Let’s not spend too much time contemplating the reasons why I haven’t written in three weeks. On second thought, let’s not spend ANY time. Let’s just write.
A recent article from a student newspaper came to my attention yesterday and I was alternately fascinated and appalled, though mostly appalled. The subject matter of the piece – the true story of the author’s “first time”, i.e. losing her virginity – is so wildly inappropriate for a 7th-12th grade institution which prides itself on ‘preparing young women for leadership and contribution’, that I can honestly use the word ‘unbelievable’ in describing my reaction. Apparently, the administration at the school has been asked to take down the post for all the right reasons, and yet they haven’t.
I’m not providing a link to the article because if you really want to read it, use your Google powers and find it in under 45 seconds. Also, this all-girls school is highly regarded and deservedly so, which is why parents are willing to pay tuition that falls somewhere between the price of a loaf of bread and a small private jet. I have friends whose daughters attend and they merit my pseudo discretion. But briefly, the author of the piece, herself a student at the school, recounts attending a wedding with her grandparents (her parents were previously engaged), drinking several glasses of wine at the reception, flirting with a college boy with whom she makes out in the parking lot, afterward goes to his apartment, drinks beer, and has sex for the first time, while simultaneously lying to her parents about sleeping over a friend’s house. Her take-away? “So that’s what all the fuss is about…Go figure.”
Two things come to mind immediately. 1) The grandparents should never be put in charge of the girl again. 2) Why the hell did the school think it was a good idea – on any level – to allow this article to be posted and available for anyone to read? Everything on a school’s website is representative of the school. Everything. As a private institution for minor children, there is no First Amendment issue at stake. Holy moly!
Some might argue that teenage girls are going to have sex regardless, so let’s get it out in the open, to which I would respond: bullshit. According to studies from the CDC and Child Trend Databanks, the percentage of teenagers having sex is around 35%, meaning that a full 65% are NOT. Some might argue that I’m being prudish, to which I would respond: perhaps, but that’s not really the issue. I’m not a parent at the school and so, for me, there really is nothing at stake. I simply have strong feelings about the piece (beautifully summarized in the articulate third comment after the article, written by ‘Private’) and I thought you might too. We were then going to segue into a discussion about contraception and abortion, and then I got tired and decided to switch gears, sort of, because I like to accentuate the positive/eliminate the negative AND the sexual-activity-of-teenagers is a spectrum. On the other side of this girl’s poorly written “first time”/ cherry-popped article is a wonderful piece by a teenager from just across town in Pasadena. Natalie Lindeman’s “Celebrating the Upside of an Emotional Plunge” from last week’s New York Times reaffirms my belief that teenagers are mostly awesome (I mean it), and it made me forget about the time I lost MY virginity. It was decidedly after high school.
Coming up this week: possible talk about the sequester (but probably not), photo albums and how they suck the life out of you, a recipe for salted caramel shortbread cookies, gun control, and so much more!