When I was in elementary school, we had a lot of motivational speakers and activists speak at my elementary school and do assemblies. They were supposed to be life changing. And most of them were, in one way or another. There was one that was particularly life changing.
The speaker starts the speech asking “Who’s a fan of M & M?”
And my hand shoots up into the hair because who isn’t a fan of the brightly colored candy that doesn’t melt in your hand and comes in several varieties, including peanut, almond, and pretzel? Not to mention those are my initials, which makes them especially important in my life.
But then the speaker starts going on about how M & M is a misogynist who raps about killing his wife and doing terrible things to women. How dare we worship this awful person who is morally corrupting our society!
I was pretty confused. I thought she was talking about yummy candy. I don’t even think I knew what rapping was or what it sounded like.
My life was great and I was pretty innocent and untainted before I learned that Eminem is not a candy. I don’t know why that lady had to come in and ruin all of that for me.
I guess adults really like to lecture kids they don’t know because it’s easier to do that then talk to congress, or marketers, or whatever. And maybe there were some kids in that gym who really needed to hear about evil Eminem, I don’t know.
Looking back, I would have appreciated learning how to identify sexism in elementary school. But one assembly by one random person (who was making pop culture references way over my head) probably wasn’t the way to do it.