“I gave my word to stop at third”

Boo’s favorite magazine arrived: the Title IX Sportswear catalog. Not that she buys from it — she likes to draw mustaches on the models.

A little background: this catalog features female athletes modeling mostly sports bras. You’d say it’s risqué but the women look like they breakfast on nails so the effect is more tough than sexy. Nonetheless, as Boo adorns the bare midriffs with tattoos, it’s clear she’s entranced by the bodies. She loves naked.

* * *

We were at a fair over the weekend and I saw a teenaged girl sitting with her family. On her T-shirt in an excruciatingly large font was a slogan:

I gave my word to stop at third.

Now, I’ve got nothing against chastity pledges and abstinence education except that they’re idiotic and worse than useless and reckless.

No, the thing that struck me about this quaint family scene was that this highschooler was advertising some fairly specific details of her sex life (or her Clintonesque ‘not quite sex’ life) to not only the general public but also her mom, and dad, and little brother.


* * *

I know I’ve got years before I worry about sex ed, and that my wife will do all the heavy lifting (there’s a hidden advantage to having two girls!), but messages like the shirt’s and countless others already tick me off. It’ll be challenging enough giving her the skills to navigate the minefield of self-awareness without the Madonna/whore images we’re constantly bombarded with.

I’m reassured by the fact that when Boo sees a Madonna or a whore picture, her first impulse will probably be to draw a mustache on it. For now, at least, I’m going to encourage that habit as much as possible.