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04/22/2005 Archived Entry: "Girls suspended for wearing Vagina Monologues buttons"
TWO MINNESOTA HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS WERE SUSPENDED for wearing buttons inspired by the feminist play about female sex organs, "The Vagina Monologues." The buttons read "I (heart) my Vagina."
Now, that's kinda silly. When you think about it, it's about meaningful as wearing a button that says, "I (heart) my pancreas" or "My pelvis rocks." But offensive enough to merit getting suspended from school? Hm.
When I was in high school, back in the Dark Ages, a button with the V-word on it would have been unthinkable, of course. We didn't officially have sex organs, except in one brief unit of Health class, in which we were taught basically that those mysterious parts we didn't officially have would probably rot off if we ever had sex, since everybody who had sex would get what was then still called a "venereal disease." (Pregnancy was never mentioned, except in whispers -- mostly whispers concerning which cheerleader was looking a little swelled-up these days. But the teachers really seemed to enjoy describing the various drippings, agonies, and eventual death-by-insanity inevitably to be suffered by anyone who had you-know-what with the wrong person.)
Also back in those benighted times (and they really were, you know), wearing sandals or patent leather shoes was enough to get a girl sent home from school. The former because, allegedly, toes are phallic symbols; the later because, allegely, the shine on the shoe would allow boys to look up our skirts. And of course, the skirts were mandatory. And if your skirt didn't touch the ground when the dean made you kneel on the floor ... Well. Thank heaven those "good old days" are long gone.
Being suspended for a button with the word "vagina" on it is, all things considered, a cultural advance.
Wonder what would happen to a boy who wore an "I (heart) my penis" button? Poor kid would probably be arrested for threatening rape. Boys have it way rougher than girls, these days.
But I really wondered about this portion of the article on the girls' suspension:
Principal Nancy Wondrasch said some in school find the buttons offensive.
"We support free speech," she said. "But when it does infringe on other people's rights and our school policies, then we need to take a look at that."
Uh ... can anybody tell me which "rights" got infringed? Other than (arguably) the girls' free speech rights the school is so "supportive" of. If the answer's what I think it is, then maybe we actually were better off in the bad old days when "because the dean says so" was the only criterion for punishment.
But damn, if everybody who ever offends anybody else should be punished, have I ever got a list of people who're gonna get a whuppin! It starts with the Offender in Chief and works right on down through the entire cabinet, the media, and all of academia, not to mention almost every bureaucrat I ever ran into. Drug warriors. Anti-gunners. Principal Wondrasch, you're on the list, too. With the world as "offensive" as it is, though, it might take me a while to work my way down to offenders on your level.
(Tks, Rick, for the trip down memory lane.)
Posted by Claire @ 01:02 PM CST