Here is an example of a name withheld on my initiative rather than at the request of the reader. A mother of four children wrote: "We have always been completely honest and open about all sexual matters the children ask about. But we do not believe it is necessary to expose them to all of life's sordidness at an early age.
"Our children still believe that in order to have babies, the man and woman must be married. Is that so terrible? Are we interfering with their education by not rushing in to tell them otherwise just yet?
"Our children also believe that sex is a very special, private thing that one discusses only in the home and only with members of the family. We also believe this about financial matters.
"What bothers me most about sex on TV is not the offensive programs themselves but the advertisements for them shown during programs that are otherwise suitable for family viewing. We can control which shows we and our children see, but we never know when one of those 'family' programs will contain offensive material in the form of an ad for 'Soap' of 'Three's Company' or something of that kind. Is there nothing we can do about television short of tossing it out?"
It would be a sad commentary on our times to admit that a civilization clever enough to invent a way to send sound and pictures through the air couldn't work out a sensible set of rules to govern what kinds of sounds and pictures should be sent.
If the television industry doesn't respond voluntarily to the public's prodding on this issue, the government might step in (which is never an ideal solution to anything), or viewers might become disgusted enough to stop watching (which would also be a pity, because television has so much potential for good).
Let me suggest to those who have strong feelings on this issue, or on any other issue: Don't keep your disapproval bottled up inside you. Speak out. Write a letter to the station manager and tell him how youfeel. Send a copy to the sponsor, the FCC, your congressman, your newspaper, and to anybody else you think might help support your viewpoint. You'd be surprised how concerned businessmen and politicians can be when they sense that they are targets of a growing amount of public disapproval.
P.S.: Why did I withhold this woman's name? Because I don't want her children teased by their schoolmates, that's why.