Movies

Cuties and Its Critics Both Decry the Sexualization of Children

That point seems to have escaped many people who have not actually watched the controversial film, some of whom think it should banned.

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The last time I commented on Cuties, the controversial French film on Netflix that portrays 11-year-old girls who practice and perform raunchy routines for a dance competition, I was condemned as a "pedo," a "perv," a "sick individual," a "demon," and "an enemy of the people." And that was just for pointing out that Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) was misinterpreting the federal ban on child pornography by suggesting that it applied to the film. At the risk of inviting further abuse from people who have not actually watched the movie, I think it's worth noting that some complaints about it, even from less rabid critics, are seriously misplaced.

Cuties not only does not fit the legal definition of child pornography; it is not the least bit salacious. To the contrary (spoiler alert), its clear message is that the protagonist and her friends are confused and engaging in age-inappropriate behavior. The audience at the dance competition is visibly and audibly appalled by their twerking, and the central character, Amy, tearfully realizes in the midst of the performance that she is trying to grow up too fast and has been too quick to reject the culture and values of her family, Muslim immigrants from Senegal. She runs home, hugs her mother, and changes out of her skimpy outfit. The last image in the film is Amy joyfully jumping rope with kids in her neighborhood, an unmistakable clue that she has decided to remain a child rather than aping the risqué behavior of the adult performers she sees on social media.

In short, Cuties does not promote dirty dancing by 11-year-olds or present it as liberating for Amy once the initial thrill of defying her family's authority is gone. Her involvement with the dance troupe causes serious problems and anguish, which ultimately lead her to change course. All of this is consistent with director Maïmouna Doucouré's avowed intent and with Netflix's description of Cuties as "a social commentary against the sexualization of young children." After watching the movie, my wife, a rabbi, said she could see using it with parents and older teenagers as part of a lesson in the challenges of growing up in a hypersexualized society without clear and consistent adult guidance.

As the father of three daughters, I have long been disturbed by the cultural tendencies that both Cuties and its critics decry, which extend to creepy beauty pageants featuring prepubescent children as well as the more explicitly sexual dance moves portrayed in the film. I don't want my kids to dance that way, and I would not let them watch a movie like this until they were mature enough to understand the issues it deals with. At the same time, it is hard to imagine a serious cinematic treatment of the subject that does not at some point show what that sort of behavior entails.

I understand and sympathize with the concerns of people who think it is always wrong to have children perform dance routines like these, even in the context of a film that portrays such behavior as deeply troubling. I am less impressed by the argument that people who are sexually attracted to children will like the film, a sort of pedophile's veto that would put the kibosh to many worthwhile movies. Whatever your take on Cuties, the idea that no one should be allowed to see it, which is the implication of Cruz's argument, is plainly inconsistent with the First Amendment, which requires tolerating all manner of controversial speech, no matter how much vituperation it provokes on Twitter.

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  1. Sullum is a pedophile.

    1. He is just doing research. He needs to see little girls exploited to know how bad that is.

      That is literally what he is arguing here.

      1. Have you watched this film, John? The whole film?

        You are caught in a trap of your own making. Either you are criticizing something you haven’t watched, or, by your own admission, you are a pedophile because you watched the film. Either way, you look like a fool.

        1. You’re white knighting for softcore child porn… but John is a fool for criticizing it?

          That’s what you’re going with…

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        2. Hey pedo, there are enough descriptions of scenes put there to not have to watch it. If you want to watch 11 year old gis ribbing their crotches suggestively stick with Jeff and SPB as you have been.

          You could also read a years worth of reviews never stating the point was to be anti child sexualization, but that would require you to do some actual research which you can’t be bothered with.

        3. I haven’t watched this film and I will not. I have better things to do with my life than watch pedo films. And there is no trap at all. We know what is in the film and it is obvious it is horribly exploitative and pornographic of 10 year old girls. If the reports of that are wrong, then explain how and give a link describing how the film doesn’t show 10 year old girls rubbing their crotches and watching porn and so forth.

          There is no debate about what is in the movie. You don’t have to watch it to know that it is garbage. Jesus Christ, if the movie showed the girl being raped, would you have to see it to understand what the means?

          Stop fucking lying. And you still owe me a thank your explaining to you how property law works.

          1. Shorter John: “I don’t have to read/watch the source material, because Fox News tells me what to think about it.”

            Yes there literally is debate about what is in the film, as explained in the very fucking article above. I am not defending the film, because I haven’t seen it, because I don’t watch Netflix much anymore (there is nothing good on there it seems). I am merely pointing out your constant hypocrisy.

            As for the property law thread, you better go back and read the link I posted.

            1. Yes there literally is debate about what is in the film,

              No there isn’t. Again, do you think 10 year old girls rubbing their crotches and twerking is okay? I guess you do. Well I and the rest of the non degenerate pieces of shit in the world think that it is wrong. My advice to you is to stop being a piece of shit and get some standards at least about small children.

              1. Chip needs cover to watch kiddie porn, then condemn the rest of us for not watching kiddie porn.

            2. “you better go back and read the link I posted.”

              Or what bitch?

              lolololo “you better” lolololol

            3. Fox News tells me what to think about it.

              To be fair, they also show clips. Then they complain that the clips they’re showing you are child porn. Go figure.

              1. no they don’t. Link one clip shown on fox.

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              2. You are watching it while firing off an airburst is my guess. Only a sicko would defend that crap.

            4. Chipper, you’ve really gone full jeff. It isn’t just fox with descriptions. You’re as broken as Sarc.

        4. No one’s buying your stupid Kafkatrap, you shitlib moron.

        5. I can’t say that’s the dumbest comment you’ve ever made, but you certainly are the audience that talking point was meant for and you’ve downloaded it very well. I don’t have to watch it to understand it any more than I have to do fentanyl to rail against it. How stupid is the idea that you have to experience something first hand to have a valid opinion on it? Years ago fools also used to say they just buy Playboy Magazine for the articles. BTW, no it’s not a political thing, though I’m sure that helps you sleep at night after watching it. I know many liberals and progs that simply have no time for this shit.

          As for the ‘pedos don’t watch this’ nonsense, according to several watchdog groups, it just happens to be a serious topic on more than a few underground websites. Not that it is elicit enough compared to the other offerings, but it’s seen as a crack in the dam to public acceptance, and thus strongly supported. Gonna guess the pedos don’t tune in for the moral of the story though.

          What I wonder is how folks like you now think you have enough information about the pedo community that you are able to speak for them as to what drives their thoughts.

        6. Agreed! Like I said yesterday on the original article, the fact the they are entertaining this as something more than what it is gives credit to their pedophile tendencies.

          1. “They use this argument to defend child drag queens–“Oh yeah? Well, if you find this to be sexualized, that says there’s something wrong with YOU!” It’s the same degenerate gaslighting used by abusive partners–“Baby, I’m sorry, it’s just that you make me so mad sometimes! See, there you go again trying to hurt me again!”

            Jesus, fuck, but you people are so predictable I can set my watch to your lunatic hot takes.

        7. Court decisions say you are full of it.

          U.S. v. Kemmerling, 285 F.3d 644 (8th Cir. 2002): A picture is “lascivious” only if it is sexual in nature. Thus, the statute is violated, for instance, when a picture shows a child nude or partially clothed, when the focus of the image is the child’s genitals or pubic area, and when the image is intended to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.

          U.S. v. Horn, 187 F.3d 781 (9th Cir. 1999) reh, en banc, den. A depiction is lascivious when the child is nude or partially clothed, the focus of the depiction is child’s genitals or pubic area, and the image is intended to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.

        8. Does this logic apply to literaal child porn, too? You have to watch it to realize it’s bad? It’s all well and good to say the point of the film may excuse certain uncomfortable depictions the sake of promoting that point, but it seems disingenuous to suggest it’s impossible to conclude a video is bad without watching it first.

    2. Isn’t the North American Man boy Love Association (NAMbLA) a wing of the Libertarian party?

      1. No, it’s a Democrat group.

      2. CMW appears to be their newest member.

        Good job, guys–Shriek has to be laughing his ass off that he was banned for posting child porn links, and here Sullum and CMW are furiously trying to go, “No, YOU’RE the pedo!”

        This is Sullum’s second article in as many days with the same thesis. We get it, dude, sexualization of pre-pubescent minors is the next stage of The Libertarian Moment. I guess these guys have a lot more in common with Bill Maher than I thought–keep in mind a little over 20 years ago, Henry Rollins damn near tore his head off on stage when Maher was being a stupid edge lord and defending statutory rape.

        1. All because they hate trump. He said it was bad, so pedo are good now.

          1. See also middle eastern agreements to open up relations. Fuckwits can’t even say that is good.

      3. Jeffy is one of their chat board moderators.

        1. Crickets. God this site is deviant.

  2. It decries the sexualization of children about as much as someone making a snuff film decries murder. Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit excuse.

    First, you don’t criticize the sexualization and exploitation of children by making a movie that does that to child actors. The exploitation and sexualization of the actors defeats any message you are trying to send.

    Second, this film was made last year, screened in January, and sent to film festivals this summer. Not once in that entire time did the filmmakers ever say the movie was made to “decry the sexualization of children”. The movie was marketed and described as a coming of age film about a young girl who defies her conservative Muslim parents by joining a dance troupe. It is the girl who is the hero of the story and the conservative Muslim parents who are if not the villains the foils.

    To say that this movie decries the sexualization of children is to turn that on it’s head and make the conservative Muslim parents the heroes and the dance troupe the villain who exploited and sexualized their daughter. Oddly the filmmakers never mentioned this and marketed their movie as just the opposite. That is until the public called it the garbage that it is. And now hacks like Sullumn are claiming it was really about criticizing the exploitation of kids. Yeah sure it was Jacob. They needed to have those ten year old girls rub themselves and get all funky to show the world just how bad that is. Fuck off.

    1. In the film makers and the main characters defence, Mohamad was a pedifile, so she is keeping up with her religious traditions

    2. We have the screenshots to prove John right here.

    3. As much as it pains me to quote the guy, Ken ‘Popehat’ White’s “Rule of Goats” is *the* unequivocal rule for this situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re fucking a goat as an instructional or precautionary tale, you still fucking a goat.

      My addition to that assessment is that if your target audience needs you to literally and explicitly fuck a goat in order to learn the lesson, all your primary, secondary, and post-secondary education has failed you and/or them. Probably the most hilarious part of it is that functional retards like Sullum and CMW appear to have witnessed a lesson that the movie has to teach but don’t seem to grok it or internalize it. They’re going to keep sticking their dicks in the goat until we all realize that they’re doing it for instructional purposes.

      Lots of girls are completely capable of being told “Don’t twerk it’s not polite.” They don’t need to see videos of pre-teens doing it in order to learn the lesson. Similarly, lots of adults who aren’t retarded, don’t have to wait until pre-teen girls are being paid to twerk naked on screen to figure out that we don’t need *any* images of pre-teen girls twerking at any level of undress to teach pre-teen girls that they shouldn’t be twerking in public.

      1. “It doesn’t matter if you’re fucking a goat as an instructional or precautionary tale, you’re still fucking a goat.”

        Yes, but you don’t understand. People won’t know how potentially destructive goat-fucking can be unless I show them by fucking a lovely little goat.

        1. Even if that was the case, then animation exists for the purpose of doing things that are impossible or improper with actual actors.

          Of course, anime depicting consenting adults in mildly-sexual situations have been repeatedly banned because the characters appeared to be too young.

        2. You guys heard that? He was fucking beating me loud. Apparantely he found out bad news that his ex-wife was fucking his brother or something like that and he went off the fucking deep end man, just fucking–first time he used fists. You know, usually he hits me with the stick, and just fucking whacks away. This time he dropped the stick, and you know, he fought me like fucking 30’s style boxing, putting the dukes up, I’m like I got fucking no dukes old man, relax.


    4. First, you don’t criticize the sexualization and exploitation of children by making a movie that does that to child actors. The exploitation and sexualization of the actors defeats any message you are trying to send.

      This does, at least to me, ring true. Certainly films have been made on that very topic, and this is one of the first that appears to actively engage in the very thing they are apparently trying to decry.

      It honestly really tears the nuts off that argument, in my view. Sure, that could have been their intention but in essence they made a movie bashing themselves. It’s actually quite ironic, if true. It amounts to self flagellation.

      1. I don’t know what’s more insulting:

        1] Sullum suggestion that because he’s a father, he obviously wouldn’t promote exploitation. There are a lot of people in the world who are the living proof that siring children doesn’t preclude someone from having harmful predilections towards children, their own or others.
        2] “Clarifying” his first piece that it wasn’t a defense of the film, just a legal technical argument against the claim that Cruz made. Sorry, that would require no more than a paragraph at most.
        3] Trying to sell the talking points that it is actually a warning to children, when he just made the point that no kids should see this.
        4] Completely ignoring the intent of the producer and Netflix who called this a “coming of age” film until they got their collective asses in a wringer.

        Whatever the case, it’s rare to see Sullum respond to readers’ criticism with such defense. Gonna suggest there were a few phone calls made to his phone well after hours.


        1. Whatever the case, it’s rare to see Sullum respond to readers’ criticism with such defense. Gonna suggest there were a few phone calls made to his phone well after hours.

          Gonna agree that a nerve has been touched on this one. It’s hard to argue that an underage actor humping a pillow or any of a dozen other things in the movie is necessary for any kind of film or in good taste. Basically, they let a bad director make an edgelord movie and they went too far.

          They wanted to go darkness and sex like HBO, but overshot the mark. As Ken might say, they overshot the overton window.

          1. It doesn’t help that there’s been not-so-subtle efforts over the last few years to normalize pedophilia in mostly left-leaning media circles. Salon’s been trying to do so going back to 2011, and it’s not like Hollywood is known for protecting the best interests of child actors, given how rampant abuse stories are in the industry.

            They try to argue that this isn’t a big deal as long as people don’t act on their desires, or actually show kids in lewd sex acts, “so don’t be such a square, maaaaaaan,” but thus far their efforts have been largely frustrated because even normie lefties keep noping the fuck out of that shit.

            This is clearly the next sexual frontier that the degenerate left is going to try and push, however.

            1. In many states, a girl of any age can get an abortion without having to disclose who the father is, even if it would be an illegal act by the man.
              That, to me is the camel’s nose under the tent to saying it is OK for very young girls to have sexual relations.
              The libertarian position on eliminating age of consent laws.

              1. @retiredfire

                Or, work with me here, maybe they aren’t saying that it’s okay at all. Maybe they are saying that it isn’t okay, but that people should still be able to get abortions in cases like that. Just because you think that a medical procedure should be available to protect someone from the consequences of an action, does not mean you condone that action. Would you say that it is wrong to go to an emergency room if a little kid drinks bleach, because by saving them from dying of poisoning, you are somehow condoning drinking bleach?

                Or, here is another possibility, maybe they are saying that it is okay for very young girls to have sexual relations with other people the same age they are, but not with adults. And they are interested in making sure some girl who got knocked up by her boyfriend (who, again, is the same age as she is) isn’t prevented from having an abortion by crazy parents. Whether kids should have sex with other kids of the same age is something reasonable people disagree about. Many people who unequivocally condemn child molestation and statutory rape are tolerant or accepting of sex between underage people of the same age.

                Your assumption that someone who wants abortions available to young people must only be thinking about victims of molestation and statutory rape is based on the assumption that people under the age of 18 have no sex drive, that they are inherently asexual and have no interest in having sex with each other. Do you understand how ridiculous that assumption sounds now that you hear it said out loud. Do you remember what it was like to go through puberty?

                1. “Just because you think that a medical procedure should be available to protect someone from the consequences of an action, does not mean you condone that action”

                  No, it kinda does.
                  But I agree that you should drink bleach, pervert.

                2. No, the “without disclosure” part is absolutely to protect the rapist. It serves no other purpose.

                3. Nope.

                  The age of consent where I live is 16, which means that a pregnant 15-year-old is a crime victim. Allowing an abortion without parental consent/notification, as well as without notification of the police is state-sponsored destruction of evidence of a rape.

                4. It isn’t ok for 11 year olds to fuck, you sick piece of shit.

        2. “Whatever the case, it’s rare to see Sullum respond to readers’ criticism with such defense.”

          Yea, its good that he is. Its OK that people think Sullum is wrong. I think he’s wrong in some respects. But people can make their case and argue he’s wrong… they don’t need to call him a pedophile.

          This is why a lot of people who believe in free speech don’t trust conservatives on the issue. Conservatives might not be calling for the government or social media to censor you for your political views, like the left is right now, but — just like the left — if they don’t like your views, they’ll call you a pedophile, even if its not warranted, or demonize you in some other way, and won’t stop until everyone knows you’re the worst person on the planet and you’re shamed out of appearing in public. Is that really a whole lot better?

          Way too much of this in politics right now, and people have to stand up against it.

          1. Wow.
            Yes, rightists being mean is the problem.
            And that’s what needs to be stood up to.
            Child-raping totalitarian leftism on the other hand, no biggie.
            Great call.
            Way to contribute.

          2. “But people can make their case and argue he’s wrong… they don’t need to call him a pedophile.”

            You obviously haven’t spent much time here recently.

    5. They also failed to mention how they were critiquing this for the entire promotional period. They portrayed it as a story of a girl coming to terms with her feminity against a backdrop of a culture that opposed it.

      Not a word that this was bad.

      That was a very, very late change in description to deal with the problem exploding in their face.

    6. Not once in that entire time did the filmmakers ever say the movie was made to “decry the sexualization of children”.
      It is very common for lefties to change the argument to suit their purposes.
      They know the media will never call them out on their lies about what was their position before they were called on it.

  3. To make the film they had the children do sexually exploitative things, and filmed it in a leering gross manner. It may have been shocking but sexually exploiting children to protest the sexual exploitation and sexualization of children is still sexually exploiting children.

    The intent is less important than the effect. You had adults paying adults to get their children to dress like that and twerk on camera, for adults.

    If this same movie had been made with adult actresses I’d have no complaints, probably not watch it since not my thing, but I wouldn’t feel grossed out by its existence.

    You should also be leery of making something that pedophiles are going to LOVE.

    1. And as I explained above, there is no evidence they even intended that. The movie was marketed as a coming of age flick right up until the moment people started complaining about the exploitation of the actors. Then suddenly, the filmmakers claimed the movie was all about showing how bad it is to sexualize and exploit children. They just hadn’t mentioned that before because reasons or something.

      1. If you read some of the interviews with the director, and what inspired her/her research… well I hope it’s translation issues.

      2. Sullum obviously put this together in a hurry. Otherwise, he’s smart enough to spot that he makes two conflicting arguments in the same article.
        1] This is a warning to people at this age – and yet…
        2] That people of this age aren’t old enough to see it [at least saying that his daughters shouldn’t be in that crowd.

        It however also pisses me off when people do this shit of “as a father of three daughters”. Bullshit asshole… this is another variation of the logical fallacy Appeal to Authority, to gain inferred presumption of good intent because he has 3 daughters. There are a lot of fathers who don’t give a damn and/or have actually pushed their kids in a bad direction. We can start with every damn father who put his 11 year old into Cuties.

    2. The same movie was made with adult actresses, it was called Showgirls. No one acclaimed Showgirls for being anti-Vegas Burlesque or Stripper.

  4. its okay to abuse children as long as there is a moral point to the abuse. lots of Catholic priest used that excuse when abusing children as well. its the for your own good excuse. Now lets do a documentary on Rape, as long as there is a moral point to it feel free to rape.

  5. The last time I commented on Cuties… I was condemned as a “pedo,” a “perv,” a “sick individual,” a “demon,” and “an enemy of the people”

    Now, now, Sullum. You should know from your Science!-type articles that correlation does not prove causation.

    1. I don’t know if he’s a demon, but he’s certainly everything else listed

  6. Stop digging.

  7. In short, Cuties does not promote dirty dancing by 11-year-olds or present it as liberating for Amy once the initial thrill of defying her family’s authority is gone.

    I haven’t seen the film (and won’t), but from the most sober critics, the argument was that while attempting to ‘criticize’ the sexualization of young girls, it shows them being sexualized and will be found titillating by pedophiles. Sort of a, “Hey, look at all this horrible child pornography! LOOK! LOOOOK!”

    1. as well as the more explicitly sexual dance moves portrayed in the film.

      Case in point.

    2. They use this argument to defend child drag queens–“Oh yeah? Well, if you find this to be sexualized, that says there’s something wrong with YOU!” It’s the same degenerate gaslighting used by abusive partners–“Baby, I’m sorry, it’s just that you make me so mad sometimes! See, there you go again trying to hurt me again!”

      1. Well, drag queen acts can often be portrayed either as normal dance shows or comedy shows with over the top costumes. It is a type of entertainment that is often sexualized, but doesn’t have to be sexualized.

        In that, at least, it does actually depend on the performance.

        That being said, there are some that I find questionable at best.

  8. Exploiting children to prove how bad exploiting children is is like fucking for the sake of virginity.

    1. Sometimes you have to suffer for your cause.

      1. And you must destroy the village to save it.

    2. Do you know a better way to make new virgins?

  9. Now now Mr. Sullum. Your thoughtful criticism has no place in these modern times. You must accept the right-wing narrative of things:

    – Teaching girls to dance in a “sexualized” way is always wrong and is no different than child porn and thus should be banned by the state (the definition of “sexualized” is left as an exercise to the imagination of the reader)
    – The directors purposefully set out to make child porn and are lying about their stated motivations, I know this because QAnon Twitter told me so and they can be totally trusted
    – “We All Know” Hollywood is full of peodphiles anyway, so Occam’s Razor clearly dictates that the movie really is child porn and not legitimate social commentary
    – Netflix is run by a bunch of raging amoral leftist progressives, we know this because of their close association with Obama, who is a radical Kenyan Marxist, and since progressives are evil people by definition, it is not much of a stretch to think that Netflix is knowingly and purposefully pushing child porn onto the American public
    – Ted Cruz is heroically standing up for the decent people of America, and it’s just an outrage to think that a good upstanding person like Ted Cruz might be milking some controversy to engage in some moral grandstanding of his own
    – Anyone who disagrees with this analysis is a pedophile and should be canceled

    1. 0000000014/10

      1. .

    2. don’t feed Jeff

      1. Oh I’m not the troll around here, buddy.

        1. don’t feed Jeff

          1. jeff is never full. Why he is so scared of covid.

    3. Teaching girls to dance in a “sexualized” way is always wrong and is no different than child porn and thus should be banned by the state (the definition of “sexualized” is left as an exercise to the imagination of the reader)

      Girls rubbed their asses on the other’s crotch and rub their crotch like they are masturbating. I don’t know what kind of dancing you do or would have 10 year old children do, in my experience dancing doesn’t involve that. And you can certainly teach girls to dance without doing that. So why don’t you stop fucking lying and pretending we are talking about something we clearly are not?

      he directors purposefully set out to make child porn and are lying about their stated motivations, I know this because QAnon Twitter told me so and they can be totally trusted

      The fimmakers had 300 10 year old and under actors audition in front of them having each of them twerk and rub their crotches for the film makers. They made a movie that was marketed as a coming of age story about a young girl who joins a dance troupe to defy her conservative Muslim parents and as part of that coming of age learns to rub her crotch, watch porn, and masturbate. And the 10 year old actor does all of that and apparently more on film. Do you think that is okay? Do you go around paying 10 year old girls to rub their crotches for you? That is what the filmmakers did. Why are you defending them if you don’t think that is acceptable? And worse, why are you attacking those who think it isn’t acceptable if you don’t think it is?

      You are a lying piece of shit Jeff. It is one thing to lie about politics. But, I would think lying in the defense of child pornography would be harder and something even a hack like you would not want to do. But alas, being a lying piece of shit is what you do.

      1. Okay, John, why don’t you give us all your clear bright line between activity that should be legal, and activity that should be illegal, when it comes to children dancing. If they rub their crotch on purpose? What if it’s accidental? And who’s going to be policing this?

        Frankly I think the hysterical outrage to this film has the danger of leading to a backlash that will be detrimental to liberty overall.

        And NO I don’t approve of teaching 10-year-olds how to dance in a sexualized way. It’s not about what either you or I approve of. It’s not about what either you or I deem to be moral behavior. It’s about whether such behavior should be *banned by the state*.

        1. “And who’s going to be policing this?”

          The police are you nonce.

        2. Just because the line can’t be drawn exactly doesn’t mean “rubbing your crotch and acting like you are getting off” doesn’t cross it. What liberty are you worried about her other than the liberty to pay little girls to get themselves off on film?

          That is sophistry even by your nonexistent standards. Hey where is the line between an innocent hug and sexual assault? By your logic sexual assault couldn’t be a crime because people might be afraid to hug and shack hands.

          Just stop it. Really, I don’t think even you want to embarrass yourself this badly.

          1. So you can’t draw the bright line between legal and illegal behavior, so you want the state to ban behavior that you think is icky, and you don’t see any issues when it comes to liberty? Really?

            I am worried about the liberty of parents to raise their children to do otherwise innocuous things but for the Karens out there emboldened to call the police when they see kids doing things that the Karens don’t like. And if you cannot enunciate a clear delineation between what you think ought to be legal and what ought to be illegal, that is precisely what will happen – the Johns aka Karens out there will be dragging kids away from parents in the name of “protecting” them based on thirdhand viral videos. You want the state to enforce moral standards and that’s the problem here.

            1. So you can’t draw the bright line between legal and illegal behavior,

              You absolutely can. I never said you couldn’t. I am saying that the line isn’t always clear and there can be close calls. That however doesn’t mean some things are not close calls and that you shouldn’t have a line at all. You are as usual willfully misstating my position.

              1. You absolutely can.

                So what is it?

              2. So you can’t draw the bright line between legal and illegal behavior,

                Spoken like a true government lawyer, everyone.

                1. That wasn’t John dumbass.

                  1. Fuck off, Tulpa.

                    1. Don’t feed Chipper

                    2. It wasn’t John dumbass

                2. I know, right? But that is the distinction between a conservative and a libertarian. Conservatives in general are fine with laws that ban “icky” behavior at least to a certain degree. Libertarians are far less fine with such bans.

                  1. I am pretty sure most libertarians have no problems with laws banning filming little girls getting themselves off. You are not typical you fucking moron.

                    1. Sure I think most libertarians would be fine with child porn laws at least in principle, but wary of the coercive power of the state to habitually expand the scope of said laws to cover behavior that may only vaguely be regarded as “child porn”.

                    2. I make up to $90 an hour on-line from my home. My story is that I give up operating at walmart to paintings on-line and with a bit strive I with out problem supply in spherical $40h to $86h…CMs someone turned into top to me by way of manner of sharing this hyperlink with me, so now i’m hoping i ought to help a person else accessible through sharing this hyperlink…

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                  2. There you go with that stupid ban shit again like a tard.

                3. The line may not be bright, but it’s clear. Understand now?

            2. Sophistry to strawman. Good work buddy.

            3. “so you want the state to ban”

              Nope.

              1. Good so we agree on something.

                1. Hey I got it through your thick fucking head!

              2. Tulpa doesn’t want to ban child porn.

        3. “It’s about whether such behavior should be *banned by the state*”

          Ted Cruz notwithstanding, not everybody who criticized this film is arguing for censorship. Many are saying it is morally outrageous, and shouldn’t have been made. shouldn’t and can’t are two different things.

          1. Exactly that. I don’t really care if it is illegal or the people who made it go to jail. I just think it is garbage and the people who made it are despicable and the people defending it nearly as bad.

            1. So Ted Cruz demanding that the state investigate this film is something you object to?

              1. move those goalposts

                1. I told you not to deed him.

                2. Actually it is about advancing the discussion.

                  If John is really not interested in banning this film, then I would expect that he would disapprove of, or at least look skeptically upon, someone like Ted Cruz desiring the state to investigate the film.

                  If not, then maybe he can offer his nuanced take on why the state investigating a film he doesn’t want to see banned has some merit.

                  1. Actually, move those goalposts fatty.

                  2. “why the state investigating a film he doesn’t want to see banned has some merit.”

                    Because of the overtly sexual behavior that the people making the movie asked the children to engage in.

                    That is, you know, on film. That anyone who isn’t a fat diddler can see.

                  3. I really wish Reason would enable us to filter out certain posters so I never have to look at Tulpa and his legion of crusty socks ever again. I sort of skip over his comments, but he can really pigeon-chess up a thread with his droppings. It’s just unsanitary.

                    1. You can leave. Filter em right out.

                      Orherwise, cry more bitch.

                    2. >>I really wish

                      since you’re wishing why not your dick back?

              2. Cruz demanded an investigation into whether it was child porn or children were exploited making it. And that is an entirely reasonable request. He thinks it is child porn. Maybe he is wrong about that. But he is not unreasonable for thinking it is and it is not unreasonable for the Justice Department to look into whether it is.

                1. Well, John, here is what federal law has to say about it:

                  https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/citizens-guide-us-federal-law-child-pornography

                  Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).

                  I mean, if you think it is “reasonable” to think that this dancing is “sexually explicit” enough to trigger the child porn statute, then I think that opens up a huge can of worms and we are back to where we started, with Karens wanting to ban behavior that they think is just icky. Of course I expect a moral grandstander like Ted Cruz to be using this film to hop on his soapbox and tell the world how holier than thou he is. I would expect, however, a more thoughtful statesman to be thinking of the larger issues involved when it comes to liberty and free expression.

                  1. “then I think”

                    literally no one cares

                    1. And yet here you are.

                    2. Yes, I am here informing you of the fact that no one cares what you think.

                    3. Right here. Not caring about what you say at all. Like everyone else.

                    4. Stop spoofing Dillinger’s handle.

                    5. I don’t have to lol

                  2. It includes actual or “simulated intercourse”. That means two girls rubbing their crotches together or another girl rubbing her crotch is covered. It doesn’t have to be actual sex. It can be simulated sex.

                    You don’t know what you are talking about. You are just grasping for straws and are incapable of thinking rationally.

                    1. Chemjeff knows what he’s talking about – he is unequivocally pro softcore child porn.
                      He’s not trying to hide it

                    2. Go back to your QAnon buddies, fascist

                    3. Jeff thinks it is fascist to not let an adult ask 2 pre pubescent children to rub their privates together while they watch. Fucking scary.

                    4. Actually, I think Nardz is a fascist because he continually threatens to murder progressives. And I note that you never speak out about it at all. I wonder why.

                    5. “And I note that you never speak out about it at all. I wonder why.”

                      Because you’re an idiot.

                    6. Kill or be killed, you passive aggressive slaver.
                      And I do not advocate murder. I advocate the necessity of violence ultimately. Physics is physics, and the laws of nature don’t give a damn about our moral ideals.
                      Preen all you want, it doesn’t absolve you of being a degenerate who malevolently imposes your resentment on the rest of the world.
                      That being said, I’m not firing the first shot here.
                      But that time needs to come, or liberty will be forever lost to suicidal psychotics and your idols.

                  3. Society restricts the “liberty” of children all the time, holds them harmless from their actions, and holds those adults with legal authority criminally responsible for abdicating that responsibility or otherwise enticing children to engage in actions that are considered “liberty” for adults.

                    So let’s not talk about liberty when we are talking about children, unless you’re of the mindset that a 10 yr old child such as this should be able to give consent to an adult either in contract or sexually.

                    What we have left is liberty of parents to put their children in such positions. We also have heavy legal restrictions here as well, and this is not any anti-libertarian position. No adult can give legal permission for his child to enter a contract, engage in sexual conduct, drive a car, take addictive illegal drugs, or anything else that is deemed harmful.

                    That puts us at a point of definitions, not liberty. Your opinion is no better than mine, and when we disagree, that is the purpose of the legal system. Which is what Cruz engaged, though certainly expressing his opinion. So where’s the controversy?

                    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

                      First, you are right that generally speaking children have a smaller sphere of liberty than adults, and rightly so.

                      Second, we should distinguish between “what is” and “what ought to be”. Frankly I don’t have a huge problem if parents want to serve their kids wine with dinner. Or if parents want to smoke weed with their teenage kids. I might also point out that it is already legal for teenagers 13 years and older to drive some farm equipment. In general parents are the best judge to decide what their kids are capable of doing and the heavy hand of the coercive state should have a relatively light touch in countermanding the parents’ authority. That is not to say that the parents are always right, but they are usually right most of the time. And I think the libertarian approach *ought to be* that the state should generally defer to the parents’ authority, and if current law disagrees with that, then let’s take a look at that and discuss it on its own merits.

                      Third, the biggest issue I see with this whole brouhaha is with the Karens and the Johns of the world seeing a parent doing something “icky” with their children and demanding the state enforce their moral values on the parents “for the children’s sake”. The state should generally not do that (see 2nd point above), but the state will do more and more of that if the state keeps listening to the Karens and Johns out there (facilitated by the holier-than-thou types like Ted Cruz).

                      In this particular case, the kids were not coerced, and there was no sex and no nudity. Are perverts going to get off on it? Probably, but as Sullum pointed out, we shouldn’t run our lives based on a “pedophile’s veto”. I think this type of thing tiptoes up to the line of what constitutes child porn, and I totall y understand the sincere outrage that it generates (although some of it I think is opportunistic). In this case, I think we should err on the side of trusting the parents’ judgment. If there had been actual sex or actual nudity or actual coercion, I would have a different opinion. But to my knowledge that is not the case here.

                    2. Right you love a movie where kids simulate sex acts, you don’t have to keep telling us.

                    3. And here’s where chemjeff goes full child molester, conflating liberty with the prerogative to sexually abuse prepubescent children

          2. Jeff – IT SHOULDNT BE BANNED!!!

            The rest of us – Um yeah, we never said it should, we’re mostly talking about the role of society in socially policing these kinds of things

            Jeff – IT SHOULDN’T BE BANNED YOU CONSERVATARDS AND THAT IS WHAT

            THIS

            IS

            ABOUT!!!!!!!

        4. If they rub their crotch on purpose? What if it’s accidental?

          It was on purpose directed by an adult you halfwit.

          1. “yeah but WHAT IF?” –

          2. You’re missing the point, asshole. Which is par for the course for you.

            1. No I’m not. You’re trying to do your usual sophist bullshit.

              Do you approve of ana adult asking an 11 year old to rub her crotch. Yes or no?

              1. Once again you are missing the larger point about liberty. Which I don’t expect you to understand since your attention span is so short and your brain capacity so limited, you cannot think about abstract issues, just react to current events, and can not consider an individual’s argument, only respond to caricatures in your head.

                1. No, he’s speaking directly.
                  You’re just a coward

                2. Why can’t you answer a simple moral question pedo?

            2. WHAT!!!!!!

              IF!!!!!!?

              1. Jeff is in a conundrum. If he says he is against child softcore porn he is now a qanon conservative.

                1. He worked that “ban” angle until he looked around and realized no one wants to ban it, and this is that social shaming he is so proud of his prog buddies doing.

                  Now he’s fucked, flailing, and desperate.

                  1. Plenty of people want to ban child porn. It’s not too late for you to jump on the bandwagon. Unless….

                    1. isn’t it already banned?

                      you might want to get an attorney…

        5. Okay, John, why don’t you give us all your clear bright line between activity that should be legal, and activity that should be illegal, when it comes to children dancing.

          The issue is not children dancing (or doing anything else), but filming them while doing it, and the purpose for doing so.

      2. There’s a reason he’s called pedo jeffy – his passionate defense of pedophiles and child rapists

        1. Fuck off, Nardz. I’m not defending pedophilia. I’m defending liberty. I would not expect a fascist like you to understand defending liberty for liberty’s sake.

          1. No. You’re defending it. You can’t even answer a simple question about it above. Trump said an exploitative movie with children was bad, so you rush to defend it. You’re pathetic.

            1. No, I’m not. I would not expect a lying dickhead like you to ever admit it because your idea of “witty retort” is to just flat-out smear that person. Because you have no original ideas of your own, you just regurgitate right-wing garbage, you do not think beyond kneejerk reactions to current events, you have no coherent philosophy or ideology, you literally have no idea of what the arguments are of your opponents because all you ever do is project your own stereotypes onto them. And now, if you respond at all, it is going to be some lame insult followed by lies such as “you’re defending pedophilia” or “it’s because Trump said something about it”. I’m not defending pedophilia and I don’t care what Trump said about it, it’s not about Trump, it is about jealously guarding one’s liberty. You could stand to look up the word and read a little bit about it and understand what it means. That is if you can pull yourself long enough from Breitbart to read an actual book for a change.

              1. Right you love the movie we get it already.

              2. I (and probably most others) don’t think you or anyone else should have “liberty” to abuse children.

                Is that not direct enough for you?

          2. Sure, you’re defending “liberty” which to you includes sexually abusing children free of criticism or external consequences

    4. Would you want your daughter to star in this movie, or would you want your daughter to imitate the movie?

      1. It is not “technically illegal” (though it likely is), so that means it is okay and anyone who criticizes it is just a narrow minded conservative. That is because there is no just thing as morality other than whatever standard the government sets. If it is legal, it can’t be condemned.

      2. No I wouldn’t want anyone in my family to be doing any of that. It’s not about whether I approve or find it moral, it’s whether it ought to be banned by the state.

        1. “It’s not about whether I approve or find it moral, it’s whether it ought to be banned by the state.”

          Hi you’re an idiot and I’m loving watching you burn yourself down, but you’re the one tossing around “ban” while the rest of the discussion isn’t generally about that at all.

          So maybe stop being a dumbass and insisting “it” is “about” what you need it to be so your stupid posts aren’t so stupid.

          Thanks!

        2. would you be okay with and adult asking your 11 year old sister to rub her crotch in a suggestivr manner? Yes or no?

    5. Jeff is a pedophile. Or at least condones it.

      1. It is one thing to say that possession of child porn should not be criminalized because the harm has already been done and owning a picture no matter how awful should never be a crime. I actually am sympathetic to that argument. It is quite another thing to say that child porn is okay or that something like this really isn’t child porn. That to me is just unbelievable. What the fuck has to be broken inside your head to think having ten year old girls run around on screen grabbing themselves is okay and something not to be condemned?

        1. It’s not about whether the activity is “okay”. It’s about whether the activity should be illegal.

          1. No, it is about whether it is okay. Sulumn is saying it is okay and the movie is decrying the sexualization of children. And it doesn’t have to be illegal for Netflix to be run out of business for streaming it and everyone to agree it is garbage and tell everyone like Sulumn who is defending it to fuck off.

            1. Right, while many people called for the ban hammer, most of the outrage I have seen on twitter has been along the lines of, “This is disgusting, and I cannot believe that Netflix thinks it is ok to show.”

              People like Sulumn seem to have taken up the cause of Cuties- that people who have a problem with this are somehow over reacting.

              This isn’t about banning so much as an argument about decency and taste. The fact that a lot of lefties have decided to argue that Cuties is a *good* thing, rather than just an allowable thing shows that they are being uniquely reactionary in a completely bizarre way.

          2. you stated anyone outraged by a defense of cuties was a conservative you ignorant fuck. You switched to legal arguments only after being called out on your moral implications. You’re so fucking dishonest.

            1. you stated anyone outraged by a defense of cuties was a conservative you ignorant fuck.

              Yet another lie from your garbage mouth, asshole.

              1. get my mouth out of your sick fantasies.

                Fucking disgusting. Read your first post asshole.

              2. That is not a lie. Your post is right here. Do you think no one can read your original post?

                1. I did not say anyone who was outraged by the movie is a conservative. I was mocking the right-wing narrative of the movie. You are smart enough to know the difference, Jesse is not.

                  1. now you’re just lying

                    1. Post the quote where I said what you claimed that I said.

                    2. What did I claim you said?

                    3. So what do you think I am lying about?
                      Oh wait, you are just trolling, never mind.

                    4. so you have nothing

                  2. It’s not just right-wingers pointing out how fucked up the movie is, you moron.

                    1. I know that. I was mocking the right-wing narrative, not everyone who was outraged by it. Some people around here evidently can only think in tribal terms, that the only people outraged are conservatives.

                    2. I was mocking the right-wing narrative

                      Which you made up entirely out of straw.

        2. I actually am sympathetic to that argument.

          Very interesting. Why don’t you have a seat over there and let’s talk about it? 😉

          1. No one wants any of your child porn.

      2. Fuck off, garbage human being.

        1. says the guy defending against any outrage over adults telling 11 year olds to touch themselves.

          1. says the guy who cannot argue against a real human being to save his life, only against strawmen and caricatures.

            Fuck off, asshole.

            1. You literally stated in your first post here anyone outraged by young girls touching themselves was a qanon conservative.

              So do you enjoy young girls touching themselves or are you a qanon conservative?

              You set your own trap. Live in it fuckwad.

              1. Learn to read. Then read a book for a change, not garbage right-wing sites.

                1. I can read just fine, and I can read you pussing out.

                  Stop lying bro, you got trucked, eat the L.

    6. ” I know this because QAnon Twitter told me so and they can be totally trusted”

      You realize that events of the past year have proven QAnon WAY more credible than you, no?

      1. I am not at all surprised to learn that you are an avid follower.

        1. That’s not what I said, chemjeff.
          I said that qanon is WAY more credible than you are.
          You’re completely psychotic, and defending softcore child porn.
          Definitely kill yourself

          1. You are the one who actually puts any credibility whatsoever into that bunch of conspiracy whackos, not me.

            What I’m defending is liberty for liberty’s sake. What you are doing is demagoging the shit out of it. Because you don’t give a shit about liberty for its own sake, only for the sake of your tribal goals.

            1. “What I’m defending is liberty for liberty’s sake”

              lol

            2. If denying people prerogative to abuse children is tribal, then sure – that’s my tribe.
              I am wholly comfortable with being a member of the tribe that wants to punish people for abusing children.
              You really got me there.

    7. Teaching girls to dance in a “sexualized” way is always wrong and is no different than child porn

      What does make it different? If your point is that porn is intended to gratify sex interest, then that point is just as bad as when people say they regret posting nude pictures of their children because child porn consumers turn out to have been in the audience.

      Why should anyone care what the viewer thinks about it? It’s what’s being done to the child performers that I care about. The fact that this isn’t porn doesn’t make it any less bad for these children than the fact that pedophiles might enjoy non-pornographic pictures of children (nude or otherwise) makes it any more bad for those children.

      1. My main concern here is to jealously guard liberty against encroachments by the state to try to ban behavior that is merely icky. It leads to some unpopular opinions, sure. Like defending the free speech rights of Nazis. Or defending the free expression rights of artists who tiptoe right up to the line of child porn. Or for that matter, the rights of people who want to wave a Confederate flag. That is what it means to me to be a consistent defender of liberty.

        So I don’t exactly know what is the line between “illegal child porn” and “not illegal but icky behavior with children” (although I am not a lawyer like John evidently is), but I will be kneejerk skeptical of attempts to try to broaden that line. Not because I defend pedophilia, but because I am jealous of liberty.

        1. Your main concern, as you’ve made quite clear, is that people regard “Cuties” as softcore child porn – and you are extremely invested in it not being criticized.
          Believe it or not, other people can read.
          Your posts are all over the page.

          1. Go ahead and criticize it all you want. You are a lying fascist shithead as usual. I even said I didn’t want any of my family participating in that either. What I have said all along is that it shouldn’t be banned. Maybe you agree with me, maybe not. If you do agree with me, I never expect you to say so publicly because to do so would mean losing the opportunity to demagogue the shit out of the movie, which is all you are interested in doing. Liberty? Ha! What’s more important is pwning the libs! Amirite?

            1. nah you were just trolling and got trucked

            2. The way you overuse the words demagogue and fascist indicates you really don’t understand what they mean, but lean on them like a crutch to provide strength to your positions that you’re unable to.
              And there’s a reason you can’t provide those positions strength, one that goes beyond, but is not apart from, limited intellect – it’s that your positions are wrong and, despite all your strenuous conscious denial, deep down you instinctively know it.
              Unfortunately, your emotional needs are wrapped up in those wrong positions, leading to quite a tumult of internal turmoil and unresolvable conflict.
              And it’s this that makes you so upset.

        2. “So I don’t exactly know what is the line between “illegal child porn” and “not illegal but icky behavior with children” (although I am not a lawyer like John evidently is), but I will be kneejerk skeptical of attempts to try to broaden that line. ”

          Oh… I think the legal issue around this is actually pretty simple. If it were really child porn, the news sites posting images and videos from the film would also be liable for distributing child porn.

          The thing is even sites most critical of the film are posting images and videos. Breitbart for instance has come very hard down on the movie and called it “morally indefensible”, but has linked video clips which show the worst scenes. Yet none of these sites, including Breitbart, are afraid of being held liable, and that’s because nobody *really* thinks its child porn.

          And, yes, I’d go as far as saying most people who are arguing this are arguing it bad faith. They don’t believe it.

    8. What a shock that chemtard is stanning for pedophiles yet again.

      1. This may be too complicated of a position for you to understand, but I’m not actually defending pedophiles or pedophilia. I am objecting to stretching well-intentioned laws against child porn to cover situations that are merely “icky”. It is called being jealous of one’s liberty. You might try it some time.

        1. You don’t think softcore child porn should be illegal.
          We get that.
          It’s really not what was being discussed, but it is very important to you that softcore child porn isn’t illegal so you interjected it.

          1. I don’t think fascist dickheads like you should try to expand the scope of child porn laws to encompass anything that offends the Johns and Karens of the world. Because I don’t trust your moral judgment and I don’t trust theirs either. Get it now?

            1. Reason’s chief leftist is shilling for childfucking. What a surprise.

            2. Calling other people fascists totes bolsters your pro softcore child porn argument.
              You should keep relying on that

        2. It’s not complicated at all. You’re stanning for pedophiles, yet again.

    9. couldn’t have said it better jeff

      1. seriously jeff, you dont see this film as sexualizing children? consent by a child cannot be given or taken. they are children. that is the point. so if this film had been made by some guy in his basement on his smart phone using the neighborhood girls as “actors” that would be ok? right, because that is just “icky” but not illegal.

    10. Jeff, you posted kiddieporn links here, before.
      Don’t pretend you’re an impartial voice of reason. You’re arguing for your interests.

      1. Umm no, I have never posted links to kiddie porn.

        1. You should impotently threaten to sue him.

    11. Well holy shit. Jeff is a pedo. I honestly thought he’d step outside his pedo tribe on this one. You know, give a nod to the “individualism” of minors who can’t truly give consent. Nope. Their the same kind of “individuals” as slave laborers in China.

    12. What a shock Pedo Jeffy defending the pedophile rights movement. Another step in his open borders for child rapists movement.

  10. Birth of a nation and its critics both decry racism.

    Weird how not one movie profile prior to criticism mentioned the films anti child sexploitation angle

    1. Snuff films are okay because they decry the evils of murder.

  11. Yeah yeah The Triumph of the Will was studied in film schools for years. Nobody said it was a good thing to glorify eurotrash fascism either. But they had no problem copying its style.

    You make all the excuses you want, but while it may be art its still eurotrash.

    1. Triumph of the Will was just decrying the dangers of fascism. Didn’t you know that?

  12. The streaming to hell is buffered with good intentions.

    1. Reminds me of a joke
      “an engineering student is about to have sex for the first time with his girlfriend. Everything is going smoothly and they are getting it on when all of the sudden he freezes. The girlfriend starts to get worried and aske what is he doing. The kid replies I learned this move from internet porn, it’s called buffering”

      Those younger than 30 may not get the joke… Damn kids

      1. Not bad
        Got a chuckle

      2. Whippersnappers and their darned gigabit connections…

  13. The Serbian film has some pretty profound lessons in it too…

    IT DOESN’T MEAN IT SHOULD BE ON NETFLIX!

    IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYONE SHOULD ACTUALLY WATCH IT!

    Just because someone has the right intentions, is the right color, is the right sex and votes a certain way; doesn’t mean they get to do what ever they want on film and then throw a lesson at the end that somehow just makes it all ok.

    1. Worse than that, “I was just teaching them about their sexuality” is what every fucking pedo says when they are caught and how they rationalize doing it to themselves. There is such a creepy parlelel between the oldest child molester excuse in the book “I was just teaching her about sex” and the bullshit “we sexualized these kids to decry the sexualization of children”.

      1. It is an actual defense the T community uses in defending early drag queens as young as 10.

      2. Many years ago. I was listening to Alan Colmes’ radio show. He conducted a telephone interview with an American pedophile rights activist who was living in Germany. The pedo used all of those rationalizations to support his contention that it’s ok to sexual ire children and use hem for sex with adults. Colmes was clearly struggling to remain civil with this piece of shit through the interview.

        After the interview, Colmes explained to the audience that he conducted this interview to show that people like that are very real and can appear outwardly normal. Which is a responsible way to expose these people, as opposed to abusing children on video for Netflix to make their point.

    2. Ummm that’s exactly what it means. Look at the procecutions in Portland. Your fine if your politics are correct

  14. Here is what amazes me most about this whole thing. Sullum spends two whole articles and cannot bring himself to say in so many words that the movie is complete garbage, should have never been made, and the people who made it worthy of moral condemnation. You can say all that and also say that it probably isn’t child porn and the people who made this movie, as awful as they are should not go to jail for making it.

    Why is that so hard to say? Sullum cannot bring himself to unequivocally a movie that exploits ten year old girls. Worse, he keeps digging and is now claiming such a movie is a worthy thing and really meant to show the evils of that. That is just appalling.

  15. Putting aside Sullum’s piece here, the people defending this movie and calling its critics overly sensitive are the same people who are offended that J.K. Rowling is offending the trannies.

    1. *upset that J.K. Rowling is

  16. I’m going to make this as simple as I can, because apparently some people just don’t get it.

    If a grown man had trained his child to do these things in front of him or any of his friends, he would be sent to jail and there’s a chance he’d never see his kids again. For the rest of his life he would be a registered sex offender.

    But if you’re a director? If there’s some message in there? If it’s paid child actresses? That just makes it ok?

    1. It’s a bit like the distinction between prostitution and pornography. You can’t pay a woman to have sex with you… unless you intend to film it. Set up a camera and you go from felon to entrepreneur.

      1. It’s a bit like the distinction between prostitution and pornography. You can’t pay a woman to have sex with you… unless you intend to film it. Set up a camera and you go from felon to entrepreneur.

        That’s a particularly inapt analogy, given the whole “consenting adults” thing. A legal ban on prostitution is a case of the state imposing community “morals” on consenting adults. A legal ban on child pornography is a case of the community attempting to protect children, who by definition cannot legally consent to such things, from sexual exploitation.

    2. Imagine a case where a man paid a ten year old girl to do the things depicted in this movie for his and his friends’ enjoyment. They would likely in up in prison and on a sex offender registry. Even if by some chance they didn’t, they would certainly be on any list of most disgusting people on earth and wouldn’t be winning any prizes or having Reason out defending them. But since this is a movie director who did this and defending it is seen as a way to stick it to the normals, Sulumn is on here singing the praises of filming ten year old girls twerking each other.

      1. Consider that if you pay someone to have sexual contact with another person, in most places it’s only legal if done for a camera.

        And even then, the participants have to be over 18.

  17. Meh. I still have no opinion.

    1. First they came for the child pornographers, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a child pornographer.
      Then… well there is no then.

      Example No. 1,203,231,313 of why the ‘both sides’ argument is bullshit. There aren’t legions of social conservatives waiting in the wings to pull down every statue of every historical figure that may’ve incidentally viewed a pre-teen nude.

    2. Same here. I’d have to actually watch the movie to form an opinion. If it’s a morality play I’d be out in about 10 minutes because I have a wife who is in charge of lecturing me. I don’t need some smartass film director doing the same thing. If it’s child porn I’m just not interested. Now if they were 19 I might put up with the moralizing or, more likely, just ff to the twerking.

      1. “if they were 19”

        But they’re not, which is the crux of the issue

  18. explains out of ditch with bigger shovel

  19. After watching the movie, my wife, a rabbi, said she could see using it with parents and older teenagers as part of a lesson in the challenges of growing up in a hypersexualized society without clear and consistent adult guidance.

    *Adds Mrs. Sullum to list of people never to leave children alone with.*

    *Adds “Do you consider Netflix a source of divine inspiration or guidance?” to the list of disqualifying questions for religious leaders.*

    1. Pretty sure she’ll get sued, and lose, if she does that

    2. What lesson is an older teenager going to get from a movie about preteens in situations they’ll never be in? How old are we talking? 16? 19? It’s irrelevant to them both unless you’re putting your kids in some weird pageants. Notably, a teenager will be in the throes of hormones and looking to fuck anything that moves. A pre-teen is generally not.

      Showing this to a teenager would probably give them some weird predilections later in life, considering that to a teen an 11 year isn’t much different in total lifespan and they’d happily masturbate to promotional materials. Probably not a great combination, especially since teens aren’t known for soaking in parental guidance.

  20. So how does one come down on Harvey Weinstein but not come down on Cuties?

    We can criticize a director for exploiting the power dynamic between himself and another adult, but not when he exploits the power dynamic between himself and a 10 year old girl?

  21. I think the author had a platform to make a very libertarian argument here and dropped the ball. The correct tone of this article should have been, “while not illegal, certainly cause for Netflix to also feel the wrath of subscribers voting with their dollar and canceling their account. The true libertarian response is not to suppress speech, but to let the market decide”.

  22. It doesn’t have to “promote” kiddie porn to BE kiddie porn.

    One screenshot shows a person who appears to be an underage female, with her knees spread wide and her fingers manipulating her vagina. What sort of person will this appeal to? Who was the target audience?

    1. Who was the target audience?
      Jeff.

      1. Fuck you, asshole.

        1. Oh the truth hurts!

        2. Awwh classic Chemjeff.

        3. Are you offended Pedo Jeffy, Pedophilia Enthusiast?

  23. I’m betting that there’s a forensics unit at the FBI that would just love to do a scan of the contents of your PC’s storage drive(s).

    1. And chemjeff’s
      And chipper’s

  24. Many critics of the film have watched the film. As they have pointed out, the notion that the movie is against exploitation does not excuse graphic depiction of children engaging in overly risque behavior. Not unlike how a movie about a rape victim shouldn’t actually show a woman getting gang raped in lurid NC17 details.

    What Sullum and the Cuties apologists don’t recognize is that children are sensitive subjects is all areas of life, and especially so in artistic expression. A move can show an adult actor getting blown up in war or getting whipped as a slave. You cannot do that with a 3 year old. That remains a separate issue from whatever the film’s message is. It’s just how it is.

    I would say calling this film pedo material is probably going a bi too far. But if you wouldn’t watch this film with your 12 year daughter, then you essentially agree with the critics’ position.

    1. But if you wouldn’t watch this film with your 12 year daughter, then you essentially agree with the critics’ position.

      I disagree with this assessment slightly. In reference to your previous point, if you wouldn’t let your daughter watch the film alone, you essentially agree with the critics’ position. If the point/lesson/ptolemic/parable is so subtle or removed that it would elude the kid, then it’s targeted at an adult audience.

      Again, Sullum et al. seems to think that the only free speech aspect of this is the direct depiction of sex/nudity and that’s just not true legally or morally. If the content or message is of dubious social or moral value it can be effectively and, arguably rightfully, designated as “pornographic”. Something doesn’t necessarily have to be the most blatantly obscene of pornographic pedo-bait to be effectively regarded as child pornography.

    2. people do lose their shit with anything involving Children. Case and Point, David Hogg, Greta Thunberg, and Nick Sandmann

      1. The Sandmann situation had far less to do with his age than it did the fact that he was a non public figure who had done nothing wrong who was intentionally excoriated by the national media for the sin of wearing a hat they didn’t like. It would have made little difference were he five years older.

    3. They burned Shireen Baratheon alive on cable TV.

      1. What a lucid and relevant observation you make Superspreader.

      2. But the death occurred off camera. We heard screams, though.

        The show caught a lot of grief for that.

    4. Not unlike how a movie about a rape victim shouldn’t actually show a woman getting gang raped in lurid NC17 details.

      Day of the Woman used close-ups to suggest a gang rape.

  25. JFC, Jacob.

    I don’t need to watch a movie about torturing animals to find out whether or not that is bad. And I MOST CERTAINLY don’t need to see animals actually abused in order to get that point across.

    You seem to be of the belief that if there is a socially redeeming cause, little girls CAN be sexually exploited. I say no.

    I can handle dissenting opinions. But I must say I had hoped that something this egregious would be one of those rare instances where political and social differences would not matter. That we could look at something so clearly wrong and say “that’s wrong.”

    Wrong again, Chuck.

    1. I was fine with Reason’s “they shouldn’t go to jail over it” take. We don’t know for a fact that anything that’s actually illegal occurred. Distasteful for sure, but questionably legal so the innocent until proven guilty take holds up.

      But they don’t need to try to gaslight us with “they didn’t actually exploit any children, they’re just trying to educate you!” bullshit. These people exploited children for profit, they do not deserve any sympathy or defense in the court of public opinion.

      1. These people exploited children for profit, they do not deserve any sympathy or defense in the court of public opinion.

        The culture has been openly exploiting young female actresses since at least Marilyn Monroe. At this point, it’s not gaslighting, it’s the perfunctory lie of every convict in Leavenworth who’s really innocent. And it’s exceptionally grating given the #metoo and #believeallwomen movements.

  26. That point seems to have escaped many people who have not actually watched the controversial film, some of whom think it should banned.

    You may decide to go on a month long meth binge “to demonstrate how bad drugs are”, but the meth binge itself would still be illegal. And people would rightfully question your motivations in the first place.

  27. I MOST CERTAINLY don’t need to see animals actually abused in order to get that point across.

    “Good Lord – I’ve heard about this – cat juggling! Stop! Stop! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Good. Father, could there be a God that would let this happen?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bGVT4-1DBU

    1. Genius movie that, if it were released today, would be canceled immediately.

    2. *Applauds kitten juggling/young pussy handling double-entendre*

      1. And I was worried it was too subtle for this crowd 🙂

        Singin’ hey diddle diddle with a kitty in the middle
        And they swingin’ like it just don’t care

  28. “We had to destroy the village in order to save it. We also had to sexualize children and show them gyrating and dry-humping the ground in order to say that sexualization of children is wrong.”

    The only reason Sullum has time to write articles like this is because he’s no longer allowed to hang around outside of elementary schools. Also, I think Gillespie wants his black raincoat back.

  29. …its clear message is that the protagonist and her friends are confused and engaging in age-inappropriate behavior. The audience at the dance competition is visibly and audibly appalled by their twerking, and the central character, Amy, tearfully realizes in the midst of the performance that she is trying to grow up too fast and has been too quick to reject the culture and values of her family, Muslim immigrants from Senegal. She runs home, hugs her mother, and changes out of her skimpy outfit. The last image in the film is Amy joyfully jumping rope with kids in her neighborhood, an unmistakable clue that she has decided to remain a child rather than aping the risqué behavior of the adult performers she sees on social media.

    Assuming this is an accurate description of the movie’s plot (disclaimer: I haven’t seen it and have no plans to – not because I think it’s carefully disguised child pron but because it just doesn’t sound all that interesting) that still doesn’t absolve Netflix for the way they marketed the film.

    It’s pretty obvious from their marketing – particularly their initial posters showing young girls in skimpy outfits doing provocative poses and description of the movie (“Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”) – that they were aiming for two distinct audiences:

    1. Perverts who enjoy seeing prepubescent girls in skimpy outfits performing age inappropriate “dance” moves and
    2. The kinds of people who think young girls rebelling against their “conservative” parents by acting like stupid spoiled whores is somehow “empowering” them. You know, people who think Kardi B is a “strong, empowered womyn” for rapping about her “WAP.”

    I think it’s still fair to slag Netflix for that. Also, if that’s not how the director of the movie intended it then I’d also have much more respect for her if she would speak up and say that she disagrees with the way Netflix marketed her movie (assuming she actually does disagree with them) but she hasn’t. Probably because she knows which side her bread buttered on.

    It’s also possible to rightly criticize Netflix while simultaneously believing that Ted Cruz et al are a bunch of grandstanding fucks. As usual, there are no good guys when large Hollywood/ “entertainment” industry corporations go up against grandstanding congress critters.

  30. The last time I commented on Cuties, the controversial French film on Netflix that portrays 11-year-old girls who practice and perform raunchy routines for a dance competition, I was condemned as a “pedo,” a “perv,” a “sick individual,” a “demon,” and “an enemy of the people.”

    What were you expecting, a nuanced and respectful debate? Pffft, this is 2020. As a certain presidential candidate might say, “C’mon, man!”

  31. If this film actually was some sort of moralistic, cautionary warning about child sexualization—would it still have 90% on Rotten Tomatoes?

  32. I was condemned as a “pedo,” a “perv,” a “sick individual,” a “demon,” and “an enemy of the people.”

    I’m not going to go there, but there is no such thing as acceptable sexual exploitation of 10 year olds, regardless of what half-assed point you think the filmmakers are making, Because. The. Girls. Can’t. Consent.

    So I won’t assume you are a pedo….but the only other alternative is that you are lack sufficient intelligence to understand why we have an age of consent. I’m sure some more knowledgeable people here can explain it to you, if you want.

  33. this may be slightly related, but there were 2 movie adaptations of the novel Lolita, any thoughts on that? Or for that matter any thoughts on the movie Taxi Driver?

    1. Yes the first Lolita was about 17 or 18 year old girl, almost an adult and the second one was a girl of somewhere around 12 to 13. The second did not receive the out rage that the first one got. So if they made a third move Lotila the girl child would be somewhere around at the oldest 9 to 10. Do you see the progression here? Not only was the age of the girl much younger the depictions of what was happening left less to the imagination. So the next move will have to leave NOTHING to the imagination. It will have to make each action very graphic and explicit.

      1. seeing how far deepfake technology is going, in theory they could make another Live Action Lolita (Or even Full Blown CP) without using any Children

  34. Even the writer and producer Maïmouna Doucouré that the more sensuous the movie is the more the girls get favorable remarks and thus their self image goes up. This very fact is what will put this on a slippery slope and once the girls starts down that slope there will be no stopping them. No, I am not talking about this set of girls but the next and the next and so on. Each set of girls will have to go a little further to reach the same lift of their egos. As it progresses what now is considered as pornography will become every day.
    What is seen on the large screen and the small screen to day could not have been shown in public not to many decades ago. The today’s movies would in fact gotten people arrested and sent to prison. Now stop to think of this sexualization of children is like a snowball going hill. The further the snowball goes the larger it gets and the faster it goes. So what has taken four to five decades to the to the acceptability of this sexualization of children to the state it in now will not take very long to get to completely nudity then the sex acts will follow in even shorter time.
    Now as for me I don’t have any young children nor do I expect to have any grandchildren so it is now up to what you want for your small children and grandchildren. The choice is yours to make.

    1. Cultural Marxism…hatred towards normal society..that drives this sort of thing to be produced. Some “views” and “cultures” are sick sick sick but since all “views” must be considered equal today you get the author’s defense of this crap.

    1. I remember that. What a downer.

    2. Teenagers on drugs vs 10 year olds directed by adults.

      If you don’t understand what puberty means you should sit this one out.

  35. I read Mr. Sullum’s articles a few times and have come to the conclusion this is more about a liberal jewish versus more traditional catholic viewpoints. I’ve often seen my jewish friends take “edgy” or “non-traditional” views of traditional norms. You can conjecture why (maybe being in their eyes a “minority” or just have different values which they socialize by being “edgy.”) Michael Malice has often suggested so many “artists” who push norms tend to be jewish. Maybe in then end Christians just have a different moral view on this type of thing. And there is no value in showing this stuff ostensibly to be “against it” for many in the Christian community. In my mind this is child porn and the best way to fight it is by boycotting Netflix.

  36. Reason: Why don’t people take libertarians seriously?
    Also Reason: Hey, lets keep an open mind about this whole sexual abuse of children thing.

  37. Don’t feel like strolling through all the pedo apologist shit, so apologies if it’s been posted. Here’s a copypasta of IMDB sex warnings:

    When caught with her cousin’s phone, an 11-year-old girl locks herself in the bathroom, pulls down her pants and snaps a picture of her private area before publishing it online. No nudity is actually shown.
    Children are watching pornography on a cell phone. Nothing is shown, little girls are huddled around a phone and talking about what is going on. Another scene shows two young girls watching the routine of a rival, older dance team on a cell phone. One of the girls dancing exposes her bare breast. Nipple is briefly visible.
    Frequent scenes of 11-year-old girls dancing lewdly where the camera pans in and zooms in on the children’s buttocks and midsections (both still in skin-tight clothes but still suggestive).
    A scene where an 11 yr old girl dressed in a tank and panties is splashed with water and begins twerking in a frenzied kind of way. On her feet bent over, on her knees, and on her hands and knees. Camera zooms in on her buttocks as she positions on all fours and twerks.
    The 11-year-old actress gets caught stealing an iPhone and she pulls down her pants so that the guys who’s iPhone she stole good molest her or see her privates. It did not show her actual private.
    The little 11-year-old girls are slapping each other’s buttocks in the film and making seductive faces while sticking their fingers in their mouth seducing the camera as well as people watching them.
    Four 11-year-old girls use one’s laptop to access a cam site. The male on the other side is unaware but is disgusted as soon as he realizes it.
    11 year old girl is made fun of by other 11 year olds that she has no butt. Later, shows 11 year old girl looking at a video on her phone of adult women in thongs twerking.
    An 11-year begins to strip for her relative in order to keep his phone. He recoils and she runs to the bathroom and locks herself in, where she pulls down her pants and takes a picture of her private area (only legs are shown). The picture is then uploaded to the internet.
    The exposed breast of an assumed minor is briefly seen on an internet video.

    1. Keep in mind the actresses and hundreds of girls that auditioned are not older actresses pretending to be children. (To be fair, I have no idea the age of everyone that auditioned).

    2. A scene where an 11 yr old girl dressed in a tank and panties is splashed with water and begins twerking in a frenzied kind of way. On her feet bent over, on her knees, and on her hands and knees. Camera zooms in on her buttocks as she positions on all fours and twerks.

      This scene brought to you by a bunch of adults, surrounding an actual pre-pubescent girl. How many adults are involved in filming this scene? Multiple camera-men, lights, etc? How many adults get to edit this footage?

      Many times throughout my life while arguing for libertarianism I’ve had people bring up child sex, I’ve called them nonsensical and dismissed them. Guess I shouldn’t have.

      1. You’re going to be in a lot of trouble with “chemjeff lover of Cuties freedom.

        1. I’m too lazy to look for what Jeff said in another thread?

          1. Never mind, found it.

  38. Let us assume that the defense that’s been being made all over the place is true, that Cuties does, in fact, make the argument that the sexualization of girls, as depicted in the movie, is harmful.

    Then our next factual question becomes, is the message of Cuties correct, or not?

    If the message is incorrect, then the movie should be denounced for spreading a lie.

    If the message is correct, then the sexualization of the girls who auditioned in general and four girls who acted in the film in particular harmed them, and thus the creation of the film was harmful.

    So, the “message defense” made for Cuties manages to prove that it’s morally objectionable, either because it promotes a lie or because its creation involved harming children.

    The only argument that can be made actually in favor of the making, promoting, and distributing of the movie is that 1) it is okay to sexualize children, and 2) the movie doesn’t try to say otherwise.

    Now, if you want to argue that the harm it does isn’t sufficient to make it illegal, well, hey, that’s fine. Let me first see your clear and categorical statement that the film shouldn’t have been made, promoted, or distributed. Then make your argument that it should be tolerated anyway.

    Otherwise, you are quite obviously someone who thinks the sexualization of children in the film was perfectly fine, but are a liar and hypocrite too cowardly to admit it.

    1. I hope Sullum and the other writers at Reason read your comment. Spot on.

  39. I decry the burning alive of puppies. To show just how bad this practice is, I am going to make a film of me burning alive puppies so everyone can see for themselves.

  40. Oh look a bunch of Trumptard losers repeating the deep thoughts of Fox and Friends without any actual knowledge of the subject or without reading the article they’re commenting on.

    1. Really? I don’t watch that. What did they say? As you’re clearly the one glued to Fox News. Since you always appear to know what’s going on with their programming.

      Enlighten us Superspreader.

  41. More than a few, it seems to me, doth protest too much….

  42. Sullum, I haven’t always respected your opinion. Now I’ve lost respect for your human decency.You have revealed yourself to be trash. If this is what libertarianism is to look like then burn it to the ground.

  43. > I have long been disturbed by the cultural tendencies that both Cuties and its critics decry, which extend to creepy beauty pageants featuring prepubescent children

    While scouting hotel convention space, one hotel gave me the tour while the Young Miss USA convention was going on. Holy shit! No, they weren’t dressed as hookers, but they were dressed as glamour queens. JonBenet Ramsey times a thousand. It was creepy as fuck. Even had a photoshoot area. The moms in the group through it was all “cute” and adorable. All the males in the group were like “holy shit, this is pedo utopia!”

    So my guess is that females just don’t understand what the sexualization of girls means. They don’t understand the dangers of dressing and training their prepubescent daughters to be sexual objects. Even if no one but the male coaches ever touches your daughter, it’s still normalizing child sluts. Maybe you can’t stop your child from dressing like a street walker, but neither do you have to encourage it.

  44. The title of the movie is very clever. It calls attention to the fact that we use the same word, “cute”, to refer both to children and to sexy young women. I suspect other languages have similar words. That has to mean something. I wonder if the double meaning of the title is part of makes some people uncomfortable about this film.

  45. Cuties and Its Critics Both Decry the Sexualization of Children

    But only one of those two, you know, SEXUALIZES CHILDREN while “trying” to make that point.

  46. The last time I commented on Cuties…

    …I found myself in a hole, so I said to myself, “Hey, I should keep digging! I’m bound to hit pedo-dirt sooner or later!”

  47. Cuties not only does not fit the legal definition of child pornography; it is not the least bit salacious.

    Oh, FFS. Now you are just lying.

    1. I guess whether or not Cuties is “salacious” depends on whether or not you can be sexually aroused by children performing erotic dance. Sullum claims it’s not, because he is not. I’m sure a pedophile would enjoy the dance routines in the movie.

      1. That’s about the dumbest line of reasoning I’ve heard today. Congratulations.

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  49. You’re right. I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to things like this. Thirteen starring Evan Rachel Wood gave me the heebie jeebies and it was a good flick about how fast children are forced to grow up sometimes. It was considered a brave movie when it came out. To me, Luc Besson is great, also, but his movies kind of toe the line without completely crossing over.
    I don’t honestly want to form an opinion about this one. The subject matter is uncomfortable for me, but I doubt if prosecutions are called for. Netflix has an army of lawyers that would keep them from making such a huge mistake.
    There was a point in my life I would watch anything controversial, then I watched ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ and that was so friggin’ boring.

    1. I got paid to watch The Last Temptation of Christ. I worked at a movie theater and there were security concerns so they had an off duty cop on hand and a few of us more physically powerful employees sitting near the front to impede anyone trying to run up and slash the screen (which actually happened in a few cities).

      Good film, not very exciting though. Much easier to watch at home.

  50. There is a substantial amount of things that are not illegal, however they are immoral. Many forms of entertainment deliberately straddle that line.

  51. I guess social conservatives never heard of the Streisand Effect. Or maybe they have and they don’t want to lust in their hearts alone.

    Apparently Ted Cruz never stepped foot in a Black neighborhood. They start Twerking at a very young age.

  52. This involves a sex hysteria that affects both — oh, sorry — ALL sexes and prevents any rational thought. Whatever’s done or not done will have difficult consequences, as we see here.

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