Friday, February 3, 2012

"Rape Tag" Oh my,

Students at a Minnesota Elementary school recently had a new twist on the game freeze tag. Once you were froze you had to have someone hump you in order to be unfrozen. Needless to say the administrators of the school put a stop to this variation, the kids were calling rape tag, after it came to their attention it was being played via a concerned parent.

I understand that there are a lot of kids on a play ground, and that there is a great monitor to student ratio, but why it was not stopped by a monitor before parents were talking about it on Facebook and it had to be brought to the attention of the administrators by a parent I don't comprehend. The school does not see the need to add more monitors on the playground at this time. They feel that the situation has been handled.

The mass media world that we live in bring violent crimes such as rape to the front of the news every day. Could it be that by exposing our children to something as simple as the news, gave birth to this disturbing game? I'm sure that my children have heard the term rape coming from our tv either from the news or one of the cop shows my husband watches but I don't think that I've ever actually explained the term to them. This article got me thinking that maybe other parents haven't explained to their children what exactly rape is.

Rape is a very emotional, and hard to talk about subject. It is not a topic that I want to bring up to my elementary school children any time soon. In fact, I want to live in the same bubble that my mother did that they don't even know what sex is at this stage. The reality that we are facing as parents is that they do know the term, and games such as rape tag is proof of it. I'm glad that the administrators were able to put a stop to the game, but if we start explaining what rape is to our children there might not have been a game to put a stop too.

How do you explain rape to a tween that you haven't even had the sex talk with yet though? The age of these children are they, hopefully, have no interest in sex yet so as parents we haven't prepared ourselves to take the plunge into that world. Most of us have thought about how that day is coming soon that we will have to have "The Talk" especially if we have a girl, or two, since she will need to know about her period at this age. There is a huge difference in explaining the basics of sex to your tween, and explaining rape to them though.

Another disturbing trend is the word rape being casually thrown around. I've heard so many different "rape" terms being thrown around, such as birth rape. The slang term, "You were raped" being used for when someone has something bad happen to them. The humor type images that will pop up when you Google rape are endless. All of these things are desensitizing us and our children to actual rape, making them not understand why their game made parents completely freak out.

As parents of elementary school children we are going to have to somehow find a way to explain rape to them. Unfortunately I feel that it's going to need sooner rather than the later we were all actually planning on.

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