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Ingraham's assumptions about long-haired kids proved wrong

Reported by Chrish - July 3, 2008 -

Laura Ingraham just can't hep herself. In a whining "culture" segment today 7/2/08 about the trend of boys growing their hair long she managed to throw in one of her hypotheticals and presidential politics.

The antagonistic chyrons read "Should parents blur gender lines w/their kids?" and Ingraham asked up front if parents should be encouraging what seems to be approaching androgyny?

Her guests were an 11-year-old boy, Rowan, with shoulder-length hair, his mom Liz, and author of "It Takes a Parent" Betsy Hart.

Ingraham made the point that Hollywood parents appear to be at the forefront of the trend, trying to be cool. She knew he was in a band (had been, it turned out) and assumed he was the drummer because of the hair. She's concerned that these long-haired boys may be victims of teasing at school because "you look like a girl" (Rowan said he wasn't) but toward he end of the segment, she teased him - hmmm. Project much? Liz said that it's his choice, as a parent she is choosing her battles and this one doesn't merit a fight, and his only other decision-making involves what he wears each day. He doesn't watch TV or have Internet access and just likes his hair longish.

Hart appeared surprised at how non-permissive the mom is, apparently having formed the opinion that she was a stereotypical wannabe-cool mom. Her concern is the need to adhere to Hollywood's latest trend, and while some, like this, are benign, others, like single motherhood, are not. Quite the leap there, and quite a suitcase full of assumptions these two conservative women brought to the discussion. She's a believer that "children don't learn to make good choices by making good choices; children learn to make good choices by having good choices made for them." She's thrilled that he isn't being teased now but warns that he will be later - when he's looking for a job, it signals that he's a slacker, sloppy.

Liz shot that down too - the little slacker babysits.

Hart said that sometimes she sees parents who want to be cool, hip, part of "the culture," and that's not a good idea, citing the example of kids using first names with adults. Parents need to step up and say no, not in my house. She seemed oblivious that her extensive set of rules sets the parameters for her sub-culture that she is comfortable in and which is not for everyone.

Ingraham posed the hypothetical that someday Rowan will come home with a buzz-cut and a big McCain button on his lapel, and she thinks Liz will then be more concerned with his individuality. (Liz denied that.) Ingraham invited Rowan to a weekend at "Camp Laura" and said she'd give him a buzz-cut real quick, and he said "nooo waaay."

Comment: Even though this segment was played with good humor and manners, the underlying theme, that one hairstyle is preferable to another and that one must conform to a certain look in order to succeed, was so offensive. Likewise, the meme that good parents don't allow their kids to use first names with adults smears a lot of good parents - practically all that I know. It's another wedge to divide America and make it more easy for faux conservatives to identify "the enemies" within, a quickie tagging for sorting good Americans from bad Americans.

Timothy McVeigh had a buzz-cut. That's Mr. McVeigh to you, Laura.