Through ‘Adult Movie,’ Sofia Fires Parents Up To Talk About Intercourse Than To Blur It Out
- IWB Post
- July 13, 2017
Just recently, we talked about how essential it is for parents to talk to their children about sex, love, nd desire in a mature way. Remember?
Mr. Pahlaj Nilhani (Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification) a little while back asked producers of an upcoming ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ to remove the word “intercourse” from the film. Asking parents if they’d be okay to use the word intercourse in front of their children. Presumably sitting in his cushy office in Mumbai, while just outside teenage boys are using worse profanity. He then went on to do something even stranger and asked married people above 36 to send 1 lakh votes if they wanted the dirty word “intercourse” to remain in the film.
So, people sent in their votes, because of course, they did, because this is India, and the movie stars SRK.
But this made us question two things. One, why does the censor board treat completely grown up adults as if they were children. As if they needed someone else to tell them which word is bad and which isn’t. And Two, why is intercourse a bad word?
India’s population is growing upwards of an approximate 1.3 Billion. So, intercourse is happening around. It’s just not being talked about. Perhaps because it makes us uncomfortable, or it is inconvenient. And this inconvenience begins in our homes and schools. So, parents limber around the topic coyly trying to avoid it best they can. It’s not entirely their fault, they never had “the talk” given to them either.
We sat down with Sofia Thenmozhi Ashraf, an incredibly talented young woman, who has created an “Adult Movie,” for actual real world adults. No spoilers, but it is not what you think it is.
Over the phone, she tells us how once we stop treating our adult kids as children, the censor board will too.
A Very Blush Video inspired by Pahlaj Nihalani. #PahlajNihalani #AdultMovie
What was the sparkling idea to make this short film? Was it primarily the censor board’s reluctance to allow the word intercourse in a movie?
Sofia: Oh, the Censor Board has been archaic and regressive for so many years now. But what irked us the most was the statements made by Pahlaj Nihalani. He said that he’d require 1 lakh votes from people 36 years or above, and married, to allow the word “Intercourse.” That really annoyed us. And there was a lot of backlash about that, deservedly so. But we felt that this was the optimum time to talk about the bigger issue. That we needed to get out the word that it’s the parent’s duty not to protect their children from sex, but to talk about it.
While that may have been an incident, Bollywood itself isn’t very progressive when it comes to conversations about sex, which is often shown using strange innuendos or flowers touching.
Sofia: (laughs) I agree with that notion, but I feel it is unfair to put the onus of this on Bollywood. It is completely their prerogative to decide whether they want to make their movies sexually progressive or not. The flowers touching, I feel, is also due to the Censor Board. But at the end of the day, Bollywood is all about entertainment. The onus to educate is to parents.
Whereas the Censor board not only treat us as children but also as idiots. They feel that sex was invented some 5 years back by pseudo-liberals. I am not sure why they do that. Maybe it’s because they were treated as children themselves, so they’re just doing what they’ve learned. Also, we’re a parasitic community. There is little to no individuality. They’ll recognize you as this person’s daughter, this person’s niece or nephew. So, we feel it becomes necessary to treat adults as children.
As children, most of us are often terrorized about not talking about sex to adults. Did you also have to go through this?
Sofia: Well, my parents never spoke to me about sex. I’ll tell you how I learned about sex. I was about 12 or 13, and I was on the internet. And I came across this image of two Tele-tubies (Kid’s cartoon) having sex. It scared me for life! Gradually, I began learning more through the internet.
I have friends, who are some 27 years old. They approach me and ask me questions like, “I have had oral sex, will I get pregnant?” They are not getting the correct information when they want. They are learning from their boyfriends, who have their own agenda. As women get older, we discuss everything graphically. But when we’re young we usually don’t. This is because of all the societal pressure on young women.
It’s like I’ve said in the video. If you don’t talk about it, someone else will. Who would you want them to get this information from? From you, parents, or from porn or some hormonal teenager?
Parents often have this misconception that if they talk to their children about sex, that’ll lead the children to have more sex. What’s your opinion on that?
Sofia: This happens because parents are in denial. They feel that if they talked to children, the children would be intrigued enough to have sex. All I want to tell them is, trust your children! Talk to them in an adult, mature way and tell them you’re trusting them with this information. I’ve seen parents find condoms in their kid’s bags and freak out! So, what these young people do is, they stop carrying a condom, even though they are sexually active. But think about it, the alternative to not using a condom is so much worse! Or they’ll take an emergency pregnancy pill, which is so bad for women’s health.
What was the response of sex educators to the video?
Sofia: I have spoken to so many educators who are trying to make this change, make sex-ed compulsory. They are currently fighting a losing battle, but they are trying hard. When I posted the video, I found a couple of comments from parents and educators telling me how they are attempting to talk to children about this. Some inquired as to how they should go about it considering they found it a little awkward. And that is what we’re attempting to do now.
When I posted the video, I found a couple of comments from parents and educators telling me how they are attempting to talk to children about this. Some inquired as to how they should go about it considering they found it a little awkward. And that is what we’re attempting to do now.
How was the experience of shooting this video? Tell us a fascinating incident that occurred during the filming.
Sofia: The experience was absolutely amazing. So much fun. The thing is, we shot this video overnight. We heard the comments from Mr. Nihlani and immediately decided to do something. I picked a guy from our office, who was so sad because he’s usually the one who plays the pervert in all our videos (laughs). We shot it on a mobile phone. Which meant the quality was just sub-par. I almost didn’t post it, because I was concerned about the production value. Eventually, I did. And when I saw the conversation it had started, I realized that content is more important than aesthetics.
Did you ever get around to eat that Pizza from your video?
Sofia: (laughs) You won’t believe it. I told you this was a last-minute thing and we shot it at night. Someone at our office had ordered some pizza, so I found this empty pizza box just kept there, and we used it! I actually didn’t even open it because it seemed too gross.
Do you think you’ll be making some more short films like Adult Movie soon?
Sofia: Absolutely! I am making a series on Sex-Ed. I am also working on a few series with Blush Video. For instance, they are making a video series called Blush Original, where they talk about narratives of interesting people. And I am spoofing it with Blush Un-Originals, which talks to interesting people, but to the opposite effect.
So, there you go, adults, over 36 years with a couple of kids! Here’s your solution. When Sofia releases her series on Sex-Ed, you can make your kids watch that. It’ll be funny, informative and will address your kids as adults. For as comforting it might be to keep thinking of them as your little boy or girl, they are growing up. And it’s better if they grow up in a world where they have all the information before they make a possibly life-altering decision.
To follow Sofia and the content she makes, click here.