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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Your Kids Are Learning About Sex From Miranda July

Posted by on January 31 at 9:10 AM

Today’s New York Times article on the mass media’s effect on teen sexual behavior (in the four-alarm “health” section) starts like so:

In last summer’s prize-winning R-rated film “Me and You and Everyone We Know,” a barely pubescent boy is seduced into oral sex by two girls perhaps a year older, and his 6-year-old brother logs on to a pornographic chat room and solicits a grown woman with instant messages about “poop.”

Is this what your teenage children are watching? If so, what message are they getting about sexual mores, and what effect will it have on their behavior?

Are you kidding me? What kind of article on mass media would chose a movie that grossed less that 4 million bucks in the U.S.? Or one that’s rated R? Or one that’s stylized to the point that it seems to take place in some sort of parallel universe?

But if you insist, here are the lessons Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know has to teach about sexuality:

1) Little kids are more interested in their own bowel movements than pretty ladies.

2) Adult men may talk sexy, but when it comes right down to it, they’d rather “sleep and sleep and sleep like little sleeping babies.”

3) If you, as a teenage girl, don’t want to do something sexual that a friend has dared you to do, you don’t have to do it. In fact, your friend probably doesn’t want to do it either. The two of you will exchange glances and run down the street gleefully while electronic indie pop swells in the background.

Also, parents and schools should monitor their kids’ internet use, because the internet is a potentially dangerous place.

So, Ms. New York Times: I think those kids you’re so worried about are probably okay. Maybe you should be looking at the teens who are watching, I don’t know, American Pie or something.

CommentsRSS icon

No shit! Thank you Annie. I thought the exact same thing when I read that article (well, maybe not as articulate, but you know..)

I hope you're submitting the text of this post as a letter to the editor.

Annie, you're a genius.

Hey, give July credit: her film deconstructs the discourse of "child molestation" by showing the obvious - kids are as sexual as adults, but in different, less easily categorizable - or criminally actionable - ways.

No wonder the teen seduction cop lady at the NYT was scandalized: the film threatens everything she thinks she knows.

I agree! On the MJ front and about American Pie. And don't even get me started on the number of children under 10 who have seen every single Austin Powers movie! I mean, I consider myself a pretty open minded parent, but WTF??

If some parents' teens are cool enough to seek out and watch Miranda July's movie, I'd like to adopt them. They're cooler than I was at that age.

I get the sneaking suspicion that 16-year-olds watching indie films are not the ones we have to worry about getting knocked up.

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