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What about Spider Man?

By JoAnn Hamilton
February 20, 2006

I laid my source for this article down three times before I finally walked with it to the computer. Knowing how popular Spider Man is with many children, I didn't know if I wanted to walk into this sensitive issue. Know that I realize that you each have to make a choice for and on behalf of your families, but I felt that you would be interested in this information.


I became concerned about the movie when I noticed that it has a PG-13 rating. Some time ago, I quoted a Harvard study which indicated clearly that X-rated movies 10 years ago are now PG-13. I wondered how many parents would take their children and young teens to this movie just because it was Spider Man.


The themes in this movie sounded good to me. According to one article, this movie addressed the themes of heroism, good vs. evil, social responsibility, loyalty, bullying, unrequited love, making hard choices and coping with loss.  


Next were listed the cautions. Let me quote: "Spider Man is a coming-of-age superhero saga best viewed by mature teens. Violence ranges from hand-to-hand combat and abusive pro wrestling moves to several fatalities (characters get hurled through glass, blown up, impaled and reduced to skeletons). A few shots of immodestly dressed women will be a spoiler for some families. Wrestling ‘babes' show a lot of skin. Mary Jane (a heroine) wears a few low-cut tops that reveal cleavage. As Spidey rescues her from back-alley thugs in the rain, viewers may want to skip ahead to avoid images of Dunst (sans bra) in a wet top. Profanity is mostly "a--," "h--" and exclamations of "oh my g--," though there are two unfortunate uses of Jesus' name."  


I hope my grandchildren don't go. I don't want them to be desensitized with immodesty, have the potential for nightmares or open the door to inappropriate language.


I am thinking of a boy of six who said to me, in a group discussion about things the children had seen that made them feel uncomfortable, "Oh, Mrs. Hamilton, I have trouble going to sleep every single night because in my mind are pictures that I saw in a movie." I could feel the intensity of his problem because of the concern he exhibited as he shared this. My heart ached for this little boy.  


An adult commented, "He obviously overly reacted to the movie."  


No! He is just an impressionable, wonderful child. He shouldn't have been exposed to it.  Often parents think children are "handling" adult material when they really are not.  


I remember ditching some record albums years ago that one of my teens had brought to the house. It wasn't the music that bothered me. It was the pictures on the album covers. One day the same teen, now grown up, said to his siblings, "Can you imagine Mom ditching those. They were nothing!" The reality is that the ones I ditched were inappropriate, but in today's world with the amount of much more explicit material being displayed on TV, videos, magazines, etc., these old inappropriate pictures seem like nothing.


Let's protect our children and let them be children, free from the memories of inappropriate violence, inappropriate sexual content and inappropriate language.  


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