Sunday, January 26, 2014

(Middle School) Girls Gone Wild




EDITORIAL OBSERVER
Middle School Girls Gone Wild


Lawrence Downes' editorial was published in The New York Times in 2006 after he witnessed Long Island middle school girls "... in teams of three or four ..." at a talent show "... in tiny skirts or tight shorts, with bare bellies, rouged cheeks and glittery eyes." 

Downes wrote that it was hard for him "to erase the images" of middle school girls (i.e., sixth, seventh and eighth grades.) writhing, strutting, shaking their bottoms, splaying their legs, and thrusting their chests on the stage of a Long Island middle school while Janet Jackson sang, “Don’t stop don’t stop. Jerk it like you’re making it choke. ...Ohh. I’m so stimulated. Feel so X-rated.” In addition, Downes was surprised that the parents of the pre-teens cheered and applauded the "eroticized" performances. 

Unlike Downes, I wasn't surprised by what I read of his experience at the talent show. I shared in The Allure of Nymphets that Tom Wolfe related in Hooking Up that in middle schools, from the plush suburbs of Washington to the underprivileged schools of the South Bronx, thirteen and fourteen-year-old girls, among other "eroticized" acts, were performing fellatio on boys between classes.  

I wrote about the "eroticized" nude photograph of 10-year-old Brook Shields that was on display in Richard Prince’s Spiritual America exhibit at Guggenheim and how on the 2011 season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin said while impersonating Texas Governor Rick Perry,  "I believe all 10-year-old girls should be vaccinated for HPV, so they can enter into meaningful sexual relationships.”

But all of this may not be so shocking when you recall that tweens were considered young adults before the turn of the 20th century and that up until 1897 the age of consent in California and in most states was 10. 





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