From plaster to plastic

Himadri, the Argumentative Old Git, is unsurprisingly critical of BBC presenter Jenni Murray’s proposal that children be taught about pornography to inoculate them against its harmful effects. Somewhere along the way, Dame Jenni suggests that porn could be analyzed like, say, Jane Austin’s novels. That’s not exactly one of my research interests, but I can’t help sharing this:

She notes, quite rightly, that pornography is now all-pervasive in our society, and that we cannot get rid of it. Under the circumstances, she argues, it is better that children were to be educated on the matter, “so that at least those girls know and all those boys know that not all women are shaved, that not all women make that bloody noise”, and so on. In other words, to teach the children that what they see in pornographic films is but a fantasy.

Commenter witwoud remarks:

She’s right about the hair, though. I worry that today’s boys will be as shocked as Ruskin on his wedding night when they encounter the real thing.

My thoughts exactly, I must confess. Whether the story of John Ruskin’s failure to perform is true or anecdotic, the similarity is unavoidable and thoroughly amusing. We have come the full circle. We are all Victorians now.


  1. so that at least those girls know and all those boys know that not all women are shaved

    Without wanting to send your comments section into the gutter, I have discussed this to some length with acquaintances who have a far wider range of experience than I. And I have it on reasonably authority, i.e. there was very little disagreement, that “a full bush is a novelty these days”. Apparently – again, according to my sources (and bear in mind the industry in which I ply my trade) – even the Asian women have taken to using a Bic razor more often than not.

    So I would suggest that a guy may be shocked by encountering a mass of hair on his wedding night, but it won’t be because he’s watched too much porn. And if he’s spent much time in Russia, it definitely won’t be because of that.

    Okay, let’s talk about something else now…

    • Before we talk about other stuff, what you’re saying seems to add to the risk that a young man may get the wrong idea about the female body in its natural state. But most of all, I like the thought of Ruskin learning about female anatomy from sculpture and classical paintings, and 21st-century youths getting the same knowledge from porn and nude images on the net. In both cases, body hair is a no-no. Also, nude shots often get photoshopped to the point when the skin starts looking like plastic.

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