Well, I watched the movie….

I watched the movie “Cuties”.

I share a lot of my life on social media, but I actually try not to randomly scroll {too much.} I am an extroverted introvert (stronger on the introvert) I need disconnected time in order to refresh and recharge. So, when the subject of Cuties, Netflix and pedophilia was brought up I actually had no idea what was going on. Hearing and then reading online about it, I was just as aghast as everyone else. Shocked. Sickened. That terrible sigh of “well this is what a “broken and fallen world does” settled in over me. I was briefly relieved that I don’t actually pay for Netflix. I only pay for the Smithsonian channel. šŸ˜‰ Eventually I settled into the “we cannot stand by and let this happen. “

Later that day I had the thought that I should actually watch the movie … then I thought, “NO WAY” I will not be someone who contributes to the sexualization of children. I am a researcher, information gatherer, by nature. So I watched the movie. So I would know. So I could, with confidence, knowledge and wisdom fight against it.

In my opinion it is not a movie “made for pedophiles” any more than any movie that has child actors. What I did see was a realistic, heart breaking, gut check movie about the hyper-sexualization of children and the loss of innocence that can happen oh so quickly. I did see a harsh visual representation of what we have let in to our children’s lives.

Cuties is meant to make you uncomfortable, it’s meant to make you outraged, it’s meant to disturb the slumber social media has lulled us into. It’s meant to stir you to take action. Take action FOR children and the oppressed. Rage against Tik Tok, Snapchat, Youtube, rage against the buying and selling of human beings, rage against the culture that glorifies pornography, rage against our society that screams and yells and boycotts Netflix while sitting silently watching the number of children in foster care sky rocket. While you are raging, do something. We rage until Netflix removes Cuties, while we hand our children free access to Tik Tok, Youtube, Snap Chat and whatever else is out there. Literally paying for the hyper sexualization of our own children as they sit next to us in our own homes.

Here’s the thing….pedophilia, sex trafficking, human trafficking ….they are atrocities that people have committed against the innocent since time began. Our world has been crying out, begging for us to take notice, for us to rise up and be so outraged by the loss of innocence that we become hell bent on creating a safe environment, that we would be willing to sacrifice some of our own comfort and security to help them be safe, to find safety.

Cuties is a movie about a confused little girl who is desperately seeking safe, her place to belong and unfortunately the world misleads her, which is fairly easy to do because she is 11! She looks to the world and it tells her belonging looks like doing what “every one else is doing” … which is being sexualized. This movie isn’t the issue, the message of the movie is, THIS IS WHAT OUR KIDS ARE BEING EXPOSED TO. Daily. It’s not the world’s job, not Netflix’s job, to protect the innocent. It’s your job, my job, our jobs as parents, as people who want something different, to decide what we allow the world to speak to our kids. It’s Netflix’s job to make money. They bought this movie, this eye opening movie about the very real issue of 11 years old getting swept up in this culture of sex and selfies, this movie about how quickly innocence is lost and how desperate children are to belong, and Netflix sexualized it for us, for Americans; because that is the kind of culture we support and condone.

I watched the movie and some of the scenes are uncomfortable, it’s meant to be. I feel the same way when I watch documentaries/movies about WW2 and concentration camps, when I watch 12 Years a Slave or I Am Not Your Negro, even the Passion of Christ. The visual images are strong and powerful and overwhelming, they are meant to stir me to intervene, to fight for justice, to do something to help make the world just a little better.

The thing is, if you don’t know what the problem is you can’t help. Our problem isn’t this movie, it isn’t even Netflix. It’s a society that sits idle while others suffer. It’s people who have all the comforts this world has to offer and do nothing whiles other die from lack of clean water. It’s a world of people who allow the brutality of forced labor because fighting against it would mean giving up our inexpensive wardrobes. It’s the culture that wants somebody to just DO something already, and nobody seems to be a somebody. Pedophilia is horrific. It destroys the innocent. Steals, destroys, and causes life long harm. This movie isn’t about pedophilia and it wasn’t made for pedophiles. Pedophiles don’t need our Netflix, we’ve given them much easier access to our children through social media, the foster care system, and human trafficking.

The movie addresses a very real issue, in a very real way and we are missing it being angry at Netflix. I read a book once about a some people who wanted to trap a family in their own home. They decided to have one of the guys frantically bang on the front door so the rest of them could sneak undetected into the back of the house. What Netflix did to this movie is wrong, ugly and bad. But y’all, we are so busy running to answer the front door we are leaving our homes wide open.

I want you to stay outraged, angry and ready to do something. If you canceled your Netflix, I’m here for it, but instead of using your $15.00 a month for another streaming service, give it to an organization fighting human trafficking, supporting foster parents or adoption, give to your local crisis intervention center, or to build a water well in Africa (or India or…) , provide a meal for someone, or give to a homeless shelter or food pantry. While you’re canceling Netflix take a very long and hard look at what the children in your world have access to. Y’all I’ve seen somethings on Tik Tok that make be feel so embarrassed to have seen and I don’t even have a Tik Tok. Pedophiles are seeking out children they can access and manipulate. They aren’t getting close to those girl actors in the movie but with social media they can come right in and sit on your sofa.

Cancel Netflix, hashtag it and then tell us (social media) what you are doing to be an answer to the problem. The world needs us to answer. The world needs to know how we intend to intervene, protect and provide a safe place. The world doesn’t need our misplaced outrage. We have more than enough to last a lifetime.

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