One of the strangest experiences I have ever had happened recently. It brought grave concerns to my mind about the state of parenting in 2010. I attended a massive rave dance that was billed as an “All Ages” fundraiser for Haiti. Being a techno-pop dance lover, and in full middle age crisis, I explained to Courtney how my life would be incomplete if I did not attend. She wanted none of it, but was a good sport and wished me well. Arriving at 7:30pm, I entered the facility and marveled at the impressive light show and massive stages; pounding music rippled my shirt and pummeled my chest. Adding to the festive energy, hundreds of people twirled glow sticks, mesmerizing me with intricate patterns. At last- the dancer’s paradise of my dreams!
But the charm wore thin real fast as I wandered around the event. For a middle aged man losing his hearing, the intense music scared me so much I jammed wads of napkins in my ears, hoping to minimize the damage. The dad in me fixated and worried over the young people and their unprotected ears as they carelessly stood next to massive thumping amps. The crowd had swollen into the thousands, and to my amazement, a great number of them were elementary and middle school aged children!
By 9pm, the carnival atmosphere that first thrilled me had turned grotesque. Scores of young girls paraded around wearing fish net stockings, skimpy short-shorts and faux fur boots. Some sported little girl backpacks with stuffed animals clinging to them. A squadron of young ladies wearing 6-inch white leather platform go-go boots, tiny bikinis and nothing else paraded on stage, gyrating in front of the massive crowd. Boys and men responded enthusiastically, jumping en masse and pumping their fists in the air. Heightening the bizarre quotient, kids suckled glowing candy pacifiers alongside adults (strangers) guzzling beer and whiskey shots. It all felt creepy and wrong, so at 9:30 I ran for the exit, not having danced a bit. Outside, cars backed up onto the freeway and a crowd snaked around the building; the party would go on till 2am.
What still haunts me are the hundreds of children, especially young girls, prancing around in skimpy outfits, surrounded by thousands of strange adults. What were their parents thinking? How could they allow their children to purchase and wear such provocative clothing, and attend a late night event? Call me a party pooper, but I would never permit my young children to attend such an event, even for a worthy cause. What about the values of our society? Why are young women objectifying themselves? And what impact does this have on our boys? Why are parents supporting and facilitating such behavior in their children? Call me a party pooper again, but we are creating a future of victims and victimizers.
Boy, it’s a scary world out there. How are we parents to know what to do? It makes me rather glad that our kids are kind of homebodies. I certainly don’t want them to be the scantily clad nor the ones observing it all. It’s disturbing that an all-ages, charity event, ended up drawing such a crowd. How are parents supposed to react to this? We’d like to hear from you for your feedback and suggestions. Please Comment and let us know.