Why a newspaper “Ethics” columnist thinks 7 year-olds in competitive dance are akin to sex workers.

Good news, everyone! I’ve decided to feature an occasional anonymous feminist advice column. Please feel free to send along your submissions and tell your friends!

Dear Sylvia,

I just read this article in an online newspaper, and it left me deeply troubled. It called itself an “ethics column” but really seemed much more like a “patriarchy judge-o-matic.”

A concerned party wrote in with a question about a 7 year-old girl involved in competitive dance; apparently this person’s colleague showed him/her a photo of the colleague’s daughter in dance competition costume. Rather than respond with a socially acceptable, “That’s nice,” the letter-writer, judging that in his/her opinion, the girl in the photo was made up to look like a sex-worker, said something along the lines of, “Hey, I don’t know much about you or your family, but based on this single picture of your daughter about which you were obviously excited enough to show me, a work colleague whom you clearly don’t know all that well or you might have expected such a tirade, but I feel that your parenting skills are inadequate, your judgement is lacking, and if left unchecked, your daughter will probably grow up to be a whore. You should be ashamed.”

The “ethics columnist” responded confidently with what I can only assume were reminiscences about his own time as a 7 year-old girl, since he made no mention of any kind of education in the field of child development to support his assertions that around the age of 7, all girls begin to become clinically depressed upon realizing that there parents no longer love them and they aren’t the best at everything, or something. To thwart this developmentally-based emotional downward spiral, he asserts, it is crucial that young girls receive clear messages from their loved ones, such as the message that wearing makeup makes them sluts.

In addition, he notes, since 7 year-old girls are starting to emerge as sexual beings but should not be sexualized and are surrounded by sexualization but shouldn’t be made to be sexually attractive for the titillation of adults who would rather be tilitated by their natural beauty or something I don’t know I actually got both really confused and super-skeeved out by the last couple of paragraphs.

Anyway, I guess my question is, on a scale of 1 to 10, how problematic was this column?

~ I Think My Daughter Is Actually Really Cute In Her Dance Makeup

****

Dear ITMDIARCIHDM,

Twenty.

~ Sylvia

7 thoughts on “Why a newspaper “Ethics” columnist thinks 7 year-olds in competitive dance are akin to sex workers.

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