Monday, December 17, 2007

Dont Drop The Soap

"The more things change, the more they remain the same" ~ Alphonse Karr

The above quotation (which I thought I had coined myself many years ago, but as it turns out, was coined by Mr. Karr first) is often used as a truism, but apparently, isn't always true, to wit:

While I was driving my son to school this morning (after he missed the bus for the umpteenth time this year), I questioned him about a startling revelation I had received a couple of weeks ago in a conference with his school counselor. The counselor told me the boys in the school don't take showers in P.E.

I don't know how the kids can stand going to the rest of their classes smelling of perspiration.

Well, maybe I can see that, but how can the other students stand them?

I then wondered aloud why the kids don't shower after all that physical activity, and my son said the idea of showering in gym was "gross".

"Not", I replied, "as gross as going to the rest of your classes stinking".

Then, after I dropped him off, I reflected on why they stopped showering, and also if other schools across the country have the same non-policy.

Do they? Does anyone reading this know? And if so, why?

I have my own uneducated, unresearched, and uninformed hypothesis:

Could it be the ever increasing acceptance of the gay lifestyle in our schools perhaps?

Think about it for a minute. Society, the schools, and public opinion have come together in the last 30 years or so to make all of us more sensitive to the plight of the poor, persecuted gay minority in this country. We have, for the most part, as a people, accepted the fact that gays live among us, and have successfully assimilated themselves into polite, moral society. So much so, in fact, that now, we who consider the lifestyle abhorrent have been forced to sit on the sidelines and pretend to approve.

Oh, sure, there is still some unrepentant and unabashed gay bigotry around. There always will be, I suspect.

As for myself, although I believe the lifestyle is perversion, I nevertheless treat any gay I meet as an equal. It is not, after all, the sole indication of their character. I can honestly say I have never known a homosexual, male or female, that I didn't personally like.

But has the gay lobby and activists been as successful at removing the stigma as we think?

I suggest they haven't. It would seem to me that the army's policy of "don't ask, don't tell" might work to lessen the amount of open discrimination against gays, but it does little to erase the bigotry that is still very much prevalent, particularly among high school boys.

I'm not suggesting that bigotry isn't somewhat deserved. After all, most right thinking people still consider homosexuality an abomination, as God pronounced it in Leviticus. There are those, (me included) who believe homosexuality is a choice, and not genetic.

But I digress.

When I was in high school, we took showers. We didn't want to attend the rest of the days classes stinking of perspiration. If we suspected any boy in our gym class was a "sissy", we took pains to not let that particular student see us naked, and, Heaven forbid, don't drop the soap in front of him.

Perhaps that attitude was ignorant but it was, nevertheless, the way we felt.

I know I wouldn't want some homo ogling me while I shower.

If any student ever got an accidental erection while showering with the other boys, his reputation within the school was effectively ruined for as long as students memories lasted.

So, to tie this all together, could it be that in their efforts to assure gay students are not discriminated against in high schools, the school administrators believe it necessary to ban showering in the boys locker room in gym class? Could they be merely protecting straight students against gay sexual harassment?

Is not taking showers in gym class a voluntary inaction by the students themselves or is it school policy? Are high school students more modest than students in my day?

Considering the breakdown in morals in the last 30 years, I find that scenario extremely unlikely. If anything, students would be more likely to parade around naked in the halls during school hours than to dive into lockers to hide their shame.

And the school administrators would be less likely to hand out any significant punishment for that singular behavior than they would have 30 years ago.

Ah, probably the only reason they don't take showers anymore is time constraints.


Henry said...

Get the kid a Soap-on-a-Rope!

Abouna said...

I have to dismiss time restraint as a plausible reason. I think it suspect it might have something to do with the fact that homosexual students just may ogle some of the straight students. That sure as heck would make me uneasy.

And knowing the attitudes of the school administrators toward pushing the acceptance of the homosexual life-style, I doubt very much that they would do anything if a gay student made a pass at another student (gay or otherwise), it is a better bet that the schools would punish the non-gay student for reacting negatively toward such an advance.

Henry's "Soap-on-a-Rope" suggestion sounds great.

Mark said...

Interestingly, after I posted this, I googled the words "Gym Showers" and found (but did not visit) several sites that apparently were gay sites. One google entry's author wrote he likes to shower in the gym so he can show off his "package" and also check out other guy's "package".

I think, in posting this entry more tongue in cheek than serious, I accidentally hit on a valid reason why they don't shower in gym class anymore.

I think school administrators are more or less forced to be politically correct when they already know there is a problem with gay students ogling and making passes at straight students, so they compensate quietly, but efectively by not insisting on all the boy's showering.

In this way, they can adhere to the school board edict and still prevent potential lawsuits.

Dan Trabue said...

Would you prefer to identify all the gay students and have them take showers separately? What is your solution?

I think you were right to stick with this as tongue in cheek, not serious.

Lone Ranger said...

I'm just appalled that a self-destructive mental illness has become a civil right. It just shows the shallow thinking of liberals. What's next, bulemic rights? Anorexic rights?

Mark said...

"Would you prefer to identify all the gay students and have them take showers separately? What is your solution?"

Well, Dan, I'd prefer to offer all the gay students mental health counseling, and if that fails, I think your suggestion is a very good one.

By the way, it's usually not too hard to identify the gay students...They are the ones with erections in the shower(tongue still planted firmly in cheek)

Dan Trabue said...

Well, Dan, I'd prefer to offer all the gay students mental health counseling, and if that fails, I think your suggestion is a very good one.

Would you compel mental counseling? And if they refused? Jail? Mental institution? Forced sterilization? Remove them from their parents? Death?

How far would you take it?

LR, those who have researched the subject and studied human psychology have come to a different conclusion? Shall we reject their opinion and studies and go with you and make homosexuality a mental illness again?

Shall we reject all scientific research and go with your guesses/opinions or just in this area?

You get the point, who shall we listen to - you with your thinking or those who've studied it - WHATEVER the topic might be?

There seems to be an anti-intellectualism afoot sometimes - many seem prepared to reject the studies and research of learned peoples in a field in favor of their hunches when they haven't studied the subject. Of course, sometimes the "experts" can be wrong. But should we reject their opinions merely because they are the "experts"? That doesn't make much logical sense.

Jim said...

This is one of the more amusing posts I've read lately. Teenage boys not showering because gym teachers are forced to be politically correct vis-a-vis gays? How absurd!

That said, I myself am puzzled by the fact that my two high school boys don't shower after PE. It isn't done. My opinion is that they are definitely more private about their bodies. My sons barely allow me, their father, to see them without a shirt, much less without underwear. The only reason I know that they have reached puberty is that they are both shaving.

Jim said...

So I googled it and would you believe it? I found a New York Times article on just this subject.

Read it here.

Mark said...

Great find, JIm! Although the post was written tongue-in-cheek, you have found collaboration, and from the New York Slimes, no less!

I said my hypothesis was unresearched and uninformed, pure speculation, yet according to the Slimes, there is testimony from the students themselves that I wasn't to far off the mark:

"It also seems that a heightened awareness of sexuality, including the more open discussion in high schools today about homosexuality, has left many students fretting. Concern about the presence of gay students was mentioned several times as a reason not to shower."

'You never know who's looking at you,' said Vicki Johnson, an 18-year-old from Algonquin, Ill."

Also, notice that the other reasons given are from "experts". Now, I don't want to disparage the experts, but if you want to get at the truth, there's no better place to get it than the horse's mouth, so to speak.

Also, I noticed the reporter didnt seem to be able to get any other valid reasons besides self image from other students interviewed.

It must have been very hard for the reporter to have to report facts on a phenonema that he doesn't personally support. It certainly doesn't support the Slimes' agenda.

To add support to my theory, after reading the article, I asked my high school son what reason he would give if he was asked to shower after gym. He said, because showering with other students is "gay".

Jim said...

Where we live, teenage slang "gay" means "bad" or "wrong", not specifically "homosexual". It's the opposite of "sick" which currently means "cool".