The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

HILLIS: Schools should reserve right to stop teen twerking

hellen hillisWith homecoming dance season approaching, a high school in Maryland required students and parents to sign a contract banning grinding, making out and … twerking at all school functions.

Contracts such as these are not unheard of. In fact, many of my friends informed me they signed similar documents before high school dances. Yet somehow, the addition of “twerking” to this contract has caught national attention. There is no doubt that twerking is a grotesquely sexual form of “dance.” However, twerking is the new form of an equally horrendous dance style, one that anyone who graduated high school within the past few years is probably familiar with – grinding. Grinding is just as bad, and no one seems to mention it.

All of a sudden, because Miley Cyrus took to the stage in a nude latex body suit and twerked on Robin Thicke, we seem to notice how disturbing American dance styles can be among younger crowds. We are horrified by the way Miley danced on national television, yet high school girls have been doing something similar for years.

Despite my all-girl Catholic high school’s demand that we “leave room for Jesus,” nearly every one of my high school dances set the stage for some sort of gross grinding session. Girls danced with their backs towards their dates, hips circling around, all sorts of unpleasant and awkward rubbing going on. I remember that it made a lot of my friends uncomfortable, but we did it nonetheless. It was cool. It was the norm. It was accepted.

But it shouldn’t be.

When you really stop to think about what grinding is, what it does and what it implies. The dance is one of the most demeaning things a teenage girl can do, especially at a homecoming dance. Rubbing against your date while standing in a circle of friends, who are all doing the same, is a frightening image. When you think about what’s really going on, especially on the guy’s part, it’s disgusting.

I generally oppose behavioral contracts required by high schools. Limiting the freedom of teenagers does not always teach them what is right and wrong, it teaches obedience. Telling them a behavior is unacceptable, but not explaining why, does nothing to further their maturity and moral understanding.

Should high schools ban grinding and twerking? Absolutely. It is disgusting and only promotes the idea that women are pawns in a sexual game. Teenage girls, and I would imagine even guys, feel uncomfortable with the way they are expected to dance. Grinding continues because high schoolers, and sometimes even college students, see it as a norm.

To change this, schools and parents should explain why these ways of dancing are not acceptable. Signing a piece of paper does nothing to address the actual problem of how students view grinding as the norm. An actual explanation might even make a contract unnecessary.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *