Monday, December 24, 2007

Wake Up! Time for the sex talk!

First comment, Whithorne Middle School has real DJs at their dances?! Us kids at the unloved stepchild of the Maury County School system had to make do with having the Student Council and friends haul in what CDs we had, and dragging Cousin Eric's speakers and player down the hill to the school. A real DJ? At 300 dollars a pop? That's . . . there have to be better uses for that money -- get creative!

Yes, I know that I'm overlooking the fact that Hampshire has somewhat older kids, somewhat better equipped to collectively disc jockey a school dance than a middle school does. But I'm all for unit schools anyway.

Okay, so, what's the occasion? Apparently, some parents were offended by lyrics they overheard while waiting to pick their kids up from the dance and with the normal wisdom shown by the powers that be in Maury County, the director of schools is contemplating suspending dances at middle schools.

Yeah, so, I might be wrong, but I think the song in question "Get Low" is kinda passe. I believe I remember it from my high school days . . . and four years does seem to make all the difference as to what's cool in the musical tastes of pre-adolescents. Seriously, you hadn't already heard this song enough to be offended by it? I'm not questioning whether the song is offensive or in bad taste -- the lyrics make my feminist skin crawl. And, actually, I'm not the most sensitive flower in the field. There would literally be no way to edit these lyrics. Of course, you also can hardly understand them -- with the exception of "My BALLS" being yelled at points, which is probably where the offense was taken.

But, no one remains innocent forever, and while the school should have guidelines for the music played at school-sponsored dances, you can't escape "Get Low" -- believe me, I tried for most of my junior and senior years of high school.

But then what offends me about the song was probably not the parental objections. The Herald article doesn't mention people being offended by misogyny and the abject objectification of the female body. Just offense at mention of genitalia and explicitives. So, they'd probably also object to The Dresden Dolls, without distinguishes between the two. (No, I wouldn't play most of the Dresden Dolls' catalog at a middle school dance, in part because they wouldn't get it.)

The sad thing is that songs like this, Cosmogirl, television shows, and misinformation on the school bus is roughly all the sex education the kids of Maury County are getting. So, not only are they not innocent -- they have nothing with which to balance the pop culture. And the solution, dear parents and school board of Maury County -- is not to suspend school dances because of an inappropriate song, the solution is to get some real sex education. Something to counter the prevalent mythology. To teach respect in sexual situations, both for your own self and for whoever else is involved. Maybe some basic knowledge of how things work -- because I, being known as the smart kid, was once asked on the bus if you could get pregnant if you were taking birth control pills and using a condom. I was in middle school at the time! The girl asking me was, I think, a junior! Something isn't quite right with this scenario. And, this scenario is far more harmful (and objectionable) than an inappropriate song being played at a school dance.

But why would anyone think of doing a silly thing like that. Nope, no, let's bury our heads in the sand.

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