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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Bubble wrap.

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Author Topic: Bubble wrap.
Member # 37929

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I'm not sure if im posting in the right place, but opinions are welcome.

So I'm in my last year at school. most people in my class are 15/16 and pretty clued up on sex.
Recently I noticed that the teachers in my school are so bothered about offending people that they won't let us portray our feelings and achieve higher grades.
For example, in my drama class we were working on a script which had some sexual content and, it was a script which had been written for teenagers to perform. Our drama teacher cut out the whole 'sex' thing coz she said she didn't want to offend the exam board
Also in my English Lit. class the teacher is, uhmm, embarrassed? i think, to mention sex and/or anything related. We were reading Sonnet 130 and theres a line that says something about the woman's breast, and then he asked us to write our own, however we werent allowed to use any remotely sexual references...

Is it just me or does it seem like my school is trying to bubble wrap everything, so it's nice and safe and innocent, when in reality, nothing is.

Posts: 116 | From: England | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 40765

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I most definitely noticed that in my high school. My drama teacher was really pretty bad about it - the main character in one of the musicals (that SHE chose) was named Dick. She changed it to Bob. That's the biggest example I can think of right now, but your school is definitely not the only one like that. It also depends on the teacher, I think. Some of my other English teachers were really cool about it. And it depends on the age level. Freshman year (14/15), my English teacher covered up the short nude scene in Romeo and Juliet. By Senior year, that same teacher was letting us have open discussions about women's sexuality and repression, etc.
Posts: 222 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 35485

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Yikes. That really sucks that English Lit. teachers are shy about that stuff. My teacher definately isn't afraid to soil our little virgin ears--Equus is on the outside reading list this quarter [Razz]

There's a lot of sexy stuff in Shakespeare's works (and a lot of literature in general), and acknowledging it's there gives new and different dimensions to it (not to mention, acknowledges you can handle 'grown-up' reading [Roll Eyes] ). I'm lucky to have a fantastic teacher--she's not afraid to point it out when we miss it! Once we were analyzing sonnets (not just Shakespeare) in class, and it was a little embarrassing how many sexual references we missed [Big Grin] Having gone to Catholic school since kindergarten, I've had teachers who like to sugarcoat everything, and it stinks. It's a nice change having someone who expects us to put our Big Girl Pants on, so to speak, and be ready for mature themes.

I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty. --John Waters

Posts: 206 | From: Bay Area, CA | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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This is ironic for me, because my senior year of highschool, I took AP English, and my teacher was almost overly sexual. She was always encouraging us to look for sexual meanings: love and romance, incest, rape, inter-racial relations, homosexuality, what have you, and especially in older literary works like Shakespeare's.

I mean, hell, as part of a film analysis unit, we watched the horror film Se7en (the film is called "Seven" for those of you who haven't seen it) with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt: imagine a group of seniors watching the "lust" scene...yeah. Pretty intense stuff.

But everyone in the class was pretty mature about it, even some of the goofiest guys. You really can't read through and discuss famous titles like Paradise Lost and Sula and watch films like American History X without having some sense of maturity.

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Posts: 3987 | From: Greater Burlington Area, Vermont | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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You can never be overly sexual when discussing literature. [Smile] I remember a lower level english course I took last semester. We talked about Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown, and when I brought up some of the sexual imagery (including the devil's walking stick shaped like a black snake), a good portion of the class thought I was either crazy or a sex maniac. The professor had to try and convince everyone that I was neither, and then later defend herself when she pointed out the sexual imagery in the stories we discussed. (Though I have to say I've been accused of being too sexual in my short stories, even though I've never written anything explicit and it always has something to do with the characters or the story. Meh, I guess some people are just uncomfortable reading anything sexual.)

I don't think you have to be totally stiff when talking about sex in literature, though. It is goofy stuff, and a lot of the time the author means for it to be funny (certainly Shakespeare did). You have to walk a balance, but it does help to lighten the mood in the class if you can laugh about it.

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 37929

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Yeah, most people in the classes are mature enough to talk about sex openly without it actually meaning anything sexual, if you understand what i mean.
Like we could probably discuss sex in literature without giggling about it.
I'm glad my school isnt the only one! [Razz]
what is the point in studying a sonnet or a story or whatever if we can't study it properly and discuss the meaning behind it?

Posts: 116 | From: England | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Oooh, after having just started English at my school. I find it really cool and liberating here. We are reading Native Son, and my teacher made sure we had the 'un-revised' version which has an amazingly descriptive masturbation scene.

"I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox."
Woody Allen

Posts: 39 | From: Iowa | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 44376

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My school isn't like that. Well, we have very...glossed over sex education. It's awful - I've had to learn it all from sites like this. No wonder there's such a high teenage pregnancy rate in my area. But that's a different story.

We are currently studying The Time Traveler's Wife in English Lit. It's quite amusing listening to my little old teacher reading out the raunchy bits. And we have to thoroughly analyze them. [Smile]

And in our school production of Jekyll and Hyde, there were a lot of Victorian prostitutes and lots of cleavage. A bit disturbing if you think about the parents in the balcony seats getting a bird's eye view of a 16 year old's chest. But the Drama department didn't seem to mind.

Posts: 16 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 44916

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My old (Catholic) school was like that. My English teacher would outright deny the sexual references in Macbeth, and asked how I knew that Romeo and Juliet consummated their marriage. I told her I knew because the text said, but she didn't believe me.

She was REALLY dumb.

My grade 11 English teacher at my new school outright laughed at that when I told her about my old teacher.

Posts: 19 | From: Canada | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
moonlight bouncing off water
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At my school we have a mix, some teachers are completely open, but others are not. For example my French teacher treats us like adults, not only did she pick a novel to read that has sexual content, but she treats us like adults in many other respects. I remember in my English class last year that the teacher fast forwarded a scene in "The Merchant of Venice" when a few women were walking around with their dresses around their waists, it was honestly that restrictive. There is such a negative stigma on talking about anything even remotely related to sex, it is really about the teacher teaching it.

(P.S. tahlalalia, "The Time Traveler's Wife" is a fantastic novel, but don't get too hyped up about the movie, it is a good film on it's own, but it is very much different from the book.)


I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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In my highschool, It really depended what teacher you got.

I know that in freshman and sophomore year, they tended to be a bit more discreet. Our freshman year English teacher admitted to us that the school had assigned edited versions of romeo and juliet.

Now, the absolute worst was actually my HEALTH teacher. However, I think this was really my school's fault. They had habit of having their coaches double as history and elective teachers during the periods when there were no sports going along, so we ended up with a few teachers who didn't know anything or care about what they were teaching.

The man COMPLETELY skipped over the entire sex ed/reproductive health section. But, I really can't blame him. He probably never signed up for that job, and talking to a bunch of 15 year olds about sex takes guts that I really don't think he had. I think schools should make an effort to hire people who are actually trained to teach the subject they're assigned to.

However, on the other hand, I was lucky enough to have the same amazing teacher for junior and senior English. She treated us like adults from the minute we walked in, and no topic was off limits in her class. She would even answer questions that weren't english related if it was something she knew the other teachers wouldn't tell us.

And, even better, when times came along that we really WEREN'T mature enough for the subject matter, she let us laugh it off. After reading the crucible, the "sweated like a stallion" line became a standing class joke, and she laughed right along with us. However, she still managed to talk about it in a tasteful way that didn't make us feel awkward

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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