Posted by: brian | March 23, 2009

Dr Manhattan’s penis

Ben & I went to see Watchmen a week or so back. We’d both read the graphic novel on which the movie is quite faithfully based, and we’d heard a fair amount of the buzz leading up to the film. So we weren’t surprised to see the full frontal male nudity that is featured throughout both renditions of the story.

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the reviews, but I saw one where the reviewer acted a bit offended by the sight of dr manhattan’s penis in the film, and made comments to the effect of “I wouldn’t let my kids watch this.” What strikes me as ridiculous about that comment is that it is based solely on the presence of genitalia, not on the frequent graphic violence that is also integral to the story. Once again, the [violence|nudity] double-standard rears its head. It’s okay for kids to watch a graphic, bloody fight scenes, but heaven forfend they see a penis! That would scar them!

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Responses

  1. ok, so playing devil’s advocate here…
    (disclaimer: my kids can’t watch it because of the violence)
    Is the penis just a penis? Is he just getting out of the shower or is it in a sexual context? There is definitely a difference.

  2. In this case, it’s just a penis, and it really is incidental. A lot of people out in the blogosphere are making a big fuss about it, but it is only on the screen about 4 or 5 times, and is never the focus of the scene.

    I agree with you that context is vitally important. And I wouldn’t suggest that it’s okay for kids to see porn. But the type of nudity in this film really ought to be no big deal.

    As for the violence: Yeah, no child of mine under the age of (I dunno… 12 or so?) would be see the movie.

  3. Ok, then I agree it is totally dumb. If Lightning McQueen had a penis, my kids would still be able to watch (and no doubt still LOVE) Cars.


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