T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 41657
posted 05-16-2013 08:05 AM
I read this article and I was really upset by what the author said about Planned Parenthood.
They weren't even advocating for actual sexual freedom and autonomy, they were still saying a bunch of rubbish about chastity being important and other stuff like that... and the comments were full of horrible people saying judgemental things and saying it's bad for a 6th grader to know about anal sex, which is really heterosexist and I don't believe that a 6th grader who previously wasn't planning to have vaginal intercourse anytime soon is suddenly going to think "anal sounds like such a great idea" so I don't see what's bad about providing information about consensual sexual practices that a lot of people engage in and how to make sure they're safe. I'm sick of the projections that so many people make about what's best for kids based primarily or entirely on what makes them feel uncomfortable, they seem to have forgotten what it's like to be a kid, plus I recognize that some kids might not feel comfortable about hearing about anal intercourse but some kids don't feel comfortable about hearing about vaginal intercourse (some kids who've been sexually abused can find it very hard to discuss sex) and no-one seems to care about them, so I feel a lot of it is about making value judgements about what kinds of sex are good and what kinds of sex are bad which have very little/nothing to do with the consent and happiness of the participants. And the article didn't mention masturbation once... guess that's not "chaste". I'm not ok with sex before marriage being referred to as a "mistake" even if that's less horrible than referring to it as "dirty". If someone doesn't want to have sex before marriage that's totally their choice and I don't want them to be pressured into it but they don't have the right to judge me because I've had sex before marriage and tell me what's best for me or my sexual partners when it comes to masturbation or partnered sex, if it's masturbation I decide and if it's partnered sex we both decide together.
Member # 3
posted 05-16-2013 10:14 AM
I (personally) put that article up because much of what was said simply isn't something that we ever hear from social conservatives about abstinence-only sex ed.
In other words, it was one of the rare critiques from that side of the table, and I thought for those who are Catholic or evangelical, it might be a good lateral step to changing thinking, one that didn't involve also questioning the whole of a religious belief system. By all means, I didn't think the whole piece was awesome, and unfortunately, the comments on nearly any article we post on our social media are often toxic and icky, because a) general commenting tends to be like that at many places and b) the subject matter.
Member # 79774
posted 05-16-2013 12:25 PM
I like the article (minus the dig at Planned Parenthood, and I didn't go near the comments). I'm so pleased, and relieved, to see someone from this kind of world-view background expressing these major concerns with abstinence-only education, and their issues with it are my major issues with it.
I realise that the writer and I have very different views on morality/ethics, and that the writer would probably find some of the choices I make and things I do very immoral/unethical. I'm actually ok with that, because everything the writer says suggests they wouldn't consider me less of a human being, less worthwhile, or irreparably "dirty". That's what I read as their whole point regarding abstinence-only ed, and that's what I think is important.
Member # 3
posted 05-16-2013 12:34 PM
Redskies: that's how I felt about it, too.
Member # 93271
posted 05-16-2013 02:16 PM
I have mixed feelings about this article that fall somewhere in the middle of this conversation. I was really happy to see the author rally against the shame aspect of abstinence-only sex ed., especially considering the author's background. However, the article still made me feel a little iffy, because parts seemed to espouse that sex has a universal, intrinsic moral weight linked to chastity and traditional monogamy, instead of just a personal moral weight.
I don't want to be too sensitive about those points, because the article did make some excellent points too, but "Sloppy Seconds Sex Ed." still didn't sit quite right with me. Regardless, I'm glad we're talking about it.
Member # 3
posted 05-16-2013 02:21 PM
The "Sloppy Seconds" bit, and title, was clearly, I thought, intended to talk about -- and critique -- that common theme in ab-only sex ed, like the exercise, which is typical in ab-only, the author mentioned.
Member # 105716
posted 05-16-2013 02:42 PM
I thought that what the author was doing was trying to find a philosophical "middle ground" between what the author perceives as excesses of sexual repression and sexual freedom.I don't agree with the author's perception that complete sexual freedom is bad, but I do think it's admirable that someone with this sort of worldview is recognizing that abstinence-only sex education is a blatantly political movement aimed at chauvinistically controlling female sexuality. Whether the author's own views are just another means of restricting sexual expression is up for debate.
As for the comments section, most every internet comments section is a cesspool of undiluted awfulness and stupidity, which is why I usually avoid comments sections that I don't trust to be civil and relatively intelligent.
Member # 93271
posted 05-16-2013 04:06 PM
My apologies for not being clearer! I didn't mean the title, but the article itself.
Member # 41657
posted 05-16-2013 05:58 PM
Sorry, I recognize that's why you put the article up, but I still felt upset by it and I needed to vent... it's been a bad few days for me and the meanness of people on the internet.
Member # 3
posted 05-16-2013 06:05 PM
I'm totally okay with you venting like you did, believe me.
I should also add: I'm so many kinds of not on board with the majority of Catholic/Christian/Evangelical approaches to sexuality myself. Talking about how many ways I'm not would take hundreds of pages, but I'm not, and the reasons why, given what I do and how I do it, as well as just who I am, are probably obvious, anyway. At the same time, I try to recognize that we all have such varied belief systems, and my hope is that no matter what one's is, any person, with any given belief system, can find a way to have the healthiest sexuality possible, even if that might be -- or I feel it might be -- limited by that belief system. So, when I see things like this, what I see is a door opening a little bit where I don't usually see it open: a way into healthier ways of thinking about sexuality there might not be otherwise, or which someone like me might not be able to provide well because a person only wants to do that within the bounds of their religion or belief system. Long story short: I feel you. [ 05-16-2013, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 41657
posted 05-17-2013 11:28 AM
Another thing that did really upset me about it was all this talk about "giving" yourself in sex... I find any kind of talk about "giving" myself to people just as triggering as a sex worker would probably find someone saying "you sold your body to that client", some people probably think that this is a sign of a lack of trust of others, and maybe it is, but, well, I'm allowed to feel that way, those are my boundaries and no matter how much I trust a sexual partner I'm not ok with stuff that conceptualizes what I'm doing as any kind of surrender of my autonomy, and I feel that using language like "giving" implies that... I actually even find using the word "sharing" in this context pretty hard to deal with, I've felt so lacking in control of my life for most of it that I really personally can't deal with anything that fuzzes the psychological and physical separateness of me and the other person. I know that's edging into stuff that's more about me personally than perhaps how this would be objectionable to most people, but I'd think that some other survivors of abuse would probably feel the same way, and I'd hope that the author of that piece would respect the experiences of survivors and the way that can affect what they need emotionally and physically for sex to be a good thing as they clearly are trying to respect the experience of Elizabeth Smart (as they should).
Member # 3
posted 05-17-2013 11:38 AM
I'm personally not bothered by that, since sex with partners is something people are doing together, so there is going to be a blurring of that line by default, I'd say. I also don't presume "giving" to be one-sided, nor to mean giving something AWAY, if you follow.
However, I do understand how some might have an issue with those approaches, and how language us with them can be prickly.