3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> When Free Speech Hurts Us

When Free Speech Hurts Us (Article)
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Minister Ty Alexander
(Ty Huynh)
  7/3/2020 12:42 AM
Updated 7/3/2020

I canceled my Netflix account some years ago because I noticed the video streaming service offer far too many sexually explicit and morally questionable choices. This week I found out Netflix put out a new movie that fetishizes kidnapping and rape. The movie, 365 Days, was released in June and is based on a book by female author, Blanka LipiƄska.

The fact the book and movie were written and directed by females[1], and that they have many female fans does nothing to persuade me it is good or appropriate entertainment for anyone but sexual sadists who cannot see the implications of what they like and support.

I have not seen the movie, but I’ve read a few news articles that describe its content. I see in it the continuing degradation of morals in society that have fueled the crimes and behaviors spoken of in the #METOO movement. I spoke of these issues in the increase of organized gang rape in youth around the world, which are also related to popular choices in entertainment (#METOO and Gun Violence Symptoms of larger morality battle).

The popularity of the 365 Days movie, which ranked in Netflix’s Top 10 for the month of June[1], is a disturbing indicator of what society values and how little people think about the consequences of their moral choices. It shows no empathy to find enjoyment in forced imprisonment and rape, which happens to many people today, mainly women and children, who struggled and continue to struggle to heal from their ordeals.

There is a petition to take down the movie here: https://www.change.org/p/netflix-remove-365-days-from-netflix-for-glorifying-stockholm-syndrome-and-abuse. May you sign it, but go further and cancel your support for Netflix, the movie and book’s author, and anyone willing to promote it as harmless entertainment and an exercise of free speech. Continuing to give them money and support without complaint only gives them approval and the desire to produce more bad content.

The issue of free speech has come up with pornography and sexually explicit works like this, and many people would argue there is no scientifically proven link between sexual or violent media to an increase in crime or immoral behaviors. However, as someone who deals closely with the causes and effects of moral choice, I have to say those who would rely only on statistics are only blinding themselves to how things actually work in the world.

Constant saturation of stimuli, like sexual images and messages of any kind, will change a person’s thinking and behavior if they are not sufficiently guarded against it with standards of morality. Brainwashing is a real phenomenon that uses repetitive and often harmful stimuli that continues until the victim accepts the forced morality of the abuser, and thus creates a brainwashed victim who believes in what is forced on them, no matter its moral nature. Victims of Stockholm Syndrome, who’ve allowed themselves to submit to and be brainwashed by their abusers, even turn around and love them.

Consumers of pornography and explicit content are very unaware of the dark impulses they feed when they satisfy their fantasies. It not only fuels their desire to live out their impulses, but they brainwash themselves into thinking immoral behaviors are appropriate and normal.

And even if they feel their impulses are wrong, those who have questionable morals would take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, especially if they think they can get away with it. This is a reason for much higher rape and murder rates in women of Native American populations, where law enforcement jurisdictions are muddled between tribal nations and the government. Many crimes get overlooked in these communities, so some have ten times the rate of women being killed than the national average[2], and Native American women are twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted[6].

Rape in college campuses and even the average city also often go unprosecuted because of the high number of rapes and lack of resources to deal with them. USA Today counted at least 70,000 rape kits went unprocessed for years in 2015[3], and the U of MN in my neighborhood revealed last year that over 1700 rape kits had gone untested[4], some of them also were neglected for many years.

These numbers are just the beginning of a problem that manifests in scores of sex abuse cases in schools, churches, homes, and work places happening mainly to young men, women, and children. The National Sexual Violence Resources Center reports almost 78% of female rape victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25, 42% of them reported their first rape before the age of 18, and almost 28% of males reported their first rape when they were 10 years old or younger[5].

Add these sex abuse cases with the sex crimes associated with human and sex trafficking and you have a problem with society that shows how self-destructive it is. These numbers make the statistic of a sexual assault happening every 73 seconds in America[6] not surprising. But isn’t that a problem with society? It’s grown so used to sex crimes occurring that it just shrugs and turns back to its pornography and explicit entertainment without thought that their behavior and choices help mold the world.

May the world think more about the cause and effect of things and its inadequate responses to problems that fester until they boil over into your personal lives and homes. Saturating the minds and morals of people with bad examples in life and media DOES change the morally weak and reinforces the impulses of the immoral, so they either seek out to commit immoral desires or will take advantage of opportunities to get away with them.

A common complaint in the #METOO movement is about blaming the victim, however, our behavior does lend power to those who would use opportunity to their advantage. I’m not talking about dressing or appearing attractive, because it is impossible to be unattractive to anyone who has no control of their lust. I’m talking about behaviors like becoming drunk or chemically intoxicated, so that you no longer have good judgment or control of yourself. If you cannot implicitly trust everyone at a gathering to not take advantage of your incapacitation, then you shouldn’t put yourself in the situation.

Still, the ways we present ourselves does have a lot of effect on who we attract, so the more sexually alluring you make yourself, the more people who are attracted to it will flock and try to take the lure. If presentation had nothing to do with attraction, then no one would bother to present themselves differently, so when presenting ourselves publicly we should make choices that are better at keeping the wrong kind of people away.

If you've done any decent amount of social gathering in person or social media on the Internet, you'd notice that people, especially attractive women who present themselves in sexually alluring ways, have hundreds and thousands of followers or a herd of suitors around them, most of which, I would say, are men hoping to connect with them. But as I said before, it is impossible to not attract people who have little control of their desires even if we do not present ourselves in excessively alluring ways. We can only limit how much undesirable attention we get.

The best ways to combat the advances of undesirable people isn’t just to dress appropriately or keep from drinking or doing drugs, because bad morals are so prevalent in society and many people have been unknowingly drugged and taken advantage of. The best protection from immoral people for ourselves and family members is to rely on God, teach morals correctly, walk in those morals, get rid of and stop supporting what is immoral, and walk a generally righteous life as God sees it, as best you can.

Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless, but wickedness subverts the sinner(Proverbs 13:6). Those who live lax lives in sin or support of it, risk God’s protection be removed and judgment to replace it, which is another reason why our families suffer horrible tragedies. If God’s protection is upon a family or group because of their righteousness, then its children and other members would not be left unprotected from those who would be immoral. So remember, nothing can subvert God, but much can prevent Him from blessing and acting for us.

Update 7/3/2020 3:23 PM
After I first posted this article, someone replied to me saying how much they agreed and said they had cancelled Netflix because they shrugged off incidents where teens copied a suicide from the 13 Reasons Why movie. Netflix didn't think it was their responsibility, which was a similar attitude of no accountability I saw in YouTube content creators I had noted in the #METOO article. The person replying to me also noted how even "kids" content also had too much graphic and sexual content, which I had noticed and still notice in other video streaming services and broadcast television.

These things reminded me of other movies and series offered by Netflix and other outlets that have encouraged impressionable people to do deadly stunts, like laying in the middle of a road (from the movie, The Program, and later "planking" craze) or to run about blindfolded, even driving blindfolded (from the movie, Bird Box, which started the viral Bird Box Challenge), and to imitate suicides, crimes, and other violence.

These popular copycat trends show how people truly do what they see or consider desirable in media - the impressionable copy without thinking and the immoral satisfy dark desires by enacting what they've come to fantasize about. The different variety of movies and entertainment mentioned here also shows we can't get rid of or censor everything that people might imitate. Media, like 365 Days, that crosses the line into clearly unacceptable should obviously be rid of, but what of other content that is not clearly unacceptable?

We can only do what I stated before - teach and model the right morals, depend on God, and limit what is unacceptable. We should not consume or support media that makes bad behavior desirable. And we should stop supporting companies and services, like Netflix, that show more concern for profit than the well-being and betterment of people[7].

References 7/3/2020 3:27 PM
1 McGrath, Meadhdh. "Coercion, kidnap, violence and sex: 365 Days is a grim portrayal of desire". Independent.ie 2020 Jun. 30. Retrieved 2020 Jun. 30.
<https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/coercion-kidnap-violence-and-sex-365-days-is-a-grim-portrayal-of-desire-39327048.html>

2 Hudetz, Mary. "US doubles tribal funding to fight violence against women". AP News. 2018 Sep. 19. Retrieved 2020 Jul. 2.
<https://apnews.com/1824f1326e2b49c29e9ad0ffbe4c2990>

3 Reilly, Steve. "Tens of thousands of rape kits go untested across USA". USA TOday. 2015 Jul. 16. Retreived 2020 Jul 2.
<https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/16/untested-rape-kits-evidence-across-usa/29902199>

4 Skoog, Caroline. "Skoog: Over 1700 untested rape kits unveil rape culture's past and present". Minnesota Daily. 2019 Nov. 24. Retreived 2020 Jul. 2.
<https://www.mndaily.com/article/2019/11/opeds-skoog-over-1700-untested-rape-kits-unveil-rape-cultures-past-and-present>

5 NSVRC. "Statistics". National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Retreived 2020 Jul. 2.
<https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics>

6 "Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics". RAINN. Retreived 2020 Jul. 2.
<https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence>

7 Zeitchik, Steven. "Does Netflix have a killer problem?". The Washington Post. 2019 Mar. 21. Retreived 2020 Jul. 3.
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/03/21/does-netflix-have-killer-problem>



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