You wouldn't think a mother of a daughter would be happy to hear a teacher was showing rap videos in a middle school classroom, would you? What if I told you it was the infamous "Superman" video by Eminem, a song about his rocky relationships with women, some forms of which were dropped by MTV for being too risque? Still something a mother of a daughter should want shown in a middle school classroom?
It's ironic for sure. From a female standpoint, most rap videos make me cringe, and giving birth to a daughter only made it harder to tune in. But the story of a teacher placed on leave for showing teenagers the Eminem video has my moral compass spinning this week for two reasons. The teacher was showing the videos as an educational tool meant specifically to teach kids about the subjugation of women in media.
As the mother of a daughter, I don't want that kind of issue to exist in society. But the best way to make it go away is to encourage it to be taught about in schools. Which leads me to issue number two. Apparently the reason the teacher is in trouble is because a boy in the classroom felt uncomfortable with the subject matter.
To which I have to say something that's going to rankle. Good! He should have been uncomfortable. A woman being maltreated is not acceptable (among other things, Eminem refers to women as "tricks," brags about how many he beds, and tells a woman, "Don't put out, I put you out"), and a teenage boy who feels icked out by even a semi-nekked girl being sold to him as entertainment is a teenage boy who can still separate the woman from the sex drive. And the best way to drive this sort of "entertainment" out of mainstream acceptance is to catch kids when they are still uncomfortable, before they've been de-sensitized by the onslaught of video after video.
As a mom, I don't like the idea of my teenager sitting in a classroom facing the sad truth of being born a girl -- in this society, it still sets you up to be a "minority," even as each generation fights that much harder to tear down that wall. But if I really want to protect her, this is just the sort of education that belongs in schools. What I like doesn't matter. What she needs does.
What do you think of this sort of sociological education within our schools? Could a raunchy rap video actually have a place inside our schools?
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