Sending mixed messages to our children

Recently I had cause to be in an elementary school during school hours. While there, I was suddenly jarred by what I thought was an amazing disconnect.

While in the office, I noticed a poster on the wall. It was a mug shot of a man, with the legend “Level Three Sex Offender.” This was in Massachusetts, where they rate sex offenders on a three-tiered system. Level threes are those considered most dangerous; they are believed to be the most likely to offend again.

Then, out in the hallway, a teacher’s aide walked three students by. They looked like 2nd or 3rd graders. One of them, a lovely young lass, was wearing a purple sweatsuit. And across her fanny was the word “PRINCESS.”

I’ve noticed this phenomenon before – the female behind seems to be the new “hot place” for logos and messages. The idea seems to be be to draw attention to the woman’s posterior. For the most part, I have no problem with this – I’ll take pretty much any excuse to look at a woman’s bottom.

But the key word there is “woman.” I am hardly the most paternal of men out there (I have no children, no desire for children, and since a certain operation a few years ago, very little likelihood of having children), but I felt offended and protective. Preadolescents shouldn’t be going out of the way to draw people’s eyes to their tushies. I felt icky enough the time I saw a high-school girl with “JUICY” across her bum, but here is a girl way too young to even have a hienie shouting out for attention to it.

What the hell are parents thinking these days? On the one hand, we’re paranoid about sex offenders preying on our children – and with damn good reason. But then we send them out with “PORN STAR” T-shirts and “LUSCIOUS” stamped on their asses and wonder why they seem obsessed with sex. And why those scumbag predators see them as sexual objects.

Or maybe I’m just turning into a prudish old fart.


Peering into my crystal ball
The Real John Kerry


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