If you give a pig a porno

By Francie Arenson Dickman
@FrancieArenson

When you ask your 8th grader what happened in school today, you know she is probably going to say, “Nothing.”

So, when she says, “The boy next to me in Spanish was watching Princess Leia porn,” you won’t even be listening.

Your foot will slip off the gas pedal (because you’ll be on your way to dance class) and you’ll repeat the sentence to make sure you heard it right.

Your daughter will nod yes and adjust her bun.

When you look at her bun, you’ll wonder if Porno Princess Leia wears the same side buns as Star Wars Princess Leia.

Then you’ll say, “What did you see?”

Your daughter will probably shrug.

When she shrugs, you’ll try again. “Did he know you could see?”

She’ll tell you he did.

You will want to give her a lecture about having the courage to remove herself from inappropriate situations, or from anything that makes her uncomfortable, but before you can say anything, she’ll be out of the car and into ballet.

You’ll drive home, still thinking about the buns (the ones on her head) and about why your daughter’s middle school allows kids to have hand held technology in class.

Your daughter’s middle school will remind you of your own middle school. You’ll probably compare Princess Leia porn to the copy of Judy Blume’s Wifey that your classmate kept in his desk with the sex scenes highlighted and that he’d pass down your row when the teacher faced the board.

You’ll wonder if Princess Leia porn is the modern day equivalent of Wifey.

When you get in your house, you’ll want to find an old copy of Wifey to see how it measures up to what you imagine of Princess Leia porn, so you’ll look through your bookshelf.

You won’t find Wifey, but you’ll probably find Fifty Shades of Grey. You’ll look through that instead. Then you’ll probably order Wifey to your Kindle. Next to 50 Shades of Grey, Wifey will seem like Little House on the Prairie. And next to porn, well, you probably can’t compare.

When you are done reading, you’ll prepare the dinner. You’ll put pasta in a pot, so it will be ready when your daughter is done dancing. Then you’ll want to check Facebook. So you’ll have to get your phone.

When you get your phone, you’ll see a post by your friend Peggy Orenstein.

When you see her post, you’ll be reminded of her book, Girls & Sex. You’ll want to read it. Then you’ll want to read it to your daughter.

So you’ll have to download that to your Kindle too. Then you’ll have to go to your office to get a pen and paper to write down the perfect quote to use in your lecture to your daughter when she comes home from dance.

Orenstein’s Girls & Sex will remind you of Susan Faludi’s Backlash, which you read in law school (but didn’t take that seriously because you grew up with Free to Be You and Me and didn’t see how the gains of feminism could possibly be eroded.)

You’ll probably want to call your friend from law school. She will want to tell you a story she heard about freshmen boys lined up on a couch while girls gave them blow jobs. Then she’ll add that they might also have been smoking pot.

Smoking pot will remind you of your pot of pasta. So you’ll run back to your kitchen.

The water will have boiled over the pot because you were not paying attention to the pasta.

To wipe up the water, you’ll have to get a dish towel.

On the way to cabinet, you’ll pass the T.V. You’ll want to turn it on to distract yourself from the blow job story.

When you turn it on, you’ll see Donald Trump.

Donald Trump will remind you of the pig watching the Princess Leia porn. You might finally start to see how the gains of feminism could possibly be eroded. You’ll probably wonder whether the sexual revolution simply stalled or spun full circle, taking us back to the man’s world in which we started. You’ll probably feel nauseous.

Feeling nauseous will remind you that your daughter is about to come home hungry.

When your daughter returns from dance class, she’ll probably want the pasta.

And chances are, when she asks you for the pasta, you’ll have a lecture to go with it.

Francie Arenson Dickman lives outside of Chicago where she spends her time writing essays and novels and fearing for the future of her children and all of society. She is a contributing blogger at Brain, Child Magazine. Read more at franciearensondickman.com.

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This piece is part of our Motherwell essay series based on Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex.