Friday, March 09, 2007

Thorny roses

Every morning, I get up and turn on the TV to watch the Today show while I dress and drink tea and such. Most mornings, I get cheesy stories and mildly informative discussions. Today, however, I got mad. Not at the show itself, but at a school, at society. They brought on three girls. These girls are in high school and performed at an open mic night. These girls used a word the school admin had asked them not to and have been suspended for one day. They haven't served this; the superintendent is reviewing the decision. The word these girls used? Vagina. That's right. Vagina. And not in any negative, derogatory, or dirty way. They just read a paragraph from The Vagina Monologues, and not one of the racy ones. One of the empowering ones. The school's reason for not wanting this word used? There might be young children in the audience, since it was open to anyone who wanted to come.

Are you kidding me?! First of all, there was another act that used "fuck" in their performance. Are they expelled? Nope. But girls who named a freaking body part are. Why is our country so afraid of these organs. Why should we worry if small children hear the medical terminology for their own damn body parts? One of my coworkers pointed out that he could understand the school's reasoning, as people are crazy. Which I get. Yes, parents are nuts. But first of all, The Vagina Monologues was written in part as a commentary about the fact that vagina has, for some reason, become a dirty word. What kind of message does that send women? Your body is dirty and gross and wrong? Yeah, because that's what I would want my daughter to think. I admire these girls for standing up for what they believed. Second of all, the parents who think these things are wrong are teaching their children the most that their bodies are dirty and that sex is evil. Shouldn't school try to at least educate these kids on the basic facts at least? Schools shouldn't be so afraid of complaining parents that they forget their purpose as institutions of education.

This also ties to an on-going argument in the world of children's librarians. Apparently, some librarians are upset because one of the Newbury winners has the word "scrotum" in it. Again, not in any sexual kind of way, but just factual. "The dog licked its scrotum," or something along those lines. And that, apparently, is reason enough for people to not read this book, for them to worry about "age appropriateness." Hello? People? Males have scrota. If the author had said "balls," would anyone be upset?

Both these events make me wonder about the power of words, and what the fear of certain words means. People have to be afraid of these words for a reason. Why do some of us feel that children need to be protected, not from derogatory or cruel words, but scientific, anatomical ones? Is it because using medical terms makes the objects seem more real? But why would that matter? Is it because these are sex body parts? Because, I hate to tell you, sex is necessary for the continuation of the species. These adorable little girls and boys are going to grow up, have sex with their "thingies and hoo-haws," and ensure that our species does not disappear into the night. Keeping children ignorant is not going to prevent this (luckily) and instead will lead to some rebellious and horribly ill-informed teens.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


It's been weird these past few weeks. I've actually been decently busy at work, enough so I don't get a chance to write or check blogs daily. I can't handle it!! Except I really kind of prefer it, even if I still hate my job. At least this way, the day goes by faster, even though today has been both busy and dragging, so that the remaining minute portion of the day seems as though it will take forever. But it shan't, and then I shall force my way through the winds and the cold and climb the ridiculously large hill and be home with my kitty. And I shall drink my new, "good for your liver" tea and watch tv and wait until SB comes over, hopefully with food. And then we shall watch the glory that is Gilmore Girls.

I did dream about Gilmore Girls last night. I believe I switched from being Lorelai to being a friend of Rori's who was staying with her in a foreign country where everyone spoke English and where I was living in a big house with them. They were all playing video games and I was forced to join them alone, because Rori was upstairs with Logan. There was also a whole part about Cassie being there and getting to go outside and absolutely loving it, which we all know wouldn't really happen because she's a big scaredy cat who frequently growls at people walking down the hall and gets antsy when she hears people upstairs. Needless to say, it was strange.

I also heard from my "ridiculously hard to get into and it will be a complete and utter miracle if I do" school today. As you clearly should have known from the lack of exclamation points and excitement, I didn't get it. Which is what I expected, so it's hard to be disappointed. Especially since I had to lie and say that I wanted a PhD, and I would have to move. Now we have one more "ridiculous" category, one I'll probably get into, but not get funded, and two toss-ups, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If I don't get into the last two, I'll be sad. Though at least I do have my back-up school, even if they are poor and can't offer funding for at least the first semester....