March 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM ET
We bet you can guess what the new documentary, "Bully," is about. We also bet you can guess who its target audience is. But, can you guess why many of those audience members may not be able to see it? If you guessed because it's rated R, then you were right. According to the Huffington Post, the documentary focuses on bullying in America's schools and is geared towards a teenage audience. However, because of potty-mouth language, the Motion Picture Association of America gave it an R rating, which prohibits kids under 17 from seeing it without an adult. That restrictive rating has been getting a lot of criticism from a lot of people. Many would like to see it reduced to a PG-13, so that the intended message can reach the intended audience. A Michigan teenager started an online petition to change the rating, and has collected 300,000 signatures, including a senator and the chief of AMC Theaters. Now, celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and Drew Brees are joining the cause. Do you think the MPAA should overlook the bad language and lower the rating so that an otherwise important message can get out?
All the cool girls are lesbians shirt sparks debate
One high school thought it was pretty uncool for a female student to wear a shirt proclaiming "all the cool girls are lesbians." In fact, they thought it was so uncool that when a teacher spotted her wearing it in the lunchroom, the girl was sent to the vice principal, who told her to cover it up and never wear it to school again. The Daily Item of Lynn, MA reports that the VP told her it was "political" and "offensive to some people." The girl complied but sent a letter of protest to the town's mayor and School Committee Chairman. A staff attorney for the ACLU has spoken out in protest of the incident. She believes that, first amendment protection aside, Massachusetts has strong laws protecting the rights of students' self-expression. However, the school's principal defends the vice principal's decision saying that the school's policy prohibits anything that is deemed disruptive and a shirt proclaiming that all the cool girls are lesbians, could be disruptive.
Little League takes a pass on strip club's offer to sponsor their season
They may not be the proverbial hookers with hearts of gold, but they are strippers with a generous side. When a Little League in California fell on hard times and faced the risk of not being able to afford the season, a strip club offered up $1,200 to keep the boys on the field (no, the donation wasn't a huge wad of $1's, it was a real check...). According to KTLA, the league was initially thrilled to accept the kind donation but then found out who it was from. Although some parents were supportive of accepting money from the strip club, which describes itself as being community and family-oriented, others, including the league's president, were not. The league is strapped for cash this season after the local school district doubled the field rental fees and stopped letting the kids sell hot dogs at games as fund raisers. For now, the little ball players are planning to reach out to other local businesses in hopes of getting an equally kind, but more fully-clothed donation.
John Ramsey, father of the original toddler in a tiara speaks out
For many of us, the first toddler in a tiara that we ever heard about, was JonBenet Ramsey. America was introduced to and shocked by, the world of kiddie beauty pageants, after the darling little girl was found murdered in her home in 1996. Now her father's back in the spotlight after writing a book and is calling the show, Toddlers in Tiaras, bizarre and disturbing. In an interview with Good Morning America, he says that JonBenet and his wife, Patsy, didn't approach pageants that way -- for them, it was just for fun. He now regrets having let his little girl compete in pageants, wondering if their participation drew attention to their family and their little girl. He says that, back then, he and his wife were naive and today he believes that parents shouldn't put their children on public display.
Is it offensive to call desserts slutty?
Everyone's talking about sluts these days. If Rush Limbaugh's not calling law students sluts, Jessica Simpson's talking about her love of "slutty brownies." The Rush Limbaugh remark caused a national outrage and led to discussions about using the word slut and slut-shaming in general. Now, a pregnant Jessica told Jay Leno that she's been craving the terribly-named, yummy goodness, made of cookie dough, Oreo cookies and brownie mix lately. When Leno asked her why the dessert got that name, she replied, “I guess a lot goes into it.” Jessica didn't name these brownies herself, there are several versions of "slutty brownie" recipes available online. While many may have thought it was a fairly benign, or even humorous comment, others find cause for concern. One writer at Mommyish worries that laughing off words like slut and whore make it easy for people to call women and their daughters those words in more hurtful, decidedly unfunny ways. Do you think using the word slutty in a recipe name is offensive or are you so busy craving those things now that you've already forgotten what the debate's all about?
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.