17 May, 2011

Girls Only And A Dumb Column Called MomTalk

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Girls Only And A Dumb Column Called MomTalk


I found a new shoe that I hate, and my Sim wife in the Sims 3 had a baby Sim. Two big things for the day. First, the awful shoe. It was a flat thing, which I am growing accustomed to the more I see them. It seems as if they aren’t going away, so I’d better get used to them. Like jihadists. The thing was, it had an ankle wrap thing like those terrible gladiator sandals. But it was a flat, ballet shoe thing. It blew my mind, and I think it’s my most hated shoe now. And my Sim wife, Kitty Whiskers, had a healthy baby boy named Doorknob Whiskers. It happened late last night, and he’s just the biggest bundle of joy a Sim could ask for. Feel free to send me baby gifts. A man could never use too many diapers, am I right ladies?

I read an article today on a website that I’m too lazy to cut and paste into this document. It was written by a thing called a Heather Blackmore, and the article was part of a column called “MomTalk Q&A.” The question posed to this Heather Blackmore was this: What’s the protocol when a tween goes to school with a piercing?

Likely a question that vexes uninvolved parents, and a good one to ask for some real, objective, insightful commentary. MomTalk is absolutely the best forum for this kind of thing, without question, reservation or the least hint of sarcasm. So the Heather Blackmore introduced her article with an observation of a twelve year old boy getting his lobes butchered at a Claire’s in the mall. She details the reservations and anxiety of the dad as the underemployed and under talented piercing girl wielded the flesh ruining piercing gun. Heather Blackmore poses the idea that the dad may be trying to be more of a friend than a father, that the kid may receive some negative reactions in school, and asked her readers to offer their opinions. What’s funny about this article is that Heather Blackmore, author of the Q&A column (which I assume means question and answer), never offered a solution to the inquiry. The question was about “protocol” in the school setting with a child of indeterminate gender wearing a modification.

But enough of picking at knits or other such defamation of yarn based creations. Of course you know where I’m going with this. To Moe’s Southwest restaurant for a burrito! No, wait, that’s later. Feel free to pay me, Moe’s. Where I’m going with this is to the comment section where for articles like the one penned by Heather Blackmore, is the breading ground for ignorant green mold on an otherwise healthy and delicious slice of bread. I know, I do this a lot, but it’s 3:17 on Tuesday and I haven’t written the blog for this week yet.

The majority of the comments offered the idea that little kids shouldn’t be modified. With which I agree, of course. Age of mod and all that. We know how I feel about that. Of course their arguments are not presented with an educated objectivity, but I don’t expect that much from people outside of the community who have already established stereotypes and generalizations of a community that they have no interest in joining. Strangely (and maybe it’s not all that strange), was the overwhelming sense of ‘boys shouldn’t, girls should.’ One commenter even offers this idea and introduces the debate by saying, “Well, girls can,” but then, instead of exploring the idea, says, “It’s just a tough, tough debate.” Remind me not to vote for that guy. Only one comment defended modification and damned the use of a piercing gun. I applaud that guy. And one guy tried to be funny while painting a picture of men with mods. Remind me to get back to that.

So girls can and boys can’t. OK, I can see that… In 1964. I’m not a ‘times have changed’ kind of cat, but we’re one year away for the Mayan apocalypse, aren’t we? We have planes falling out of the sky, tornados raping the plains like “The Wizard Of Oz,” terrorists being gatted Sam Fischer style, dictators dressing like movie stars, a government that wants to regulate how many breaths your allowed to take in a day (and tax it), middle aged women wearing ‘Team Edward’ t-shirts, people bumming cigarettes off of me left and right, and those awful flat shoes I mentioned earlier. A boy going to school with one lobe pierced with a twenty-two gauge stud and how distracting it is to the other children (who are not being left behind) seems a little inconsequential. Gender equality. OK, I get that. And there ought to be gender equality. And that should extend to man children just as it does woman children. A boy with a lobe piercing is not a remarkable occurrence. Goose and gander, pot and kettle. All of that kind of thing. Sociologically, women in our society were the ones to pierce the lobes and wear jewelry. That has changed. What does the lobe mod say to the timber of gender relationships in the classroom? Probably very little. Did the little boy finish his science fair project? That’s probably more important. Did the little girl make honor roll? Probably more important. If the school has regulations on the mods, that’s a different argument. I like rules, and I like punishment for rule breaking. If the school says no, then the answer is no. But that’s not the argument.

The funny guy I mentioned earlier? This is his forgettable quote: “Unless you're a pirate, your head is shaven bald and you're hawking All-Purpose Liquid Cleaner, or you're millionaire NFL wide receiver flashing diamond studs, boys have no business piercing their ears. Call me old fashioned.” What a comedian. Yes, pirates are often depicted with pierced ears. Yes, Mr. Clean had a pierced ear. Yes, many athletes have giant diamond earrings. But a man to have no business being modified? That’s a little myopic, isn’t it? I’ll ask Buddha what he thinks about stretched lobes. I’ll ask Oetzi about ear and other mods. I’ll ask any number of successful men who have a public persona and also lobe mods. Here’s a name: Montel Williams! He has a lobe mod and is a dude. I think he’s a dude, at least. The camera adds ten penises they say. Or was that pounds? What’s that? This blog is phoned in? Totally.

The point is this: little kids shouldn’t be modifying regardless of their genitalia. The problem isn’t ‘what to do in the classroom with a kid who is modified.’ The problem is ‘educate children about modification so they can make wise choices.’ And even more so, educate parents about modification so they understand what their children are asking. The problem is also that Heather Blackmore didn’t come close to answering the question. Shame on you and your dumb ask mom column. So what should kids do in the classroom? School work. Spelling tests, state capitols, periodic table, book reports on “Shane” and “Lord Of The Flies,” art projects, soccer practice, awkward straight armed dancing at formals, marching band, and chorale. If a classmate is distracted by a shiny thing in some other kid’s ear, then maybe the distracted kid needs to be dealt with before the kid with the shiny thing. And at the end of the day, it’s expression of self; and to all of those mod ignorants who think those who modify are followers and not leaders, shut up. There are more of you than are of us, so who’s following whom? Ought we not celebrate a child’s interest in things unique? Isn’t that the point of the exploration of self? I’m not child psychologist, I don’t even like children, but oughtn’t we herald the unique thoughts of young people? Or maybe we should just be clockwork creations in a socialist machine, working until we die, serving the whole and ignoring the self, looking onto the automaton next to us and seeing the exact same face. But, hey, you know what? We’re talking about an earring here. There are bigger things to worry about. Stay beautiful, kids.



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