A friend in USA just sent me this article. It rings very true.
Middle School Girls Gone Wild
By LAWRENCE DOWNES, New York Times, Published: December 29, 2006
"Itís hard to write this without sounding like a prig. But itís just as hard
to erase the images that planted the idea for this essay, so here goes. The
scene is a middle school auditorium, where girls in teams of three or four
are bopping to pop songs at a student talent show. Not bopping, actually,
but doing elaborately choreographed re-creations of music videos, in tiny
skirts or tight shorts, with bare bellies, rouged cheeks and glittery eyes.
They writhe and strut, shake their bottoms, splay their legs, thrust their
chests out and in and out again. Some straddle empty chairs, like lap
dancers without laps. They donít smile much. Their faces are locked from
grim exertion, from all that leaping up and lying down without poles to hold
onto. ďDonít stop donít stop,Ē sings Janet Jackson, all whispery. ďJerk it
like youíre making it choke. ...Ohh. Iím so stimulated. Feel so X-rated.Ē
The girls spend a lot of time lying on the floor. They are in the sixth,
seventh and eighth grades.
As each routine ends, parents and siblings cheer, whistle and applaud. I
just sit there, not fully comprehending. Itís my first suburban Long Island
middle school talent show. Iím with my daughter, who is 10 and hadnít warned
me. Iím not sure what I had expected, but it wasnít this. It was something
different. Something younger. Something that didnít make the girls look so
It would be easy to chalk it up to adolescent rebellion, an ancient and
necessary phenomenon, except these girls were barely adolescents and they
had nothing to rebel against. This was an official function at a public
school, a milieu that in another time or universe might have seen children
singing folk ballads, say, or reciting the Gettysburg Address.
It is news to no one, not even me, that eroticism in popular culture is a
24-hour, all-you-can-eat buffet, and that many children in their early teens
are filling up. The latest debate centers on whether simulated intercourse
is an appropriate dance style for the high school gym.
What surprised me, though, was how completely parents of even younger girls
seem to have gotten in step with societyís march toward eroticized
adolescence ó either willingly or through abject surrender. And if parents
give up, what can a school do? A teacher at the middle school later told me
she had stopped chaperoning dances because she was put off by the boy-girl
pelvic thrusting and had no way to stop it ó the children wouldnít listen to
her and she had no authority to send anyone home. She guessed that if the
school had tried to ban the sexy talent-show routines, parents would have
been the first to complain, having shelled out for costumes and private
dance lessons for their Little Miss Sunshines.
Iím sure that many parents see these routines as healthy fun, an exercise in
self-esteem harmlessly heightened by glitter makeup and teeny skirts. Our
girls are bratz, not slutz, they would argue, comfortable in the existence
of a distinction.
But my parental brain rebels. Suburban parents dote on and hover over their
children, micromanaging their appointments and shielding them in helmets,
kneepads and thick layers of S.U.V. steel. But they allow the culture of
boy-toy sexuality to bore unchecked into their little onesí ears and
eyeballs, displacing their nimble and growing brains and impoverishing the
sense of wider possibilities in life.
There is no reason adulthood should be a low plateau we all clamber onto
around age 10. And itís a cramped vision of girlhood that enshrines sexual
allure as the best or only form of power and esteem. Itís as if there were
now Three Ages of Woman: first Mary-Kate, then Britney, then Courtney. Boys
donít seem to have such constricted horizons. They wouldnít stand for it ó
much less waggle their butts and roll around for applause on the floor of a
Posted by Kurma on 31/12/06; 8:43:59 AM
from the Travel dept.