Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't let Martha Kempner babysit your kids

RH Reality Check blogger Martha Kempner has one of the most head scratching pieces I've ever read on that site (which is saying quite a bit). In her post, she shows how completely irresponsible she was while watching her niece and nephew last year.

I was excited to watch something that didn't feature animation or talking dogs and they were excited to see something that they wouldn't necessarily see at home. We decided on the clearly inappropriate Hot Tub Time Machine. It seemed like the kind of thing an aunt and uncle should say yes too (though I did quickly text my sister to make sure I wouldn't get in too much trouble for this choice). It wasn't a particularly good movie and though there was a lot of sexual innuendo, I don't remember all that many actual depictions of sexual behavior but I could be wrong—I have remarkably poor recollection of what I see in movies and a tendency to fall asleep five minutes after the opening credits. I do remember that they laughed uncomfortably and covered their eyes dramatically at a kissing scene.

Seriously? I can't fathom how someone would let their (presumably teenage or younger) niece and nephew watch a "clearly inappropriate" movie without knowing much about the movie and then fall asleep during the movie and then publicly share that as if they did nothing wrong. Martha didn't even take the time to research the movie after the fact. IMBD's web page of the movie notes that it is rated R for "strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language." Not that many depictions of sexual behavior? Hey, I could be wrong I fell asleep.

Really? Who is this person?

Martha goes on to describe how a friend handled a similar situation:
I was recently with a friend when his ten-year-old son asked if he could see the new Batman movie. My friend said that he had to go see it first and then would decide if they could see it together. I think this was a perfect answer. Know what they're watching and whenever possible watch it with them so that you can answer any questions or challenge any depictions of sexual relationships that don't fit with your values or the messages you want to convey.

Notice how this "perfect answer" is the polar opposite of what Martha did with her niece and nephew. She didn't watch the movie first and then she fell asleep so didn't know what they watched and she wasn't awake to answer any questions. But Martha's obviously poor behavior is okay because she's a sex educator.
I'd love to end this article by saying that watching Hot Tub Time Machine with their Aunt the Sex Educator was edifying for my niece and nephew, that I took my own advice and started enlightening conversations about sexual behavior and relationships, and that I answered questions they had had for years but were afraid to ask. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I spent most of the movie snoring next to them on the couch. The good news is that they have an aunt who is a sex educator and parents who would rather answer questions than keep them in the dark, so I'm confident that they came out of our foray into bad and inappropriate movies unscathed.

Such confidence for someone so ignorant. Parents - don't let Martha Kempner watch your kids. This is the kind of behavior most 15-year-old baby sitters would recognize as troubling.

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