Cartoon Caution

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Umm Isam

Umm Isam is a writer and human resource trainer, based in Karachi.

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Vol 4- Issue 2  Cartoon Caution

Over the years, whenever I‘d fallen prey to the temptation of allowing the TV to baby-sit my son, I have only regretted. You might find this absurd or even far fetched, but the following incidents are true:

It all started when I decided to accompany my very eager son to watch a myriad of cartoons on cable TV. Our first encounter was with ‘Dexter’s laboratory.’ It showed two boys flirting with one another. Gay relationships in cartoons? I thought I was imagining things. I forbade him to watch it, instantly.

Next I decided to stick to the remakes of ‘Scooby Doo’ and ‘Popeye the Sailorman,’ only to discover that they highlighted romantic liaisons to a great extent. Provocative love scenes catering to children? When did that start happening? ‘No you can’t watch that either!’ I passed my verdict.

I supposed ‘Tom and Jerry’ to be a safe bet, as my son is very gentle and according to his teachers could afford to watch some violence to make him more aggressive for self defense purposes . It wasn’t the violence that I was afraid of. Smooching and flirting was introduced to many of its remakes too. Sigh! ‘You can only watch it with me!’ I decided, wondering if that was any good at all.

Next, I had the displeasure to watch ‘Courage the cowardly dog.’ The only vocabulary that any kid could learn from this cartoon was ‘STUPID.’ I told that to my son.

‘Ed, Edd, and Eddie’ was another popular cartoon that proudly showed its characters, spitting, picking their nose, belching, drooling, punching, etc. No wonder this cartoon rocked among kids. It told them to do everything their mom ever asked them not to!

After strong denial, I finally gave in to ‘Beyblade’ and ‘Pokemon.’ So what if they showed super natural powers, cross dressers, flirts and scantly dressed girls. Isn’t that what all television channels are showing these days?

I still wickedly try to make my son forget his TV hour by offering to take him to the park, or play a game or read his favourite story books. Sometimes my plans work but sometimes my son’s memory outsmarts me. Then I tag along for his TV viewing and try to explain what is good and what isn’t, just to find out what he thinks of all the objectionable stuff only a parent can see.

Its almost tragic to see children being robbed of their innocence. I only wish it could have been some other way. I remember growing up thoroughly enjoying cartoons. My mother never had to worry about it. There was hardly any element of moral or social corruption. Kids were allowed to be kids.

Today the tables have turned. The idiot box has turned into a lewd carton of filth and evil. What is most disturbing is that it encourages children to unlearn all the morals and etiquettes that parents edify. This is probably the reason why kids enjoy its uncontrolled freedom and get addicted to their choice of cartoon.

So those mothers out there who think it is safe to hand over their kids to the cartoon network, should most definitely think twice. Hire help for your home chores and take care of your child personally. The age of innocence is long gone; cartoons are just short of infant porn!

  1. One thing that i didnt understand in your article was ‘the objectionable stuff only parents can see’. Why can parents see objectionable stuff. Are they given special concession from Allah. In my house we dont have cable. We have a tv set on which we all watch movie together and that movie must contain stuff that is appropriate for all of us and any inappropriate scene is fast forwarded. Movies like mein hun kalam, taray zameen par, beyblades, space jam etc. So please keep in mind that what is inappropiate for the kid is same for you. May Allah guide us and keep us on the right path.

    • Message from the writer:
      ‘objectionable stuff only a parent can see’ means the deeper underlying messages that only adults or parents can understand and not innocent children. It doesn’t mean that parents are permitted to watch this stuff.

  2. well written and all written is true…. but in this what I think is the lack of tarbiyah of mothers.(not frm our parents) but we ourself donot try to learn where we have to stand as a mother, as a woman, what should b our role being a mother.All the solutions of our problems and our confusions lie in quran o sunnah.We need to understand the manual of our life which is quran o suunah.Because evil is everywhere not only media.It could be anywhere.Our role being a muslim mother is to get tarbiyah of quran o sunnah ourselves as well as teach our children that how can one protect oneself from those evils which are destroying us like slow poison.

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