Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rainbow Parties? What the ...?

From Michelle Malkin:

So, what's a rainbow party?
Here's a rich irony: I'm writing today about a new children's book, but I can't describe the plot in a family newspaper without warning you first that it is entirely inappropriate for children.

The book is "Rainbow Party" by juvenile fiction author Paul Ruditis. The publisher is Simon Pulse, a kiddie lit division of the esteemed Simon & Schuster. The cover of the book features the title spelled out in fun, Crayola-bright font. Beneath the title is an illustrated array of lipsticks in bold colors.

The main characters in the book are high school sophomores supposedly typical 14- and 15-year-olds with names such as "Gin" and "Sandy." The book opens with these two girls shopping for lipstick at the mall in advance of a special party. The girls banter as they hunt for lipsticks in every color of the rainbow:

"Okay, we've got red, orange, and purple," Gin said. "Now we just need yellow, green, and blue.""Don't forget indigo," Sandy said as she scanned the row of lipstick tubes."What are you talking about?""Indigo," Sandy repeated as if that explained everything. "You know. ROY G. BIV. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.""That's seven lipsticks. Only six girls are coming. We don't need it."

What kind of party do you imagine they might be organizing? Perhaps a makeover party? With moms and daughters sharing their best beauty secrets and bonding in the process?

Alas, no. No parents are invited to this get-together. A "rainbow party," you see, is a gathering of boys and girls for the purpose of engaging in group oral sex. Each girl wears a different colored lipstick and leaves a mark on each boy. At night's end, the boys proudly sport their own cosmetically-sealed rainbow you-know-where bringing a whole new meaning to the concept of "party favors."

Why on earth would a publisher market such smut to kids? Says author Ruditis:

Ruditis says the book was never meant to sensationalize sex parties. "We just wanted to present an issue kids are dealing with," he says.

Moreover, Ruditis told Publisher's Weekly:

"Part of me doesn't understand why people don't want to talk about [oral sex]," he said. "Kids are having sex and they are actively engaged in oral sex and think it's not really sex. I raised questions in my book and I hope that parents and children or teachers and students can open a topic of conversation through it.
Rainbow parties are such an interesting topic. It's such a childlike way to look at such an adult subject with rainbow colors."

The truth is, while most 14 year-olds probably have sexual feelings, and sexual fantasies, most 14 year-olds do not actually want to be engaging in oral sex, or any kind of sex for that matter. Note that I am not making a categorical statement. I am saying most don't want to.

I remember what it's like to be fourteen. You're nervous and scared at that age. You're wondering about what life is about, and you are seeing things anew and with a sense of wonder. You don't want things to happen too fast, because something tells you that those wondrous things which are just coming into view, are very, very powerful.

In short, teenagers may think about sex, they may think they want to have sex, but most of them don't actually want it. Not right away.

I love sex. I'd like to have sex all day long. I'd rather have sex, than write about anti-Semitism, that's for sure. I'd rather write a sex blog, than an anti-Semitism blog. Yes, yes. Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex. It's great.

I say this just to let you know that not only am I not a prude, I probably err pretty far on the other side of the issue. My mouth has definately gotten me into trouble. (That's not a oral sex reference by the way. :) but I guess you can see what I mean when I say my mouth gets me into trouble.

Anyway, the point is, while I wish my world were even more filled with sex than it already is, I do not wish this on others. Particularly not on children.

I am a parent, and I must say, I am bothered by networks like Disney Channel and Nickolodeon. These networks market themselves as childrens programming, but if you leave you kid alone watching Sponge Bob for a half an hour, you're liable to come back and find them watching a show about dating. Yes, that's right. They transition seamlessly from shows for young children to shows with teenage topics.

I've had to eliminate those networks as options. I don't want my kids to start seeing life through the eyes of a teenager when they are only five.

Childhood is a great time. Why are we trying to steal it from our kids?