Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sometimes I don't think we ever really know what we're 'freaking' talking about

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.


kimmyk said...

My children's school they are not allowed to do this. Or any other dance that mimics a sexual sort of act. I'm ok with it. I don't want to see my child act in such a manner. I'd like to think I taught them better.

But it's not like any of this matters-my son goes to school dances and he and his other 14 1/2 year old friends shoot baskets in the other gym and my 13 1/2 year old daughter she and her friends dance together.

Right now it's not an issue, but should it become one-I hope my children act appropriately at a school function.

kimmyk said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

I hope that y'all have a wonderful day!

stefanierj said...


I hate to say it, but Rangel is right. One of the most chilling parts of Fahrenheit 911 was watching an MOC (who had voted for the war) explain to a young soldier in uniform, just back from his tour in Iraq, that no, he would not give his son any military recruitment materials, because "well, my son got two kids at home." Oh, well, then. He shouldn't have to go, right? We'll just send the 18 year-olds who've never even SEEN their newborn children. They can die instead. That made me want to throw up, and I thought "Dammit, this dude is never going to get it unless his kid's life--and the lives of his constituents' children--is on the line.

But don't think it doesn't make me woozy to think about it. My baby's not even two and I think about moving to Canada every time I hear it mentioned.

Anonymous said...

And it was so outrageous when Elvis Presley swiveled his hips back in the 50s. Give me a break. Nothing ever changes--that's what I believe. It's pretty disturbing to me that there are so few differences between a lot of my peers and those 50's parents that seemed so "square" to their children back in the day. You're absolutely right--it's all about perspective.

Anonymous said...

Lemme tell ya...
The biggest thing my high school was worried about was whether or not to let people wear shorts when it got hot outside. The question of whether or not to allow dry humping at the prom was not really even an issue. And I graduated in 1992. This whole debate is off-the-chart stupid.
And on Charles Rangel: I've heard his argument, and I understand his argument. Two points: Making sure rich kids have to go to war with the poor ones is a stupid reason for a draft. Doesn't anybody remember what happened with the draft for Vietnam? Second, the reason (and ONLY reason) for a draft is when you expect large numbers of people to get killed. Period. Draftees is there to provide cannon fodder. They're not going to be as well trained, and they don't (necessarily) wanna be there.