Porn in PIL's loo(60 Posts)
A bit of advice from the clever people here would be appreciated:
FIL is a kind and lovely man and I'm very fond of him but he's the kind of person who says "political correctness gone mad" etc and his attitudes are quite old fashioned at times.
MIL bought him a large picture of a woman wearing nothing but knickers and boots at some point in the 1970s/80s as a 'joke'. It is not arty, just porny. It hangs proudly in the loo. DH is embarrassed by this but grew up with it. I've always thought it was odd but not thought to challenge it.
Now we've got children I feel differently about it. I feel like having it there is sending a message about women that I don't want my children to accept.
Do I ask them to take it down? (Been there so long I think it could cause family tension) do I just bring it up and discuss with DC when they are bigger that this isn't a nice way to treat women and grandad was brought up in a time when this was ok even though we all know it isn't now (much in the way that racist old people were sort of tolerated when I was little)
I just feel that having this in their home normalises objectification of women more than coming across the image in a magazine etc would.
Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks
I'm a bit stuck on this one.
It's his home, not yours for one. It was a present from MIL.
Your children are going to see things like this, but I appreciate you don't want them seeing it in their grandparent's house. How old are the DC?
Tiny! Toddler and baby- more concern for the future really! I think you're right, it is their home. Will just have to explain when they are older.
I guess it's that I don't want them accepting images like that as normal because they've grown up with it. It's a full length page 3 style picture. Bleurgh.
It is their home and up to them what they do.
But its your children and up to you if you want to appear accepting of those images. Im not exactly sure what I would do to be honest, I certainly would not like it.
Its your DH's family so why not have a discussion with him about how you feel about the picture, and if you both feel the same, your DH could lead the way and have a word with his parents about its suitability.
Agree with Zippey especially as you say DH was embarrassed by it. He may be very likely to not want his DCs exposed the same awkwardness.
I've spoken to DH and he agrees. He's happy to tell them to take it down. But it is their house and I think there could be a falling out or at least some hurt feelings.
I'm basically a wimp who strives to avoid confrontation!
Thanks for your thoughts, think DH might have a chat with them at some point
"Are you going to take the soft porn out of the toilet before the kids notice it?"
If they say yes: good. If they say no: "Okay then, you're fine to visit them at our house aren't you?"
They can decorate their house with whatever they like - gimp suits, pictures of monkeys smoking pot, nazi memorabilia. You can take your kids wherever you like.
I'd be interested to hear how you intend to successfully deliver the message that
a) Objectifying women is bad
b) Grandad objectifies women
c) Grandad is 'lovely'
to your dc.
yes it's their home
However you have a responsibility to protect your children from inappropriate images and messages until they are old enough to be able to process them maturely and discuss as needed
If this was drugs or guns it would be cut and dry - you'd say you were not visiting unless those inappropriate things were not present
So if you are worried about the image then they can take it down, cover it up, or come to your house
I think time for DH to chat and let them know he doesn't want his young children seeing that image and discuss how they could help him solve that problem
Id be wary about going in and demanding the picture be taken down. You can try a nice way eg say you don't think its appropriate for your children to see and accept that its ok.
Or you could buy them a tasteful picture (maybe a portrait of the children, or family) as a gift in exchange for them binning the old picture.
Your PIL's will probably be elderly and stuck in their ways of thinking. That's not to say that their behaviour is ok and I understand that you don't want things to escalate!
That's my dilemma axe, it was sort of a message I was hoping to leave until they are old enough to come across images like that outside the home rather than trying to explain it to a 3 year old.
Not got a problem with saying that grandad is very wrong to have that picture up and it's not very nice but agree it's a tricky one to explain without either downplaying the image or making grandad out to be a total arse hole.
Cop out option. Is there another loo in the house
Yy to another loo, or saying "I think X is a bit young to see that picture, so I'm going to take it down whilst we are here."
It was bought 30 or 40 years ago. It may be there as much out of habit as anything and not quite so "proudly" as you might be thinking. And while FIL might be "political correctness gone mad" would he actually be happy to knw that you are a bit horrified by him and his house every time you go to the loo?
I'm just saying it might not be quite the problem you're imagining.
I don't think another loo is the answer - it becomes more of a problem as your kids get older and you can control which loo they go into less.
If your PIL don't respond well to requests to take it down, I think that you should use it as a teaching moment for your kids once they are old enough to understand. After all, they are going to encounter hyper-sexualised and sexist imagery of women everywhere, eventually.
You could explain to them why you and your DP object to the poster, and how you would like to see a different, more equitable world for boys and girls. My second-wave feminist mother would often point out sexism and talk about feminist issues with my brother and sister and me, even when we were young. It helped me a lot when it came to navigating the world as a teenager and young adult - it just meant I had a heightened awareness of these things and didn't swallow them unthinkingly.
Cut out a dress made of paper that fits the lady in question and get your DH to stick it over the picture with bluetack when you are in the house. Make a joke of it whilst making the point you don't want the kids seeing pictures of a naked dolly bird when they go to the loo.
I'd just go for the straightforward approach. Say to them "I'm not comfortable with the children seeing that picture when they visit. It's just not the kind of thing I want to have to explain to young children. Could you take it down, or move it somewhere they won't see it when we visit?"
Not demanding. Not saying they are vile for having it. Just calm and clear.
That way they can say "Oh, that's a valid point, yes we'll take it down" if they are reasonable people.
If they won't, then you can get more specific about why it is inappropriate, and why you find it difficult to bring the children for a visit. But that's only after they don't respond to a calm and sensible request. Don't turn it into a fight until it has to be one - most people (unless they are arseholes) will listen to a calm suggestion from their grandchildren's mother.
Thanks everyone. All comments gratefully received! Will probably bring it up casually next time we're there and see what the response is.
I'd say ask nicely, just say you don't think it's appropriate for the little ones. PIL will think you are overly PC and PFB and probably some other acronyms too, and maybe roll eyes.. but hopefully will realize they are being sexist and it's embarrassing and take it down.
If they had something obviously racist in their loo I think most people would say it comes down or you don't come round. Just think of it that way.
If they get rude about it or anything like that you could either refuse to come around. Or do (what I would do) simply explain to the children that the picture is very sexist and should have been left in the 70s, and explain why it is wrong. Don't worry about trying to paint granddad as old and therefore unaware of sexism because age really isn't an excuse. And you don't him an excuse for his sexisim.
See what he says when kids have words about him about being sexist.
They sound like nice people, which actually makes it more awkward. Imagine if we were in a 70s timewarp and they had a cat called N****r - what would you do then?
I suspect you'd say, "FiL, I know you love your pussy (yes, yes, fnar) but I'm not totally comfortable with my children hearing that word. Is it possible to just go, 'Here, kitty, kitty?' when they're around?"
I think you need to be a bit, "Sorry, I know I am PCGM, but I have a thing about our children (esp if there is a DD) growing up around images that portray women in a way that is objectifying. I'm cool with it, you're cool with it, but we live in a different world now."
Then point them to a DM article about 8-year-olds viewing porn on phones, and let them think it's the thin end of the wedge. And suggest it's removed when your children are there.
I'd go to their house with a pack of post-it notes and everytime visited, stick them over the model's body.
Even better you could make a paper dress and stick it on.
Seriously, I would.
I think you should really, really, get the fuck over yourself. Your PIL are entitled to decorate their own home however they see fit without reference to your sensibilities. You are sounding like the sort of person who would be whining and shitting your pants if your relatives had a reproduction of naked ancient Greek sculptures in the front room.
And all these other suggestions of 'covering u' the picture with Post-It notes is simply going to suggest to your DC that naked or partially clothed human bodies are ridiculous or disgusting. Is that the message you want to give them?
No, I think the message she wants to give them is that women are not their for other people's amusement.
The op isn't complaining about a reproduction of Greek art in her PIL's family room. It's a naked woman in wellies on someone's wall in a toilet.
Nothing wrong with the naked female form. Something wrong with using it for titillating people in a toilet. And nothing wrong with the OP deciding she doesn't want her children to see objectification by her PIL, her other option is simply not go around there. Would you rather not see your grandchildren or get rid of a tacky poster on your wall? Parents DO have the right to say no to sexism/or any other "ism" in front of their children.
Yeah, because a Modigliani nude, and a Page 3 stunna are the same thing...
So people genuinely think the OP should be prepared to trigger a full-scale family row over a cheesy picture on the toilet wall? Way to go - teach your DC that self-righteous whining is more important than other people's feelings and that being offended justifies anything and everything.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.