TABOO: WHAT YOU CAN'T GET AWAY WITH IN AMERICA�
ELIZABETH VARGAS REPORTS ON ABC NEWS' "20/20," FRIDAY, MAY 18
Is it ok for a mom to speak badly about being a parent? Why can't gay actors be leading men in Hollywood? Why is it ok for one race to say a certain word and a no-no for all other races? And why does our society have such a hard time accepting unconventional relationships? Elizabeth Vargas' report, "TABOO: What You Can't Get Away with in America," airs on "20/20," FRIDAY, MAY 18 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. Reports include:
� Taboo: Language -- Who can say what and who can't? From the "N" word to the "F" word, the taboos about language today are not so black and white � they can change depending on whether you are black or white or gay or part of any minority. As Vargas reports, these double standards have left some people complaining that the rules about what you can say, where you can say it and whom you can say it to have become confusing and unfair.
� Taboo: Parenting -- Is it a social taboo to say that raising children bores you? For most moms, it is considered inappropriate to express boredom with these natural motherly duties, but freelance journalist Helen Kirwin-Taylor is one mom who isn't afraid to break those taboos. Kirwin-Taylor, a mother of two young boys, tells Vargas that "day after day after day, I think it gets very boring." She was so disturbed by the unwritten rule against saying anything negative about child-rearing that she wrote an article for London's Daily Mail entitled "Sorry, But My Children Bore Me to Death." Now a stay-at-home mom, Kirwin-Taylor admitted that she was bored stiff when taking her kids to birthday parties, to play dates and to school plays, and her article caused shock waves on both sides of the Atlantic. One person wrote on an Internet blog in response to the article, saying, "Do the world a favor and don't reproduce." Another post read, "Your lack of parental love borders on child abuse."
� Taboo: Relationships -- Some relationships still turn heads � because they break the stereotype of what a couple should be. Sharon and John Klose from Florida said that they routinely receive looks and stares in the course of daily activities. Sharon said these looks are based on her
282 lb. size, compared to her husband's lean frame. "I think if I were a thin woman with him, no one would look twice at us," she said. Utah natives Kristine and Pete Widtfeldt break another norm among couples: Pete walked away from his career in Internet marketing to become a stay-at-home dad to the couple's three children.
� Taboo: Gay in Hollywood -- People in dark movie theaters will believe just about anything, like a boy magically becoming "Big" overnight or the "Terminator" recast as a pregnant woman. But some people say that one thing Hollywood -- and audiences -- won't believe in is an openly gay actor playing a leading man. Vargas talks to Chad Allen, former child star who was "outed," who says: "I think it's the last great hurdle that we have to overcome." Well-known actor Rupert Everett tells Vargas that being openly gay in Hollywood is something people focus on. "I felt really pissed off," he said. "I was dying not to talk about being gay -- it was like, you know, hammering one nail after another into a career coffin. The thing is, it was the only thing that really interested people."
� Broken Taboos -- From single motherhood to divorce to internet dating, there are many taboos that have been broken. What's next?
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is the executive producer.