Ever since the previews came out for On the Basis of Sex, I have been waiting for it to come to a theater near me wondering if I could take my girls. Is On the Basis of Sex kid friendly? Well, not really, but I say take your kids anyway – the boys and the girls, because this story is important for us all.
Is On the Basis of Sex Kid Friendly?
So first of all, the title makes my youngest kids giggle. As I explain to them that we’re talking about gender here, the giggles still come. Ok, so immediately I’m counting out the 8-year-old and the 6-year-old.
On the Basis of Sex is an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination.
Language in On the Basis of Sex
There is language On the Basis of Sex. Some is used for humor. I don’t think it was necessary at all, but it is what it is. Here’s what you can expect for profanity in On The Basis of Sex.
I counted at least 2 uses of bullsh**, 3 uses of a**hole, 2 uses of sh**, 2 damn, 1 a**, 1 bastard, 1 bit**, 1 use of the word dick, and 1 use of the f-word. There is also an ‘oh my god,’ Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and use of the word Christ.
Sexual Content in On the Basis of Sex
There is one scene in the beginning of the movie where Marty and Ruth kiss each other passionately. Ruth begins to take off her clothing, but undergarments were not as risque in the 1950s. Marty kisses her neck and takes her over to the bed and the scene ends.
Violence in On the Basis of Sex
There was no violence that I recall in On the Basis of Sex.
Why You Should Take Your Kids to See On the Basis Of Sex
On the Basis of Sex is probably not kid friendly for kids under 12. It’s 2 hours long and there is language and mature content. However, if your child is interested in the world around them, can sit through a movie, and can have a mature discussion with you, then take them.
As the mother of 5 girls, I was hoping the portrayal of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was going to be inspiring, yet clean enough to sit through the movie with them and have meaningful conversations afterwards. On the Basis of Sex is exactly that.
What surprised me the most, however, was how meaningful it is for boys, too. I didn’t know much about Martin (Marty) Ginsburg, played by Armie Hammer, but his character was a wonderful example of what a partner should be. Marty was shown helping with the child care, doing his share of housework, involved in the discipline of his children, supportive of his wife’s career and ambitions, etc. And it’s about time fathers are shown in this light, too.
Show your children that this is how marriages and partnerships work – on equal ground. Then talk to them about it.
Breaking Down Barriers
On the Basis of Sex also demonstrated how you break down the barriers and make changes little by little, case by case. There were characters I despised (Oh Sam Waterston, it was weird to see my beloved Jack McCoy on the other side), obstacles overcome, tears of frustration (from me and Ruth), and personal triumphs.
I already loved Felicity Jones from her character of Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. She is bold, vulnerable, and relatable. There’s a moment in the movie when she is frustrated with being overlooked as a woman and wanting to change the world instead of “just” raising and teaching the future change makers, I felt her big time. I was her.
There was a time when I wanted to go to Law School and work on Capitol Hill making big changes and taking down corruption. Instead I started a family. I was made to feel that I couldn’t do both.
However, as Ruth struggles and argues with her teenage daughter, she comes to realize that she has raised her to be strong and independent. That is my job. With 5 children, I am raising the next generation, and if I can raise them to be good humans who aren’t jerks, then I have done my job. And in this climate right now, I say it’s an important job, because we are surrounded by a lot of jerks.
Make a Difference in Your Own Way
On the Basis of Sex teaches us to make a difference in our own way. Whether it’s little by little, whether it’s by toppling gender discrimination, whether it’s by being kind to a stranger, you do it in your own way.
I will continue to fight for family-friendly entertainment where we can have difficult conversations but without unnecessary violence, sexual content, and language to portray the same message. As Jane Ginsburg told her mother in the film, “Who is it for then, if not for me?”
While On the Basis of Sex may not be for all kids, it’s worth a watch with your teenagers. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed to the Supreme Court with a vote of 93 to 3 in 1993, and you can’t argue with those numbers.