I started a Princess battle at preschool - Page 12 - Mothering Forums

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#331 of 331 Old 10-25-2007, 10:55 PM
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Actually, you can become an actual princess, title and lands and everything, through that "American Princess" reality show on We. Not that I'm suggesting that show is a model for female empowerment, mind you.

But I wanted to respond to this:

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I see what you are saying, except that we already practice many "acceptable" restrictions of commercial speech to children (tobacco, alcohol, pornography). Do you think these are unacceptably censorious as well? What would be the difference?
Restricting childrens' access to these things is actually written into law. I think, generally, that limiting access to things that are not regulated by law is where the line is crossed into censorship.

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And of course other kinds of clothing are also prohibited (eg clothing with sexual/racist/homophobic phraseology). Do you find regulating these unacceptable?
Arguably some of this falls under obscenity regulations, as well. But no, I don't object to regulating hate speech. Hate speech is a directed, pejorative attack on a person or group of people. Cinderella and Spiderman are not.

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Do you find it censorious to prohibit or restrict soda and junk food at school?
I have a very specific position on this, which I am happy to have the opportunity to share. I think it's absolutely fine for schools to be limited in terms of what they provide as part of their food service. I don't see how it serves the community at all for schools to spend their limited funds on Dr. Pepper and Hershey bars. However, I think that it would indeed be wrong and arguably a violation of civil rights for schools to regulate what individual students can bring in their brown-bag lunches (barring a deadly peanut allergy in the school or some other issue of immediate danger). So yes, I would see that as censorious in a similar way to the princess/superhero ban.

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Is it censorious to prohibit military recruiters or their advertising in schools?
Yes. And I am not in favor of this war, not in the slightest. But if colleges and businesses can recruit, then so can the military.

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Not everyone finds all of these unacceptable. Some will think some of these should be outright banned or tightly regulated. In my view all of these require a conversation between adults and some community-guideline-setting.

I find commercial speech on clothing and at school problematic because commercial speech aimed at children is everywhere, it's insidious (viral marketing slumber parties and product placement) and these days it's frequently tied to school funding (soda machines, bus radio, etc). And I think it's perfectly reasonable for a group of adults to come to the same conclusion and try to consensually create a tiny space in their childrens' lives that is ad-free.
OK, but it's actually the children's freedom that concerns me here, not the desires of the parents. Oh, I know, I'm just a free-speech, civil liberties nut--I voted in favor of providing the pill at our local middle school too. And I have gone on record at our city hall opposing the criminalization of skateboarding and possession of certain art supplies (which may or may be used for graffiti) by minors.

I just think kids have so few rights, so few avenues to express themselves without adult intervention. I hate that there seems to be this idea that the more we can lead/guide/limit their experiences when they're young, the better off they'll be when they're older. I'm afraid that the opposite is true.
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