Netflix, Cuties, And Pornography

The movie “Cuties” description on Netflix currently reads, “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.” Previously, the description read, “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew.

I had heard people were canceling their Netflix subscriptions because of this movie so I decided to check it out for myself. I wondered, could it really be that bad?

Spoiler: Yes, it really is that bad.

I decide to watch one of the more graphic clips going around of this movie. It was somehow even worse than I expected it to be. The best way to describe it without detailing the moves too graphically is to compare it to the way strippers very purposefully dance to illicit sexual excitement. Again, I want to avoid details so that I don’t offend or so this post does not become a stumbling block, but I can assure you it was not mild hip hop dancing. There is a reason it is a controversy right now.

Fox News reported that Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley “is urging Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to take down the platform’s controversial new film “Cuties,” which critics say inappropriately sexualizes young girls.” Hawley says that “Airing the film raises major questions of child safety and exploitation, including the possibility of copycat behavior and exploitation of child actors.”

This information was enough for me to consider canceling my Netflix subscription, but because of a recent project, I did on pornography the information I learned tells me something. It convinces me that Netflix choosing to air this program is a dire warning to us all. That this show would even be aired by Netflix tells me there is a shift in our thinking as a culture.

Here are a few things about the current pornography culture that will help to put the importance of this into perspective.

Not everyone who watches child porn is a pedophile

Have you ever heard on the news or through the “grapevine” that a well respected man in your life or in the community was arrested or fired from his job because he was found with child pornography? You wonder how it could be possible that this man is a pedophile. Well, it’s very possible he isn’t. Allow me to explain what I mean with some statistics from pornhub. If you have never heard of pornhub, it is a website where users can (practically unmonitored) upload pornography as well as download for viewing.

According to Pornhubs 2017 top searches include at least 2 categories that focus on the sexual degradation of young girls.

According to their site statistics, there were 42 billion visits to their site in 2019 and it actually doubled from the year before.

The teen category search actually dropped in 2019 which at first appears to be a plus until you realize a very likely explanation for that is that child porn is now so mainstream it is widely scattered throughout all or at least most of the search categories. No need to specifically search for child porn. (https://fightthenewdrug.org/2019-pornhub-annual-report/)

Back to that hypothetical man caught with child pornography in your community. Here’s the deal: A pedophile is someone who is primarily attracted to children, but because of the easy access and endless videos online, there are “average people” who are now viewing child pornography. Your neighbor, the person sitting next to you in church, your child’s teacher at school, men, women, teens, these are the kinds of people viewing child pornography these days.

How can this be?

Porn behavior escalates

When it comes to pornography (and other sins of the flesh) the brain is not satisfied with viewing the same thing over and over again. To get the same high that it did before, it needs something new, something different.

Fight the new drug explains.

Porn is an escalating behavior because as some consumers develop tolerance, the porn that used to excite them starts to seem boring.  Predictably, they often try to compensate by spending more time with porn and/or seeking out more hardcore material in an effort to regain the excitement they used to feel. Many porn consumers find themes of aggression, violence, and increasingly “edgy” acts creeping into their porn habits and fantasies. But no matter how shocking their tastes become, you can bet there will be pornographers waiting to sell it to them. (https://fightthenewdrug.org/why-consuming-porn-is-an-escalating-behavior/)

So a man or woman who is satisfied to watch “regular pornography” between a man and a woman will lose that high eventually and begin to explore other options. Pornhub and other similar sites are there to help them out with endless viewing options and opportunities. Until eventually someone who never thought they would be before is now addicted to child pornography.

Because of the internet and websites such as pornhub and because of the way our brains process addictive behavior this has created an appetite and a platform for sexual abuse of children. This kind of regular and mainstream viewing of child pornography not only warps the brains of individual viewers but it warps the tolorance level of our culture as a whole.

You may have wondered how it is even possible that the show “Cuties” could even be aired on Netflix. I would argue that the above is exactly why it’s currently available for streaming. The terrifying thing is that this is becoming more and more normal in our society.

Two reasons this trend is dangerous to our children

First, studies show that 80 percent of people who are arrested for sexually abusive acts against children were found to possess child pornography. Once you begin to view this kind of porn it actually rewires your brain. You begin to view things in a way you never would have before. The next step in the addiction process for some is to act it out.

Second, the consumer of online pornography never knows if what they are viewing is consensual.

In November 2019, a 15-year-old girl who had been missing for a year was discovered in videos on Pornhub. She had become a victim of sex trafficking, and yet the porn site hosted 58 videos of her being raped by her trafficker and other sex buyers.

In 2009, a 14-year-old named Rose was abducted and raped, with a third man video recording the assault.

Sometime later, after the attack, some students from Rose’s school shared a link on MySpace. It led to Pornhub and revealed videos with hundreds of thousands of views…”

They were all of Rose. From that night, from that assault. (https://fightthenewdrug.org/what-porn-sites-could-be-doing-to-protect-victims)

These are not isolated news stories. This is mainstream pornography. There is a shift happening in our culture right now. Decent “normal” citizens are relenting to this dangerous shift. The normalization of child sexualization is creeping into our country, our local communities, and yes even our churches. The “Cuties” movie is undeniable proof of this shift.

The producer of this video argues that the movie Cuties is actually a commentary on the oversexualization of children. It’s her way of bringing awareness to the problem. I would strongly disagree with her methods. There is no context in which the clip I saw is helpful to the growing problem of child pornography and sexualization. You don’t create a movie that sexually exploits children and say you are helping with the problem. You are automatically part of the problem no matter what the movie is about. What I saw in that clip was nothing short of child abuse.

What can we do about this shift?

The very same day I watched the dance clip from the movie “Cuties” I canceled my Netflix subscription. We must have the mindset that this is unacceptable. We must do what we can to show companies and movie producers that we will not tolerate the sexualization of children in our society. We must stop watching all forms of pornography including any movies that depict the sexualization of children in any way shape or form. Nothing we are currently watching on Netflix is worth it. Let’s do whatever it takes to stop this heartbreaking shift in our culture. Let’s tell Netflix this is unacceptable by immediately canceling our subscriptions and urging others to do the same.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Cathy Mullins says:

    Thank you, Katie. I’ve never heard of this movie but want to check it out so I can tell my friends that I saw it for myself. It is soooo sad how our world has degraded something God created as beautiful. 😥

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