Cognitive Dissonance.

So I’m sitting in my hundred-dollar ergonomic hydraulic-enabled swivel chair, watching kids work and glancing out at the North Shore mountains. The sun is shining and I desperately want to walk out of here and go to the beach. It’s, what? Four blocks away? I totally could.

My reverie is interrupted by a student who has a grammar question. As I answer, I notice she has sparkly earrings on. Upon closer inspection, I discover those earrings are little silver Playboy bunnies, with rhinestones attached.

How strange. This little girl is still a couple of years shy of puberty, and here, she’s sporting little symbols of the sexual objectification of women in her ears. It can’t even be ironic, because this little girl doesn’t have an irony meter yet.

She’s too young to have gotten pierced ears without her mom’s say-so. Mom probably bought the earrings as well. What would she say if she understood that her daughter was wearing little symbols that mean “Women are a commodity to be objectified, used up, and thrown out once they no longer photograph well in the buff”?  I think about the fact that the girl’s ears are pierced. Metal rods have been pushed through holes in her ears, and scar tissue has healed up around them, all for the purpose of looking attractive. And then this little girl, who isn’t even interested in boys yet, has taken the Playboy bunny and shoved his metal pole through her little earlobes.

And even if I wanted, I couldn’t explain it to her. Because when I asked her about her earrings, she grinned and asked, “Aren’t they cute?”


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