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Danish children’s show is about a man with an extraordinary penis

John Dillermand has an extraordinary penis. So extraordinary, in fact, that it can perform rescue operations, etch murals, hoist a flag, and even steal ice-cream from children.

Danish public network DR recently began airing a new animated series aimed at four- to eight-year-olds about John Dillermand, the man with the world’s longest penis who overcomes hardships and challenges with his record-breaking genitals.

Since premiering, opponents of the show condemned the idea of a man who cannot control his penis.

“Is this really the message we want to send to children while we are in the middle of a huge #MeToo wave?” wrote Danish author Anne Lise Marstrand-Jørgensen, according to The Guardian.

Gender researcher Christian Groe believes the program’s celebration of the power of male genitalia could set equality back.

“It’s perpetuating the standard idea of a patriarchal society and normalizing ‘locker room culture’ … that’s been used to excuse a lot of bad behavior from men. It’s meant to be funny – so it’s seen as harmless. But it’s not. And we’re teaching this to our kids.”

Family clinical psychologist Erla Heinesen Højsted says the show’s opponents may be overthinking things.

“John Dillermand talks to children and shares their way of thinking – and kids do find genitals funny,” she said. “The show depicts a man who is impulsive and not always in control, who makes mistakes – as kids do, but crucially, Dillermand always makes it right. He takes responsibility for his actions. When a woman in the show tells him that he should keep his penis in his pants, for instance, he listens. Which is nice. He is accountable.”

DR has a reputation for pushing boundaries – especially for children. Another stalwart of children’s scheduling is Onkel Reje, a popular figure who curses, smokes a pipe, and eschews baths. A character in Gepetto News made conservatives bristle in 2012 when he revealed a love of cross-dressing. And Ultra Smider Tøjet (Ultra Strips Down) caused outrage in 2020 for presenting children aged 11-13 with a panel of nude adults, but, argues Højsted, such criticism was unjustified.

“What kind of culture are we creating for our children if it’s OK for them to see ‘perfect’ bodies on Instagram – enhanced, digitally or cosmetically – but not ‘real bodies’?” she said.

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