Earlier this week, in the context of another conversation, one of our users at Scarleteen mentioned that her feelings on abortion had changed to a negative when she learned that her mother's pregnancy had been unplanned, and that her mother considered abortion. She said that upset her, because she really liked existing. She did say she was still pro-choice, but her sentiment bothered me all the same. Some of why it bothered me was political, and also about the work that I do and have done. But in thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the ways it bothered me most were intensely personal.
The truth is, I envy her. A lot. I envy she was able to have a discussion in which her mother made clear she had the right to choose and she chose to remain pregnant and parent her.
This is a guest entry from Dangerous Lilly for the month-long blogathon to help raise awareness and financial support for Scarleteen!
At 15, I was still scared of boys, sort of.
Sure I’d “date” them, and yeah I’d make out with them, but everything else? Terrified. It was because I knew next to nothing about boys, sex, *whispers* penises, and all that good stuff. You learned about sex in one of three places: 6th/7th grade so-called-sex-ed lectures; your equally uninformed friends; your parents (so. mortifying.).
Time for another installment of Building Bridges, where we facilitate, then publish a conversation between two people in different life stages who have something with gender, sexuality and/or relationships in common. This time, our intergenerational pair is two women who have had their sexual orientation and identity shift for them during the course of their lives.
We hear a lot about generational divides. What we hear much less about are the bridges: how people of different generations can and do connect; how we can support and help one another and each offer the other things of great value.
I'd like to start a new series at Scarleteen to address some unique first-person experiences while also looking at generational differences and similarities, divides and bridges.
You probably already know I'm the founder and executive director of Scarleteen. (If not, hello! Lovely meeting you.) You might not know that on Sunday I'm turning 40.
Maybe I'm just being optimistic, but lately I feel like I have been noticing more people who really want to hear and know what young people think. Not who want to assume, presume, project or decide what you think, but who actually want to ask you and hear what you have to say about yourselves for yourselves.
If I'm not delusional in noticing this (always a possibility), I don't have to tell you this is obviously very good news.
It's amazing how well my generation - those in their late teens and early 20's - can distance themselves from topics that have everything to do with us. For example, driving fatalities and alcohol abuse. It's staggering the number of teens who die from car accidents related to substance abuse, as well as those who spend their high school and college years with a beer bottle in hand.
It's even scarier to look at how many teenagers don't know BASIC FACTS about sex and sexuality. This is something I've known for a long time as a Scarleteen staff member, but it doesn't change reality.
While out of town this weekend, between two plane trips and a couple late evenings up reading, I started and polished off Elliott Currie's The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence in very short order.