Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cruz Knows Better - The Sanctimonious Christian Pressure Groups Might Not

The subject matter is far less relevant than the threat to constitutionally protected freedoms.
It seems that all of conservative Christendom is claiming that Netflix is trafficking in child pornography. At issue is a film titled Cuties (Mignonnes in French). According to rottentomatoes.com, the critical consensus reads:
A thoughtful look at the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age, Cuties is a coming-of-age film that confronts its themes with poignancy and nuance.
The split in opinion is easily explained:
The critics have actually seen the film. The usual Christians have not and will not view Cuties but they believe that they have a religious duty to pan it. None of these people seem to appreciate the Streisand Effect.

American Family Association and Brian S. Brown are making a great deal of noise. The latest email from AFA is titled. Netflix may be distributing child pornography. Senator Ted Cruz has sent a letter to AG Barr calling for an investigation.

I have not watched Cuties. Nor do I intend to. I will take their word that the film is sexually suggestive. 

However, here is how the Department of Justice defines child pornography:
Child pornography is a form of child sexual exploitation. Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than 18 years old). Images of child pornography are also referred to as child sexual abuse images.
The definition of “sexually explicit” varies among the states. Under federal law:
(i)graphic sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or lascivious simulated sexual intercourse where the genitals, breast, or pubic area of any person is exhibited;
(ii)graphic or lascivious simulated;
      (I)bestiality;
      (II)masturbation; or
      (III)sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
(iii)graphic or simulated lascivious exhibition of the anus, genitals, or pubic area of any person;
Even if one could conclude that Netflix — via Cuties — is guilty of the visual depiction of sexually explicit content (it is not) there are broad exceptions which apply to artistic renderings or depictions that have serious artistic value.

I do not want AG Bill Barr nor Sen Cruz to decide what I can watch, read or even commercially produce. Children deserve to be protected from sexual exploitation but these folks need a dose of reality. Cuties is not kiddie-porn. No children are being exploited even if some adults believe that some of the dancing is sexually suggestive.

The virus known as Ted Cruz wrote his idiotic letter prior to the film being released on Netflix. He is just grandstanding for his conservative Christian base.

Personally I subscribe to, yet detest Netflix. That company could be the most un-consumercentric business on the planet. Neflix offends me professionally. However, the principle involved here is worth fighting for.

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