Do you know what a ‘shag band’ is? Apparently, it’s a rubber bracelet that is available in different colours. They were popular in the 70’s and 80’s in high schools, and now are taking off in popularity once again, this time in primary schools.
(photo from Getty Images)
The ‘buzz’ with these bracelets, is that girls wear them, and if a boy breaks one, she is supposed to perform a favour for the boy, based on colour. To break an orange one would ‘win’ the snapper a kiss, yellow is a hug. Black supposedly means the girl is to have sex. You can read today’s news.com.au article about it.
It discusses the concern that girls are being sexualised too early, and being taught that they are simply there for a male’s pleasure. I mostly feel the same way, but it also concerns me because this sort of talk completely cancels out a girl’s right to give consent, or the fact that hello, they are KIDS!
The whole thing sounds horrifying if you are a parent, more so if you have daughters. But, if you ask the wearers, it’s all a big joke. The general vibe is that most kids wouldn’t really do anything, and if asked to, would probably laugh it off. I am inclined to believe this. I remember when I was in school in the 80’s some girls wearing them, but never heard the ‘legend’ until my fiance told me years later.
So, if your daughter comes home wearing these, what do you do? Do you ban them? Or do you be ‘cool parent’, and allow yourself to believe it’s not really happening? Personally, whilst I feel they are probably (and hopefully!) harmless, knowing the myth behind it, I don’t believe I’d be comfortable with my girls wearing these and being spoken to in such a way. Maybe I’m a prude, but I just want my daughters to be treated with more respect than that. Thankfully my daughters haven’t had these things, and I hope it stays that way.
How do others feel? Would you laugh it off and let your kids wear it as harmless fun? Or would you take the hard line and ban them?