You can always tell how insular a person has become in their politics when a term that has been used regularly regarding a topic that has been in the news for years strikes them as something "new."
Of course, people who don't share columnist Monica Hesse's Bryn Mawr value system have actually been using the word for some time.
Okay, I shouldn't be so hard on Bryn Mawr. After all, it has a politically diverse student body with only around 42% identifying as "liberal" and the rest identifying as Marxists.
Not only that, but, you know, grooming happens.
Do a quick search and you find stories like these.
So, you'll excuse us if we're a tad sensitive about the teacher grooming issue.
I'm sorry, did I say "sensitive?" According to Hesse, it's an obsession.
Anti-gay activists are obsessed with talking about "grooming."
People wouldn't be obsessed with talking about grooming if leftists weren't obsessed with talking about sex with five-year-olds.
And note the term she uses to defame proponents of the Florida bill: "anti-gay activists."
As is well known outside MSNBC newsrooms and the confines of blue-city newspapers, the word "gay" does not appear anywhere in the bill. Nor does "LGBTetc."
Were Hesse truly interested in knowing what was in the bill, she would have bothered to read it. It's very short and easily found. (pdf)
Of course, had she done that you know what would have happened.
Not only does the bill not have the word gay in it, but search for the words "gender" and "sex" (and its variations) and you'll find they appear only twice each.
Here is the first passage, found on page 1, in the introduction:
An act relating to parental rights in education;...
...prohibiting school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student's mental, emotional, or physical well-being; providing construction; prohibiting classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner;
Most of the bill reads like this; it's basically a parents' rights manifesto requiring transparency and parental involvement, which is probably what many leftists really object to.
The second occurrence appears on page 4, Section 1, paragraph C, part 3 and is the passage that has everyone up in arms:
3. Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.
That's it. That's what all the hand-wringing and hyperventilating is about.
According to Hesse,
It's supposed to make you think teachers talking about LGBTQ issues in front of young kids is creepy.
And that's the disconnect. They can't seem to understand that you can't talk about sexual orientation without talking bout sex and a whole host of related issues inappropriate for the very young, and yeah, it's creepy.
To understand the disconnect you have to understand that they start with the premise that you are anti-gay (whatever that means) and then move on from there. They can't break out of that paradigm, and they think they're part of the smart set, they think they are the intellectuals.
And so they say things like this:
[The bill] makes the argument that the bill seems concerned mostly with the rights of parents who are squeamish about gay people.
"Squeamish about gay people?"
Again, they start with that premise, and so opposing a bill that would prohibit teachers from talking about sexual matters with kids 4 to 7 years old makes you "squeamish about gay people."
Hesse isn't squeamish about gay people, no sir, she's so not squeamish about gay people that she's built a career about not being squeamish about gay people and I'm starting to think if you have to blow trumpets about how not squeamish you are about gay people maybe you're a little bit squeamish about gay people.
Guess what, Hesse, I'm not squeamish about gay people. I've had gay friends, acquaintances, and colleagues since the '80s and not only was I never squeamish, I never felt the particular need to point out how very not squeamish I was.
Maybe you should give it a shot.
Her whole piece is like this.
Grooming does not have anything to do with sexual orientation or gender identity. It's molesters who groom, regardless of whether they're gay or straight.
Right, and again, the bill doesn't say anything about gay people being groomers, it's about the teachers who are all too eager to talk about sex with young children who are the groomers – gay, straight, or bipervert.
Incidentally, this is pure hive-mind stuff. Here's CNN making the same point.
DeSantis' spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, absurdly said on Twitter that the bill would protect kids from "grooming" and that opponents of the bill are "probably groomers," using a slang term for pedophiles:
"If you're against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don't denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn't make the rules."
It's an old, tired and ridiculous argument that has been used to smear members of the LGBT community in previous debates over issues like same-sex marriage.
It's also an argument no one is making.
And yet, you will never convince them of this.
Because your intellectual curiosity makes you the unsophisticated one.
All these proposals make it harder for certain Americans to be who they are, which is counter to the idea of parental rights or individual freedoms.
We're talking about children here, as young as five.
And of course, they are completely clueless as to what is going on in public schools.
The bill's proponents behave as though the bill — which vaguely prohibits "classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity" — is needed to prevent first-grade teachers from screening porn as part of their standard curriculum. But truly, where is that happening now?
Remember, whatever they are accusing you of, they themselves do, and Hesse's piece reads like a giant mea culpa from someone harboring dark thoughts.
I imagine some know exactly what they're doing. They don't want to admit that they hate the idea of parents being more involved in their children's lives than the state and so they create these smoke screens about opponents to the uberstate being anti-gay.
In fact, many of the comments and responses you'll come across are these very same people huffily pointing out that sex and sexual preference are different and that children are already exposed to the concept of sexual preference simply by observing their straight parents.
Fine, say I accept that argument for the moment.
Why are you so adamant that the state instruct your children on this very sensitive and personal topic?
Because you won't teach them the right way of thinking.
And this, from the same crowd that can't teach them to read and write.
Oh, and yeah, some are probably just groomers.
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