Back in 2017, a 14-year-old girl signed a record deal. Just days after her 18th birthday, she set up a profile on a porn site and made a huge amount of money in just a few hours. How can people not find this to be extremely disturbing? Is it not obvious that the wheels were in motion for her to be selling her naked body online when she was far too young to be legally doing that? Most girls who turn 18 in March are seniors in high school. Should our culture be celebrating the “right” of high school girls to be selling naked pictures and videos to adult men who may be decades older than she is?
Now, two things can be true at once: “Bhad Bhabie” is a legal adult who made a conscious decision of her own free will, and the entertainment industry spent years grooming her into prostitution. One does not need to believe that an adult woman lacks free will and moral agency in order to recognize that the behavior of the entertainment industry absolutely is predatory.
The “Me Too” movement started when Harvey Weinstein was revealed as a sexual predator, but Weinstein is not the top of the iceberg. He is a raindrop in the ocean when it comes to the entertainment industry’s sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This is not just of teenage girls, but of boys as well, as Corey Feldman has spoken about in the last few years. This debauchery is not just confined to the “casting couch,” but is out in the open and is influencing America’s children and teens.
Why does this matter? Why should conservatives be concerned about the raw sewage of pop culture? The answer is simple: Politics is downstream of culture. We cannot be wonks who are only concerned about marginal tax rates while children and teens are being corrupted all around us. Make no mistake about it: There is a growing movement to lower the age of consent to enable sexual predators. Conservatives unconcerned about the culture will be blindsided when this happens.
“We told you so” is far less effective than a warning about where we are going.