So Princess Zurg has been complaining to me for quite some time about how the kids at school wear those pink I LOVE BOOBIES bracelets that are supposed to raise breast cancer awareness, but among middle schoolers really only raise boobie awareness (as if it needed raising). If you read my one blog in October of last year, you know how I feel about being naughty for breast cancer awareness. No, you don’t have to click on it, I’ll just tell you: I find it an irritating trend. Number one, I think just about everyone who could possibly give a crap already knows about breast cancer and how there isn’t a cure yet. Number two, if you’re going to be naughty in the name of a good cause, at least do it for money–you know, something that might actually help the cause and not just remind people of something they already know about.
That said, I can’t say I have a lot of righteous indignation about the I LOVE BOOBIES bracelets–maybe because I spent all my righteous indignation on that one blog post. Although I’m sure a portion of the proceeds from selling these bracelets goes to breast cancer research or breast cancer something-or-other, I’m reasonably certain that most of these middle schoolers mainly think that it’s cool to wear a bracelet with the word “boobies” on it–which falls squarely into the category of being naughty for awareness, which I’ve already explained is lame. But whatever. The point is not my righteous indignation–which is pretty well summed up with one big eyeroll–but PZ’s righteous indignation, which is summed up with a lot of complaining about how she doesn’t like the word “boobies” and how most of her classmates aren’t even aware that the bracelets are for breast cancer awareness (quelle surprise!) and how the school can’t legally forbid the students from wearing the bracelets because that would be encroaching on their right to free speech.
You might also already know my opinion of middle schoolers having a constitutional right to say “boobies” whenever they want.
But again, my indignation has been limited to eye-rolling, and I’ve tried to persuade PZ to limit her indignation to eye-rolling as well, since this is a heck of a hill to die on, when you consider all the problems an eighth-grade girl can have, not to mention all the problems in the world. Also, I am trying to teach her to be less uptight. (If you haven’t guessed already, she’s kind of a prude.)
Today, however, she was talking about a school policy that I already knew about and had previously rolled my eyes over: Students are not allowed to hug each other. They’re not allowed to hug each other because hugging a) can be construed as “borderline sexual harassment,” and b) is a gateway drug to hardcore public displays of affection. I mean, obviously there are a lot of legitimate issues to consider here–or maybe there’s only two. 1) We don’t want students sexually harassing each other. 2) We don’t want students making out in the hall. So it just makes sense to ban hugging. It solves all kinds of problems–or, you know, it solves two problems. You could just ban students from touching each other, period, but that would be extreme. Insert eye-roll here.
So today PZ was complaining about the boobie bracelets again, and then she was talking about the no-hugging rule. And suddenly the lameness of it all was in such stark relief. You have a constitutional right to wear a bracelet declaring your love of boobies because that’s free speech, but you don’t have the right to hug your friend because that could lead to sexual harassment or public sexytimes. PZ said that one of the justifications of the no-hug policy offered by school personnel is that some people might not want to be hugged but they don’t feel comfortable refusing and therefore will end up with an unwanted hug. So, you know, better make a rule so no one has to be uncomfortable. Unless someone’s declaration of boobie-love makes you uncomfortable, of course.
I’m sorry, but didn’t we give these kids the “good touch, bad touch” talk already? Isn’t saying no to a hug, even from your friend, good practice for saying no to a host of other things you’re going to have to say no to for the rest of your life? What’s wrong with teaching kids to say, “Hey, you know? Not really a hugger. How about a fist bump instead?” It works for grown-ups; it can work for kids, too.
As long as we’re stretching the First Amendment to the breaking point, how about we invent a constitutional right for a middle schooler to give his or her friend a hug if the friend happens to…oh, I don’t know…have a mother dying of breast cancer? Is there room in your America for such normal human interactions, or only for boobies???
Lame lame lame lame LAME!!!