Wednesday, June 30, 2010



I'm rather narrow-minded, in a way.
When sex comes on the screen I look away.
I think my attitude,
That of an ageing prude,
Is due to the morals of an earlier day.
There was a certain gentleman named Hays,
Who felt it infra-dig to sit and gaze
At skin that was exposed
By lovely girls who posed,
Expressing sex in many different ways
The 'Hays Code' was a rule that was in force,
To censor any 'liberties' or 'sauce'.
Nothing 'naughty' could be seen
Up there on the silver screen.
So I grew up inhibited, of course!
A married couple never shared a bed!
'Twin beds must be in evidence' it said!
There was a great divide,
Twenty-seven inches wide (!)
Between a husband and the girl he wed!
These rules held sway for nearly thirty years.
Our morals were protected, it appears.
I grew up thinking nudity
Was a very nasty crudity.....
Along with many others of my peers!
Of course, we overcame our shame in time
And stopped thinking of 'amour' in terms of crime
But when sex is on TV
I keep gazing at my knee,
Missing some scenes that may be quite sublime!
I think back to those days of censored sex
And I think of films that now are rated 'X'.
Are we better, are we worse?
Is censorship a curse?
Is Censorshop a thing that helps or wrecks?
"The Hays Code prohibited nudity, suggestive dances, and the ridicule of religion. It forbade the depiction of illegal drug use, venereal disease, childbirth, and profanity. The language section banned dozens of "offensive" words and phrases, leading to the shocked outcry from many moviegoers when the film Gone with the Wind included the word "damn." Criminal activity could not be depicted on film in a way that led viewers to sympathize with criminals. Murder scenes had to filmed in a way that would discourage imitations in real life, and brutal killings could not be shown in detail. The sanctity of marriage and the home had to be upheld. Adultery and illicit sex, although recognized as sometimes necessary to the plot, could not be explicit or justified and were not supposed to be presented as an attractive option. "


I won't stand for it!' I said to Rose.
(She sat there in a submissive pose.)
'I've introduced you to suitable men!
My God! There must have been nine or ten!
Arthur Biggs! You left him in the lurch
And he'll go far when he enters the Church.
If you'd married Fred Simpson you'd have been rich!
Serves you right if you end up without a stitch!
And what of Clive Smith! You'd have had it made!
He's filthy rich though he is in Trade.
Yet still you insist you must marry for love!
I don't know what you're thinking of!
Your Mother must try to make you see sense!
But I feel she's just sitting on the fence!
Do you think we married with stars in our eyes!
Too much romance is far from wise!
Your Peter, the sailor, has nothing behind him!
I don't know how you managed to find him!'
'But Father......' (The silly girl then spoke up
And I saw a tear fall into her cup.)
'Hear me out!' I bellowed; 'Your Mother and I
Demand you see sense! No need to cry!
Your Mother's had a wonderful marriage!
Servants! Lackeys! A horse and carriage!
I've been faithful ; I've never strayed;
All I ask is that I'm obeyed!
A perfect marriage! And what's more.......'
Just then Clara came in through the door.
Clara, so much more than a maid!
Clara! Pretending to be staid!
She caught my eye and I looked away.
There wasn't much more that I could say.


Kathy said...

thank you for stopping by my Blue Monday post - love the poems - you're quite prolific!
I hope you're having a great day!

Sylvia K said...

Lots of things have changed that's for sure. Great poems as always, Brenda! Hope you're enjoying a great week!


Roger Owen Green said...

very informative. i remeember the Hays code (barely - forgive the pun). there's probably some middle ground between Hays and anything goes...

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Beverley Baird said...

Very informative post! Great poetry as well!
Love the photo - I remember that movie!
Hadn't thought of X - rated at all!

Hildred said...

It is true that the Hays Code was somewhat restrictive, but some of the things I see and hear on television and radio and facebook, etc. do make my standards of niceties shudder.

Surely there is a happy medium!

Carol said...

Very nice poem. I agree with Roger, there must be a middle ground. I just don't view sex as a spectator sport.

Tumblewords: said...

I think I prefer some stuff hidden - a glut of anything is no fun! The Heavy Hand is a hoot!

photowannabe said...

Love your poetry. I think some things should be left to the imagination. Good and thought provoking. Heavy Hand gave me a smile.

My name is Riet said...

What an interesting and informative post. Have a great day

mrsnesbitt said...

Wonderful Brenda, loved the linking of both pieces!

Unknown said...

Dear Brenda,
What ever you write, it is clear, eloquent and makes me think.

I often wish that some things, that are shown and said in the media, were not. I am trying to teach the children to speak without using bad words. It is not always so easy.

Wonderful poem!
Perfect choice of film-clip to illustrate this subject.
Best wishes,

Anna's X-words

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

call me prude, but I prefer to watch clean TV in my own home. Don't like the smudge.

Gayle said...

Wonderful writings. I guess we can never go back to simpler, innocent times.