FRIDAYS WITH FRANKY! Pogs All Over Again!
If you were a kid in the early 1990’s, you may remember the game of Pogs. If not, here is Wikipedia’s description of this playground game: Pogs is a game that was popularized during the early 1990s. The game is played using discs which are also called “pogs”. Pog typically relies on two types of playing discs: pogs and slammers. Pogs are typically flat circular cardboard discs which are decorated with images on one or both sides.
Pogs is similar to the game of marbles played by generations before, where each player has the ability to win and thus acquire more pogs at the expense of the players on the losing end. Beleive it or not, many schools considered this a form of gambling and began banning pogs in their schools and on their playgrounds. Other schools outlawed the game after students would argue or fight over the results. A rather knee-jerk, short-sighted reaction, if you ask me!
Although pogs have disappeared from the schoolyard landscape, other issues have moved in to take the place of pogs. In our household, the phrase ‘it’s pogs all over again!’ is often used when authoritarian action is used to reactively respond to an issue instead of a more thoughtful, proactive (perhaps ‘teachable moment) approach.
A recent post on the chixLIT website, elicited the ‘it’s pogs all over again!’response once again. The post Are My Pants Lowering Your Test Scores? takes on the issue of dress codes implemented under the guise of protecting girls from sexual harassment. The author, Juliet C. Bond – a professor at Columbia College in Chicago and a licensed clinical social worker – suggests otherwise, that these dress codes are based on a ‘blame the victim’ mentality!
Bond suggests that if we feel a girl is subject to sexual harassment due only to her clothing, we are missing a critical element of this equation – the sexual harasser! And she points out that researchs supports just the opposite. “There is nothing a girl wears, no alcoholic drink or suggestive dance that absolves responsibility from someone who hassles her.”
Fire fighters are instructed to direct the firehose at the base of the flame, the source of the fire. Spraying the tops of the flames does not put out the fire. Likewise, banning certain clothing or attire, this type of dress code tends to spray the responsiblity onto the girls being harassed instead of extinguishing the fire at its source – the harasser.
Not all dress codes are evil, many serve a very worthwhile purpose such as reducing gang activity or minimizing judgement of affluence. But when a dress code is used to covertly support the ‘boys will be boys’ mentality, it is simply not right. We need to effectively counter the popular media’s sexualized agenda, by guiding our children and youth in positive and respectful interactions while valuing each other’s gender, race, religion and beliefs. Banning yoga pants and leggings is not the answer!
Thanks for reading everyone and have a great weekend!