Children have the uncanny ability to retain information. They can repeat back gobs and gobs of things, things you said months ago that you can’t remember.
While that alone counts as a super power (in my book), they also absorb everything they see and everything that’s done, almost as if they are taking these experiences and weaving it into their core being.
Which is honestly, scary as all get out (colloquialism) because we are not really a mindful species right now. We don’t think how every little thing we do is being recorded, not by cameras and phones but the children.
And Children Will Listen, reenact, and perpetuate the things, ideas, and thoughts that people around them so carelessly do.
I witnessed this the other day with a simple journal assignment, where 10 and 11-year-old students were supposed to write about a song that touched them (give them the feels) and made them feel a strong emotion.
After a lot of, “huh?”s from the children I said for them to tell me about their favorite song and why. Is it the lyrics? Do they love the words? Is it the way it’s performed?
Students start throwing out theses songs, Broccoli, Trap Queen, anything by 21 Savage. I think okay, not sure why vegetables are a theme in hip hop music… or savages (?) and I tell them I’ll look up a song that night.
“Oh no Mrs.G, no you don’t want to hear the words in these songs! They are bad! They say bad things!”
And yet, why my darlings are you loving this music?
They like the money! They tell me or the fame! Very few say they love the beat or the music (for dancing etc).
None of them say, “Gosh I love the way they talk about the drugs.” Or I can relate to the line, “put that dick up in her pussy bet she feels it in her toes.”
Hmm no, probably not.
But Children Will Listen.
They will dream about the riches and the fame, and hear the songs that extol the use of drugs and how in Broccoli the singer brags about what he’s done and yet, he is able to take advantage of “your baby momma,” who obviously has a drug problem and selling herself for more drugs (the Broccoli, naturally). Because that’s what stable hardworking men in America do… apparently. But they won’t focus on those parts. Not yet.
But they will get used to it. They already accept it. Women reduced to a pet name for their sexual organs and men willing to take advantage of the drug trade and sick tormented women cause hey, they are wearing a chain that’s worth $30,000.
So it’s okay.
The Children are Listening. Children are Seeing. Children are being shaped by their total environment and music, music plays a big role in that. It’s everywhere. It’s free on the radio, it’s on tv, apps, in homes and in the street. You don’t need to buy but they are always selling even in your dreams.
It doesn’t matter if they don’t really understand right now because one day they will. They will and they will remember.
Only then, they’ll act.
You know, I bet Brock Turner listened once too.
*Obviously Brock Turner never said, “The music made me do it!” And just as obviously Rap music by the artists above did not force him to do anything. However I believe certain songs and lyrics perpetuate rape culture. Not all Rap music does this and I am not saying it does. You don’t have to agree, that’s fine. I also think skinny white photoshopped women in magazines portraying women in certain contexts are also perpetuating rape culture too. Not all, but many do.