Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sticks And Stones Will Break Your Bones, But Words Will Make It Worse

Back when we were young acolytes at our local educational technician training institute we were required to take several courses on the development of the adolescent mind, which, as beings possessing adolescent minds ourselves at the time, we found somewhat disquieting, especially the part about the effect of alcohol and drugs, but...erm...we'll leave that for now.

Anyway, one of the things we learned was that humans in this age category were sometimes subject to what our trainers called low impulse control which could lead to inappropriate behaviors. We're pretty sure it was a general comment regarding the subject of the class and not some semi-veiled criticism directed at us, but after we slipped the slides from the nudist beach into the professor's presentation on secondary sex characteristics, we're not completely certain.

Our point is we were taught that as they mature, young people grow out of this phase and are mostly able to take their places as fully functioning adults who exhibit appropriate behaviors and are able as they say, to play well with others. For years we accepted this dictum and often relied upon it for strength in order to avoid jeopardizing our careers through the commission of a felony when faced with an eruption of youthful exuberance, but as we survey the current state of the republican party we've come to the conclusion that for some people there is no final blossoming of adulthood, no fully matured state that enables them to self monitor, to imagine the response of others to their words and actions, or to see themselves as creatures who act, and are acted upon by the society they inhabit. Case in point.
During a debate over a bill that would require state school districts to adopt a dress code that prohibits students from “wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner. GOP Florida lawmaker Kathleen Passidomo used the example of an 11 year old girl being raped as reason for supporting the bill.  Then she implied it was the girl’s parent’s fault that she had been raped, because of how her parents let her dress.
 Now, most of us would think that in situations like this the fault lies with the rapist and not the rapee, or in this case the rapee's parents, but to Ms. Passidomo the possibility that this young girl's parents are probably in a pretty emotional state right now was no reason not to go on as if she's merely discussing a broken stoplight on the corner. This is what our professors used to refer to as self absorption in the case of adolescents, but not to put too fine a technical jargon point on it, in Ms. Passidomo's case, we think it can simply be called heartless stupidity.
There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gang raped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed up like a 21-year-old prostitute.
OK, our first question is why a 21 year old prostitute and not a 25 year old prostitute, or a 32 year old prostitute, and as a followup how did Ms. Passidomo come by the knowledge of how a 21 year old prostitute dresses?

So with all respect to our old professors, no, it doesn't seem likely that poor impulse control and inappropriate, self centered behavior vanishes with age. Can we get the points for that question now?

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