No, I haven't been "eaten by a Chanukah monster," as one of you darling devoted readers asked me recently. You will now be saved the indiginity of having to post comments on old blogs (not that there's anything wrong with it), because yes, we are officially back from holiday break.
If you haven't read this great article by Lawrence Downes on "Middle School Girls Gone Wild," read it now. Downes writes that he is no "prig" but nonetheless was made quite uncomfortable while attending a recent "talent show" at his 10-year-old daughter's school. With all the writhing and strutting going on, and "lap dancing without laps," it's not hard to see why.
In case you missed it, here is the key graph:
What surprised me, though, was how completely parents of even younger girls seem to have gotten in step with society’s march toward eroticized adolescence — 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 — the children wouldn’t 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.
Very well put. To me the question is: why are parents "giving up"? I have my thoughts, but as usual, would be very interested to hear yours.
For the most part, the article made me sad. I'm 31, and I still remember how much fun we girls had choreographing routines for our junior-high talent show. It's really too bad that creativity has become such an old-fashioned concept nowadays.