No sex please, we’re so very British

Not that I am, but I won’t let that deter me.

You know, coming from that den of sin, formally called Sweden, I’m used to the idea that we are a bit less concerned about sex and other horribly immoral things. Oh the joy of being propositioned by all and sundry as soon as you divulge your origins!

But I’m rapidly drawing the conclusion that it’s Britain and the US who are behind everyone else. More or less. That goes for both books and films and television.

My foreign reading challenge on Bookwitch proves that people in other countries can write books, too. It’s like fashion, though. If totally immersed in one ‘culture’ you think you’re on the edge of fashion, or at least not too dreadfully behind. But once comparisons are made with other countries, a certain dowdiness emerges. Clothes definitely. School Friend was most disappointed at being unable to spend any money at all on clothes when visiting Manchester a few months ago. ‘They’re so ugly!’ she exclaimed.

And yes, we do get sex in Young Adult fiction in British books. But not surprisingly, the Swedes have gone further.

It’s not just Swedes or books. Having seen some (well, only two this time, because I seriously ran out of time) Spanish language films in the Cornerhouse ¡Viva! film festival I realised they were saying and doing things in both the Spanish and the Chilean film that surprised me for a 15 film. Much more nudity and seemingly much more normal. They even let fat people undress in Gordos. And the discussion about different types of sex that the main character in La Vida de los Peces had with the two boys aged about ten or twelve at a family birthday party, was most refreshing.

I don’t often watch foreign films other than Scandinavian ones, but what I have seen tends to have an almost total lack of concern for what’s ‘decent’, the way we still stumble over here in Britain. And the Americans couldn’t even let Colin Firth swear in the King’s Speech.

It’s time for a rethink and some loosening up of silly rules.

Btw, I have found out that it’s going to cost me £80 to prove that I’m not. British. So glad they keep coming up with new ways to make money. A few foreigners like me and we’ll soon have paid for a library to remain open. Or does it not work like that?


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