And here is “Girls Beware,” the companion piece to Sid Davis’ “Boys Beware” (the subject of my previous blog post). Also made in 1961, this video tells girls about the dangers of predatory males. Unsurprisingly, the message given to girls is not one of fighting back against predators, but of avoiding contact with men. Girls are assumed to be victims in these segments, making me once again question the merits of this era of infinite nostalgia. The first segment involves a girl named Judy who goes in a car with a man who answered her baby-sitting ad.
“By midnight Mrs. Miller was really worried. She phoned the police and was transferred to juvenile. I took the necessary information and told her we’d do everything we could. She’d have to try to be patient and wait. The waiting lasted almost a week. Then the report came in: Judy’s body had been found on a lonely desert road.”
The man Judy got in the car with seems to be the same tux-wearing gentlemen who preyed on one of the boys in “Boys Beware.” Soooo beware of tuxes, I guess.
And the mother doesn’t seem to be able to find the right reaction. She goes from the face seen above, directly to the one seen below. Alternate murder theory: Judy wasn’t attacked by a predator after all. This was an elaborate scheme cooked up by a mother who cannot act as well as she can scheme!
“In itself, there’d been no wrong about advertising for a job, but it led her to trust a person she knew nothing about, a mentally sick person who used her innocent ad as an introduction to his act of violence.”
So while the “homosexual” predator of “Boys Beware” suffered from a “contagious sickness,” this predator is merely “mentally ill.” Notice how he is not constantly referred to as “THE heterosexual!” Sid Davis’ ridiculous conflation of child molester and gay in “Boys Beware” becomes even more ridiculous when a man who preys on girls is given no label at all.
Friendships are made in a crowded theater by the jerks who talk to each other in a crowded theater. Seriously, just shhhhh! The entire melodrama to follow could have been avoided if these people weren’t rude enough to talk in the middle of a movie. Just saying. So the blonde girl is named Sally and the reserved looking brunette is named Elizabeth. Because Sid Davis is not at all above stereotypes, guess which one is going to go off alone with the boys?
As in “Boys Beware,” we are once again watching Sid Davis blame the victim. The “easy and willing” blonde girl gets herself into trouble by going off with two men. By being excited about the attention that the boys were paying her, she brought rape upon herself. Sally is later found “walking dazedly,” and it is implied that she will never recover from the experience. Telling girls that they will always be victims after such an experience? Really Sid Davis? Sally doesn’t try to escape or fight back, she simply tries to tell herself that everything is ok. Not the reaction I would want to present to young girls. Where’s Buffy when you need her?
“Robert frequented the malt shop in his spare time which was considerable because he had finished high school and he didn’t work. Here he sought out young teenagers because he wasn’t accepted by his own age group.”
Aww shucks, you kind of feel sorry for Robert after that description of him. He’s less of a predator and more of a dunce. The eye of his affections is named Mary, and she enters into a consenting relationship with Robert. Why this segment makes a big deal out of the fact that Robert is older, I don’t know. What follows could happen to anyone in any age group. It almost seems to give the false notion that only older guys will pressure girls.
Yes, there is a suggestive pan to the tree tops as the young lovers make out. Not to be clichéd, or anything.
“Then Mary found she was in trouble and had to tell her parents…Mary had to be taken out of school and placed under the supervision of juvenile authorities…Too many young girls are flattered by the attention of older boys…who demand to much of a relationship.”
Again, Sid Davis is harping on older boys as the only source of such situations. Also, you got to love the transition from making out to pregnant. Do not make out, you will get pregnant and die. And by the way, girls have no agency: she was flattered and had a baby thrust upon her – no culpability. It’s like girls are assumed to be asexual and undesiring of s-e-x. And yes, back in these enlightened days girls would’ve been placed under “juvenile authorities” for getting pregnant. Wonderful times. Well that’s all for this week, got any suggestions for next week? Anyway, here’s the link: http://www.archive.org/details/girls_beware