There’s a bit of a buzz in the film world about a controversial new documentary, Are all Men Pedophiles?, suggesting that we could be more accepting of adult men lusting after teenage women.
Can of worms– open. All over the floor.
The self-financed 23 year old Dutch director, Jan Willem Breure, boldly admitted that he was inspired to make the film by his own attraction to teenagers and how he’d come to realize that he was attracted to girls as young as 15. He consults various experts who testify that sex between adults and teenagers has been accepted in various cultures since the beginning of mankind. They’re even so good as to remind us that in religion, the Islamic Prophet Mohammed’s wife was allegedly six years old when she married (nine when the marriage was consumated) and the Holy Mary was supposed to be between 12 and 15 when she gave birth to Jesus. Pedophilia in the Catholic Church just became a little bit clearer.
Breure aims to differentiate between the commonly used term in the media– pedophilia (attraction to children under 13) and the more accurate term for an attraction to teens (12-16 years old)– hebophilia.
Breure’s focus on this differentiation, whether you agree with it or not, shines an interesting light on the modeling industry, which regularly scouts models as young as 11 years old, sexualizing children in the process. So why is the fashion industry not more often accused of pedophilia?
One of the film’s advertising posters features an attractive female, with full make-up, much like what we see in everyday media advertising. She is 14 years old. For the average guy,” Breure says, “she is attractive. But the next question is, if you find her attractive, is that or is that not pedophilia?”
How much can we really be branding men as pedophiles when our society has essentially accepted the sexualization of children in today’s media on a daily basis?
Are All Men Pedophiles? explores all sides of the topic from graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse to various testimonies suggesting sex between teenagers and adults should be more widely accepted. It’s an extremely difficult subject to tackle but no less important and highly relevant to everyone in society.
Also, Breure says his next film is about incest. This guy is really pushing it.
Watch the trailer for Are All Men Pedophiles?
Are All Men Pedophiles? is currently making the rounds at festivals in Europe.
But if I’ve raised your curiosity and you want something interesting to watch now, I would recommend Girl Model, a documentary film about model scouting in Eastern Europe and models as young as 12 years old working unchaperoned in Toyko. It’s available to rent or buy on iTunes now. I watched it last night, it’s uncomfortable viewing but extremely eye-opening.
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