Why We Shouldn’t Watch Cuties | C. C. Pecknold | First Things

Some saw a broader trend on display here, not only the normalization of the pedophilic gaze, but also liberal society reaching its perverted telos. After the Netflix non-apology, Princeton’s Robert P. George spelled out such broader implications: “I’ve long said that our society’s dirtiest little secret is the sexualization of children. It was only ‘secret’ in the sense that people could pretend not to know. With Netflix’s ‘Cuties,’ that is no longer possible. You know. Everyone knows. No one can credibly deny knowing.”  

Sensitive patience with challenging artwork is often commendable. Yet in this case, I think the gag reflex is far more reliable, morally speaking, than the trust that elites often place in vetted purveyors of cultural production. Cuties invites us to gaze for hours upon sexualized images of young girls against the backdrop of Islamic veils, honor, modesty, custom. Whatever the intentions of the filmmaker, or Netflix, your average American is not yet so morally supine as to be blind to the next con.  

Why We Shouldn’t Watch Cuties | C. C. Pecknold | First Things

The “next” con?

Excuse me, have you been asleep for the last generation or two? D’you think the gal who made the film was imagining things when she talked about what she saw as a pre-teen kid?

Why the heck is this only a problem when there’s a Netflix film of it that’s critical– rather than, as I explained to a blog-friend, it’s what your average mom has to fight against if their daughter is in a dancing and gymnastics class?

The costumes and behavior sure as heck isn’t anything new. Spend a few seconds looking for “dance moms” (the TV show, or the non-reality TV folks) or “pre-teen cheer camp” or anything similar, anytime in the last two or three decades.

It being framed as sexual behavior being sexual? THAT is unusual. It makes people think about what they’ve been perfectly fine with….up to this point.

Heck yeah it’s disgusting– so why did it take this long for y’all to figure out the “prudes” who didn’t want their little daughters dancing in two-piece swimsuits might have a point?

I’d say welcome to the party, but the response seems to be killing the messenger, not responding to the message!

Author: Foxfier

Former sailor, current geek, conservative, mother and practicing Catholic. Refugee from the Seattle blob. (No, we DIDN'T vote for those taxes!) Elf is my husband, our kids are Princess, Duchess, Baron, Empress, Chief, and Contessa.

14 thoughts on “Why We Shouldn’t Watch Cuties | C. C. Pecknold | First Things”

  1. If I read the article correctly, the film maker intended to say “this is a bad thing” but Netflix appear to be advertising that “this is a good thing”. (IE sexualization of children.)

    Even the redone Netflix ads play into “this is a good thing” by statements about the girl “rejecting her family’s conservative beliefs”. Conservative beliefs being Bad in the “minds” of the Left.

    1. Less “good thing” than making it obvious exactly WHAT those outfits and poses are– the original image is very obviously bog-standard “little girls doing sexual stuff they don’t understand and looking kind of plastic”.

      I could link pictures from the Dance Mom’s reality TV show that are nearly identical, other than one being in the color-format used for movies and the other being in the reality TV color range.

    2. Incidentally, have to finish the description– sacrificing her family’s conservative beliefs for peer approval.

      Which is also a bog-standard storyline, it’s only jarring because this shows a “conservative belief” that is, well, good, the one that there’s something wrong with little girls being sex objects– and a peer approval activity that is generally accepted or even praised.

  2. “You can’t wake a man pretending to sleep.” It’s easier and less disconcerting to feign sleep (or to actually “fall unconscious”) than to stay awake, alert, and on standby. *Sigh*…..

  3. My daughter is in dance, has been since she was about 3. This is her 2nd year on the competition team. We moved companies last year, for other reasons. But two of the things I really like about her new dance company are 1) Everything is positive. There’s no yelling at the girls, it’s all building up their self esteem and work ethic. 2) They don’t do the sexualizing everything routines. The hip-hop routine they did this spring was about “Grandmas”. https://westfargomusings.wordpress.com/2020/08/25/dance/ the photos aren’t the greatest, but it was really cute without provocative costumes or moves. They took first place in the one competition they were allowed to perform at before all the covid-bs. So, it can be done, it just takes the right group of teachers.

    1. Heh, I was just considering linking that post as an example of good stuff, since it hit my inbox. :D

      I know the old saying is that dancing is a vertical expression of horizontal desire, but I think it’s more realistic to recognize it as fun and beautiful.

      Was growling about this to my husband, who raised an eyebrow and pointed out that signing your kid up for pole dancing classes was a big thing when our eldest was born– and rattled off a ton of really fun, pretty dances that weren’t, well, make-you-blush club dancing.

      But for some reason the hootchy-kootchy stuff is very, very popular with a lot of hard core performers.

  4. The part that stood out to me was that the filmmaker wasn’t coming at it from a “Puritan” standpoint (and I got no impression that anyone actually meant it to be “This is A Bad Thing” until people started complaining). Unless I’m mistaken in my read of her interview (between such lines as the “conservative family” reference and her remark about “wearing a veil to religious worship”), she’s a Euro-secular Muslim. Which is still a Muslim.

    And though I’ve got friends who practice the Islamic religion, it’s still the one wherein its middle-aged founder (no, I’m not looking it up) married a nine-year-old.

    1. Immigrated from a Muslim area as a kid.

      To put giant flashing lights on, religious founder had offspring when the little girl was … 11? Before she hit her teens.

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