Zack and Miri and the mainstreaming of porn

zack and miri movie posterA few days ago, I was walking through my local Barnes and Noble, making my way to the kid's section, when something caught my eye. There, on a display table, was a selection of paperback books along with a rather large sign reading "Porn for Women". I did a double take. Yep, I read it correctly. Because I was with my 8-year-old, I did not stop to examine the books on the table and instead hustled her on through to the more appropriate books in the back of the store.

I've been thinking about that sign ever since. No, I am not wishing I could have slipped a few of the books into my basket. I am wondering how many parents have had to explain what porn is to their children because of that sign.

That porn exists is not my issue here. But I do have a problem with prominently displayed signs that announce to children that porn exists. Another such prominent display can be found in the advertisements for the movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I've seen ads for this movie on late-night television, but apparently they also run during prime-time sports and are featured on billboards and bus shelters.

The movie stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as platonic friends who decide to make a pornographic movie as a way to get out of debt. Author Diane Levin says the movie posters, which include the title and cute stick-figure drawings, are potentially harmful to children. "It's drawing attention to a movie which is mainstreaming and normalizing pornography, saying if you need money, this is what you do," she said.

While I think that most kids won't have any idea what the actual plot of the movie is based on the ads, I do agree that introducing the concept of pornography to young children is entirely inappropriate. Gary Faber, head of marketing for the Weinstein Co., which is releasing the film, thinks I'm just not getting the joke. "It's a comedy. It's a joke. We're not advertising a porno. It's not a porno. The word 'porno,' it's not supposed to turn you on. It's supposed to make you laugh."

Okay, so the ads are supposed to make me laugh? What are they supposed to do for the children who see them?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.