Alf has always had a high regard for the decent family values championed by Bob McCroskrie and his Family First outfit.
But he’s bothered to learn that on the matter of movies and censorship, Bob’s more inclined to embrace the hard-line attitude of a Moslem country than the more liberal position of our Mother Country, the United Kingdom.
Bob is urging folk not to go to a movie with the unappetising title “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
He must be colour blind, because he makes it sound like this is a very naughty blue movie and accordingly is best avoided by decent family people.
Before Alf can pitch in behind Bob, however, he observes that this dreary-sounding movie has been given an 18-rating in the UK for “strong sex and sado-masochistic practices” .
Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board, however, has gone one step further and deemed it unacceptable for the country’s audiences.
The Grumbles are conflicted when they are asked to regard Malaysia’s sense of propriety as superior to Britain’s.
But fair to say, Bob has set the bar high when it comes to these matters.
He has released this statement:
Family First NZ is calling on families to boycott the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie and instead donate the admission fee to a local women’s refuge. They are also encouraging families to use the release of the movie as an opportunity to have a discussion with their youngsters about real respect and intimacy in relationships.
“The premise of the movie is that a woman who is humiliated, abused, controlled, entrapped, coerced, manipulated and tortured is somehow an ‘empowered’ woman. And a man who is possessive, controlling, violent, jealous and coercive is somehow showing ‘true love’. These are foul and dangerous lies. This movie and the book it is based on simply glamorises sexual violence and should be rejected by everyone who is concerned about family and sexual violence,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“In NZ, we’re asking for families to boycott the movie and make a special donation to any charity that is working to eliminate sexual violence and supporting the victims and families. Donate the movie ticket price to a charity of your choice that is putting the welfare and protection of families first,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is also referring families to websites which help parents discuss the issues raised in the movie with their children.
Bob and his mob are referring to a study published last August in Women’s Health which found young women who read sexually violent fiction often display the same behavioral symptoms as those who have actually been victimised.
The research team compared women, ages 18 to 24, who had read at least one novel in the Fifty Shades series with those who had not. They found that women who read the novels are at an increased risk of being in an abusive relationship, having an eating disorder, binge drinking, and having multiple sexual partners. Victims of sexual violence often show the same behaviours.
“Ironically, both the lead actors have admitted that they don’t want family members or their own children to view the movie. That should be warning enough to our own families,” says Mr McCoskrie.
This reflects the position of Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board.
“The board made a decision in view of the film containing scenes that are not of natural sexual content,” said chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid.
“The content is more sadistic, featuring scenes of a woman being tied to a bed and whipped.”
But even if he did not agree with Bob’s mob, it’s fair to say Alf would not bother going to this movie.
He has been told that Sam Taylor-Johnson’s forthcoming big screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey will be the raunchiest mainstream movie for more than a decade, containing more than 20 minutes of sex scenes across its 100-minute running time.
But Alf would rather go to the pub.
Come to think if, maybe he should shift to Christchurch where he could sit in a pub quaffing on his favourite tipple while watching couples shagging in the insurance office across the road.
A bigger bang for your buck than the movies are offering.
The company is called Marsh Insurance or some such.
Much grinding in the marsh, you might say.