Conflicts with the Realism of Television

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"Ellen," "Will and Grace," and MTV's "Undressed" are examples of the occasional shows that many believe are hostile to the morals of American society. These shows have topics such as gay and lesbian relationships and people discussing sexual-related material openly. Not until a few years ago, topics such as these were not permitted to be a part of primetime entertainment, because they were said to be immoral and a threat to the public's values. It is about time that these topics are allowed to air on television because they show what is really going on in the world. It has been known for quite sometime that not everyone is intimate with people of the opposite sex, and that not everyone waits until marriage to lose their virginity. Knowing this, why should one try to pretend as if these values are still as important as they were once before and even practiced at all? The question that crosses many is, "Why haven't these issues become accepted yet?" Is the answer that some have been taught that these subjects are wrong and immoral? These topics are not a threat to society; they are merely reality.

It is time for the viewers to allow self-expression as a way of life, and disregard those who put them down and cause unnecessary conflicts. One of the issues that needs to be accepted by society is homosexuality. Gays and lesbians have participated in marches and rallies, and some have even come out on TV asking our society to be more open-minded. These particular actions illustrate that homosexuals are tired of hiding who they are. Society is the problem; it is society as a whole for not accepting their beliefs. As American citizens, everyone has a Constitutional right to do and act as they please as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. Being homosexual does not harm others. People who are homophobic discriminate and isolate fellow homosexuals because they are afraid of what they do not know or understand. Usually, when others see homosexuals, they automatically think of what they do in bed rather than the kinds of people they actually are. This is corrupt, and this is where television comes to play. On television, actors portray the way gays and lesbians live in a more realistic way. Because of this, people are able to see that they are just like us. They have a heart full of feelings, and when it comes to love it is a universal feeling. Love cannot be degraded because of the type of relationship it is. Not too far back, there was a movie that consisted of three different stories about lesbians called, "If These Walls Could Talk." The first story was about two women who were lovers and had grown old with each other without ever telling their families. One of them died one morning from old age, and her lover quickly separated their belongings into two different rooms in fear that the family would find out that they shared a room in a three-bedroom house. The lady mourned as if it was her husband that had passed away. Despite the reason that the relationship consisted of two people of the same sex, it was the same kind of feeling, love. Even if some do not accept this, it does not change the fact that people of the same sex do indeed fall in love. Everyone should be allowed to do as they please, yet there is a great deal of opposition. In addition to homosexuality, sex is also an issue that many people have not learned to talk about. We hear about and see sex on television these days. Take MTV's "Undressed," for example; it is a teenage soap opera involving young adults having casual sex. "Undressed" has different story lines, but the main subject is sex. Since this show is aired on MTV, one can say that a substantial step has been taken on what comes out on television. This show is popular with its young audience, but not with its critics. The audience loves it because it consists of young adults that have grown up, and become open about sex. Young adults have been raised in a different time than the critics. The critics (or adults) were raised in a time where sex came as a shock. Now there are hotlines to call, condoms that are given out at school, and people around that are understanding and want to help others out. Adults were brought up in a time when it was believed that one must wait until marriage to have sex, and where "one-night stands" were rare. This show shocks them because they do not know how to handle what they are seeing. They feel as though they must contest because that is how they were raised. Their parents would rarely have sexual discussions with them, and would watch television shows like the "Brady Bunch." The younger generation is more "laid back" and not as naïve about what this world has turned into. Shows of this sort are not lying about what goes on in the world, but are merely trying to show people that they should be more careful and take sex more seriously. It also helps clear up any myths that young adolescents might have due to rumors they heard from other children. These days, there are fewer myths that circulate in the schools of adolescents, such as girls can get pregnant by having oral sex or by kissing a boy. Television clears up many of these questions. Sometimes, parents find sex difficult to discuss to their children, so television can help. These issues are inevitable and need to be brought forth, but many people believe that children are too young to know about sex. Yet, sex is everywhere, and if the parent does not do the job, the children will get the wrong ideas and information from their peers. There is nothing wrong with knowing about sex. Being able to discuss sex displays maturity, and proves that we are comfortable with ourselves. Many parents oppose the subject to be discussed in school; however their children will be able to learn the facts about sex, and what should and should not be done along with all the consequences. Self-expression is an inevitable way of life, and those who cause unnecessary battles with those who enjoy expressing themselves need to realize that they (the public) are isolating innocent ones (the self-expressers) and making them (the self-expressers) feel uncomfortable in their own society. Two central issues that need to be accepted in reality and on television are homosexuality and the openness of sexual-related discussions. The importance of these issues has been portrayed through the movie "If These Walls Could Talk" and MTV's "Undressed."