You! Yes, you – the one with the silver shagband! Have you been fisting again?

Sometimes a news story comes along that seems to be of such mindshattering stupidity that it just has to be a hoax or some sort of new internet parody, but it then turns out to be depressingly true.

The excellent Ambush Predator blog alerted me to a recent example.

(I suppose that’s a hat tip then…)

Ambush Predator links to this:

A PRIMARY school has banned brightly-coloured bracelets after parents found out children were calling them “shagbands”.

The different colours of these bracelet are said to represent different sexual acts.

Headteacher Andy Wright, of Rayne Primary School, near Braintree, sent out letters to parents this week to announce the ban.

Mum-of-three Andrea El-ward, 46, whose daughter goes to the school, said: “The children have been walking round with these rubber bands on calling them shagbands.

“My ten-year-old daughter came home from school and said her friends had got these bands and could she have a set.

“Then she went red and giggled when she explained they were called shagbands.

“I said absolutely not. It says a lot about the parents whose children are walking round with these things.

“I had a word with the head and they banned them immediately.”

Mr Wright said: “I hadn’t even noticed the bracelets. Mrs Elwood drew it to my attention.

“I wouldn’t expect children at primary school age would have a clue about the connotation.”

Mr Wright’s letter reminded parents about the school’s jewellery ban and also advised them to look on the internet for more information about the bracelets.

(Note the two wildly different spellings of the mother’s name – ‘Elwood’ and ‘El-ward’ – the latter has a sort of Sci-fi feel, doesn’t it?)

Spot the fucking idiot here.

Yup – there are two: Wright and El-ward.

A good example of how to draw attention to something it might have been best to let just fizzle out as just another kid craze.

Ban it.

Yeah, that’ll work every time.

Anyway, I’ve taken Mr Wright’s advice and gone poking about in my internets and I’ve found this, which seems to be where this nonsense has started.

That’s right.

Where else but Usania?

DENVER — A Colorado middle school is asking parents not to allow their children to wear a type of colored bracelet to school over concerns that the bracelets hold specific sexual connotations for students.

Mike Medina, the principal of Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, near Boulder, sent an e-mail message to parents on Thursday warning them about the “jelly” bracelets, whose colors are said to indicate a level of sexual activity that a student has either experienced or is willing to engage in, said Briggs Gamblin, a spokesman for the Boulder Valley School District.

The rubbery bracelets look like the sort that became popular during the ’80s. But over the past few years, some schools across the country have banned them amid fears that they have become synonymous with sex. Indeed, myriad jelly- or sex-bracelet Web sites refer to the game snap, with some sites even providing color guides.

Mr. Gamblin said that there had been no reports of the game being played at Angevine and that the measure was preventive for now. He added that students caught wearing the bracelets would not be punished, but would be asked to take them off.

I also found this from our very own Guardian:

So perhaps the parents’ outrage is a little misplaced. Children aren’t being sexualised by little loops of plastic. If anything, it’s the other way around.

(Which actually made a rare bit of sense for the Guardian, but didn’t really help in the long run, as I hope to point out.)

Putting aside all consideration of the rights or wrongs of ‘shagbands’, the most worrying thing here is how a handful of people overreacting dramatically and two eminent national US and UK newspapers have, together, ensured that a limited craze that most people have never heard of is now so well publicised that every parent is now going to be frisking their kids for shagbands, surfing over to somewhere like this, reading this list there…

Black~ Sex
Light Blue~ Hand-job
Indigo~ Hand-job with blowjob
Blue~ Blowjob
Pink~It either means french kiss or cunnilingus.
Yellow~ Big bear hug
White~Flash
Orange~ petting
Purple~Full-fledged make-out session
Clear~ Wild-card
Clear with glitter~ Also wildcard
Silver~Fisting
Gold~ Anal
Clear Gold with glitter~fingering
Clear blue~All of everything
Clear Pink~ Its the girls choice.
Clear Green~ All Anal
Glow in the dark pink~ female sex toys
Glow in the dark blue~ boy sex toys
Glow in the dark green or yellow~ Sex with porn.

…and then worrying over their child wearing a purple shagband, when all along the kid just likes wearing a purple jelly bracelet…

And how is the parent going to explain quite why (after they’ve agonised over their child’s corruption and wild sex life – and all imaginary) they’ve decided that the child shouldn’t wear a purple rubber bracelet?

Far from removing perceived sexualisation of children, aren’t we in danger of increasing it by paying entirely too much attention to what are limited fads which only mean something sexual if you’re already sexually aware?

In which case, the horse has pretty much pissed off at top speed out of the stable…

You can take your kid’s golden jelly bracelet off them, but if they already associate it with the term ‘anal’ then even if they don’t know the implications of that term, they’ll still know it and possibly want to find out more about it.

As Mr Wright says, they can always look on the internet.

(Ban the internet?)

Of course, dealing with this phenomenon on an individual basis isn’t necessarily easy, but better that, surely, than banning these bracelets outright and then having hundreds of thousands of kids all asking why.

And besides, if you’re a parent, isn’t it your fucking responsibility to answer difficult questions from your children?

Again, the righteous are turning a trivial matter into something out of all proportion to its significance and actually creating problems further down the line.

Of course we should protect children from paedophiles and make sure that our children’s mental and physical sexual development is happy and healthy, but such overreaction from people who should really be able to handle such perceived dilemmas on a personal and individual level seems to me to be counter-productive.

How many kids used to wear a purple jelly bracelet simply because it was a purple jelly bracelet and they wanted to wear it?

How many kids now wear a purple jelly bracelet and have a little snigger about it?

Rather more of the latter now, I reckon.

Fuck the parents worrying – it’s the kids I feel sorry for with stupid cunts like El-ward looking after them…

A SteveShark top financial tip:

Buy shares in the companies that make shagbands – they’ll fucking fly off the shelves now.

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6 Responses

  1. So they are like a paedophiles’ shopping list then? What about the charity wristbands that were popular not so long ago?

    Pink = cunnilingus and supporting breast cancer

    Blue = blowjobs and supporting tsunami victims

    Black and white = flash sex and supporting anti-racism causes

    All so confusing 😉

  2. every parent is now going to be frisking their kids for shagbands.

    Not this libertarian. Plus I enjoy mine asking awkward questions. When I tell them the truth, they are that little bit more educated than their molly-coddled, bubble-wrapped peers.

    I think it’s incumbent on me to raise them above the level of sheepdom as much as is humanly possible.

    Superb article, Steve.

  3. Many thanks for the praise, Dick – ‘preciate it.

  4. Dunno why this one has taken so long to surface. I remember my brats coming home wearing and talking about shagbands years ago (Must have been mid-90s, they’re both well into their twenties now). No-one raised a fuss then, so someone must be really bored now to create this pointless hooha.

  5. I remember when I was at primary school (80’s) there was a similar craze with plastic bands except they were called ‘acid bands’ (i think from the acid house phenomenon). I remember being sagely informed by a girl in the top form that the opaque section of the clear band contained ‘drugs’. it didn’t encourage me; it was another decade before i tried LSD for the first time…

  6. I think I shall get a silver one, and a gold one!

    lmfao

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