Editor’s Note: Our good friend, Moira Greyland, an abuse survivor and author of the hard to read, but very important The Last Closet, agreed to share her thoughts on the evil show Cuties, which is available on Netflix. If this doesn’t make you cancel your service to that satanic filth, nothing will…
An abuse survivor explains why this is wrong, from a child’s perspective.
I am the daughter of famous author Marion Zimmer Bradley. She molested me and my brothers, and she was complicit in my father, Walter Breen, molesting countless other children, both male and female. At our home (if one could call it that) were many others who agreed with them.
In fact, if “Cuties” had been made during my father’s lifetime, he might well have used it to groom prospective child victims, telling them “Dance like her. See, she’s a movie star! Maybe you can be a movie star if you dance like that!”
I will not give more details of my life here. But I will give an explanation of the actual real-world impact on children who go through these kinds of experiences.
Cuties, or “Mignonnes” as it was originally titled in French, is a new film available on Netflix which has sparked tremendous backlash. When you hear it received an award at the Sundance Film Festival, remember that the co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival is serving ten years in prison for repeatedly molesting a ten year old girl. More on that here.
On the one hand, you have nearly hysterical mothers and fathers appalled, rightfully, by what they see in “Cuties,” and on the other hand, you see pseudointellectual posers pretending a high-minded “wait and see” indifference. Some will have bought Netflix’s “explanation” that the issue was the artwork used to promote the film, not the film itself. But what is in the film is a whole lot worse than the promotional artwork.
“Cuties” is about a little girl, Amy, who is eleven years old, and Muslim. It is presented as a “coming of age” film, where Amy’s departure from normal eleven year old activities into blatantly sexual activity is lauded by the promotional materials as “exploring her burgeoning femininity,” among other lies.
For most of us, “exploring our burgeoning femininity” means playing dress-up, maybe going shopping, painting our nails, playing with makeup, dreaming about boys, and maybe even thinking about fancy weddings and having children one day. Most normal girls talk with other girls, even their mothers, for hours and hours and hours about boys, and dresses, or horses, or even ordinary dance classes. Most normal girls grow up with the knowledge that her Daddy would never let anyone hurt her, let alone allow anyone to compel her to dance semi-nude—even if she thought for an instant that she would want to. The notion of masculine protection would be part of her normal psychology, and it would be a safe harbor, not a limit to be thrown off.
It has nothing to do with twerking.
Most of us will never twerk, will never watch twerking, and would turn off the TV if we saw anyone doing it. We might know as we get older that men might like that, but to us, it would just look stupid and weird and embarrassing. And that is part of the problem with “Cuties.” These girls will have lives after the film, but there will never be a way to erase their images from the film. This is not a theoretical notion. It is not a problem with the theatrical poster. Amy and her friends are twerking, but she also takes a picture of her actual private parts and posts it on social media. She tries to do the same, photographing a boy as he goes to the bathroom.
This is a symptom of sexual abuse, as any psychologist would know. Little girls who have been molested act out sexually, and a smart teacher would note such behavior and intervene at once with a school counselor, even possibly a call to Child Protective Services.
Any further discussion of the long, long list of sexual activities that little girl is dragged into is too upsetting for me to contemplate. I will include it at the end, because some people will actually want to know why we find this movie so upsetting.
For the rest of us, even blatant flirtation with an eleven year old child is offensive and excessive, and hearing which body parts are mangled in which way makes very little difference.
I hardly know where to begin.
I am a sexual abuse survivor. Survivor means merely “not dead.” Lots of us are dead, by our own hands, or by self-destructive behavior, and many of us merely feel dead while still alive.
The monsters who want to normalize pedophilia want to believe that because their child victims sometimes remain friendly instead of screaming and spitting during a sexual assault, that in some way, we “want it” and it is only a repressive, paternalistic society which denies children the mythical “right” to their sexuality, which these monsters want to involve themselves in.
But most of us are too scared to fight back.
There is no resemblance between exploitative sex and loving relationships. Using children for sex monetizes love, where they “learn,” all too young, that love from adults is too often paid for by enduring sexual attention, which at that age is generally very painful and humiliating.
It also teaches us fundamental disregard and distrust of adults, who can be turned into blithering, slobbering idiots by sex. This means we are not subject to discipline, to rules, or standards, or anything else. We become a law unto ourselves because there is no reason to respect any human being who is willing to hurt us for their own pleasure.
Our “self-actualization,” if you will, means we have ended our trust of others long before we can end our reliance on them, which means the heart of all adult-child interactions are poisoned. We paradoxically remain emotionally children for far too long, always hoping there will be a real parent somewhere who will not use us, but being disappointed again and again, as we silently categorize every self-serving adult into the never-trusted garbage bin. It means we cannot be true to ourselves or to anyone else. We don’t respect adults who use us, and it ends up destroying our ability to trust even in peer-to-peer relationships.
A movie like Cuties makes it look like dragging children into sex somehow makes them feel self-actualized, increasing their self-confidence, even better able to throw off the ancient patriarchal structures which hold them back.
Hold them back from what? From discovering that they will only be valued for their sexuality by males, which stunts the possibility of making friends, let alone forming relationships with them?
Or perhaps does it mean to hold them back from “taking their own power back” by becoming whores and porn stars? Tell us all about how empowered whores and porn stars are, and how frequently they have happy, long lives, instead of drug addiction, misery, and suicide, on top of a fundamental distrust of men which in many cases can never be overcome at all?
In either case, it means lots and lots of sex outside the context of a safe, permanent relationship, where sex is meant to be part of love, not a substitute for it.
When I was ten years old, bad men were making advances. Did it make me want to “explore my burgeoning femininity?”
When I was a lot younger than ten, I was given fewer choices about who would touch me or how. Did it make me want to “explore my burgeoning femininity?”
No. It made me know that I was personally unimportant, and any attention they paid to me meant they wanted sexual access to me. It made me feel like I was nothing.
One point made by many critics of the film: 650 children twerked while auditioning for this film. That in itself is a violation. Even more of a violation is all the things these girls had to do during the filming.
650 sets of PARENTS let their children be exploited for money. How many victims will this film end up with, and all in a preposterous effort to allegedly show us that the loss of innocence is bad?
Where the monsters I mentioned before might claim that the children “consented” by auditioning, children cannot legally consent, and it is up to parents and the legal system to make sure children are not put into a position where they would have to make a decision about underage sexual conduct!
Children smile and agree, and do not understand today what this sort of thing will do to tomorrow. It is our job to protect children from victimization, even victimization which is now on the big screen.
Forgive me, but I know pedophiles.
Those little actresses will have to go to school with classmates having seen them mostly naked, potential dates having seen them twerk, and worst of all, adults sending them presents and stalking them, begging for pictures of their feet, or worse.
Now on the strictly legal front: many of the images and actions in this film are indisputably child pornography. I will specify, with the caveat that a sensitive reader might want to skim or skip this next section, which I have paraphrased from multiple shared viral sources:
Note: I have included a line around the description so it can be easily avoided. ———————————————————————————-
This film shows 11-year-old girls spreading their legs, grabbing their pubic areas and bending over in “doggie style” poses. At least one girl removed her top on camera. Outfits were all deliberately sexually suggestive. The girls found a condom in the park and blew it up. These same little girls watched videos of strippers in thongs twerking. There were shots in the film zooming in on their butts, stomachs, chests, and the front pelvic region. The girls were filmed dry humping the ground and spreading their legs at the camera. One girl tried to take a cell phone video of a teenage boy urinating. One girl also took a photo of her bare genitals and posted it to social media using a stolen phone. One shot even shows a girl’s leather pants being forcibly yanked down and the camera focuses in on the rear shot the perverts would want. ———————————————————————————
Come back to the article after you have used the airsick bag.
Lila Rose posted the following on Twitter: “For those claiming that the filmmakers did “nothing illegal,” the law & case law is crystal clear here. The filmmakers & Netflix have violated Title 18, section 2256. The Fifth Circuit created the “Dost test,” a 6-factor test to determine if images are child porn.
Here they are:
1. Whether the focal point of the visual depiction is on the child’s genitalia or pubic area;
2. Whether the setting of the depiction is sexually suggestive, that is, in a place or pose associated with sexual activity;
3. Whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose or in inappropriate attire, considering the age of the child;
4. Whether the child is fully or partially nude;
5. Whether the visual depiction suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity; or
6. Whether the depiction is designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.
It is obvious that “Cuties” fails the Dost test.
What remains to be seen is whether or not any legal action will be taken against Netflix.
It goes beyond just “Cuties.” Netflix has been trying to boil this particular frog for ages, putting on one racy show involving children after another. “A.J. and the Queen” was about AJ, aged ten, going to drag shows with RuPaul all over the country, while dressed as a boy. She is referred to as a “top” by another drag queen, which is a BDSM sexual term meaning a dominant or dominatrix. There is a lot of gross sexual stuff in this show, which was thankfully canceled after only one season.
Or better yet, don’t. We know this is wrong. We do not have to watch a vivisection up close to know it is wrong.
And Cuties is wrong. We know it is wrong. The problem is, does Netflix know?
Cancel your subscription. Call out anyone who tries to defend this slime to you. Our children deserve better.
Editor’s Note: Moira forwarded us this image, after she had submitted the article. It fits…