Is the film ‘Cuties’ a wake up call for our society to recognise that we have a far deeper problem on our hands?
Netflix have been accused recently of encouraging paedophilia because of the film Cuties. Cuties features 11-year-old girls dancing / twerking in a sexualised way. (Some people have defended Netflix on the basis of it being a critical commentary – this article talks about it).
I haven’t seen the film, but I have seen a lot of people who are upset about it on social media. I don’t want to comment about the rights and wrongs of the film. But I do wonder if it actually has opened up a conversation which needs to be had. In particular, I think we need to say that this problem goes way bigger and way deeper than Netflix.
A problem bigger than Netflix
We live in a world which is sexualised almost beyond belief. This is especially true of the internet: just have a read of Pornhub’s 2019 statistics:
To start off, there were more than 42,000,000,000 site visits to Pornhub in 2019—nearly 6 visits to the site per person on Earth—which is 8.5 billion more visits total than last year. That’s over 23 million more visits per day in 2019 than in 2018, a considerable uptick that’s double from last year. Note that YouPorn–a sister site to Pornhub—received just a humble 5 billion site visits.
Those statistics are shocking in itself, but it gets worse. It’s no secret that internet pornography often involves underage girls. In fact, just a couple of months ago over a million people signed a petition to take action against Pornhub for trafficking. This included trafficking of children:
Pornography is a phenomenon which we as a society largely ignore. I think part of the reason it’s ignored is because a lot of people in society use it themselves. I mean, the numbers are just too big to ignore. According to this website, 70% of men aged 18 to 24 visit a porn site at least once per month. Is that the reason people are hard on Cuties but turn a blind eye to the bigger problem of pornography?
A problem with the way we view sex
Part of the problem, as I have argued before, is the whole way that our society views sex. The sexual revolution caused us to see sexual freedom as an ultimate good. We wanted to be free to have sex with whoever we want, whenever we want, and damn the consequences. (This is the argument some abortion advocates make: they want women to have the same sexual freedom as men, without pregnancy getting in the way).
When we live in a society which is almost literally obsessed with sex – it’s on TV, advertising, films, everything – it becomes harder and harder to say that kind of sex is OK, but not that kind. You can’t pick and choose. If consent is our only value, then effectively there are no values.
What I’m hoping with Cuties is that people will come to see that there are limits. I hope the sexualisation of children will cause people to take a step back and think. Perhaps we too, in our society, are complicit in a culture which sexualises children. Perhaps we need to rethink our own values.
What can we do?
The main thing we can do is, avoid pornography. Porn on the internet is often supporting trafficking / child sexual abuse. Not to mention other kinds of abuse. And the effect trickles down: you might think that using porn is an entirely private affair, but it changes you – and with it, the world. You can see an overview of the effects porn has on the (excellent) Fight the New Drug website.
As they say: “What is it if it isn’t just you seeking ever more explicit pornographic material, but your next door neighbour, your teacher, your doctor? What happens when it’s half your country?”
Porn is an issue for society. And when it trickles down, it leads to things like Cuties. If you feel strongly about Cuties, then cut out porn, and encourage others to do the same. There are lots of resources, including the Fight the New Drug website I just mentioned.
Also, I have just recorded a video about breaking free from porn addiction for Understand the Bible, which I will release in the next couple of days. If you subscribe to the YouTube channel, you’ll see that when it goes live. Porn can be beaten.
Edit: here it is: