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BS: Even at the Brownies!

GUEST,Eliza 09 May 11 - 03:30 PM
gnu 09 May 11 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Eliza 09 May 11 - 04:05 PM
frogprince 09 May 11 - 04:10 PM
DMcG 09 May 11 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Eliza 09 May 11 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Eliza 09 May 11 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 May 11 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Eliza 10 May 11 - 03:43 AM
Richard Bridge 10 May 11 - 03:55 AM
Richard Bridge 10 May 11 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 May 11 - 04:13 AM
DMcG 10 May 11 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 May 11 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,KP 10 May 11 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 May 11 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,lively 10 May 11 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 May 11 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,lively 10 May 11 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 May 11 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,John MacKenzie 10 May 11 - 10:18 AM
DMcG 10 May 11 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,lively 10 May 11 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Patsy 10 May 11 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 May 11 - 11:12 AM
DMcG 10 May 11 - 11:24 AM
DMcG 10 May 11 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,lively 10 May 11 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 May 11 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 May 11 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,lively 10 May 11 - 02:15 PM
Jim Dixon 10 May 11 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,Patsy 11 May 11 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,lively 11 May 11 - 04:38 AM
Richard Bridge 11 May 11 - 03:13 PM

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Subject: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 09 May 11 - 03:30 PM

My neighbour invited me to a Brownie entertainment evening, have just got home. I was frankly horrified. Those little girls aged 7-10 were wiggling about to a karaoke machine, singing MOST inappropriate and sexy songs. I used to be a Tawny Owl (helper to Brown Owl) for a Brownie Pack in 1976, and at that time there were delightful and funny 'campfire songs' with actions etc. These tiny girls this evening were singing about 'two-timing', ''kiss me babe', 'giving me a thrill', 'want to hold you', it was sickening. Please somebody tell me I'm NOT ALONE in my revulsion of this sexualisation of little girls. Is this the norm now??


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: gnu
Date: 09 May 11 - 03:53 PM

7-10? I am not a parent but it don't sound right to this little black duck. Sounds daffy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 09 May 11 - 04:05 PM

Thank you gnu. I'm wondering if the girls would perhaps laugh with derision if one tried to get them to sing the sort of campfire songs like Alice the Camel and London's Burning etc. that I used to do with them in the seventies? Perhaps they've all got boyfriends and I'm hopelessly behind the times!


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: frogprince
Date: 09 May 11 - 04:10 PM

You're certainly not alone in your reaction to a lot of this. But where does someone draw an actual useful line? A few years ago I remember a right-wingnut on radio frothing at the mouth because a little girl had stood up and sung "I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart"; he couldn't have had any more wrath, or manufactured wrath, to bring to bear if she had stood there snarling "Give Me Your Dirty Love".
A local community organisation puts on an annual "capers" show, a hodgepodge of actual talent and goofy skits. When we attended a few years back, a dance class group of girls perhaps 11-12 years old performed. The only thing the routine was missing was the part done on the pole. I sat there wondering if I could be the only person there whose skin was creeping.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: DMcG
Date: 09 May 11 - 04:12 PM

My daughter is now 24 so its a long time since she was in the Brownies but I would have taken her out of the group if that had been happening. Or, knowing her, she'd have challenged the leaders herself!


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 09 May 11 - 04:15 PM

You're right frogprince, it's hard to decide what is and isn't 'acceptable', especially when children are bombarded by sexual music, images and merchandise from age dot. My skin was creeping this evening, I can tell you. I just think that innocent children deserve an innocent childhood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 09 May 11 - 04:20 PM

So would I,DmcG, but the parents this evening were smiling benignly, so perhaps they saw nothing wrong in it. (of course, one couldn't know what they were thinking.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 May 11 - 05:16 PM

Last year I helped out at a Girl Scout camp, and I saw nothing like this. The singing I heard was innocent and charming.

Keep in mind that kids 7-10 don't read much sexual implications into words like 'I want to hold you' and 'give me a thrill.' They're just parroting. Their idea of a thrill would be a truly sparkly little bracelet.

Not that I would do a show like that with Brownies - or older kids, for that matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 May 11 - 03:43 AM

I suppose it's true, leeneia, these little girls don't really know what they're singing about, thankfully. But it's still very distasteful. IMO, a show like that should be principally funny, and full of silly sketches, impersonations, slapstick etc., and a few folk songs, action songs and a final 'Goodbye' type of song. I must have put on literally hundreds of kids' shows over the years during teaching and Brownies, there's loads of good stuff you can do which does NOT include wiggling around, crooning about 'babe' and 'kiss me slow' etc. YUK!


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 May 11 - 03:55 AM

Sorry Eliza, it's normal. Everyone wants to grow up faster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 May 11 - 03:57 AM

PS, what is really rather worrying is the institutional paedophilia demonstrated inter alia by almost universal depilation in porn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 May 11 - 04:13 AM

Normal... at seven years of age?

Don't know much about porn. But I never could understand why a man (paedophile) would prefer an undeveloped child to a mature and sexually developed woman. And why there are so many of them about these days. Strange world, Richard!


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: DMcG
Date: 10 May 11 - 05:02 AM

Everyone wants to grow up faster.

Normal... at seven years of age?


About a year ago I was in discussion with my aforementioned daughter who, at six, had her description of the Christmas story read out as part of the school concert. She remembered agonising - at six, mind you - over the bit where Mary asks the angel how she can be expecting a child "as she has never known a man". She knew perfectly well what it meant, thank you, but how to express it sufficiently delicately had concerned her greatly. She described wincing as that bit approached.

But there's no way she would have taken part in something like that show willingly. For one thing, she would have made the case that the whole purpose of Brownies was cooperation, whereas this sounds too competitive. She got enough competition in other activities, and unless the Brownies offered something distinctive she would have questioned its point. It was for very much that reason she didn't join the guides a few years later.

(Yes, she could be quite a handful and has never been short of opinions!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 May 11 - 06:15 AM

DMcG, Oh my younger sister was just like that! She's six years younger, and was always MUCH more feisty. She did and does question everything, and puts her point of view forward. She was a Brownie for a very short while, but decided it wasn't for her. I've always admired her (she's now a doctor), I reckon she was one of the first Women's Libbers! If anyone had suggested she cavort around singing sexy songs, they'd have got a right earful! I did the Brownies, Guides, Guide Packleader of a Brownie Pack and later Tawny Owl, even Sunday School Teacher, but my sister... never!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 10 May 11 - 06:51 AM

Eliza, I'm a current Cub leader and we often share songs etc at campfires with Brownie groups. I've never come across them singing anything age-inappropriate. Its notable that the Brownies tend to sing all the traditional camp-fire songs beautifully (rather better than our boys anyway!).

I think its a fair comment that there is more variation in Brownie Groups who are dependent on 1-2 individual leaders to do everything, whereas Cubs tend to have support groups and committees etc (and very useful they are!). So my guess that what you saw was a one-off specific to that group.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 May 11 - 07:49 AM

I'd be inclined to see such cultural behaviour in terms of the simple innocence of childhood play and the acquisition of cultural understanding than anything sexual per se. In fact, a little girl dancing to Karoake is no more sexual than the same kid gearing up to motherhood by playing with her dolly. I wonder does anyone get outraged by little girls pretending to be mothers - apart from those irate feminists who see such play as enforced stereotyping? The intention is always innocent (be it on the part of the kids or their loving parents & carers) - the perception on the other hand(as displayed in the overall tenor of this thread) is invariably somewhat less so.

Little girls will always desire access to the dances, fashion, make-up, of the adult world but this in no way sexualises them, or yet makes them vulnerable to paedophiles who are increasingly, and rightly, reviled and persecuted. So nothing to do with porn or sex, just kids empowering themselves through play just as kids have always done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 10 May 11 - 08:17 AM

"does anyone get outraged by little girls pretending to be mothers - apart from those irate feminists who see such play as enforced stereotyping?"

Well, that's what it is when adults foist there preferred roles onto children through the types of play they encourage them to have. Guns are given to boys dolls are given to girls (my parents didn't do such stuff thankfully, so I grew up with lego, and paper and paints instead). The Karaoke machine and the songs on it were presumably provided by adults likewise.

Otherwise, what children choose to get up to for and by themselves without adult interference in their own private play (and it is a very private world not one that adults ever belonged in, as I'm sure we all recall) can be *very* sexual - and equally innocent - in nature, I don't believe that is the same as being coached BY adults into performing FOR adults however.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 May 11 - 08:49 AM

Well, that's what it is when adults foist there preferred roles onto children through the types of play they encourage them to have.

Again it's a matter of cultural outrage, usually by the middle-classes with respect of what they perceive as the delinquent and morally corrupt working-classes - or Chavs as such people are generally dehumanised here on Mudcat. No one is foisting anything onto anyone. A middle-class associate of mine was once outraged to see working-class parents having their kid's ears pierced - even going so far as to call it child abuse. Talk about a gulf of class-condencension! Kids are raised according to the cultural values of their doting parents - however so innocently perceived and appreciated, be it dolls, toy guns or karaoke machines. I knew a young girl at a youth club I used to work at who'd wrote her own songs to the backing tracks and several others who used it for free-styling rap; most however were happy just to sing the songs they knew to the best of their ability, and work hard on established (traditional? no, let's not rock the folk boat!) dance routines - no doubt the same sort of harmless fun that that inspired this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 10 May 11 - 09:00 AM

"their kid's ears pierced - even going so far as to call it child abuse. Talk about a gulf of class-condencension! Kids are raised according to the cultural values of their doting parents - however so innocently perceived and appreciated,"

While, of course the working classes would be just as likely to consider sending off little Oliver to boarding school as the same sort of thing. Class condescension maybe. But yes, cultural values are always relative, including those of loving African mothers who have their infant girl children's clitoris' cut off, who also do what they do - and very sincerely too - out of love.

Can't say I'm 'shocked or outraged' by little girls being coached to do sexy wiggles for doting adults in the Brownies or anywhere else, but I do prefer children to be able to explore their sexual expression among themselves for themselves without the loving interventions of adults working class or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 May 11 - 09:33 AM

Kids dancing to Karoake has got nothing to do with sex; that's just the wayward interpretation of people on this thread - otherwise all is fun, innocence and really should be appreciated as such. Go down to your local branch of Claire's and they'll be piercing the ears of kids of all ages - not the same thing as female circumcision at all; you belittle the latter by the comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,John MacKenzie
Date: 10 May 11 - 10:18 AM

Dancing like this?


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: DMcG
Date: 10 May 11 - 10:46 AM

Again it's a matter of cultural outrage, usually by the middle-classes with respect of what they perceive as the delinquent and morally corrupt working-classes - or Chavs as such people are generally dehumanised here on Mudcat
A few assumptions slipped in there, Suibhne. Where's all this class anger and chav despising sprung from? I certainly wasn't referring to any such thing in my posts and you are mistaken if you believe that was what I would have been concerned about. And 'outrage' is such a strong term! It seems quite possible for a person to decide he or didn't want their daughter taking part in something without it involving 'outrage'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 10 May 11 - 10:59 AM

"Kids dancing to Karoake has got nothing to do with sex;"

With respect, little girls know quite a lot about sexuality and culturally defined or proscribed modes of sexual expression, both their own developing subjective experience of it, and through the sexual cues expressed by adults. For example I remember the peculiar confusion of dressing up in high heeled boots and being called 'sexy' and joshingly flirted with (all very genuinely innocent) by grown men.

I would suggest that while the adults themselves might be innocent of the sexual implications of such things for the children that they engage in such play with - imagining that children themselves are too young too understand or such-like, or else perhaps having forgotten them in a haze of nostalgia for innocent childhoods of yore, the children themselves are perfectly alert to such exchanges.

"Go down to your local branch of Claire's and they'll be piercing the ears of kids of all ages - not the same thing as female circumcision at all; you belittle the latter by the comparison."

I wasn't seeking to make a comparison, but specifically responding to your statement that "kids are raised according to the cultural values of their doting parents" which is of course perfectly true. No doubt even in the instance of much paedophilia.

I would consider parents coaching their girl children to imitate sexual dancing and sing songs with sexual content to have little to do with children's play, but to be more akin to teaching them how to be alluring for their expected future partners. A more appropriate comparison might be the way in which Upper Class debs were (are?) traditionally trained and paraded like dolls in a posh totty market stall - again coached by adults to perform a certain way to be appealing to a certain group of men.

All very innocent, all very loving, all very culturally relative. None of it terribly outrageous either. And while I'm not exactly an "irate" feminist, I am certainly glad of the fact that I wasn't subjected to a lot of such culturally relative conditioning during my own childhood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 10 May 11 - 11:12 AM

I suspect that if Cubs and Brownies were in a mixed group Brownies would be more reluctant to want to wiggle around too much. When I was young, girls would practise dances in a corner somehwere trying out what we thought were the latest moves or in a friend's bedroom before facing the public. It had nothing to do with boys at all at that age. Back then the least attractive thing were boys in short trousers!

Personally I am not a fan of Karaoke anyway in any shape or form but again I blame X-Factor type programmes children absorb this kind of music and entertainment all the time. For me it has nothing to do with the content as much as pigeon holing the next generation of teens to buy plastic pop music even in the Brownies!


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 May 11 - 11:12 AM

Where's all this class anger and chav despising sprung from?

I often ask myself the same thing whilst reading through Mudcat threads & this one seemed stacked from the off so a quite natural assumption on my part. My heartfelt apologies if, by chance, I was in error. And yes - Outrage is a strong term, especially in the context of this thread which seems to be looking for scandal & sensation where there is none & dragging in all sorts of unsavoury (and dare I say outageous?) assumptions from child sexualisation to paedophilia from a bunch of kids having harmless fun whilst celebrating their cultural traditions under strict adult supervision.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: DMcG
Date: 10 May 11 - 11:24 AM

Where's all this class anger and chav despising sprung from?

I often ask myself the same thing whilst reading through Mudcat threads & this one seemed stacked from the off


Not to me, I must say. That interpretation only arose - in my perception - with your own post. People can like or dislike something without it being anything to do with class warfare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: DMcG
Date: 10 May 11 - 11:30 AM

I apologise in advance if that sound argumentative, Suibhne. It's not my intention; simply a statement that I don't see what you do in the opening posts.

Pax?


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 10 May 11 - 11:31 AM

I always believed organisations such as the Brownies, Guides, Cubs and Scouts were the sort of places that middle-class parents sent their kids funnily enough - keen on 'improving' them with lots of healthy outdoorsy activities and socialisation :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 May 11 - 11:34 AM

Pax eternal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 May 11 - 01:43 PM

Class doesn't come into it, I haven't (yet) said from what 'class' the Brownies concerned mainly belong to. (Actually, quite mixed) And I'm fully aware that little girls aim to ape the grown-ups on TV, magazines etc. I merely felt, and still do, that it was distasteful, and NOT what I perceive the Brownies to be about.
I don't quite see what ear-piercing (or indeed female genital mutilation!!) have got to do with the case.
As an ex-Tawny Owl and a teacher of this age-group for decades, I know what super, interesting, funny and rewarding stuff can be achieved, without resorting to pseudo-sexy cavorting about to a karaoke machine in front of a quite large audience of adults.
My reaction at the time was instinctive, I was squirming with embarrassment. I just wanted to know if others would have felt the same. No-one will ever convince me that there aren't lots of better and more interesting things to be doing at the age of seven years old.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 10 May 11 - 02:15 PM

"I don't quite see what ear-piercing (or indeed female genital mutilation!!) have got to do with the case."

Nothing, bar the fact that parents the world over love and desire to do the best that they can for their children. We are each powerfully personally influenced by our respective cultures of course.
However, imposed cultural expectations pertaining to girl children in particular, are not always very sexually liberating or indeed helpful to the expression of their unique individuality, which I would argue, is bound to be far more inspiring than any supposed "cultural tradition" that their elders and betters might wish to inculcate them into - sorry for the "irate feminism" there Suibne ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 May 11 - 02:27 PM

I do think that the sexualization of children is a bad thing.

On the other hand, I have to admit that the dance at the end of Little Miss Sunshine was hilarious.

The dance can be found at YouTube, but I think it can be misunderstood if taken out of context of the whole movie. The dance first has to be "set up" by first showing you the family dynamics of that rather bizarre but loving family.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 11 May 11 - 03:51 AM

I can sort of see where Eliza is coming from a little bit. If a child chooses to join Brownies, Guides, Cubs or Scouts it is for that purpose. Obviously some things I presume might have changed slightly because of Health and Safety guidelines but it is supposed to be associated with outdoorsy activities and sometimes charity work or helping out. There must be other places or occasions where 7 year old girls can listen and dance to whatever they like (within reason).

Unfortunately I didn't join the Brownies or Guides so I have no experience of being part of that organisation anyway. I chose ballet and tap classes instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 11 May 11 - 04:38 AM

As an aside and apropos of nothing, does anyone recall the anecdote of the famous American actress (Shirley MacLaine maybe?) about her childhood debut at one of her parent's showbiz parties, singing the jazz standard "Love for Sale" ("appetising young love for sale, love that's fresh and still unspoiled" etc.)
Then there's the child of one folk singing acquaintance of mine, who on discovering the meaning of one of the delightful rollicking shanties that her parent's had taught her, promptly stopped singing it.. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Even at the Brownies!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 11 - 03:13 PM

Indeed, Lively - I know more than one excellent young woman singer who will not sing the Hogeye Man.


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