…WHAT GOES ON IN THE DARK
Jonathan McKee, Author of Candid Confessions of An Imperfect Parent, shares a sobering peek into a public high school dance.
The 16-year-old girl stepped out of the limo, careful to keep her dress from riding up any higher than it already rested on her upper thighs. Clasping her date’s hand, she stepped into the decorated school gym—an ocean theme.
The music pulsated so loudly that even her heartbeat soon surrendered to the rhythm, pumping in sync with the deafening subs. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. An instant later she found two of her friends in the crowd dancing with their boyfriends. The girls ran to greet each other.
Hugs. Smiles. Then a new song began.
Her friends grabbed the hands of their boyfriends, but didn’t turn to face them—instead they heard the lyrics insist “back it up, back it up,” and that’s just what her friends did. Their boyfriends smiled as they thrust against the girls from behind. Aside from the clothes, it was clear what was going on.
Following the lead of her friends, she did the same. Her date wrapped his arms around her front and she backed up, pushing herself against him, moving in a motion that would have made her blush in any other context, but the darkness and the safety of this crowd covered any embarrassment. Tonight this dark room was no place for second thoughts.
This is what he wants, she thought to herself. He’ll like me if I do this. He’ll notice me when I wear this. After all, if I don’t do this for him, there are a hundred other girls who are willing to.
Blame it on the music or the company she keeps or a dad who didn’t give his little daughter enough hugs. Regardless of the cause, another young girl has given up her innocence in exchange for a lie. It’s the norm to give your date a lap dance.
I’ve read dozens of articles and studies about the “sexualization” of today’s young girls. I’ve written about it and cited it in the media. But Saturday night I was surrounded by it. Literally hundreds of girls played the part our culture has written for them: Be a sex object.
I’ve always thought I had a pretty good finger on the pulse of youth culture. I know what goes on at school dances. After all the articles I’ve read on the subject, as well as the ones we’ve written on our own site, not to mention the plethora of MTV Video Music Award shows I’ve reviewed… I really didn’t think I could be shocked. But last night I was flabbergasted. It was sobering to see the effect of sexualization first hand— young girls with dresses so short that their underwear often peaked out from underneath, and literally hundreds of girls “backing up” into guys and rubbing up against them throughout the evening.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
A week ago a student from my kids’ high school called and asked if my wife Lori and I would chaperone the homecoming dance…