This year, we'd like to invest some extra energy in being sure we're doing our level best to serve our readers of color well.
By all means, a lot what we do here is applicable to everyone and can serve everyone, and there are a lot of parts of sexuality and relationships that are fairly universal. At the same time, we know -- either firsthand or by proxy -- there are some issues or aspects of sexuality, sexual life and relationships and sexual health which are different for people or communities of color, or where there are additional barriers or complexities.
People forget that at the turn of the century, in the 20's, in the 50's and 60's, in the 80's and 90's... there has always been something like this, some way young people were expressing or publicizing sexuality that adults were freaking out about, quick to proclaim as abnormal, and quick to state as something new that had never gone on before. Not hardly! I've no doubt we could find dirty telegrams from way back when if we looked for them.
Don’t worry: I’m not going to tell you not to post pictures of yourself drunk or exposed on Facebook because future employers might look at your profile, or tell you not to write about how "totally wasted” you got last night on your Wall. What I want to talk about is the other side of Facebook, the side that allows creeps to spy on you.
I only rented Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist recently, so I know I'm behind the curve on this one. But I just had to say something.
I loved this movie. I loved it as a person just chilling out on her couch wanting to watch something good, and I loved it even more as someone who works with and for teenagers and young adults. When I looked up the director, I was unsurprised that I'd liked it so much. Peter Sollett also directed Raising Victor Vargas, which is one of the best, most honest and real coming-of-age films I've ever seen.
Yesterday, after working my second job at the clinic, I was effectively kidnapped by my co-worker Gigi and her ten-year-old daughter Sophia, whom I adore. She calls herself Big Sophia around me, my pug (scroll down this page for a visual) being Little Sofia. We wound up driving from their place to my neighborhood for dinner, which is a pretty long haul.
In many ways, sex education often seems to get stuck in two big places. Plenty of people seem to think that if you're talking about sex to young people at all -- no matter how you're talking about it, no matter why you're talking about it -- that's progressive enough, and for some, that in and of itself is too progressive. Despite Americans having over 100 years to get used to sex education at this point, for many it still seems an innovation, and not a particularly welcome one.
If you are in Italy these days and spend some time watching the news and talking to Italians, you'll notice that there is one topic on everyone's minds and that's rape. In the past few months, there has been extensive media coverage of several rapes that have been perpetrated in the big cities. There has been a huge public outcry coupled with a large demand for more police presence and tougher punishments for rape. Just last week, Prime Minister Berlusconi responded by passing emergency laws to deal with the situation.
Young women today have it so much better when it comes to sex than we did... right?
Now and then, when talking about the population I work with and the work I do with them, I will hear or face women my age (I'll be 39 this spring) or older stating that now that we live in a post-feminist world here in the states, they're shocked to hear that young women are struggling with sex and sexuality....well, just like we were. And some struggle even more.