Are we well-groomed or gassed?

Back in the days,  you know, the days when we had to walk five miles to school uphill both ways and fight off T-Rex, we youngsters were required to take a junior high class called Home Living. Yep. Boys too.

We were taught manners, food preparation and other homey things including grooming. Grooming had to do with making one’s self acceptable (appearancely speaking) for polite society. That word now has a different connotation and along with another form the 2 Gs that seem to be replacing the 3 Rs in some curriculums.  

Psychologically speaking,  grooming now refers to actions of someone building a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so that youngster can be manipulated, exploited and/or abused. The related word, “gaslighting,” means psychological manipulation intended to make persons question feelings, instincts and moral judgement. 

We don’t mean to be an agitator but reading about some recent happenings which impact somebody’s children made us wonder what the heck’s going on in the world beyond our rocker’s horizon. These come from inside this country’s public school classrooms. 

In Florida, fifth-grade teacher Jenna Barbee is being investigated after showing a Disney movie that included a gay character to her class. Think whatever you will about the “gay” aspect of the animated movie. We think that’s a viewpoint matter for discussion between Disney the company and the ghost of Disney, the Walt.

What made us blink was Barbee’s comment during an interview after the issue came to light from a parent who happens to be a school board member. In response to the parent’s complaint about her rights, Barbee (not the doll) offered this gem.

Said Jenna, the parent is “…telling you I’m stripping her rights as a parent, those rights are gone when your child is in the public school system because there are students talking about these things.” Funny. We don’t remember any Constitutional prohibition to parental concern inside a schoolhouse.

A 12-year-old at John T. Nichols Jr. Middle School in Middleborough, Massachusetts says he was asked to go home for wearing an “only two genders” t-shirt. That garment, according to the boy’s school administrators, made other students feel “unsafe.” If a two gender t-shirt is frightening to those students, heaven forbid they ever run across a butterfly with an attitude.

We’re convinced the real problem with the two-gendered slogan is the omission of the others recognized by so-called experts. That number ranges anywhere from seven to hundreds, according to whatever expertian journal one may care to read. Trouble begins when these genders are officially recognized. Everything from school districts to private enterprise will bankrupt from adding gender-specific bathrooms.

Last but not laughless: Three middle schoolers in Wisconsin were charged with sexual harassment for mispronouncing pronouns. How does one mispronounce a pronoun, you ask? It depends on the pronoun and to whom it refers. 

Yes, my neighbors. Pronouns have replaced names for many in our society. “Skinny” is now he/him; “Pokey” answers only to they/them. And these three face a terribly imbalanced charge after not honoring a student’s preferrals of “they” and “them.” Really? How silly would it sound to call across the playground, “Hey, They. Him wants to talk to you. Bring She with Thee.” 

We wonder if the youngsters might not be lucky to being accused only of sexual harassment. They could be facing permanent expulsion, maybe even prison time, if indicted on the dreaded “I’m offended” rap. Offended. The newest, and most serious, felony.

How does this equate to the Two Gs? From our rocker, we see a generation being groomed in the essence of lessers. Gaslighting is an acceptable teaching tool. Politics and causes are required learning, so long as those are deemed “acceptable” by those with the power to influence. And those influencers are not a majority, but the tools they possess are formidable, i.e. bureaucracy, educational institutions and media.

A great philosopher, Pogo, said,  “We have met the enemy and he is us.”  And by whatever pronoun we may use, the enemies to balance we are seeing in our fair country are either us, or have been fostered by us.