Sunday, August 5, 2012

A little Modesty

Throughout my course here in the United Kingdom, I have noticed a significant difference in the sexuality of this country. I noticed it first when I went to London. I am very big into broadway musicals and have seen many in New York. I saw Mama Mia a couple years ago on Broadway. When we went to London we decided to find tickets and go to Mama Mia. The script was the same, but the modesty was not. The actors and actresses seemed to be much more sexual than the version I saw in New York.

That same weekend I also saw a large difference in the British word choice. There were several occasions when I heard people speaking on the phone using the f bomb every other word. We then met some older men in a pub one night and their language was extremely vulgar. They had no filter. It seemed strange to me the terms and phrases they were talking about in general, but the fact that they had no problem using them in front of 3 girls was very strange.

Finally I actually met a group of Oxford students at a bar one night. We chatted about school and compared and contrasted Oxford and UGA. The list of things to do before you graduate differed pretty drastically from the UGA's list. Most of it entailed having sex in various places and drinking. I found this to be quite amusing. Lastly he showed me the rugby team picture. This picture took me by surprise to say the least. This would not fly with the UGA athletics.
It's as if they don't have any taboo topics. They do and say what they want no matter how vulgar it is.


  1. This is such a huge contrast to what the British are stereotyped as: very proper. I definitely have seen that here, but I have also seen the vulgarity. I definitely feel like the British are on top of their game here, always doing the right thing, always following the rules, but when it's time to let loose, they LET LOOSE. Where else can you find this sort of pub culture? It really is a way of life here to relax and have a joke from time to time, but naked pictures like that would definitely be a shocker in the US.

  2. That's interesting that Mamma Mia would be so different. I wonder how that may have affected the film version that was made a few years ago. I'm sure the filmmakers had to attempt to find a way to appease both audiences. This connects back to what our guest speaker from last week was saying about catering to different markets, yet this has the issue of not being able to change the product.

  3. I have also had a few conversations with Oxford students here over summer doing research and the conversation was much more open about sex and taboo manners than I am normally comfortable speaking about with people I don't know. I heard some of the "challenges" students have, many of them relating to sex. Also, when you meet people at a bar in America, it is not polite to talk about politics. I feel like here in the UK it is much less of a taboo topic, as almost every person I have met has started talking about both British and American politics.

  4. I've found that while there is definitely more sex in advertising and everyday life for the british, they also have to problem voicing it to complete strangers. I have had numerous encounters with young, teenage boys who will yell out extremely inappropriate comments for their age, simply in passing. After so many times, I stopped taking offense and just accepted the differences in our cultures. I think that over here, sex isn't such a big deal or taboo. It's taught to be an everyday, natural thing. I guess it just has its positive and negative effects.