November 28, 2004 6:47 AM

What are we so afraid of?

Conservatives protest Kinsey film biography: Sex researcher blamed for AIDS and divorce rate

He found pedophiles all over the country, sought them out and encouraged them to engage in sex with children and report on it to him. The film effectively treats Kinsey as a tragic hero, a scientist — a wacko scientist, perhaps, but a scientist. Kinsey was never a scientist. He was a change agent — the most significant agent of change in American cultural life in the 20th century. The consequences of this sexual adventurism include AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, child sexual abuse, incest and pornography.

  • Judith Reisman

This controversy might seem at first glance to be just another attempt by those afraid of sex to drag us kicking and screaming back to the 17th century. Unfortunately, you’d be dangerously wrong if you were to ignore the threat posed by these moralizers.

With national political power firmly in the hand of Conservative Republicans, it does not take an abundance of imagination to see these troglodytes legislating us back something akin to Pleasantville.

While I can understand and respect the difference in opinion, I wonder how many of the folks protesting Kinsey have even bothered to see the movie? I’d hazard a guess that the fact the movie is about sex was enough to trigger this organized outrage and that precious few of them know ANYTHING about the movie other than it’s “about sex”.

Conservative Christian groups nationwide are protesting a film about sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, calling it a Hollywood whitewash of the man they hold largely responsible for the sexual revolution and a panoply of related ills, from high divorce rates to AIDS and child abuse….

“For those who think of people of faith as poor, uneducated and easy to command, I’m sure it would be amusing to see people praying outside of theaters,” Focus on the Family spokeswoman Kristi Hamrick said. “But we want to have a serious intellectual conversation about who Kinsey was and what he did.”

Robert Knight, director of the conservative Culture and Family Institute in Washington, said evangelical Christian and Roman Catholic groups also want to bring to bear the political clout they demonstrated in the presidential election.

“Just as Reagan was not content to contain communism but announced a rollback, pro-family organizations are not content to protest the latest outrage anymore, but will seek legislation and will punish sponsors of lewd entertainment,” he said.

Knight acknowledged, however, that some opponents of the Kinsey film may be reluctant to try to punish its distributor, Fox Searchlight, owned by conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

But of course…Murdoch is one of their own, so he should be immune from any “punishment”. If the distributor had been a Liberal Democrat, the response would have been CRY HAVOC AND LET LOOSE THE DOGS OF WAR. This attitude ought to be, if nothing else, taken as an example of the hypocrisy involved in this argument. In the end, this argument has little to do with morality and everything to do with political power.

Given that the film seems to have a frank and open discussion of sex as a central theme, I can see where Conservatives may feel they have a legitimate gripe. How many of these folks will even bother to see the film? Or is the fact that Kinsey is largely about sex enough to earn their condemnation?

There really is a very simple solution to this problem. Let the marketplace work it’s magic. If you think that you might find Kinsey objectionable, DON’T SEE IT. If enough people who think like you stay away, the film will have a short run in theaters and will end up dying quietly on video. The more noise Conservatives make, the more free publicity Kinsey gets, and the more people who will see the movie just to find out what all the fuss is about. Is that really what you’re after?

As far as I’m concerned, I seriously doubt I’ll see Kinsey. It’s not that I have a problem with the subject matter. I’m actually interested in the movie, but not so much so that I want to pay $7 in order to see it.

Memo to those who would waste much time and energy protesting Kinsey: if you’re opposed to this film, stay home. No one is forcing you to see something that you are morally opposed to. Given that we live in a free country, though, how about letting the rest of us make our own decisions for our own reasons? If you want to legislate morality, move to Iran.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on November 28, 2004 6:47 AM.

Here are a few clues (Chapter 2) was the previous entry in this blog.

A weapon to be used to crush dissent, or a poorly-conceived attempt at intimidation? is the next entry in this blog.

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