How do we experience liberation? For some it is found in an outright betrayal of societal norms. Sagging pants, overt undergarments, casually thrown cuss words were once considered “sticking it to the man,” but when all but a select minority are behaving in such a fashion is this really a sign of individual rebellion? Has it become a group effort, a cult following, or rather has it lost all meaning? Has it become the norm?
I often find myself longing for the more refined aspects of the past, a time when ladies were ladies and gentleman true gentleman. It is obvious that certain immaturity will be found at the High School level, but in modern day society the so called “childish nature,” of many antics follow both boys and girls into adulthood. Both dress and language in my opinion have taken a dismal turn. I am in no way an anti-feminist and believe that women should wear dresses to their ankles and cover their faces in modesty, allow men to carry conversation, and direct their daily lives – rather I believe that both males and females should equally be held to a higher code of ethics.
On a daily basis, the encroaching force of seductive dress in an overly sexualized society and the increasingly coarse nature of the English language are seen. Girls wear crop tops and skintight leggings in the dead of winter; despite temperature discomfort they are slaves to their own personal rebellion. These outfits leave little to the imagination. What do they hope to convey – that they are their own person? If this is their purpose, they are terrible misguided. Instead they project an image of insecurity and desperation for acceptance in any form. Equally at fault are their male counterparts, gone with manly chivalry and the philosophy of “dress for success,” many look as if they are either ready for bed or have only bothered to get half dressed. What does this speak of America’s youth and future? It speaks volumes, depicting simply a generation of people unconcerned with little but themselves and primal petty desires.
It terms of language decay it is the greater of the two evils. I love sophisticated conversation. When a friend seamlessly slips a higher-level term into everyday conversation, makes a reference of intellect it both impresses me and endears me. When a friend uses the f-bomb as an exclamatory phrase for no apparent reason, it silently pains me. This use loose of coarse language, improper grammar and profanities has become such an epidemic at the High School level that it is no longer corrected. My ears still pick-up on these phrases with distaste but have become partly desensitized. What is startling and equally troubling is that is seems that the newer waves of students have regressed even greater in their language abilities. Often overhearing the conversation of seventh or eighth grade boys I come away with no knowledge as to the content of their discussion. Their erratic use of profanities, abysmal grammar, and spotty pronunciation leaves me regarding them as barbarians. Maybe it is wrong to make judgment on their way of speech, they might be lovely people, but their mouths certainly aren’t and are desperate need of a good washing.
It seems as if the conditions of normality are slipping. In ten years will the greater percent of the student body arrive to school in tank tops and pajama pants, hair mussed and curse words dribbling from their puckered lips? It is a personal battle we face each day, to skip out and accept the changing if not degrading social norms or to withstand them in the protection of greater self-courtesy? Next time you unknowingly drop the f-bomb in class, do yourself a favor and take a moment to consider how many of your classmates are silently judging you. And while you’re at it, pull your pants up too.