Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I didn't teach them the term "meat market," but I will tomorrow.

I'm always interested in what my students say about North County culture, and US culture in general. Today, two of my male European students wanted to know about house parties and breast surgery. Most of the male students make it to Hooters (just down the road) soon after their arrival. They mentioned that while out at bars (both are of age), they frequently speak with women who have had breast surgery and that sometimes these women encourage people to feel their breasts.

I'm sure this is all true. I'm not morally outraged, but I do find it an odd way to socialize. I enjoy telling people that my tan is fake but I don't tell them to rub my skin. I respect flirting through conversation. Anyone can grab and be grabbed. Also, I'm sure that there are plenty of breasts in Europe, especially on the beach, so I'm not sure I understand their particular enthusiasm. Perhaps fake breasts are particularly exciting?

Or maybe it's just that the myths about California and California girls are super strong. I'm hardly going to stand up in front of my class and say "my breasts and hair are not enhanced!" I've mentioned several times on this blog how folks on the east coast were commenting, sincerely, on my tan before I'd even left. One student went up to Orange County and was disappointed because it wasn't as exciting as "The OC." I've never actually seen that show, but maybe I need to start watching it, because that is where a lot of my foreign students seem to be getting their information about SoCal.


mark wallace said...

While anyone can grab and be grabbed, it may be the grabbing after receiving permission to do so by someone you don't really know and don't have to pay directly (although I bet it improves tips) that's the hook here. That may never have happened to your students before even in Europe.

By the way, key to a huge San Diego government scandal that sent several councilmen to jail several years ago was the issue of where a customer could touch a stripper legally in San Diego strip joints. The first week I moved here to San Diego it was on the local news constantly. So it's something, I guess, that's much on the minds of San Diego culture.

Small Fry said...

Right, permission to touch makes a huge difference, and I remember you telling me about that local news story.