What we find amusing reveals the state of the heart in things that people would otherwise stand opposed to if it were personally applied. What I mean by that is that no good Christian would want their daughter to watch something, or better yet, act in something, that glorifies the sexual exploitation women—yet they find themselves contented in watching it because they view it as a matter of Christian liberty.
There has been no shortage of uproar over the release of the movie Cuties on Netflix, and for good reason. The film is being blasted for the gratuitous sexualizing of 11-year-old girls, which is beyond vile. I won’t embed the video, but I have linked to the lewd portion highlighted on Twitter here; viewer discretion is obviously advised. Many have come to the defense of the film by arguing it is a critique of the very thing people are outraged over—the sexualization of little girls. Fans of the movie have labeled critics fundamentalists and right-wingers, and truthfully, if that’s what makes me a fundamentalist right-winger, I’m perfectly o.k. with this, especially when you see something like this utterly morally bankrupt, inept, and vapid piece that extols the film’s virtues.
Don’t misunderstand me—I do believe there is a critique to be lobbied against our world’s deviance and sexual anarchy—especially in consideration to how these things shape youths through the medium of social media. As Rod Dreher points out, if anything, this movie undoubtedly serves as a gut-wrenching warning to those extolling a child’s need for a smartphone. Undeniably, we live in an uncomfortable world where the exploitation and sexualization of children is virtually everywhere these days—and especially in the palms of children whose primary guardian and mentor is a phone. Yet the problem goes well beyond what children are taught via social media and the like. Simply look at the clothing options available to young girls and even young women. It is difficult to buy pre-pubescent girls items of clothing that don’t cut low on their non-existent chests, and hike up their butts. This is a twisted thing that I had no understanding of prior to being a father—yet my wife has assured me this has long been an issue.
Yet I digress. Where Cuties aims at critiquing the sexualization of children, again, a conversation that needs to happen in our world, especially considering the modern-day practice of slavery is alive and well through child trafficking, it grandly fails. The reality is that Cuties is damnably offensive. It really is—I have no aim to minimize this in any sense. I cannot possibly see how one can rationalize and accept this in any fashion, even under the auspices of a four-star, artful critique of the very thing Roger Ebert claims conservatives are [sic] clutching their pearls over. It is a disgusting exploitation of the children who were in the movie, who have unwittingly been thrust before the eyes of millions upon millions of people—including the perverts who enjoy this sort of thing.
It is not an artistic critique of child-sexualization, but a participatory reveling in the hyper-sexualized culture our world has embraced without qualms. It is the fruit of a culture’s debauchery that has reveled in sexual licentiousness in virtually every form it can—and the exploitation of children in this regard is simply the final frontier of a consistent trajectory of wicked sexual expression. It is abominable. It is reprehensible. But the one thing we cannot say of it is that it is somehow something that is not consistent with the world’s continued mockery of the marriage bed, which is to remain undefiled. No, it is a blatant defiling of the marriage bed, but with children, no less—but it is consistent.