(CBS News ) There's something called "twerking" afoot in our land, and it's attracting the attention of our contributor Faith Salie:
All right, let's get this over with. Let's talk about twerking, so that we can begin to live in a post-twerking America.
If you don't know what it is, it's a suggestive dance move. Here's how Oxford Dictionaries defines it:
"To dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance."
Twerking has been around for at least twenty years. But it's recently hijacked the national conversation.
This week in New York City, hundreds of people set the Guinness World Record for the most people twerking simultaneously.
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel revealed himself to be the mastermind behind a viral "twerk fail" video in which a young lady's booty-shaking causes bodily harm.
A San Diego high school suspended 31 students for their twerk ethic.
And provocateur Miley Cyrus, nee Hannah Montana, recently created a "Twerkgate" on the MTV Video Music Awards.
Critics called Miley's twerking too racy, too desperate, and too derivative, with some accusing her of being racist for appropriating black culture. Still, Americans ate it right up -- viewing twelve times as many web articles about Miley Cyrus' dancing as they did about Syria.
Twerking takes its place in a long line of dance moves deemed immoral, even apocalyptic. The waltz was called sinful, because it demanded dangerously close contact between dance partners.
In 1914, the tango earned a papal denunciation for being "damaging to the soul."
And Elvis' pelvis won him a condemnation from the PTA for instigating juvenile delinquency.
So I don't think twerking spells the end of youthful decency, though I shudder to see what move comes next.
As a woman, I understand the need for young ladies to express owning their sexuality, but twerking doesn't appear at all self-possessed. As a mother, I don't want any girl twerking near my kid at a bat mitzvah.
And let's remember this: you can't spell "twerk" without "we." As in, we can look the other way.
If we all ignore it, it'll twerk itself out.
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