|I Hated It|
So I watched Are All Men Pedophiles? on Netflix.
I did some research into the documentary before watching it because it sounded kind of suspect. Like when you read an article or watch a show thinking it’s going to take one slant and then it turns out to have a totally different angle than what you thought.
I watched the preview for this documentary before watching the movie, and my apprehension was reinforced. It sure seemed to me that a lot of the people being interviewed in this poorly produced documentary were of the mind that society has gotten the wrong impression about pedophiles! Which is good to know, right? I instantly began to feel regret for all those times I’d heard about an adult molesting and having sex with a child. Damn you left-wing media for painting all pedophiles in a negative light! Damn you advertising agencies for paying teen girls to be models and so in turn making adult men molest and have sex with kids! I mean, how could one expect an adult to NOT do it with all the advertising surrounding them daily?
Oh wait. Yeah, that’s right, because it’s not just illegal but also horribly morally and ethically wrong on all levels of existence. Like, however many parallel universes you can imagine there being, the one constant stretching throughout them all is how wrong it is to have sex with a child.
With the understanding that this documentary will be horribly off the mark and probably pretty offensive, I watched it. As much as my initial reaction to the preview for the movie was one of repulsion, I couldn’t bring myself to really denounce the documentary without seeing it.
Of course it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. It wasn’t like a pro-commercial for pedophiles, and as dangerous as it is for me to say that the documentary did have some interesting points after my rant, I will say that . . . well, it had some interesting points.
First, a story: I was with my son’s pre-K class at the zoo this summer. I was the only father in the group of moms, and the teacher told me that there was a little girl in the class who is – for lack of a better word – a bit of a “daddy’s girl” and I was warned that since I was the only guy in the group she would probably be hanging out around me instead of the kids. No problem, I said, but when the girl came up to me and took my hand and pretty much wouldn’t let go the entire time, I felt extremely self conscious. Now of course I knew there was no danger, but I also knew that no one else knew that. None of the mothers knew me, and it may have been my imagination, but it seemed as the day went on and the girl continued to hold my hand that a few of the mothers would look away from my direction when I looked at them. I tried to get the girl to play with the other kids, but she wanted to stay with me. Short of yelling at her and pulling free and running from her while yelling how I wasn’t a pedo, I didn’t know what to do but to keep holding the girls hand. The teacher was very nice and would often walk with me and crack jokes about how she bet I was having fun at the zoo and I’d laugh and then say to the little girl “Don’t you wanna hold your teachers hand?” The little girl would simply say no and the teacher would laugh and go check on the other kids.
Though it was uncomfortable, holding the girl’s hand and having the moms keeping an eye on me, I need to be honest that were it my daughter and another man, I’d WANT those moms to keep an eye on the guy who was holding her hand. It’s the world we live in, as much as it sucks, it’s the way it is. I may not like it, being a man and being scrutinized more for that fact, but I totally and completely understand it. It’s because of the bad guys that all guys are watched, so it is up to the good guys to change the world’s perceptions – unfortunately it just seems like there are more bad guys (or the bad guys are getting more notice) than good.
The documentary touches on stuff like that, how even with the rise of female teachers having sex with young boys; it is still kind of creepier when it’s an older guy with a young girl. The documentary talks about how some airlines will not sit a child next to a strange man (I am okay with that and understand it), while a strange woman is okay (not so sure about that. Haven’t women been known to do bad things, even with kids, and even with kids that aren’t their own?); and some daycares that allow fathers to drop the children off but not inside the building (that’s a bit weird – if it’s true).
The documentary did dip into the art of blaming others for those who have sex with teens, because of advertising, and genetics is why an older man has sex with a teenage girl. I didn’t buy that at all. I know the legal age is like 16 or something, but even if it’s legal, I don’t see why one would want to try and start a relationship with someone who has such a large age difference (and the documentary states that a teen is attracted to an older man genetically for a relationship, not just sex). Age may just be a number (as the creepy narrator says at the end, which was just almost too gross) but it is also about experience – experiences that prepare you for relationships with other people, experiences that prepare you for love and loss, and eventually experiences that make you bold enough to try and start a family and pass all that you have learned from said experiences down to your children. You cannot do that within a relationship between a 40 year old man and a 16 year old girl. What you can do is have sex and have fun and pretend like age is just a number until it eventually becomes something more than that.
It seems the documentary’s main point was a distinction between pedophiles (attraction to kids before puberty), hebephiles (attraction to kids during the age of puberty), and ephebophiles (attraction to kids after the age of puberty). I’m not entirely sure why the distinction needed to be made. A kid is a kid, no matter their age and no matter the name you give the man (or woman, as the documentary pointed out) who is attracted to them and anyone who thinks it okay is very wrong.
The documentary lost me around the time it felt the need to point out that there are two different types of pedophiles; those who act on their urges and those who don’t. A person who is attracted to little kids is a pedophile but that doesn’t mean they’ll act on it, so based on that thinking there are acting pedophiles and just pedophiles – or something like that – and eventually pedophilia will be accepted just as homosexuality has steadily become accepted. It actually makes that comparison, I’m not shitting you! The documentary is flawed to say the least, and even at times offensive in its ignorance as to the way the world works. It may never come right out and say its agenda is the defense of pedophiles, but then again I don’t need to be told something is complete shit to know that it is.
At the end of the documentary the narrator asks if all men are pedophiles, and he says that according to the general interpretation of the word, when a guy looks at a teen model and thinks she’s attractive, then yes, all men a pedophiles. So obviously – wait, what? If I see a picture of a teen girl who is on the cover of Vogue and think, she’s cute, I’m a pedo? If I buy a dress for my daughter and shoes and a thing for her hair and she dresses up and I think, man she is so beautiful, I’m a pedo? To be clear! When I look at Bradley Cooper and I can ABSOLUTELY see why women find him cute, I’m – what? Gay? Or if I see George Clooney (seriously, the guy just has the personality of an awesome guy that goes so well with his looks) and again I can say without a doubt that the man is attractive, that defines me entirely? I don’t even think society – for the most part mind you, because sure there are some people who – would assume that meant that I was gay? Nor would me thinking a cover girl is cute make me a pedophile, not even by society’s take on it all.
I hated the documentary because it wasn’t good. The topic was obviously one that inspired a mental discussion with myself, but the documentary is poorly done and has the feel of ickyness – and that’s not from the topic, it’s from the quality. The sound was at times distorted a bit, the video looked as though it was recorded with a camcorder instead of a real camera, and I’m sorry but none of the people interviewed seemed real. I honestly thought about looking in to see if any of the doctors and scientists were real people because they just did not sound like they knew what they were talking about, and that may be due to the quality of the documentary. It just all had a staged feel to it that made it just not good.