I turned on the radio the other day and the host and his cohorts were talking about a news story out of Aurora, Colorado, where a first-grader was given a three-day suspension from school after being disciplined for what the school called “sexual harassment” for singing LMFAO’s song, “Sexy and I Know It” to a female classmate, not once but twice!!! (OMG! The world is coming to an end!)
If you’re not familiar with this very catchy tune, it’s featured in the M&Ms commercial that aired during the Super Bowl game. If you haven’t seen the commercial, you can listen to the song here. Even Elmo from Sesame Street has done a parody of this song with almost 2 million hits on youtube. (LMFAO’s other song, Party Rock, is used in the Kia commercial featuring the hamsters.)
I have to agree with the radio host on this one. This is not sexual harassment. The term is overused and when it is, it diminishes what really is sexual harassment. Now, if you want to say that the kid was disturbing the class, that’s ok. Maybe it wasn’t the time and place for the kid to audition for America’s Got Talent. But sexual harassment? Really?
According to his mother, this was the little boy’s “awkward attempts to impress a girl.” The male gender has been doing this since the beginning of time. I’m sure the cave boy threw little pebbles at the cave girl who lived nearby to get her attention. Guys have been trying to get girls’ attention since day one. How is this any different from sticking a girl’s pony tail into an ink well back when desks actually had ink wells?
According to the article I read, “the school district pointed to its anti-bullying program, saying that examples of sexual harassment include ‘sexually oriented “kidding” or inappropriate references to sexual matters, continued or repeated verbal remarks about a person’s body (and) making sexual or lewd gestures.’”
This little guy was singing a song that’s featured in a candy commercial and parodied by a beloved Sesame Street character, and he’s now labeled as a sexual harasser? This is just ridiculous.
The people on the radio, each growing up in different decades, pointed to songs that have been far more explicit than “Sexy and I Know It.” The oldest guy reminded his listeners of the Raspberries tune, “Go All the Way” and the youngest gal said that she and her friends sang George Michaels’ “I Want Your Sex” and made up dances to it. The other guy said that Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” was far more explicit than “Sexy and I Know It.” That one reminded me of “Tonight’s the Night” which was even more explicit. And can anyone my age forget Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) singing “Black Dog” or “Whole Lotta Love.” And I’m positive kids heard all these songs on the radio over the decades and sang along. Do they know exactly what they’re singing about? I doubt it. “Sexy and I Know It” seems tame compared to what I grew up with.
Boys/men have been trying to impress girls/women any way they can. Sometimes they’re successful; sometimes not. This was just a little boy’s attempt to impress a girl in his class. To label his behavior as sexual harassment is just plain nuts.
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com