The Evening News: A Content Warning

So, one of the guys I work with stomps into the break room the other day, and announces… loudly, and with great consternation: THERE ARE WOMEN DRESSED AS VAGINAS ON THE SIX O’ CLOCK NEWS. When the kids… and THE SIX O’ CLOCK NEWS. (There may or may not have been more to the conversation, but that’s about where it landed on me.)

The oldest of his kids are about ten, and girls. And WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TELL THEM?

He turned the TV off, but you know it. Daddy WHAT IS THAT?

I’m going to say it’s a safe bet that the average ten year old is not going to recognize a vagina built out of felt and hot glue, and that the first tiny hint she had that SOMETHING WAS WRONG was when her father tackled the television set.

You can probably tell that I find this whole scene to be… well, somewhat amusing.

And, if you know me, you’ll know that my chameleon circuit self-censoring mechanism has been broken for a really long time.

So, I had to ask. What did you tell them?

NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!

So, okay. Let’s go with that. There’s NOTHING on television, but your father just dove twenty feet across carpet to turn the damn thing off? At best, he’s lying to you, and at worst, he’s a completely irrational and unpredictable creature.

(Note: Co-worker in question is one of the most involved and able parents I’ve ever known. Vagina costumes just wig him out.)

And what if there was something on television?

You haven’t actually learned any of your family’s rules about what’s acceptable and what’s not.

At ten, you’re probably still debating whether it’s a Muppet or Patrick from Sponge Bob that set your father off. Being quite honest, there are a lot of vagina costumes out there that I wouldn’t recognize without a label, if I were a gynecologist, much less a ten year old. (Oh, look. There’s one with teeth.)

You can explain your family values, and not leave the kid wondering what they did wrong.

Well, kiddo, in this country, we have freedom of speech. Which means that people sometimes do things to make a point or attract attention.

Those women were dressed as (private parts, vaginas, pussies with teeth) to attract attention to what they were saying.

In this family, we don’t watch television shows with vaginas in them because (mixed company, inappropriate for children, we believe they’re private, etc.)

Then, you go on to discuss Pravda, and propaganda in various totalitarian governments, and how turning the television off from time to time is a small price to pay for freedom of speech, being able to criticize our leaders, and the rights we all enjoy.

Now, eat your beanie weenies.

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