Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Twirp Effect

There is a part of chaos theory that says a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the world can result in a tornado on the other side. The way many things seem to be going in the world right now, I feel compelled to remind the world that a tornado is not supposed to result every single time. If every flappin' butterfly resulted in a tornado... well, that's much close to chaos than I personally like my chaos theory.

This popped up on the news here in Seattle (full article):

Tuesday, November 16, 2004 ยท Last updated 4:57 p.m. PT
Texas schools scrap 'cross-dressing' day
By BOBBY ROSS JR. ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

A homecoming tradition in which boys dress like girls and vice versa in a tiny Texas school district won't be held Wednesday after a parent complained about what she regarded as the event's homosexual overtones.

As a substitute for "TWIRP Day," the schools ranging from elementary to senior high decided to hold "Camo Day" - with black boots and Army camouflage to be worn by everyone who wants to participate.

TWIRP, which stands for "The Woman Is Requested to Pay," was hosted by Spurger schools for years during Homecoming Week - to give boys and girls a chance to reverse social roles and let older girls invite boys on dates, open doors and pay for sodas.

Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute issued a news release Tuesday reporting that it "came to the aid of a concerned parent" over an "official cross-dressing day" in the school district 150 miles northeast of Houston.

"It is outrageous that a school in a small town in east Texas would encourage their 4-year-olds to be cross-dressers," Liberty Legal Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said in the release
Tanner T. Hunt Jr., the school district's attorney, called Sasser's statement "inflammatory and misleading." He said the district never planned or conducted a "cross-dressing day."


"They are a tiny little East Texas school district," Hunt said. "It never occurred to them that anyone could find anything morally reprehensible about TWIRP Day. I mean, they've been having it for years, probably for generations, and it's the first time anybody has complained."
Delana Davies, 33, said she complained after reading a school notice about "TWIRP Day." Davies, whose 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter attend Spurger Elementary, said she viewed the day not as a silly Homecoming Week activity, but rather something related to homosexuality.


"It's like experimenting with drugs," Davies said. "You just keep playing with it and it becomes customary. ... If it's OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?"


So very many things wrong with this, it's hard to know where to start.

#1: Cross-dressing does not equal homosexuality. In fact, if memory from psych classes serves, most cross-dressers are straight.

#1, subsection a: Cross-dressing as part of an overall costumed occasion is not really cross-dressing. Real cross-dressing is when little Billy goes through Mom's laundry basket and tries on her bra. Not-real cross-dressing includes such things as Halloween, some kinds of rock concerts, raves, Burning Man. The difference? Appearance vs. identity.

#2: A school tradition-type holiday, where kids dress up because it is fun & silly is not at all like "experimenting with drugs." OK, Lady, on "Earth," where the rest of us live, these two things are as different as a teddy bear and a loaded shotgun.

#3: One parent - no, let's make that one parent who bathed in a rainbarrel of crazy - complains in a completely misguided and irrrational way about a school tradition and the school responds by killing the tradition. Nevermind that the tradition has apparently been around awhile. I mean, reversing social roles by having the girls open doors presumes that normally the boys are opening doors for the girls. Oh, how quaint those days of yore! Clearly this tradition didn't start just 10 or 20 or probably 30 years ago. Then you add, "it's the first time anybody has complained." ONE complaint, chock full o' nutty goodness, in generations of this school tradition and - wham! - bye bye tradition. Way to go, school. Life lesson: hear squeaky twirp, cave in.

#4: Just in case this point was lost in the rest of this ridiculous story, the role-swap theme of TWIRP day has been replaced by army camouflage and black boots. Er..., ex-squeeze me? OK, people, pay attention here, this is the education system trying to learn ya somethin'
Cross-dressing baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.
Violence goooooooooooooooooooooooood.

Class dismissed.

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