I’ve lived in Germany for four years now, and one of the more striking differences—besides the ostensibly straight dudes in way-too-tight pants, the utter and total lack of green vegetables, and the magnificent booze—is an almost complete inversion of American attitudes.
Back home in the states, violence (against other people, on the TV, by people who hunt animals, etc) is far more socially accepted than it is here. (With, perhaps, the sole exception of soccer games. It’s even crazier other places in Europe—in Italy, there was recently a soccer game where the fans killed a cop by throwing a bomb at him, and another one where the game had to stop because the tear gas the cops were using on the fans drifted onto the field.)
In contrast, where the Euros generally abhor violence, they love the sexing—there’s nudie mags at child-eye level in every gas station, German late night TV is nothing but phone sex commercials, and casual sex isn’t something people get (ahem) worked up about.
I myself am a fan of the Euro ways. When I start a family someday, I’d much rather my kids were comfortable with s-e-x and nudity than, say, getting in fights with people they didn’t know. In fact, I was back in the states a while ago, and was shocked by how much more physically aggressive people in the bar scene are. Everyone wanted to fight… I went to a relatively broad range of places, too, so I think it was a decent sampling. In comparison, I just don’t think this would have been such a big issue over here.
Lest we get sidetracked, I’m not interested in debating the virtues of either viewpoint. Instead, regardless of where you stand on the mores themselves—OmniNerds, what’s the deal? How did we and our brethren across the ocean come to develop such opposing views on guns and boobs?
Talk amongst yourselves.
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