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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.


Comments (24)

There are times when prudis... (Below threshold)

There are times when prudishness is entirely appropriate.

I think you found that time.

Whoops. Bad grammar.... (Below threshold)

Whoops. Bad grammar.

"I think you found one such time."

Ya... that's better....

Well, you are a prud... (Below threshold)

Well, you are a prudish old fart, but that has nothing to do with your post, which was right on the mark.

I have four daughters. The... (Below threshold)

I have four daughters. They do not have anything plastered on their asses. They do not have "hot stuff" across their chest. Three of them are elementary age, but i have one in high school.

She is 14 looks 18 and that is hard enough to combat without dressing her like a hooker. Screen print tshirts are very popular right now though so we compromise. Nothing illicit but anything else is fine. Oddly enough she really like the curious george tshirts and the ones with pink panther. neither of which she ever read or watched on tv. Pop Culture, go figure.

I totally agree with you, J... (Below threshold)

I totally agree with you, Jay. I'm only 22, but I'm already longing for the days of innocence. I was in junior high in the early 90's, and fashions even then were at least modest. Today's fashions (even though the bitch, pardon my french, denies it) are still derived from Britney Spears and her ilk. I say we need to do away with MTV and that sort of message that says to young girls that they need to dress like little "hookers", and that all young boys need to dress like "thugs".
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind people that listen to hip hop/rap/r&b. However, the lifestyle that those "artists" (my mind caves in and I have an automatic gag reflex when I call them so) that make that stuff promote is completely detrimental to kids without the kids even realizing it.
Where have all our values gone? Conservative family values are going out the window (and isn't it any wonder that all these people on MTV promoting crap like that are all liberals?).
Don't get me started on this hypocrisy (Women/girls who dress to show off their body, then get indignant when men stare....%#@[email protected]#%@#$ - again don't get me wrong, not all women do that, and I respect the women who respect themselves).

I really should stop tying before I blow a fuse. I'm going to go log off and beat up myself for a few hours.

You might be a prudish old ... (Below threshold)

You might be a prudish old fart but you are on the money here. I see this kind of clothing in schools all the time and I keep wondering how they ever get out the front door of their house dressed like that. Many of the kids will tell you that their PARENTS bought these clothes for them. Geez.

oops typo "typing"... (Below threshold)

oops typo "typing"

What the hell are paren... (Below threshold)

What the hell are parents thinking these days?

They're not. I think it's safe to say that many parents now-a-days wouldn't know what parenting is if it slapped them upside the head.

I'm a prudish old fart too,... (Below threshold)

I'm a prudish old fart too, and I don't feel any need to apologize for it. My 12-year-old daughter dresses modestly because we have instilled in her certain values, and playing the ho is not one of them. One of these days she may rebel against her upbringing, but if I ever catch her dressing like a tramp it will NOT be in clothes that we bought for her and said clothes WILL be destroyed.

I too abhor the hypocrisy of women who dress provocatively then get all offended when men take notice. Isn't that the idea??? They aren't dressing that way to make the women look, ya know. Unless they go that way, of course.

You should work in a middle... (Below threshold)

You should work in a middle school. It's appalling. I could go on about the belly shirts, halters, and lowrise pants with showing thongs. It's not an everyday occurance, but every so often someone has to be sent to the nurse to get something to cover up.

And boys shouldn't be allowed the sag and drag. It's bad enough I have to put up with thier shenanigans and try to *gasp* teach them something. I don't need to be exposed to a 12 year old's underwear. My day is hard enough.

The fashion industry - like... (Below threshold)

The fashion industry - like the entertainment industry - is dominated by the Left, and they want to destroy traditonal culture.

You are not prudish; you are RIGHT, AGAIN!

Welcome to the hell known a... (Below threshold)

Welcome to the hell known as public education.

This is the arena where the public expects all of society's ills to be healed. Yet, as you were able to discern in your brief visit, the children come to the institution unprepared from homes without consequences. Dress is just the tip of the iceburg.

Yes Jay, I agree wi... (Below threshold)

Yes Jay, I agree with you.I entertain many dozens of families each and every week and I cringe when I see young girls adorned with these logos or dressed provocatively.Or, young boy's dressed and TALKING like Gangster Hip-Hoppers.{On a positive note,in 'my experience' these situations are NOT the rule}
However,in these cringe producing cases, IT IS THE FAULT OF THE PARENTS!!! It is up to THEM to gently shape their childrens moral view of of the world.To wit:FAMILY VALUES.
Fortunately we have a leader who subscribes to FAMILY VALUES.President Bush for many reasons MUST be re-elected to preserve our society, and this subject is certainly one of them.

BRAVO! See? You ARE a Ch... (Below threshold)

BRAVO! See? You ARE a Christian Homeschool Mom - just hiding in the body of a prudish old fart. :)

OK, I'm going to sound like... (Below threshold)

OK, I'm going to sound like an old fart now too, because a couple of weeks ago I also saw a teenage girl (couldn't have been more than 14) shopping with her mother and wearing low-cut pants that said "Juicy".

I really don't see many kids and I was shocked, especially that her mother apparently had no problem with this.

What are these people thinking???? Don't they know that they are shaping young minds? And they are raising adults who will shape the world of tomorrow. I find it frightening.

Hey, heres a thought: Why d... (Below threshold)

Hey, heres a thought: Why don't the schools have rules about what children can wear? It probably is because the liberals have a cow everytime something like that is tried. Convervatives need to be more agressive and take stands on such items. This is the only way we will bring back any type of values to this country. Favorite Communist ploy: Destroy the moral vaule of a country and replace it with something else. This is what is happening here.

THANKS YOU THANK YOU THANK ... (Below threshold)


My wife and I don't have this problem but boy if we did, there would be a house rule. No words on your behind.

The other rule would be, "you don't wear anything to church that you an read." Call me an old fart but it annoys me when I sit in church and see a constant stream of people with messages on their chest. I'd probably actually go to church once in a while if they would ban that practice.

The Kicker was when I was in the mall and I saw a girl who had a pair of shorts on that I can only assume she got in Wyoming, because across the behind of this 14 year old it read "JACKSON HOLE."

What her parents were thinking I have no idea.

Just to be contrary, I'll t... (Below threshold)

Just to be contrary, I'll take the opposite point of view. Women ó and I'm even going to go so far as to include little girls in this ó†ought to be free to wear whatever they want on their tee shirts or across their asses without having to live in fear that some mean old man is going to get the wrong idea and molest them.

The message we need to be more strongly sending is to men of all ages: look but do not touch.

To Jeff H.:Sorry if ... (Below threshold)

To Jeff H.:Sorry if it seems that concerned people are trying to put a damper on what is apparently a preferred HOBBY of yours.You may very well be a
perverted 'contrarian.'

Hm. I established my prudis... (Below threshold)

Hm. I established my prudish old fart credentials when I learned Abercrombie & Fitch was marketing thongs (NOT flip-flops) to nine-year-olds.

That's third-graders.

What is the attraction of a nine-year-old tush? I mean, not even nine-year-old BOYS,/i> should be looking at the backside of a nine-year-old girl! At that age they still have cooties!

Don't they...?

Join the prudish old fart c... (Below threshold)

Join the prudish old fart club. My daughter took what she was taught to heart, thank you God, so didn't have to have this fight with her. But some of her friends...

Adult women in low-rise pants and halters, etc.? Hell, yeah! BUT NOT YOUR KIDS!

Like I told my daughter's friends, "Don't wear a skirt up to your crotch, or pants down to your crotch, and a top cut up to/down to there, and then get upset when you get stared at. You don't like it? Don't dress that way.

And a lot of the parents do think about it, but they're not willing to fight the point with the kids, so they let them wear this crap. Which causes all kinds of problems down the road.

While my group of friends a... (Below threshold)

While my group of friends and I in high school were hanging out with some of the older guys(out of college already)from next door,I remember one of them commenting that the girls during his HS days never looked like ours. Implying that ours were much sexier and dressed themselves in a much more provocative manner. I thought he was crazy. Girls were girls. This was in the middle eighties. I look at some of the students now that I am older and find myself thinking the same thing. I think they are way too young to look and act as they do. A recent commercial(I seem to be watching too much tv lately) about birth control shows women who seem to be 13-16 dancing around. I do not even have kids and this just scares me. Is it just a sign of getting old where everyone younger than me seems a baby? I go to a club and it looks like children dancing around and drinking. I see someone in the car next to me and can't believe they are old enough to have a license. I have wandered off topic...omg...senilitly at 37.


Why don't the schools ha... (Below threshold)

Why don't the schools have rules about what children can wear?

Schools do have rules about student dress. But those rules are tempered by the 1969 Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines.

Jeff H - actually I agree w... (Below threshold)

Jeff H - actually I agree with you. But just because we can doesn't mean we should.






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