Sunday, January 15, 2017

Utah kids learn how to date... circa 1955

Yesterday, I came across an article about high school students in Utah and an interesting assignment they had in school.  At Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, students were given handouts about how to be a good date.  The students were assigned to go out on a $5 date, not including gas.  I'm wondering if that's $5 for both students or $5 each?  Because either way, it seems a stretch, although I suppose with a little creative thinking one could have a good time for so little money.  Bill and I did it when we first started dating.  It helps if you live in an area where there are a lot of free museums or cultural events, as well as cheap restaurants.

Anyway...  what has people in a tizzy is that boys got one version of the handout and girls got another.  And while some of the tips weren't totally unreasonable, some of them seemed a bit sexist and mired in the 1950s.  For instance, the girls were advised not to "fish for compliments" and "not to waste his money".  The boys were advised to say aloud what they plan to order so "she has a guide" and "girls like flowers and gifts".

Some people took exception to the idea that the girl should have a guide as to what to order.  That struck me as kind of funny.  I was reminded of a sketch in Little Britain.

You will NOT order the lobster!

Actually, given that teenagers are often short on funds, it probably isn't bad advice to remind them that if one person is paying for both, it is polite not to order the most expensive items on the menu.  However, it's not always the boy who pays.  When I was a teenager, I sometimes paid for dates.  I'm sure the practice of girls doing the paying is even more common over twenty-five years later.

While people were mostly talking about how sexist and weird these tips are in 2017, I was wondering why this was a school assignment.  Although I do remember taking Life Management Skills in high school and we did learn about practical things in that class, I don't see how teaching kids about dating etiquette is the school's domain.  But then, maybe that's the reality of life nowadays... kids spend a lot of time in school and maybe their parents don't teach them about how to date.

Anyway... I thought the assignment was pretty stupid and probably a waste of time on some level.  However, it definitely made for funny discussion.

On another note, right after I read about the kids in Utah and their dating lessons, I read an opinion piece by a woman who asks if it's okay to view porn in public.  She explains that she was on a bus and happened to be sitting next to a man who was watching porn on his phone.  The porn made her feel uncomfortable.

If that happened to me, I'd probably be shocked at first.  Then I'd probably laugh.  It would depend, though, because I have been in uncomfortable situations involving men getting their jollies in public. When I was in Armenia, I ran into several different guys jerking off publicly.  Most of the time, it was more gross than scary.  One time, I did feel a bit scared because I happened to be walking alone and there was a guy standing in waist high grass masturbating.  He started screaming at me as I passed and it was very freaky.  I didn't pay a lot of attention to what he was yelling (in Armenian), but I do remember him shrieking, "Du ch'es lisum?" (You don't listen?)  Needless to say, I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

And finally, still on the topic of masturbation, I read an article yesterday that claims 40% of your co-workers masturbate at work.  I'm sure the other 60% are either lying or missing their arms.  I'm kidding, of course.  I have no way of knowing who's engaging in that particular mode of stress relief. I would think it would be mostly men doing it anyway.  As a woman, I don't think masturbating in a public toilet is very sexy or comfortable.  But what do I know?

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