This morning I woke up and I went on Twitter to read the news for the day. There is,of course, the rumor of this Tuesday, that the former president would be indicted. I thought perhaps that would be the headline that caught my eye first, but either that’s not happening today, or it’s happening later today- either way what caught my eye was Florida.
Now, I hold very little love for Florida. True, I have only been there once, and the extent of my travel there was in a cab from airport to cruise port. But when I did step outside to have a cigarette, I found the palm trees to be pretty, but the air to be 100% unbreathable. The humidity was unbelievable, and I knew I would not be returning for any length of stay by choice. Other things I know about Florida include swamps and alligators, huge mosquitoes, and Boomers from Buffalo who retired there. And then there is the politics! I mean, first of all, that’s where the former has his resort home. But on top of that, you have this DeSantis guy. I don’t give a lot of attention to what is going on so far south of me, but when I saw the headline this morning that they were trying to introduce a bill that would ban girls from talking about getting their period before 6th grade, I almost broke the PlayStation, Hulk-smash style.
First of all, I went to Catholic School, the most conservative of conservative schools back in the 80s and 90s. And we had our Family Life class in 5th grade. The fact that we even had a Family Life class is amazing given the time and circumstance, and the fact that I’m not 100% sure they still do this today is upsetting. Anyway, what happened in Family Life class was that the girls and boys were separated into two groups, and puberty was explained to us. Now, some of us had mothers who told us things about puberty and getting our periods, but some of us did not. I fell into the latter camp, wherein I was aware of such things because my mother made me aware, but it was still treated with a very secretive vibe, and I didn’t really get any true information until that fifth grade class.
For reference, I was 10 years old. And if you think from one moment that I wasn’t fully aware important information was being kept from me by adults, you are sorely mistaken.
10-year-olds are not stupid; they are not the babies people think they are, especially not in today’s world. If a 10-year-old in the ’90 could handle learning about a period, explain to me how kids from the future who have way more access to information then we ever did are supposed to pretend like something doesn’t exist? Especially when so many kids are getting their periods earlier and earlier. I know there were girls in that fifth grade class who’d already gotten theirs, and there were many who didn’t. And I know that now that number has risen, perhaps due to evolution, perhaps due to environmental issues. Either way, there are 10-year-olds out there who need this information. But they don’t get to have it, why? Because old men in politics are scared of the ick factor?!
I lucked out in life because I have a husband who had sisters that never hid anything from it. I remember the first time I got mine while we were dating, and he ran to Rite Aid and got tampons and ice cream and Midol. I never even used Midol, but he insisted it would help and he was right. He has never considered it to be gross or weird, and he thinks that dudes who are too scared to go by tampons are wusses. I would accept no other behavior from a man, and therefore expect no other behavior as well. The boys in my 5th grade class learned about periods too that day, and I am hopeful they were taught how to appropriately assist their loved one during that time.Grown men aren’t grossed out by bodily functions. That’s little boy business.
I read some more, and I found out that not only are they saying that you cannot talk about your period before 5th grade, they are also saying that you have to report your period start date to the state if you wish to play sports. So while you are not allowed to talk about it, you HAVE to talk about it if you want to play sports before 5th grade. RIDICULOUS.
I just don’t understand, I guess. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in Education for the past 20 years, but I don’t see where our politicians get off trying to dumb down our children. I don’t know why we are letting them. Why? Why are we as parents afraid of our children growing up? Is that not the goal of parenting, to raise a child to adulthood, and prepare them for everything that the future will throw at them? Why are so many parents today trying to preserve their children in a snow globe? And yet, you gave them a phone didn’t you?
That’s the thing. If you tell a kid they can’t talk about it, they are only going to talk about it more with each other, where they will likely get wrong information. And they will certainly be using their phone to access the internet and figure out what the big deal is. I hate to break this to you, parent of middle schooler, but your child has put the word “p**n” into a search database. And they have seen some things. So if you really care about what your child is exposed to, maybe stop worrying about natural body functions and start worrying about the technology you bought them for Christmas. Your child is not stupid; your child is not unaware. They have eyes and ears and brains just like you, and they all work together to form concepts. If you’re not going to assist your child in forming concepts that are healthy and safe and socially acceptable, that is on you as parent- not the state, not the school system, not the teachers. You.
So vote like your child depends on you.
You know the crazy thing? The second article I read this morning was also about Florida. It was about banning books. Something about Florida. Seems like the government really wants to keep the kids stupid, and the sad part is that the parents seem to be letting them. Although, I do hope that someday I write something good enough to be banned in the state of Florida.