It's all a matter of perspective.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Miss J. and I were laid up in the bed last night, watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann just like we do every night. In a segment of the show dedicated to hometown, school age imbeciles, Mr. Olbermann told us about the group of high school girls who were suspended from school for a brutal hazing incident. (Some of the girl’s parents are suing to have their daughters reinstated, despite the damning video evidence against them.) Then he told us about a mom inciting a fight at a baseball game and kicking a child that was not her own. Finally he mentioned the New York baseball team who visited a strip club while on a road trip to play ball in Florida. A parent got them in and bought the drinks.

Now I am no saint, and I was involved in my fair share of tomfoolery as a youth, but these incidents were unthinkable to me. Particularly the video of dozens of high school girls beating up younger high school girls while boys cheered them on and ran the video. I can confidently say that if I had been faced with such a scenario while I was in school, I would have turned on my heels and got out of there before things got that ugly. I know that I would have done so because I did just that on several occasions. The stuff that was about to go down in my neighborhood was nothing compared to what I saw on the video last night. I bugged out not because I thought I would get in trouble, but because my parents had instilled in me a sense of right and wrong. A moral compass. A fear of God. A sense of honor. I knew that a bystander was an accomplice and I did not want to involve myself in such nonsense.

Miss J gave the opposite answer. The reason she stayed out of trouble as a child was that she was afraid that her mom would find out. She said that her mom was nosy and got into everything. “Where are you going? Who is going to be there? What will be going on? Will there be adults there? You had better not lie to me. I’ll find out! I’ll show up and check it out! You know me; you know that I will!”

So I asked Jerusalem if all of this prying was necessary. Not to say that it was not her mom’s business. She certainly had the rights to any details of her child’s life. But didn’t sweet Miss J. have a sense of honor that would keep her away from bad situations? She said nope. Girls don’t have that sense of honor. They are not wired like that. Girls want to be popular and have a boyfriend, not to feel good about themselves.

This brought up a fundamental difference between the sexes. Boys have to be taught honor. We (males) have to have some sort of moral guidelines to live by because ultimately, we can do whatever we please. We are not responsible for anyone but ourselves. Men can set themselves up as the center of their own universe where we only have to answer to ourselves. This is why we need honor, integrity, and pride. This is a big one of the infinite number of reasons why we need God.

What makes women different? It is physiological. They can get pregnant. They have this handy, built in, natural reality check. Do the wrong thing and you might get knocked up. Then what are you going to do? Now you have a whole other person that you are responsible for. You started their life and its continuation depends on you. If you are lucky, you might get some help from the dishonorable jerk whose approval and affection you were so desperately seeking when you got yourself into this mess.

As parents, what is our plan? I am going to let Wylie earn my trust by proving himself to be honorable. I’ll give him room to breathe and teach him to not put himself in situations that would cause him embarrassment. If he has a relationship with his creator then he will know the sort of circumstances he should avoid. Sure, Jesus hung out with the ragamuffins, but he did not participate in - or encourage through inaction - their incorrigible behavior.

Miss J. is going to search his closets and under his mattress. When he gets home from a teenage night out, she will break out the heat lamps and sodium pentathol.

By the way, if I were an administrator at that school where the hazing took place I would expel everyone who could be positively identified from the video, weather victim or perpetrator. I would expel them just for not having the common sense to avoid such an unholy situation. If I were a parent in that district I would demand as much.

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