This morning I was listening to NPR as I drove to work and I heard a story about the ways that parents & children engage with the current political conversations. Let me be very clear – this is not a post about my own political preferences.
This is a post about children and adults and “appropriateness”. I put the term in quotes because it is often used as if everyone means the same thing, but this is not always the case.
In the story that I heard this morning, the parent of a young boy (10 or 11 years old) was concerned about some of the language at the republican debate last week. Her son is avidly interested in politics and so they were watching the debate together. What she was concerned about, so much so that she said she will screen all future debates, was the references about the size of one candidates “hands”. Again, I’m not going to engage in who said what or what they meant or the size of anything.
What I kept thinking about as I was driving down the road was the fact that this parent was so concerned about references to body parts, but didn’t say anything about the language used by the candidates. What I find much more problematic is the language that candidates use consistently to diminish groups of people to uphold their privileges. Privilege based on race, socioeconomic status, position, gender, education, and more. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that some people find veiled references to male body parts more inappropriate than the namecalling and biased, sexist, and racist language being used by men claiming they want to lead our country.