Generation Cedar

Hat tip to Stacy McDonald for this disturbing story about a seductive dance performance by a group of 7-year-olds.

OK.  I watched the news clip which showed a portion of the dance and then had The Early Show panel discussing it.  Thankfully, they were rightly disturbed by the scene.

BUT….the conversation that ensued among the panel made me FAR more upset than the actual dance.

And here’s why:

Whether it’s the crime rate, or the state of failing marriages, or unwed pregnancies, or the rebellion among teenagers or the fight for traditional marriage–pick your societal ill, it has been a constant source of vexation for me to hear people rant about the “crisis” but defend all the precipitant factors that led us there.

It’s as ludicrous as feeding your 5-year-old a steady diet of sodas and candy and then yelling at him at his dentist appointment for having so many cavities.

We bear the consequences of daily decisions.  It’s an irrevocable law.  There is a logical progression of moral decay that can only be addressed at its earliest beginnings, not at the bottom of the slippery slope.

The three women on the panel were upset at the dance and then rebuke the man who hits the nail on the head…

The host began by showing the video of the dancing girls and then reading this random question from a blog which she states is “a valid question”:

“Why does a society that screams about pedophilia tolerate this appalling exploitation of children?”

Man: “OK, somebody is thinking this looks, ‘how much different from cheer-leading?'”

The women immediately chime in, “Oh this is much different….You haven’t said how you feel about the video.”

Man: “I think it’s bizarre but most of what I experience every day is bizarre.  This is just a reflection of how sort of ridiculous we all are.”

Women: “You don’t find it disturbing?”

Man: “I found the original thing disturbing.”

Woman: “I find YOU disturbing!”

(plays a clip of Beyonce’s video–a suggestive dance done in lingerie-like attire)

Man: “OK, what is this?”

Women: “This is art!”

Aggghh!

Not only is the only man on the panel made to look like a buffoon, he’s the only one that is making the logical connection about “how we got here.”

“It’s a reflection of how sort of ridiculous we all are”. Yes it is.

The women on the panel blame the parents, though they’ve just publicly participated in part of the problem.

If I praise a 20-somethings gyrating, seductive dance as “art”, it’s a small journey to my 7-year-old’s performance of that art.  The real problem is  not the provocative, dancing children; it’s a society that praises pornography.

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47 Responses

  1. I haven’t commented here before, but I watched the same morning show clip and had the EXACT same reaction to the dialogue as you did! I felt so sorry for the male host, because he was being ganged up on by the women who were totally off base. The male summed up society in my opinion, and the women were all too enamored with themselves (and Beyonce)to acknowledge it. I was so glad to see that someone else experienced it the same way I did! I am so sad for those little girls, and so ashamed of their parents. Are their fathers not uncomfortable watching them perform????
    Thanks for listening–Ashley Thelen

    1. Didn’t see the video, but don’t have to after your description. You are SO right! There is such a disconnect between choices and consequences in our society! We make a bad choice and then don’t want to be held responsible for it.

      But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6

      I believe some parents are so desperate (especially some moms) to be admired/approved of/etc. that they justify their children “being good” at things that are actually evil in nature. As long as someone tries to fill the gaping hole in their heart, that is designed to be occupied by God, with anything else, it leads to deception and sin. When our goal is to please man instead of God it always causes us to make wrong choices and receive consequences we didn’t anticipate.

      May I, as Mom, make only choices that are holy and righteous and may I seek only to please Him! May I hunger for personal holiness before a Holy God. And may my children do the same.

  2. Plus, look at these lovely, elegant new Barbies: http://whatshaute.com/index.php/2010/02/barbie-basics-black-label-collection-of-little-black-dresses/
    – Note the dress of the pretty black doll on the far right. It gives “plunging neckline” a whole new meaning.

    These are sold right across from the princess dresses at the major retail chains. Dress like an escort/hooker, dress like a princess, what’s the difference?

    Little girls are being trained to cater to men’s lust. “We girls can do anything! No matter how morally reprehensible!”

  3. How horrible! I totally agree. The dialog was worse than the dance! A good question for those woman would be how old is old enough to dance like that? And cheerleaders are ok because they don’t dress like that!?!??! What are they thinking!!!??!?! That must grieve God so much:-(

  4. By the way, one of the hosts said, “Cheerleaders don’t dress that way”. Um…really?

    http://www.insidecheerleading.com/content/show/article.aspx?articleid=8&zoneid=1

    Pretty close. AND, these are young cheerleaders. He didn’t make a distinction about which cheerleaders. Some university uniforms classify as positively pornographic.

    Here again, when I blogged about skimpy high school volley ball uniforms some were outraged that I was being so prudish. It’s all a slippery slope and unless we call a spade a spade where it is, don’t complain about skimpy 7 year olds.

    1. My mom was a cheerleader. They wore 50’s style sweaters and knee length skirts and did just fine cheering on the home teams.

      I always wondered why in high school, we weren’t allowed to wear mini skirts and daisy dukes, but the cheerleaders could because it was their uniform. They got smaller every year. I played volleyball and we started out with regular sports shorts. Varsity had bike shorts (spandex). I quit the year before they transitioned to bikini bottoms.

  5. Oh how this grieves my heart! I was a dancer – ballet, tap, gymnastics, cheerleading, drill line. You name it – I participated. But that was 2 decades ago and we did not wear such immodest outfits or dance in such provocative ways. I love dance – ballet and ballroom (not that reality show ballroom dancing). My husband and I started dating because we were dance partners in a school production. We still dance to a favorite song occasionally around the house.

    I am disturbed by the path that all these forms of dance have taken. They can all be practiced modestly and in modest attaire. My oldest (at only 2 1/2) loves to dance. She wants to twirl and dip and wear her dress up tutu all the time. We have decided to only let her take traditional ballet. We have a wonderful company here. All the other things we will have to not participate in because of the immodesty and inappropriate “moves”.

    I see this acceptance among many Christian families. We attended a recital of a friend’s 6 year old a few years ago and were disgusted at the dance moves in their routine. It looked like a music video! When I asked her about it she said that was how the children wanted to dance! Back to Kelly’s analogy about the coke and candy – “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child…” Be THE parent!

  6. Good gracious!! This is absolutely ridiculous!! How sad. And the comment that cheerleaders don’t dress like that is absurd! Just walk throught a department store that sells TVs or try to go to out for a meal with your family during this time of the year (football season) and you’re going to see near pornography on the screen as the camera zooms in on the giddy cheerleaders! What a foolish comment. Did the last comment on the clip erk anyone other than me…”the women agree.” Spoken so matter-of-fact like it made it all ok. Well so what?? Urg!

  7. I removed my daughter from a “tap” class when she was 3 years old…why??? The girls were dancing to “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” and that was what their costumes were. 3 year olds, some still in pullups wearing skimpy bikinis. That was 8 years ago. She wanted to try dance again, but was so mortified when the teacher wanted her to gyrate her hips that she stopped going to that class too! Even Dancing with Stars and So You Think You Can Dance is sexualized. When I had to switch the channel when my kids came around I stopped watching. We will be trying Irish Celtic Dancing (a Christian company) which is with modest dress and style. She can praise God in the dance that way! This makes me so sad and angry for our youth.

  8. Yes yes yes! I completely agree – people are shocked at the symptoms, but just can’t see that root of those symptoms at all.

    I read a really interesting article in the newspaper recently on a related topic – about the link between the growing number of children being abused and the breakdown of the traditional family “The growth in broken families has been mirrored by the huge increase in the number of children considered to be ‘at risk’ – 1.5 million now fall into this category. Children living with their natural mother and a guesting father are eight times more likely to be on the at-risk register.” and “It is almost as if this is a truth which is too unpleasant to confront, because it strikes at the heart of all our now conventional ideas about the joys of sexual freedom, and how that has made society so much happier and more contented.” See the full article here: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dominic-lawson/dominic-lawson-society-really-is-to-blame-2091350.html

    I guess everything is connected. Evil and sin just begets more evil and sin.

  9. I posted the following comment on the article Stacy posted on LAF.

    I have been so saddened by the movement of the current dance culture. Shows like “Dancing with the Stars” grieve my heart as I see men and extremely scantily clad women (who are often times married to OTHER people) dancing provocatively with one another, putting their hands all over each others bodies, hugging and kissing one another. And their spouses are sitting in the audience applauding their behavior. (I did watch the show one time when it first premiered years ago) It’s so sad that we have come to accept this behavior as normal and that we seem to glorify it in this country.

    We, my husband and I, have little girls and have considered putting them into dance, but are concerned as what it may lead to. I question if the basic leotard is even appropriate for little girls and women to wear when dancing in front of men. They are tight and show every curve a woman has. Maybe I am being a prude. But I’d rather be a prude than put my little girls on display for men to gawk over.

  10. Another interesting train of thought to consider…

    In the commentary, the show host mentioned that people were saying the video borderlines “child pornography”.

    Reason with me here…

    What makes it “child”? (the age)
    What makes it “pornography”?

    Why does the pornography part change just because the age changes?

    1. Kelly, I’m sure you can distinguish between a child and an adult, especially in porn. Other than that, I agree with your points.

      1. Well, OK, since we apparently need to talk about the distinctions of porn, I’m game. Kelly, please remove at your discretion.

        1. Burlesque – this is the softest of porn, it is what used to be called “striptease” and was considered basically pornagraphic a couple generations ago. You had to be 18 years old to have access to it, that sort of thing.

        2. Soft-core porn – this just the next step up (or down, really)- a bit more nudity,acting out of sexual behaviour w/out showing privates, that sort of thing. You could include vintage Playboy type shots.

        3. Regular (more mainstream) porn – loads of total nudity, showing of the sexual act, but not showing cough cough ahem.

        4. Hard-core porn – Cough cough ahem. Larry Flynt. Maybe throw in some violence if cough cough ahem isn’t enough.

        The interesting thing, like ladyscott described, is how the standards of normal get definded down, shifted to the left over years. What used to be in playboy is now almost complete in a wrapper free VS catalogue. What Beyonce was doing, popping her chest and spanking her derrier in black leotard/lingerie and heals, is what we call burlesque. What the little girls were doing, copying her (and adding the high round-about kicks), was clearly burlesque. It was the same thing. It was the sort of dance you used to have to be 18 years old to go watch (and I hope perform), and now you can see on America’s Got Talent, or on your neice’s dance recital stage. It’s the same thing. It’s just been redefined as personal expression and not “gentleman’s entertainment.” It is not appropriate, even for a grown woman. It’s trash w/ a glossier exterior and better marketing.

        I suppose the main difference in seeing adults act in a blatantly sexual manner vs. children, is that we still have a desire to protect children from exploitation, but not as much the grown-up woman next to us. But clearly, fewer and fewer people want to protect their children from exploitation, as they redefine what’s normal or appropriate for their children to engage in, further to the left each decade.

      2. Jennifer,

        I DID distinguish between child and adult. My point is that one is called “child pornography” when a child is involved. But the same ACT, drops the word “pornography” just because the participant’s age increased. We acknowledged that the *act* itself was pornographic, otherwise we wouldn’t have called is such. That is illogical reasoning.

  11. Absolutely agree! What we put on a pedastal (20 yr old Beyonce and cheerleaders) will be learned and imitated by our children. I even saw a home video of a 2 yr old watching and imitating Beyonce’s moves! And since I was a teenager, I have believed that parents’ values are passed down to their children MINUS the parents’ limits. Parents say, “this is good in moderation,” and children hear “this is good….” and think “so more must be great!” And then parents are appalled when the children just take the foundation the parents build and extrapolate it to the obvious conclusion?

    There are other idols we can set before our children (especially daughters): Elisabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael, etc. I want my daughters to read, learn about and soak up the values of THOSE women who through the centuries have set their sights on something higher, nobler, purer and pursued that with all their heart!

    I’m not interested in ‘moderating’ anything which points my child in the direction of un-godly behavior – but turning away from it to something better!

  12. Porn is never art, it’s disgusting, especially when it happens on music videos and other things that SHOULD be artistic (I’m still repulsed by the bizarre juvenile lunacy of Lady Gaga, whether she’s wearing a sexy body brace or a hideous big-butted, cat-skin outfit). But, there IS a big difference between seeing adults act blatantly sexual and children doing so. Child-porn takes a whole different, and far-lower, plane of hell to accomplish than adult porn.

    1. Krissa,

      Apparently not everyone knows that (and I’m not sure that’s relevant). According to the New York Daily News, “parents are concerned” and it mentions nothing about being strictly “collectors”. Last I checked, collectors dolls were purchased for little girls too.

    2. Krissa, I guess you missed the part where I said they were displayed for sale right across from the princess gowns. Also, about 4 feet off the ground, right at eye level for a young girl. They were most definetly *not* being marketed to women (or they would have been eye level to a grown woman, marketers study these nuances and use them liberally), they were conciously being marketed to young girls.

  13. Ok, on the whole sexualizing our children thing…
    Our children dress modestly and age appropriate – no plunging glittery top, black leather boots, or bikinis. I actually had someone scoff at me over my girls modest one-piece skirted bathing suits this summer ( they are 1 and 2)! Her little girl was easier to change in her bikini? Anyway, we do not allow barbies, moxie girls, brats dolls, or the like into our home. We do not pierce their ears, paint their nails, or buy them lip gloss. I send an email to all family and friends who will be getting my girls a gift and list the items that we will not allow. We’ve recieved some questionable things: skirts with a tribal patch on the back waistband mention to resemble a tattoo (my littlest one was 9 months old) and a leapord print jumpsuit when my oldest was 6 months.
    We always wear bloomers with our dresses or skirts. We wear a lot of bows and ribbons, smocked dresses, and long skirts. I had a mom tell me that her 4 year old insisted on wearing a certain dress to a birthday party because it “showed her back”! And the mom was laughing about it! And don’t get me started on those baby beauty pagents. Fake nails, tan, eyelashes, and teeth are not a measure of beauty! It’s abuse IMO and should be outlawed!

    Ok, sorry for the rant! We deal with these issues almost weekly, even among fellow church members and their children. All the above outragous comments were from fellow Christian moms. My children are only innocent once and I believe it is part of my job as a parent to protect that innocence as long as possible! Dressing them up to be sexy while toddlers robs them of that gift!

    1. Rant on Katie Grace! We are right there with ya! It has gotten so bad with the gifts my daughters (4yrs,3yrs) have been given that we cannot except gifts from family members (professing Christians) any longer. Sounds harsh, and hurts feelings, but we will do *whatever it takes* to guard our children’s innocence and purity, because if we do not we will stand and give an acccount to the God that created these precious children!!

  14. Thank you so much for posting about this! I nearly choked on my drink after hearing the outrageous comments of the women on the show.

    Apparently, it would be fine for me as a twenty-year old to flaunt myself as a sex object, but only because I’m older. Thank you Feminism, for objectifying me!

  15. Well said, Kelly.

    The poor male announcer was quelled into silence by the verbal barrage of the female announcers. I felt so badly for him. He was verbally bullied, despite his opinion being valid and in my opinion, right: Beyonce’s video is just as disturbing as the children’s video, if not more in that it “paved the way” for the 7-year old girl’s performance, by lowering our collective standard of propriety.

  16. And what about the 6 year old girl who was kicked off a cheer squad because her parents didn’t like the ‘booty’ cheer she was being required to perform?
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/09/15/year-old-girl-removed-cheerleading-team-complaint/

    The parent’s brought it to attention at a meeting and the little girl was unanimously voted off the squad!

    It didn’t surprise me that not everybody agreed, but a unanimous vote to kick her off instead of change the cheer to something a little more appropriate? I was shocked!

  17. Been away for a while…
    Wonderful news about the new baby-on-the-way. May God bless that little one as well as the rest of your family. Our tiny one is toddling around now.
    As for the clip…where to start? I think you summed up the points beautifully. And we will continue sew our own skirts ;-).

  18. Just a brief thought on the female college football cheerleaders. In a month or so in the Big Ten states or states to their east or northeast, it will be cool enough that they will have to wear long pants instead of short skirts, especially for night games.

  19. I have 6 kids (5 girls), and they are the youngest, or only, on both sides of the family. We get lots of gifts and hand-me-down clothing. I am appalled at how much of it I can’t use because it is so inappropriate. At first, I would give away the questionable outfits (sizes infant to junior!), and tee shirts labeled with the names of retailers known for their pornographic advertising. I hated the thought of putting almost new clothes in the trash! Now, though, that’s where they go. I really can’t stand the thought of an innocent wearing these simply because mommy wants attention, any, for herself or her child.
    For Christmas, my 15 yr. old nephew wanted only gift cards to a retailer with nude pictures on the walls (if this isn’t news where you are – yes, it’s a teen clothing store in most malls), and my husband couldn’t understand why I bought the kid a boardgame.
    Normal is so scary these days. Where do we go from here?

    1. I was thinking about Christmas as I read these comments. Last year, I told my MIL that the girls were “into” dresses and skirts. (She won’t get it if I explain, so I didn’t bother.) They got mini-skirts. Not because that’s what my MIL wanted for them, but b/c that’s all she could find.
      When we get hand-me-downs, we now have to have a private try-on session w/ mom, so I can see if the clothes are appropriate. I stand them in front of a mirror and ask: Is this modest? Why/why not?
      I’m teaching them to evaluate the clothes themselves.
      But what to ask for at Christmastime. Ugh. I asked for clothes b/c I was so sick of getting so many junk toys. But that didn’t work out too well.
      If only I could convince them to buy online, where you can actually get modest clothes! Sheesh.

      1. I think I’m going to start asking for tickets to local attractions – museums, zoo, swim center, etc. Also, I’ve found that crafting supplies are a big hit, and while messy, I am glad they are so wholesome and nurturing. We’ve gotten:
        paper plates
        glitter glue
        glue
        craft sticks
        googlie eyes
        pipe cleaners
        string
        stamps
        paint
        art board/canvas
        construction paper

        Good stuff! Also, my preschooler loves play food, and Melissa & Doug and Ikea both have very sweet, affordable play food (wood and cloth, which I think is good for my preschooler’s tactile experience – they just feel better than plastic)

  20. I too,had the same thoughts as you Kelly,when I watched the clip.I was telling my husband about how the man on the show was kind of throwing his hands in the air when he was apparently not going to win his side of the argument.Why are these seven year olds dancing around like strippers???? It’s because we have 20-some year olds doing it and being their role models!!!! That IS the logical conclusion.It is wrong at any age.What would that panel of women say if they saw,say,some 75 year olds doing the same thing?????Hmmmm.I have a pretty good guess that they may say something along the lines of it not being “lady like” or “proper”,they would never say it was art!!!Different standards at different ages for all women in this world instead of having a basic/proper standard for CHARACTER.
    Ughh….just disgusted.sorry.

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