So, first off, it's been a while, hasn't it? Yup. I've got no excuses, only a dearth of things I feel qualified to talk about, and blogging about the day-to-day is well.. Meh.
But every so often, a story catches my eye that is so mind-blowing in it's ridiculousness that I really have to wonder about humanity.
My source of ire stems from a story of an 8-year-old girl who was at a public pool with her parents, and in her excitement of "holy shit, SWIMMING!', threw her top off and jumped in. Because 8-year-olds, they LOVE that shit.
The pool attendants told the parents to get a top on that kid, pronto, and the parents were all "Why?? To cover our child's likely non-existent breasts?" They were pretty pissed, and in my humble opinion, rightly so. Because frankly, if the little boys are not required to wear a top, then it's kinda discriminatory for the girls to have to wear one, is it not?
You know how people always tell you not to read the comments on news stories? It's good advice. Because people are all kinds of awful. You know how I know this? I read the comments. And the comments basically boil down to a few key pro-pool and pro-parent arguments:
- Rules are Rules!
- But, pedophiles!
- Also, more rules! and more pedophiles!
- Leftists, amiright??
- Girls are developing earlier and earlier these days, and also, pedophiles.
- It's been legal to be topless in public in Ontario for literally years.
- *most* boys and girls at that age are built pretty much the same
- The pedo argument is pretty much victim-blaming at its finest
- Boobs are boobs and not a Big Freaking Deal™.
- Also, she probably didn't even HAVE boobs, because eight-year-old.
The way I see it is this; It's pretty damn disturbing that our culture has such a fucked-up relationship with breasts that we even flip the fuck out over the suggestion of a girl who DOES NOT EVEN HAVE BREASTS BUT OMG MIGHT SOME DAY enjoying the sun without a shirt or top, as the boys do.
Rules are rules, yes. But some rules are stupid and born of outdated ideals and morals that are not relevant in this day and age. These rules need to be changed.
There have always been pedophiles lurking about. Pedophiles and sex offenders are not a new thing and they're not going to magically go away because your kid is wearing a shirt. A shirt is not a force-field, and a pedophile is not likely to strike at a public pool because the key word is public and most child sexual abuse tends to happen behind closed doors, not at public swimming pools.
And yes, suggesting that not wearing a shirt to a public pool will lead to a child being targeted by a pedophile is victim-blaming. Sorry, but really, not at all sorry.
The thing that gets me is not only this is a particularly US/Canada-centric attitude but relatively new! Not the weird breast-squeamishness, but putting this fear of breasts on children. I remember being a kid, a scant 30ish years ago, and I remember seeing both little boys and girls on the beach without shirts on (myself included) and nobody batted an eyelash. In fact, some found it more bizarre that people would put their little girls in bikinis and other two piece bathing suits, due to the sexualization factor - making the suggestion of breasts where there were none.
So it seems that not only is our society incapable of looking at breasts in a non-sexualized manner (see almost EVERY debate about public breast-feeding), but people will actually freak the fuck out about potential breasts.
Are we actually getting more repressed? Sometimes it seems that way.
|PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN! - SOURCE