The Legacy of Dirty Dancing

It has been 30 years since Patrick Swayze declared that “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”. Are you feeling old yet? I don’t think there are any Americans (or for that matter many foreigners) who have not seen or heard of the movie. I know “girls” who still watch it at least once a year. The first time I saw it was in the living room of a friend’s house whose parents were evangelicals. I kept waiting for someone to come in and ask “What is that trash you are watching?” but nobody ever did.

Putting aside the dance moves , which were scandalous at best, is the thing that usually escapes mentioning when this movie is reminisced about: Abortion. For most of us this was the first time we were ever exposed to the subject. Not only we were exposed to it, but it was basically ignored. Oh it was still implanted in our little brains, but we did not dare talk about it back then.

For some it made them think “that’s dangerous” and therefore something they would not think of doing. Others thought “see that is why we had to make it legal so it was safe”. The one message that was not construed was that it was unacceptable. You see we all thought Penny was a slut, but hey, it was her body. We were okay with her having premarital sex, and for that matter it was okay for Baby, too. Penny just achieved slut status because she got pregnant.

I say all that to say this: We worry about our kids being negatively influenced in school, and we should be, but we tend to forget that they can be and are influenced in their homes while sitting on the couch watching TV.

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Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and other adults who have children they care about in their lives please take this message to heart. YOU need to be the positive influence for them. We talk about being salt and light and there is NO better place to start than at home.

Kids will be exposed to horrors we would like for them to be protected from. The question is, will you be there to help them through it or will you ignore it and hope it goes away? Look at how differently abortion is viewed by so many today. That is what comes from ignoring it and hoping it goes away instead of confronting it and uncovering it, especially when it is camouflaged as an awesome movie.

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