Teachers are being accused of creating raunchy, inappropriate dance routines involving girls as young as seven, in a bid to beat rival schools at the Queensland Eisteddfod Contest, with the blame for prematurely sexualizing girls being placed on “fierce competition between schools”. Marie Schrader, president of the Sunshine Coast Dance Eisteddfodd says, “No one wants to see an eight-year-old come out in a teeny weeny bikini, but it’s become a copy-cat situation between schools, and teachers are trying to outdo each other to win.”
Ms. Schrader went on to say, “They purposely dress the girls in ill-fitting leotards that are creeping up at the back, and then they put them in opening positions on chairs, sitting with their legs apart, facing the audience. Some of the lyrics in the music are also distasteful. One group was dancing provocatively to a song about having a man’s baby. I was appalled.”
What I found equally disturbing was that Les Killion, president of the Rockhampton Eisteddfod Association, says “the youngsters had become easy pickings for pedophiles.” Duh! It seems Mr. Killion doesn’t see any end in sight to the problem by going on to say, “Unfortunately we can’t put any rules in place to prevent it happening in the future”.
What a cop-out! Hey, Mr. Killion? How about establishing and enforcing some rules against child contestants wearing inappropriate, sexy outfits for dance routines, along with rules about the music and song lyrics included in these provocative dances? Perhaps, get a backbone?!
Even Anne Hellen, secretary of Brisbane Eisteddfod Association, gave a pretty lame response to the situation by saying, “Unfortunately, we can’t stop this. All we can do is express our discontent or disappointment, and that doesn’t seem to make much difference with the teachers. They just want to make an impression to win a contest.”
Considering the increased need for greater awareness of the dangers of pedophiles, for teachers to be party to this kind of behavior is appalling and disgusting. Aren’t children under enough pressure from unscrupulous commercial exploitation without being prematurely sexualized in pursuit of passing competitive success? I guess they haven’t gotten around to reading my article, So Sexy So Soon: The Sexualization of Childhood in Commercial Culture, in order to consider the damage being done by sexualizing children, and the role they are playing in it.