By Sacks Roamer
Political correctness is NOT a new thing in American culture. The above Image is one example. REAL married couples did not sleep in twin beds like little kids at a summer camp. They might sleep in separate bedrooms if they were on the outs, but twin beds would have only been used by married couples who had some kind of medical disorder.
So why were married couples portrayed this way? Here’s part of the answer:
Bed Sharing – Traditionally, all married TV couples in the 1950s and early 1960s were required sleep in separate (twin beds) to uphold moral codes of the times. Many of the top couples of all time such as Rob and Laura Petrie, and even Ward and June Cleaver never had the satisfaction of knocking knees in the same bed in front of the American public.
The first TV program to show a husband and wife sharing the same bed on a regular basis occurred in 1947 on the Dumont sitcom MARY KAY AND JOHNNY. TV’s first sitcom ever. The program told the tale of a newly married couple living in Greenwich Village. Unfortunately, no copies of the show exist so we must rely on the documented memories of others to prove the point. Later in the 1950s Ozzie and Harriet broke the taboo and were seen in the same bed.
The other part of the answer is simply, “Political Correctness.” Back in those days Christianity was pretty much a presumed fact of life for most Americans. Many public schools started the day with mass recital of The Lord’s Prayer, and blessings were said before lunch.
In this atmosphere, overt representations of sexuality were simply considered skeevy, even though the Bible urged people to be fruitful and multiply. And, most children were not unaware of the fact that their parents slept in the same bed. They might not be aware of all that went on in bed, but they knew that twin beds were for kids, not grownups. Of course the preachers, pastors, and dedicated Christian proponents pushed for this stuff and kept the pressure up. America would just have to pretend that married couples slept in twin beds. This made the upper middle class busybody-type white folks happy.
The result of this phase of political correctness was that the completely unrealistic was presented as normal and realistic. Now, we are entering a new phase of political correctness. The proponents of rules-free sexuality are playing the same game as their Christian counterparts, and with the same religious fervor.
While most people, if left to their own devices, would probably opine that Bruce Jenner is some kind of nut for wanting to pretend he is a woman, they are instead forced by societal pressure to call him brave and daring. Television shows are adding obligatory gay characters they same way they added obligatory titty-flashing sex scenes when “R” ratings first came out. There is little realism to the characters. They are happy, carefree and full of love and caring for each other. Nobody gets HIV/AIDS. Mentioning high rates of STDS is taboo. Evil villains are the homophobic Christians who don’t rejoice in the rules-free sex.
While this is just a continuation of the rampant sexual romps that began on television when the twins beds went by the wayside in 1968, I think there is an important difference between the two manifestations. Both are silly and unrealistic, but Rob and Laura Petrie’s silliness didn’t result in a 33% STD rate, 60 millions abortions, 600,000+ deaths from AIDS, and young boys waiting to reach the age when they can legally opt to cut their penises off.
The Unknown Blogger
FootNote: The Image is from the 1960’s Dick Van Dyke show.