths, and barely-dressed skinny women in commercials used to sell hamburgers; the unbridled commentary on the Internet, and yes, the always-fighting, constant bickering, and name-calling on the “Real Housewives” programs and other programs in that genre of TV viewing.

Has something really damaging and unnecessary happened to our society? Do we really need to see all this every day, at every turn, on every hand? Can leather and lace with booty-gyrations be reserved for the privacy of one’s home with one’s significant other? Is nothing sacred anymore? Is it too late to return to a different way to sell products and entertain?

Before the civil libertarian-types blast me with a bunch of emails [please, spare me], yes I am totally happy to be an American and I love the freedoms we have here. I would not want to be a natural-born citizen of any other country. I am an American, a proud one!

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I also love sex. In fact, my greatest audiences and most enjoyable presentations espouse the “power of a passionate love life,” or something similar. I call those lectures my “informative hoot” lectures, because I discuss the risks and benefits of sex and everyone leaves the sessions ready to ‘get it on’ when they get home. [Trust me, I get letters thanking me for helping their marriage.]

I must admit, however, that I have grown extremely weary of the ever-present sexual images; the sexual innuendos for products that have nothing to do with sex, and burlesque-styled “entertainment” constantly bombarding my visual and auditory senses. It is when I’m hit with all these images and sounds that I long for the good old days and I wish we had decency laws.

But then images of other countries come into mind, and the thought becomes an unwanted entity. So what are we to do?

Do we really have to deal with, endure, and/or just accept that this is how it’s going to be from here out? What effect do these images have on our young people? I contend that they add to the too-soon sexualization of our youth, and they may augment the aberrant impulses of pedophiles and other sexual offenders. Also, when it comes to the glut of ads for erectile dysfunction aids, some women may be getting turned off instead of on.

In the past two months I have noticed that I am not in my car but a hot minute or two before I’m hearing a commercial about how men can get an erection within “seven seconds” of taking a particular substance, and a male voice says, “Ooo, yeah…it feels so good!” (Listen up, fellas: Just like eating chicken all day everyday makes you get tired of eating chicken, maybe this constant bombardment of these commercials is wearing a bit thin on the ladies. Just sayin’.)

I am personally concerned about the direction our country is going; and no, in this instance, I am not speaking about the lack of compromise in Congress. I speak of the increasing void of basic decency, morality, courtesy, and respect one human being to another.

If you like the music of the three-quarter-naked ladies like Perry, Brit, Beyonce and others, also the half-dressed men, that’s your choice. While I like Beyonce’ work ethic (she is a fellow Virgo, after all), I will share that I really wish she’d stop with the burlesque act. Among my friends and associates, we often compare her approach to that of Jennifer Hudson who has such wonderful vocals that she could stand there dressed in a burlap sack and blow the place away by her true vocal talent. No stripping or burlesque act needed.

[Update 2/10/13: Since I posted this article, The Grammys have requested that their artists cover up, don't expose so many body parts at tonight's show! We'll see what happens. 

Also...Beyonce is soon going on tour as "Mrs. Carter." I hope that means she'll present a more appropriate image (a la Elle varner and JHud). That she'll appear dressed as a mature woman, wife and mother and will try to let her vocals stand for what they are. If her vocals are truly great, she should still be able to woo a crowd without the nakedness and butt-shakin'.]

I welcome your thoughts, but remember…be respectful one to another. Live Well!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Melody T. McCloud. All rights reserved. Any excerpts reproduced from this article should include a hyperlink to this—my original post on Psychology Today, with author credit. Feel free to post the link to any of my PT posts, to your social network pages. Follow me here at PT; and on Twitter: @DrMelodyMcCloud.

JUST RELEASED!! A new E-Book: FIRST DO NO HARM: How to Heal Your Relationships Using the Wisdom of Professional Caregivers. Just in time for Valentine's Day and good anytime of the year!

Melody T. McCloud, M.D., is an obstetrician-gynecologist and the author of First Do No Harm: How to Heal Your Relationships Using the Wisdom of Professional Caregivers.

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