Home > Daily Special

Rude Crude Dude– and girls

By Michelle Lehnardt

Admittedly, I’m a prude. The f-word that refers to bodily gas is just as offensive and unheard around my home as that other f-word. But I can’t be the only one horrified that two of the top grossing movies in the US for several weeks are Bridesmaids and The Hangover II. From the reviews:

If you liked or even tolerated the first “Hangover,” you’ll probably laugh at this one. But if you seek originality or a shred of human feeling, watching “The Hangover, Part II” is as soul-deadening as waking up in a fleabag Bangkok hotel.

“Bridesmaids” is a triumph for gender equality, in that it makes women the central figures of a raunchy … comedy in which gastrointestinal distress is played for laughs. Sean Means for the Salt Lake Tribune

I scarcely need to mention Tony Award Winning musical “The Book of Mormon”– widely reviewed as the most crude, rank production on Broadway.

Yes, I’ve heard “Bridesmaids” was hilarious, sincere; “The Book of Mormon” kinder to Mormons than you might expect (haven’t heard anything decent about HII), but I find it frightening that crass vulgarity masquerades as modern entertainment.

Salacious behavior is celebrated not only on the big screen or stage but in music, television shows, video games, sports.

But do we tolerate it in our homes? Where do we as Saints professing “if there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things” set the standards for ourselves and for our families?

Are the rude crude dudes and girls here to stay?

 

About Michelle Lehnardt

(Blog Team) I'm the kind of mom who drives through mud puddles, throws pumpkins off the roof and lets the kids move the ping-pong table into the kitchen for the summer. Despite (or probably, because of) my immaturity, my five sons and one daughter are happy, thriving, funny people. I'll climb a mountain with you, jump into a freezing lake hand-in-hand or just sit with you while you cry. I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ will heal the earth. Founder of buildyourteenager.com, scenesfromthewild.net and rubygirl.org.

18 thoughts on “Rude Crude Dude– and girls”

  1. I'm with you. I may not be a big prude, but I find crass and vulgar humor annoying. It's just not funny. I try to keep the potty humor to a minimum in our home (which is hard with a 4 year old!) by carefully knowing what they watch and read. It's tough! But I think teaching the kids what constitutes as humorous and what is just plain rude is the best start, eh?

    Reply
  2. Our culture is a casual one with the idea of "proper" being what we know of in pride and prejudice type movies–and even then most of us can only picture the dresses women wore. That being said, yes I see the rude and crude as here to stay mainly because the ideal movie goer is a male college aged 20-something and our society bases itself on what college aged 20-somethings want.

    As for if we tolerate it in our home; I think there are three ways to judge a film.

    1) By Rating–which is the easiest to do when you have kids and want to avoid screening every episode of Barney known to man. But by itself is not a reliable way to judge a film as anyone who allowed someone watch a PG film only to discover it was best suited for PG-13 viewers knows.

    2) By Topic/Message–if the overall message of the film is not a good one, you don't watch it. This is useful for those who seek overall context and understanding instead of little details. It also is good for removing any films who's only goal is to crack a joke (such as the Hangover and Jackass series). However if language, images, and/or violence offends you this is not the way to go (EX: The King's Speech has a good topic/message but features swearing).

    3) By familiarity–if you are not familiar with the subject/production company/employees/etc. you avoid it. This is good for those who enjoy series (IE: Harry Potter and Twilight), Pixar, or have a favorite actor (Will Ferrell is the most popular one I can think of at the moment). From a Mormon standpoint: if you could handle watching only Deseret films (and can afford it) this could work for you. The downside though is by doing so options are limited and depending on your social circle, make you hard to relate to.

    In our child-free, but one-on-the-way, household we use the second one for films my husband and I watch together at night (ideally when any children would be in bed) and the rating system for anyone under 10 with parental judgement being used for films that are higher than a PG.

    Reply
  3. I'm the mother of 4 boys. They know that the "F word" in any form is absolutely not tolerated. I'm always a little shocked when I hear their friends use it (the milder version) so casually. I think as a whole society has become more casual from dress to language to manners. It's tragic.

    Reply
  4. I'm not a fan of my 9 year old son's recent fascination with bodily humor. There is something that tells me that the more I object, the more exciting it is to him. I don't allow it at the dinner table, but I don't punish him every time he says it either.

    As for our culture as a whole – hell in a handbasket.

    Reply
  5. A (sort of) funny story–a number of years ago our kids (who had only recently begun riding the bus) announced to us (at dinner no less) that they had learned (on the bus) what the "F" word was. "Okay, tell me what it is," I sighed, realizing that the day I had dreaded had finally arrived. "It's FART!" they breathlessly exclaimed. To be honest I had a hard time not collapsing in relieved laughter. "Well, that IS an "F" word, but it is not THE "F" word" I told them. They then proceeded to beg us to tell them what the REAL "F" word was. (We declined. And the reason for the mix-up is because we do not use EITHER of those "F" words in our house.)

    Reply
  6. A subject dear to my heart. One of the main reasons I dread sending my eldest to kindergarten in the fall is that I know he will pick up on potty humor. At this point in his sweet innocence, he hasn't even realized that passing gas is fodder for laughs. Sigh.

    Reply
  7. The ever-increasing coarseness of our society is, I suppose, one of those signs of the times that we're stuck with at this point in history. It's disheartening, for sure, especially when it taints our own homes and the youth of the Church. I ran across a great talk by Douglas Callister, then a member of the Seventy, wherein he talks of what we're really striving for here on earth: that is, to return to our Father in Heaven and live as he lives. It's called "Your Refined Heavenly Home" and you can find it here: http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=11394
    I've shared it (to much eye-rolling and sighing) with my kids on several occasions, as well as with my seminary students. We really have to understand that no unclean thing can enter into our Father's presence, and if we want to feel like we belong there, we need to start preparing now. I think we become so inured to the baseness around us that we fail to realize just how far below the Celestial level we actually live – and many of us are even defending what is really crass and offensive to the Spirit as "harmless fun." Thanks for bringing up such a timely and important subject.

    Reply
  8. Just to balance things out a bit, I have seen the Hangover (1) and Bridesmaids. Bathroom humor is not my favorite (I too cringe at that milder F-word) but I thought both movies were downright hilarious. As a person who takes life much too seriously and has a hard time relaxing, it was good for me to let loose and let my hair down a little. Those movies are definitely not appropriate for all audiences, not even all adult audiences, but I think they can be enjoyed in the right context.

    Reply
  9. I find the crude humor and language disheartening. My children, unfortunately, were exposed to the F-word at a very young age when we lived in Sweden and the F-word was used casually by virtually every person there–adult or child. I finally talked to the kids in my neighborhood, explaining that the word was one of the vilest swear words in the English language, that it was incredibly offensive to me, and that I didn't want my kids to hear it. They were a little scared of me after the lecture, but I didn't hear the word dropped around so much. One time, after great effort and expense, I found an American import shop. When I walked in the store, the walls were literally covered with bumper stickers with various phrases that all centered on the use of the F-word. I was so angry, I was shaking. I told the store manager that while he and others may find the "decorations" humorous, they were the most offensive I had ever seen and that I wouldn't be spending $10 for a can of pumpkin to make a pie. He laughed at me, but I didn't care. Sadly, there are very few movies I pay for at a theatre these days because so few are uplifting, entertaining, or thought-provoking.

    Reply
  10. Nevertheless, I'm taking a handful of 12-year-old boys to see Jim Carrey tell bathroom jokes this weekend, and hoping the storytelling is better than reviews indicate. I make compromises.

    As an underqualified linguist, I love expletives. When and how they show up, under which different set of rules, is fascinating. As a social being, don't love them, not so much.

    Reply
  11. My husband and I had a discussion related to this just tonite. It seems that almost without exception, the choice to partake of 'entertainment' these days is almost always the choice to be exposed to something that is not virtuous and lovely and of good report. That can often be true even with stuff that is supposed to be kid-friendly. In order to keep those standards, you have to pretty much be willing to give up media 'entertainment' altogether.

    I remember when For the Strength of Youth came out. For my calling (weekly bulletin), I was asked to summarize the pamphlet for the ward. I read the section on entertainment and felt the Spirit prompting me to stop watching one of the TV shows I really loved. Actually, it was pretty much the only TV show I watched. It was intellectually challenging and really well-done in my view. But over time, the producers had added more and more stuff that was offensive. It was too easy to justify overlooking that stuff because I liked the show. I was hooked. But the prompting was unmistakable. I was really surprised and very sobered at how HARD it was to give up that show.

    I'm glad that not long after that, a decision to not have a TV connection was sort of made for us — our antenna no longer worked with the new DVD player we had. We are too cheap to pay for cable, and we learned to love not having that constant pull on our attention and loyalties.

    I know from that experience giving up my fave show that looking at the media objectively — and with a spiritual lens — is hard stuff. Walking away from can be even harder. But I think without stepping away from it, it's hard not to be sort of like the frog that had the heat gradually but continuously turned up. More and more garbage is showing up in 'entertainment' all the time. At what point do we say, "Enough!"? I personally think we are past that point.

    Reply
  12. Great discussion. Very timely for me too. Last night I was watching parts of SYYCD because one of the dancers is in my stake. I kept saying to my husband that I hated the world we live in. The costumes for the women were so scant. I won't watch the show with my kids because of costumes and some of the dance moves…but I used to be a dancer so it makes me sad I can't share that joy with my kids in today's culture.

    And…my son was watching some Dmitri Martin shows on Netflix. I sat down wth him and laughed until the crudeness started. Sad that is how our world spins today.

    I agree it is a sign of the times and that we need to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. So hard with media! (Oh-and I had dvr'd some Master Chef to watch while I fold clothes and even a cooking show is too crude to watch!)

    Reply
  13. We try to use the thirteenth article of faith to guide our entertainment choices and speech and associations. However having been raised in a very uptight and humorless home there are times when an unguarded laugh with my kids over a bit if bodily silliness seems pretty benign. While I don't approve of humor that belittles or is truly crass I've happily discovered that there are just more things to worry about than occasional scatological humor or even an escaping expletive.

    Reply
  14. I find it fascinating how expletives are used and how creatively they're employed. It's one of the funnest parts of studying another language. And these words have culturally revealing applications (The prevelance of religious swearing in Catholic countries, swear words surrounding sex in puritan cultures) . Now when a expletive is repeated ad nauseum and therefore has no power, it's offensive to me. Or when it's used in a predictable and meaningless way.

    But a well placed expletive? I smile without shame. Everytime.

    And fart? Really?

    Reply
  15. Wow, this is embarrassing. I went to girls' camp and left two post ideas in draft. Neither one was really ready to publish….but it's my own fault and now they are up. I apologize for overdosing you with my opinions!

    Mara– I warned you I'm a prude! But with five boys I have to be strict or my house would resemble a locker room. 😉

    Reply
  16. So if it's not a "fart" what is it? Toot? "Gas coming out of your bum"? What do you say to your kids? What do they call it?

    Reply

Leave a Comment