This letter was addressed to Phil Cott, principal of Webster School:
I attended the talent show at Webster School last weekend to see my niece and was very disturbed by some of the things I witnessed. It should have been named the Video Music Imitation Dancing Show. The show was mostly dancing to contemporary music, which is wholesome enough. Yet, what disturbed me was the hooting and howling the audience gave these young girls when they gyrated their hips suggestively and awkwardly performed other mildly sexy-style adult dance moves. It appeared they were imitating MTV-type videos — most of which are wholly inappropriate for elementary school-age kids. If, as a society, we are so quick to lock up child molesters, why are we training our young girls to get attention and validation through exhibiting sexually provocative movements at an age where they don’t even really understand what they’re doing? Was I the only person whose skin crawled as this audience full of parents hooted and clapped for little girls as they pretended to be sexy.
Where is the wholesome, adorable, imaginative kid stuff that used to make up a talent show? What kind of generation of women are we raising who identify themselves as seducers at such a young age? Where is the education on the seasons of life and what’s appropriate when? I had to delve deep into this subject with my own 6-year-old after the show, explaining to her that sexuality itself is beautiful and natural in its proper context, for consenting adults, etc. I am not normally a moralist or a sexual prude by any stretch. I simply must call to your attention the glaring lack of judgment in allowing a show of kids pretending to be sexy to be hooted and applauded. Is there any place in your program for teaching appropriateness to these precious little ones? How can we expect them to abstain from sex and avoid teen-age pregnancy and sexual abuse when we encourage this seductive play? Are you aware that one out of three young girls is sexually molested in some form during her youth? Do you think your program helped or hindered the healing of this major social problem of viewing little girls as sexual objects? Please respond.