Letter from the Editor


Did she put up a fight? No! means No!

Paramount Television and Fox Network have teamed-up to create and present a version of Grease. It’s going to be a live television production of the 1978 musical. IMDB.com shows the release date as January 31, 2016, and our family’s getting excited. But should we?

My husband and I were transfixed with Grease in the late 70’s, with the rest of the country. We noticed Travolta’s swiveling hips and his sexy snarl. But we didn’t notice the lyrics he and his friends were singing.

Tell me more, tell me more. Was it love at first sight? Tell me more, tell me more. Did she put up a fight?”

These words struck the back of my head this morning – when I heard my 10-yr old daughter singing the lyrics to “Summer Nights”. My instinct told me that I needed to step-in and take advantage of this learning opportunity. Yep, I just said learning opportunity.

We’ve already talked about rape in previous (short) conversations, so I asked my daughter to sing the lyrics again. She did, and then I told her that rape may be occurring if a girl is fighting against someone. I told her that saying no and stop should end the situation.

Her mouth dropped open, she blinked, and then she said, “Got it”.

The song “Summer Nights” was a huge hit in the United States and United Kingdom – it reached No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and spent seven weeks at No. 1 in the UK. I’d be surprised if the song isn’t included in the live TV production.

Some will say that I’m making too much out of this. Should we break-down lyrics, so our kids know what’s coming out of their mouths, while singing pop songs? Does anyone in their 30’s and 40’s remember caring about Madonna’s lyrics to “Like A Virgin”? Madge had the world in a trance as she sang about being “touched for the very first time.”

These particular lyrics, “Did she put up a fight”, mean something more today than they did in 1978. Civilized societies have had discussions about date rape. We’ve educated ourselves, and the conversation’s over. No means no!.

As I said – we’re getting excited for the TV event. Nick Jonas and Julianne Hough, anyone? Our family will sing along every time we watch it, but I’ll also be watching my daughter – with hope that I gave her a useful tool – No Means No. On a related note, I’m enrolling her in a self-defense class this fall.