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22.4.09

No Touching??@@##!!!

Okay, pretend you're in a world where you can never touch the man to the immediate left. Why? Because touching is bad. You can't slap him on the back, high-five him, or kiss him--God forbid.

Are we talking about a futuristic world in which touching is verboten? A place where laws have been created to prevent the conception of superpowerful beings who will rise in revolt of the oppression forced upon the poor indigenous populace? Sounds like a terrific idea for a story.

Unfortunately, this rule is already in place in the good old U S of A. In a middle school.

Yep. It started off with a principal declaring dodge ball to be too violent, and it was taken away from the physical education curriculum. Now, I was always a big fan of dodge ball. It hurt like hell to be slammed in the body with that rubber ball. But to be the final kid left standing? Like winning a freakin' Oscar for gym class.

But in today's world of political correctness and schmaltzy kindness, dodge ball has been stripped away. Yet, just taking a "violent" sport from class wasn't enough. The same principal then decided to enforce a no touching rule. What, you say? That's right. No touching. No high-fives, slaps on the back, hugs or kisses. Kids can't touch one another at all. Oh, and the concept of tag, you're it? Now they play "shadow tag," where to make someone "it," you have to step on his/her shadow.

Okay, waving the bullshit flag. In a desire to prevent injury, the principal is, in effect, removing from the students what it means to BE a child. No roughhousing, no normal social interaction. By not forcing children to obey rules and deal with one another in a proper manner, she's taking away their ability to reason right from wrong. The easy answer: the poor kids can't touch one another, period. But what happens when they're in the real world and someone touches them? Will they know how to respond to a slap on the back, or will they cry foul?

(Please forgive my liberty with the English language, but if some idiot can enforce "no touching" then I can create a word.) I'm so disgusted with the saccharine over-niceness pervading society. I'm not talking about common courtesies and pleasant manners. I'm talking about people who are afraid of every damned thing. If your kid doesn't have a bruise or two, he or she is not living. How can you enjoy the swings and playground without skinning a knee or smacking your shin once in a while? Will we soon stop running, just in case we trip? Or stop smiling in case we split a lip? Maybe if parents would parent, and teach their children how to behave around others, educators would stick to educating. Now, because some children go hog-wild at school, a stiff-lipped administrator has taken charge, and to everyone's detriment.

Can you imagine what no touching might translate into if that rule was passed as an institutional law through adulthood? No more touching=no more courtship=no more procreation. But who knows? It might increase sales for our books, since people would only be able to fantasize about sex without ever doing it.

To the principal of that poor, poor school, Gimme a break.

Marie
www.marieharte.com

9 comments:

Deena said...

Ridonkulous. (I, too, can invent words when I'm irritated! :)) Everything is being ruled to death these days, and no touching in middle school is bizarre to say the least. Thanks for pointing this out. It reminded me of the movie "The Island", in which such rules prevented bonding between inhabitants. Don't we *want* our kids to bond with one another? Don't we want humans bonding to humans? ::shakes head in disgust::

Marie Harte said...

Ridonkulous. Couldn't have said it better myself. ;)

Marie

Kate Willoughby said...

Clearly the principal there is an asshat.

Marie Harte said...

Clearly, Kate. Clearly.

:) Marie

Jessica Lee said...

That's one of the sadest things I've ever heard. I can't imagine having to grow up in a school where I couldn't touch my friend, or hold my boyfriends hand. How oppressive! Sounds like a school right off of Pink Floyd's The Wall album. Remember that video?(sorry, probably showing my age there. lol)

Savanna Kougar said...

Marie, you are so on target with this total insanity. I've been watching this slow motion move toward a society I would never want to live in, let alone any children I have. This nanny state has been creeping up on us for the last twenty years, or so.
However, if you express the utter horror of such a world coming into existence, as it's doing now, a lot of people look at you as if you're the crazy person.

My gawd, as has been expressed, how do we humans learn to interact as humans if there is no touch? No touching, no hugging, no kissing. Humans were designed to touch each other. People who hug regularly are more healthy.

My concern now, how do we stop this?

Xandra Gregory said...

Anyone who's ever had or been a little brother knows that "I'm not touching you!" is the BEST. TORMENT. EVAR.

Minx Malone said...

Oh my god, that's so ridiculous. When does it stop? First it's no touching, what's next? No looking at each other?

What's the point of kids being in school at all then? Maybe this guy wants us to have "virtual" schools instead :)

Sascha Illyvich - The Dark Wolf Prince said...

haha asshat!

Fuck the no touching rule. I just met an author friend who lives by and was touching her on our first night out. Friendly touches, right?

I thought I might have crossed a line. Nope. She had no problems wiht it.

Next time she came over, she touched my hair. OMFG!

*snicker*