Today over at Izzymom I was compelled to contribute to the debate over "freaking," a dance style in which people simulate anal or "doggy-style" sex.
All over the country, high schools are reacting to the lascivious two-stepping going on in their sanctioned dances by pulling the plug on the whole thing. They're rolling up their dance floors and calling it quits.
Now Izzymom takes the stance that while the dance is abhorent and potentially degrading to women, not to mention tastless and without merit choreographically, the idea that schools would wash their hands of all dances as a response is nonsensical.
Now, fundamentally speaking, I don't disagree that reasoning, however I think that we sometimes get tunnel vision when it comes to our ideals about freedom, rights and self expression.
When I first heard this story from NPR out of California, my immediate thought was it was a bit of overreaction on the part of some stuffed-shirt administrator, who wanted to make a useless point about something that no one thought he knew a whit about anyway.
But after I'd listened to the story I realized this was just a guy who had tried different things to impress upon students that school is an inappropriate place for such a display of affection ... even as an artform ... that he decided it was time to close shop. He said when the parents and school board could come together on rules and penalties he would reconsider.
Similarly, when I continued to add my paltry coins to the debate on Izzymom's site, I began to think about our priorities.
Lots of people chimed in to ask where the parents are? It's not the school's job ... Others wondered what such blanket restrictions actually taught the kids? All the while I was left to wonder what difference does it make if prom is cancelled?
Dancing ass-to-pelvis in a school cafeteria with someone you don't even know isn't a right provided by the constitution. For that matter, dancing in a cafeteria cheek-to-cheek with you're "best girl" or"best guy" isn't either.
And yet we've sent folks little older then these so-called freakers to defend to their deaths the ideals and protections that piece of paper -- which seems to be eroding by the minute -- provides.
While we debate the merits of school dances and overreactions of fed-up educators, Democrat Charles Rangel plans to introduce a bill to ressurect the draft.
He believes the threat of having lawmakers' kids pulling the same odds as those of janitors and single mothers in going to war, such wars as the one we find ourselves in Iraq, will ensure they not be so hastily decided.
I don't know if he's right, but I do know that the news of it made me hold my breath.
It also made me think that we, as concerned parents, might be fighting for all the wrong things. We are fighting to protect mediocrity and a feeling of entitlement, not to mention privileges that seem trivial. When we fight the authority about issues of decorum, we are protecting our children by making them soft and uncaring about anything but themselves. Is the protection of stupid-looking dance steps worth the fight?
I say: Let the schools make the rules. And tell your kids they need to follow them, even the dumb ones. Let them understand that one kid CAN ruin it for everyone, and that such disappointment is a part of life. Let them know that their time will come to make the rules. Then show them things like this or this and then maybe, just maybe, we'll all begin to understand what's really unfair about the world.