An elementary school in Utah is having a dance and to promote "kindness" girls can not refuse a boy when he invites her to dance.
Wait. What??? I have so many questions. Let me start at the beginning:
First, I'm all for promoting kindness. In fact, I'd love to see that be a real, actual thing, but this isn't it. Telling girls they literally can't say "no" is not promoting kindness. Not one bit. That's telling girls that any boy who wants to put his grubby mitts on you is fine, because, "Be kind, little lady!" Any boy who gives you the heebie jeebies or just isn't your cup of tea gets to hold you close while you sway to a song in the dark, because, "Boys have sensitive feelings, girl!"
I also have a follow up tangent/question: What happens if a girl asks a boy to dance? Is that even allowed? Why are we assuming that only boys will be asking and only boys need to be told yes? And now I'm thinking of something else. We all assume that this is to spare the hurt feelings of rejected boys, but what about the rejected girls? I was the girl at the school dance who never got asked much to dance. My feelings were hurt when I watched all my friends dancing and I pined for certain boys. I sat on the sidelines and watched. What about that girl? The girls can't say "no," but are we guaranteeing that every single girl has someone to dance with for every song or are we just assuming that girls are always flooded with requests? Spoiler alert: not all girls. So now what? You see? It just gets silly when we're trying to spare everyone's feelings.
Ugh. In this age of #metoo this is a gigantic step backwards for our girls. These kinds of rules teaches them that they are not in charge of their own bodies. That they don't get a say at all. That their happiness, their desires, their fears do not matter. All that matters is what the boy wants! He wants to dance and so, dance, damn it! We wrap it up in a "kindness" bow, but that's bullshit. This is just another way to control female bodies! Another way to make females obedient! Listen, she can KINDLY reject a boy's invitation. She can KINDLY determine who she wants to spend her time with and who she wants to touch her. And here's the thing, if he doesn't KINDLY take "no" for an answer, then she doesn't need to be kind anymore. "I will KINDLY punch you in the nuts if you don't step off."
And what about our boys? I have a son. I don't want him to think that nothing is off-limits to him. I don't want him to think that every single girl he invites out "owes" him the "kindness" of saying yes to him. What does this teach him? This shows him that he can take whatever he wants. That his feelings are the most important feelings in the room. That the role of females is to obey him and bring him happiness?? No, no, no, no, no. We are doing a disservice to our boys with this kind of thinking. My son needs to learn rejection. He needs to learn disappointment. Life is full of both and he might as well start learning to deal. He needs to be told "no" and he needs to learn how to respect that "no." You know who doesn't listen to "no"? Abusers. Is that what you want to be raising?
Also, why is an elementary school having a dance??? I know it's for sixth graders only, but still. Why are sixth graders having a dance?? My son is in middle school and they don't have dances. It seems a bit weird to me to have sixth graders hold a dance. If they're too young to go to middle school, they're definitely too young to hold a dance. If they're too young to deal with rejection, they're too young for a dance. Asking someone to dance is a mature thing. It takes nerves and guts that a lot of adults don't have. Refusing someone is also a mature thing. It also takes nerves and guts. These are life lessons that are better taught to older kids.
How does any of this promote kindness? Kindness is inviting a lonely classmate to sit with you at lunch. Kindness is offering to help a teacher. Kindness is cleaning up after yourself so the custodial staff have less work to do. Kindness is volunteering to tutor a fellow student. Kindness is intervening when you see bullying rather than laughing and joining in. Come on!! I could all this ALL DAY!! There are literally 100 ways schools could promote kindness every day, and telling a girl she can't say "no" isn't one of them. Not even close. We have taken this too far. I'm exhausted from being outraged, but this is outrageous!
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