Let me relay what happened at a Confirmation I attended in the spring of 2013.
For those who do not know, a Confirmation is when someone (in this case, a 13 year old girl), acknowledges their beliefs in the Catholic Church. It consists of a ceremony at Church, followed by a lunch/dinner/party etc.
My fiancé and I (now husband) attended the Confirmation for a girl named “Jane”, whose parents and grandparents are family friends of my in-laws. To give a little background, Jane comes from a family where family members believe in incest – her grandparents were originally uncle and niece and decided to get married, and cousins marry each other etc. (This is important later).
Anyway, the ceremony at the Church was nice, and it was followed by a dinner and some dancing at a local banquet hall. After dinner, Jane’s uncle, who is a DJ, played some music, and everyone was pretty much having a good time. That is, until, another one of Jane’s uncle’s and her male cousin called her up to the dance floor.
A chair was placed in the middle, and she was forced to sit on the chair. All of a sudden, a song began to play, and Jane’s uncle and cousin proceeded to give her a lap dance and grind her, right on the dance floor and right in the middle of everyone! I looked around; a few people were as horrified as I was, but Jane’s family seemed to think it was very funny, and applauded and cheered and laughed. Her uncle and cousin took off their shirts, belts, and nearly exposed themselves to her (and everyone!) in the room. Did I mention that there were children and elderly people at this party? Being forced to watch this was bad enough, but the fact that they were all family made it even more creepy!
Poor Jane just had her eyes covered with her hands, and was asking her uncle and cousin to stop. She was clearly embarrassed, and I felt really bad for her. Mercifully, the song ended. Only Jane’s family cheered and laughed, while the rest of us were totally and utterly miffed by what had just happened. I looked around for Jane’s mom, who was nowhere to be found. People who were not family had to pick their jaws up off the floor, and try resume to whatever it was they were doing before the “show”.
A little later, Jane decided to entertain everyone with a song she wanted to sing. I cannot remember the name, but she sang it a capella, and everyone cheered for her, as it takes a lot of courage to do something like that in front of a crowd. When she finished, just as everyone was about to applaud, her cousin, who gave her a lap-dance and grinded her on the dance floor, shouted out: “Take off your dress,” to poor Jane. The room fell silent, except for Jane’s family, who laughed and cheered.
That was my first time attending a Confirmation. When I tell this story to people, they look just as horrified as I did when I witnessed it, and I can honestly say that that party was the most bizarre I have ever attended. 0328-14
This family’s behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with a Catholic Confirmation. The event is merely the stage upon which their collective lack of decency and kindness is displayed.
When you witness behavior of this nature, it means the consciences of the family has been seared and they no longer recognize what is unacceptable talk and behavior. If their inhibitions are so low that this type of behavior towards a 13 year old female of the family is acted out in a public place amongst neighbors, friends, etc., imagine what happens in private. I remember years ago watching a few episodes of the game show “The Price Is Right” and being appalled at Bob Barker, not once but twice, tell a winning audience member (women) to take off her clothes. It came as no surprise then when Barker was sued by a former “Barker’s Beauties” and two production assistants for sexual harassment. If something stinks in public, it’s doubly rotten in private.
If we were to witness a 13 year old girl getting slapped by her uncle and cousin, there would be no question what most of us would do to intervene. Yet when it involves sexual victimization of a 13 year old girl, most people freeze in confusion as to what to do as evidenced by the reaction of the guests to this. This is a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL….it’s not a 19 year old Miley Cyrus getting twerked by Robin Thicke. We freeze hoping a responsible adult (like Mom or Dad) will step in and stop it and the seconds tick by as the debacle continues. Instead of jaws scraping the floor, why did guests not start booing the “dancers” to counter the cheering of the family? I’ve turned my back in protest to overly sexualized wedding reception “games” between consenting adults but faced with the OP’s dilemma, would I have the presence of mind to think on my feet to find some clever resolution to this?
After ascertaining that neither the child’s father or mother was in the vicinity and knew what was happening, I would probably walk to the child in her chair with me in between her and the men, take her hand, tell her her mother wishes to see her and lead her away to my group of friends/family who would close ranks around her. I can’t stop the men but I could intervene to remove her from the situation. I’m old enough to handle pervy men and take the boos her relatives may vocalize. And if they wanted to escalate, I can threaten to call the police and have the family explain why a 13 yar old child has been placed in this sexually harassing predicament.