Observing the faux outrage….

I’ll be honest, drag shows aren’t my thing. But neither is football, beauty pageants, gun fetishes, and most organized religion. Where some people see drag shows as detrimental to children, I see the same thing for some of the other activities I just listed.

Over on twitter I’ve been reading a lot of tweets about “grooming” at the drag shows. Grooming seems to be the right’s new word, sort of like fake news and communist. One of those spooky, sort of sinister words about evil intentions toward our innocent children.

Frankly, I am getting sick of the word. What does it mean exactly? According to one online definition: “the action by a pedophile of preparing a child for a meeting, especially via an internet chat room, with the intention of committing a sexual offense.”

Okay, before we get all angsty and overly dramatic, let’s all settle down a moment and look at this objectively.

I believe you will find pedophiles anywhere. In fact, we often find them within institutions that conservatives typically endorse.

Let’s begin with the church. We’ve all heard of the sexual scandals and coverups within the Catholic Church. But they are not the only church under scrutiny. Recently it has come to light that the largest protestant church in the United States—the Southern Baptist—has its own skeletons regarding sexual abuse. According to the New York Times, an investigation revealed, “that nearly 400 Southern Baptist leaders, from youth pastors to top ministers, had pleaded guilty or been convicted of sex crimes against more than 700 victims since 1998.”

When I lived in Arizona, one of the local stories was about Colorado City, in the county where I lived. There fundamental polygamist offshoots of the Mormon church groomed young girls to marry old dudes while chasing off some of the teenage boys who might be their competition.

And as a feminist, I don’t approve of the grooming of young girls by many churches, where they teach the girls to be subservient to men—to blindly obey. Screw that. But hey, if YOU believe that is the right way to live, go for it. You have your first Amendment right, as do I. Of course, if I find out you are forcing a thirteen-year-old to marry some old dude, I will go to the police and see if there is any legal action that might be taken. Religious freedom only goes so far.

Now, how about sports? Sports is an all-American activity, right? Unfortunately, it can also be a fertile playing field for the pedo. Look at the number of coaches and doctors who’ve been exposed for taking advantage of the minors in their charge. Heck, look at Republican Representative Jim Jordan from Ohio who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse of the wrestlers at Ohio State University.

Now let’s look at little girl beauty pageants. I have always found it rather creepy to paint adult-like makeup on a little girl’s face, put her in adult-like-sexualized clothing, have her wear high heels (frankly, I think grown women are crazy to wear heels) and then parade her in front of a bunch of strangers while she makes provocative poses for the camera.

Some may say, “Hey, you must have a sick mind if you see those little girls like that, makeup or not!” No, I don’t find them sexual like that. BUT I know the pedos sitting in the audience watching are probably getting turned on, and THAT is why it turns my stomach.

But hey, that is just my opinion. I am not the boss of those parents who love pageants, and they have every right to put their daughters in beauty pageants—just like other parents have the right to take their kids to a drag show. Neither one is my thing, but we live in a diverse world, and what I find offensive might simply be part of another person’s culture.

Drag shows are not a new thing. They have been an accepted part of America entertainment for generations.

First, what is a drag show?  It’s a show where the performers impersonate the opposite sex while doing something like singing, dancing, or pantomime.

If you think about it, live theater practically started out as one big drag show. Women weren’t always allowed on stage, so men actors performed the female roles—in full costume.

But if we want to look at the American culture, specifically regarding drag shows, how American is Bob Hope? Famous for entertaining our troops, along with his countless movies, television specials and live entertainment. Legend Milton Berle performed with him—in drag—in 1985.

What about the beloved Geraldine Jones character brought to life by comedian Flip Wilson?

Remember the 1980s sitcom, Bosom Buddies, starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari?

And I’m sure you’ve probably seen the video clips of Rudy Giuliani in a drag skit with Donald Trump, where Donald gets a little amorous with flirty Rudy, and gives him a kiss.

How about the musical Victor/Victoria, starring Julie Andrews? We are talking Julie Andrews, star of countless family friendly movies, like Mary PoppinsSound of Music, and Princess Diaries.

See, drag shows don’t have to be scary.

But, since I haven’t been to one of these “family friendly” drag shows that currently have some clutching their pearls, I can’t really say how I’d feel if my daughter took my grandchildren to one. Yet, I saw a photograph online of two men dressed in BSDM gear and a little girl checking them out. That seemed inappropriate, yet I don’t know where that photo was really taken or if it’s indicative of what one might see at a “family friendly” drag show.

Unfortunately, in our society it’s common for sexualized content to seep in anywhere. Look at the Olympics where the women gymnastics were required to wear costumes revealing intimate details of their bodies, yet men gymnastics weren’t. And some of those half-time performances get a little racy at “family friendly” sporting events.

My bottom line?

Leave people alone. It is really no one’s business how someone dresses. If it offends, look away.

And it’s really no one’s business what legal entertainment another person attends. If someone doesn’t like it, don’t attend.

I remember when people were outraged over Elvis’s “indecent” performance and the Beatles’s long hair. (Which really was not that long.)

And instead of raging about how the other group is grooming or hurting children, perhaps they should first look a little closer to home and examine the bubble they reside in. There may be issues that need their attention.

My thoughts on Pride Month…

I never considered myself a prude. But perhaps I am when it comes to sexualizing children. It’s currently a hot topic, and I suspect when people say “sexualizing children” they don’t always mean the same thing.  It seems these days, we all speak a different language.  

I’ll be 68 this year. My mother raised me to believe sex and love went together. Sex was not something to be ashamed of, yet Mother typically discussed sex and marriage together. She often spoke of her own parents, who adored each other, and often cuddled on the sofa in their living room. I never met my grandfather, he died when Mom was a little girl. But the memory of her parents snuggling and smooching on the sofa is one that stayed with Mom.

While my Haunting Danielle books are G-rated, the books under my Anna J. McIntyre aren’t. And for a while I dabbled in writing erotica, which I found fun and more a writing exercise. For the last seven years I’ve focused primarily on my Haunting Danielle series.

And while I have no problem with erotica or R rated work—I don’t believe it’s for children nor do I ever feel comfortable featuring children or minors in erotica scenes—even if it is a fantasy scene where the character is an adult play acting. I find that creepy. And in some cases, illegal.

I also cringe when a woman calls her lover “Daddy.” Maybe I am a prude, but it makes my skin crawl.

I remember once, when I was babysitting my young niece, she wanted to play dress up. I brought out some makeup—and then froze. I could not bring myself to put makeup on that innocent face. Even in play. I ended up applying a little blush to her cheeks, but that was about all.

I imagine I will be offending some people when I say—I am also uncomfortable with little girl beauty pageants.  I don’t like the idea of all the makeup, adult poses, and parading the young girls on stage, as if appearance is her primary attribute. Maybe it is the Feminist in me, but I suspect it is also the Mama Bear.  

To be honest, I’m not a fan of any beauty pageant. Yet, you won’t see me protesting pageants. While I have the right to find them distasteful, those who wish to enter pageants have the right to do so. We don’t have to all like the same thing. 

This month is Pride Month, which I support. I believe we all have the right to love who we want. 

Over on Twitter, someone who did not support Pride month shared a photo with me showing a little girl holding a rainbow flag, while looking at two scantily clad men dressed in BDSM attire, kneeling before her. The person wanted to know my thoughts on the photo. If I supported Pride Month, I must also support what was happening in that photo. Right? No.

My thoughts on the photo? Right up there with the little girl beauty pageants. Inappropriate and unnecessary. 

I see nothing wrong with my young grandchildren learning that little Billy has two moms, or that Suzie has two dads, just as little Andy has a mom and dad. But I don’t want my young grandchildren shown graphic photos of what any of their parents do in private. 

While I believe in sex education, I see it as something that comes in age-appropriate stages. And in my opinion, it is appropriate for a kindergartener to learn parents sometimes come in a matching set.