Posts Tagged: sex education
If you’re fortunate enough have a free evening this busy fall semester, I recommend grabbing a box of Swedish Fish and watching The Education of Shelby Knox on Netflix Instant. Centering around one 15 year-old girl’s fight to bring comprehensive sex education to her abstinence-only high school, the film really gets to the heart of what it takes to inspire progress in communities where few things ever change. Setting is everything for a movie, and documentaries are no exception. Shelby Knox is a student in Lubbock, Texas, a town that—while overwhelmingly conservative and religious—has given birth to several rebellious progressive voices, including Natalie Maines and Buddy Holly. Over the course of The Education, you’ll witness Knox begin to follow in their footsteps of independent thought.
I’ll start with a little ice-breaking self-disclosure. When I was little, even though I’d heard the word vagina, my parents called it “gin-gin,” so that’s what I called it. For those of you who also grew up skirting around the proper names for genitalia, see any names you recognize? (If not, you should leave a comment with what you called yours.) Private parts No-no Nether region Down there Business Ding-dong Pee-pee Thing Wee-wee Hoo-ha Ya-ya So what does calling your vagina a “wee-wee” or penis a “pee-pee” when you were a kid have to do with reproductive justice? Answer: Lots!
When I began questioning my sexuality in my teens, I didn’t know how sex between two women “worked.” I felt a lump rise in my throat when I tried to talk to a pretty girl. My face flushed. The hairs on my arms stood on end. But aside from these physical indicators, I was clueless. As far as I knew, lesbians had sex via osmosis or hand holding. My sex ed class wasn’t of much assistance. The small Georgia school system in which I was enrolled followed an abstinence-plus curriculum. Any acts of intimacy referenced in our thin textbooks were of the standard (some might even say boring) penis-in-vagina variety. I eventually learned what constituted queer sex through an awkward independent study course. With the assistance of t.A.T.u.’s infamous “All… Read more »
My story is a common one. I was raised by Catholic, Mexican parents in southern Arizona which meant I observed strict traditional gender roles in the house. It also meant that sex was something we just didn’t talk about. In fact, the only time I ever remember my parents talking about sex was when they told me and my siblings that they had been virgins when they got married. The only sex education I received was either from the abstinence-only curriculum I received for two weeks in high school or from Catholic School at my church. I was first introduced to the reproductive justice movement when I entered college and it changed my life forever. I know that’s a dramatic thing to say but I can honestly trace everything I’ve accomplished today… Read more »
My Rights are Everyone’s Rights: Five Reasons Why Queers Should Give a Damn About Reproductive Justice
It’s a common question in LGBTQIA groups: Why hop on the reproductive justice bandwagon when I don’t need birth control? Homosexuals cannot even have kids. Remind me what this has to do with us again? Why is this our responsibility? As gender and sexual minorities (GSMs), we’re skeptical. I know I was. As humans, we are highly connected to one another’s oppression. We all have mothers, sisters, and female-identified friends whose rights to healthcare and liberty are constantly being challenged. Additionally, as LGBTQIA individuals, we have unique experiences with the way systems of oppression work. Knowing what we know alone is a call to action. To quote the feminist poet Emma Lazarus, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” We at Choice USA believe that reproductive justice… Read more »