Just when I think I’ve run out of things to write about, heaven drops manna in my lap. Admittedly, bronchitis is making me a little crabby this week, so if there is anything to take umbrage over, I’m there, ready and willing. This was the blip that showed up on my newspaper scanning radar this morning: “Minnetonka Principal says girls’ leggings becoming a distraction“. Once again, we girls are at it – dressing to impress and making the boys regress. Boys began beating their…chests in a primitive call to mate. Algebra was not done.
I’ll be the first person to say I’m a bit of a modest prude. If I were religious, I’d become Muslim just to burka up and hope that it was cut from the same cloth of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. That’s how much notice I’d like not to be paid to me (writing is different – that’s just my closeted narcissist- there’s your oxymoron for the day). But that’s not the case with everyone and on an intellectual level I know that we should not be so incredibly weird about the human form. Men can control their urges. I’m tired of the assumption that they can’t and they don’t willingly assume control of their bodies and actions. I’m guessing some of them are getting pretty sick of that assumption as well.
What is considered sexual in this country is marketed relentlessly to prepubescent girls (and boys as well) and is harmfully connected to their intrinsic value. Why is anybody surprised when they wear their sexuality as a badge of honor? Parents can keep giving them the message that their value is in being who they are, but somewhere along the way, that message gets drowned out by their peers, commerce and really stupid adults. The message that this principal is giving is the same old shit shrouded in paternal concern: Girls are sirens on the shore and boys can’t be blamed if they smash themselves against the rocks, instead of doing their homework.
Bad news, principal, teenagers are paying attention to each other. They have short attention spans. Welcome to the history of humanity. Hell, when I was a teenager, I got distracted by my own pimples. Leggings are really the least of your concerns. The prim and proper girl who is cutting herself might catch your attention. Or the boy who has been relentlessly bullied, now fantasizing about taking down the entire school. These are serious problems.
And to the oblivious parents that are sending kids to school in their underwear – it’s Minnesota and pretty darned cold, folks. Let’s use a little common sense and some parental messaging of our own – before that principal gets distracted again.