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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

There’s an article in the paper about girls not being taught skills to resist sex they’re not ready for.

I’m all for equipping girls to resist peer pressure to do anything they’re uncomfortable with, just not interested in or don’t what.

I’m a little concerned however that at the very least the reporting of the paediatricians paper at least comes off moralistic (I am at work and don’t have the time to follow up on the paper or paediatrician in question):

Being drunk or tipsy at the time was also common. But losing their virginity while intoxicated, which conflicted with expectations of sex being “special the first time”, left some regretting their actions.

Surely just as much of the battle in ensuring girls have sex they want, have sex when and how they want (including NOT having any form of sex that they don’t want) and don’t end up regretting it is teaching girls about pleasure and their bodies?

Sex ed focuses on pregnancy, biology, sexually transmitted diseases. Certain cold ‘facts’ about “sex”.

I use scare quotes there because it teaches them facts ONLY about hetero sex, ONLY about sex with another person (always of the opposite sex sending the message that sex is not something for you to enjoy alone, or that it is so unthinkable that you might be attracted to someone of the same sex as to reinforce the idea that there’s some perversion to same sex desire/same sex sex/masturbation), almost solely about penis-in-vagina sex, though with some embellishments as to boys/men and their sexual pleasure. It presents the cock as the thing with the desire and the womans body as the thing equipped to make that happen with a vague ‘nod’ to the idea that it will be pleasurable for both (not TOO pleasurable thanks).

If girls were taught about their bodies not as something secret and shameful, or as an object of desire and pleasure FOR boys/men, but as instruments of their own pleasure, if girls were taught about the clitoris and its potential wonders (that it’s there not for biology but for your very own pleasure), if masturbation was not spoken of as some biological imperative of the cock, a quick jerk to relax, a boy thing, a ‘healthy red blooded males response to chicks tits’, but as a healthy and wonderful thing that people can do to learn about and experience their own bodies, in safety and comfort, to experiment with what they like/what they don’t, if girls were taught that it was a vital thing to learn early about pleasuring themselves, about whether they feel pleasure around ideas of sex, about what they want, what to ask for, if girls were taught that it’s not their role to be the moral guardians of society, that they are allowed to want sex, to desire it, to have it when and how they want, to think about all the scenarios in which they would like to engage and those in which they would not, who they might be willing to share sexual experiences with and who not, then I think a lot of regret would be lost.

If we taught girls to really focus on their own pleasure in their own time, while discussing with them the ways in which society will want them to perform a constructed femininity, that they have choices about that to some extent, if we discussed with them the heady intoxicating realisation of a sudden ‘power’ of a kind (girls bodies are worshipped in society and one minute you’re just a kid, the next you’re suddenly this ‘object of desire’ ) and her choices in how the experiments with that while protecting her desires, her body, her choices, and discussions of the sad but real violence directed at girls around sex I think we’d have a much better chance of ensuring girls did not have sex they’d regret than if we only focus on ways to say no.

I don’t like the idea of pushing on teenage girls already being dazzled by hormones and puberty, society’s strange quiet around healthy discussions of sex and desire (and the simultaneous worship of it in tedious cliched ways that enforce the idea that CHICKS ARE HOT and BOYS ARE HORNY and WOMEN ARE FUCKHOLES and THAT’S JUST HOW IT GOES and all the virgin/whore stuff that goes along with that), the societal pressure to be one of the ‘good girls’ and the silently absorbed lessons of how ‘bad girls’ get treated and talked about that the solution to being upset by the ways they’re treated during sex is that they just need to be morally stronger and ‘just say no’.

Because what if the girl DESIRED sex, but regretted it because it became apparent that the guy had no regard for her DURING that sex? Should she wear the blame – is it because she had sex too early, or because boys are taught it’s all about them? Because what if the girl WANTS to be equipped to have sex? What if she doesn’t quite KNOW, if she has sex because she’s NOT been taught to experiment and to pleasure herself and so gets swept up in the power of arousal and has sex because she didn’t know she could feel like that, but then realises she wasn’t ready, or he’s a prick, or it wasn’t ultimately satisfying? If she had experienced those feelings alone, earlier, then perhaps they wouldn’t have the power they do?

Anyway, enough pondering, I have work to do.

[Eta: Helen has more at Hoyden About Town – her post being about the frustration of seeing more papers on how to teach girls to *resist* pressure from boys rather than teaching *boys* to behave ethicially]

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