I Really Hope She Doesn’t Live Near Me

13 Jan

Myspace Text - http://www.sparklee.com

By now you know my anger/disappointment in “experts” trying to amalgamate the emotional, sexual and moral reality of teenage girls and their sexual desires — their real desires and their desire to be liked/loved and their desire to be “normal” at a time when normal is the most valued commodity in the high school hallway marketplace.  I keep wishing we could have a conversation where, instead of seeing girls as de facto victims of society we held them accountable for the same level of rsponsibilty we hold boys responsible.  Which is why this Op-Ed struck me as so close, and yet so far.  An excerpt from Caitlin Flanagan’s article:

We, too, have a deep commitment to girls, and ours centers not on protecting their chastity, but on supporting their ability to compete with boys, to be free — perhaps for the first time in history — from the restraints that kept women from achieving on the same level. Now we have to ask ourselves this question: Does the full enfranchisement of girls depend on their being sexually liberated? And if it does, can we somehow change or diminish among the very young the trauma of pregnancy, the occasional result of even safe sex?

Okay first of all, I don’t want girls to “compete” with boys.  I want to hold girls and boys to basic standards of moral and emotional responsibilty.  Namely:

Know your biology
Know your psychology
Know what you want
Don’t do anything to hurt yourself
Don’t do anything to hurt other people

I understand that the very sight of pregnant Juno in Diablo Cody’s movie made this woman question what she would do in the same situation.  But did she roll back the clock?  What are you saying to your daughter?  What are we saying to all of our daughters?  I think the problem here is that we only see sexual desire and sex ed as an issue when it is too late.  When the Jamie Lynn Spears’ of the world show up preggers by a 45 year old and we wonder how.  Here’s how.  Biologically girls are ready to conceive at 14.  No amount of prayer is going to stop that.  No amount of Abstinence Only is going to change the biological fact that along with that readiness for conception comes a surge of hormones.  And that because we are so freaked out in our country about sex and sexuality we stop talking to our kids the day they start to talk.  Oh we can say pee pee and vajayjay but we can’t turn to our kids and say, That is your vagina.  A penis can go in there.  But if it does you can get pregnant.  That vagina, it makes you responsible.  You owe it something.  You owe it a disease free life.  And you owe it respect.  Only things you want to go in there, things that you can understand and quantify, can go in there.  Just because it wants something, you don’t have to give it to your vagina.  That’s the way it is kid.

Same thing with the penis, by the way.  But just change some of those ins and outs.

See you stopped reading didn’t you?  You had this image of looking your real or imagined daughter in the eyes and saying this and you got embarrassed.  Because if you say that aren’t you acknowledging that a kid has the potential for sexuality and if so, aren’t you like one mouse-click away from NAMBLA?  Well, let me ask you this?  Are you one mouse-click away from 2 Girls 1 Cup when you teach your kid to poop in the potty?  Does knowing something equal perverting it?  Do you believe that you can raise a kid who understands her own sexuality enough to be in charge and not the other way around?

I find this whole “girls need protection” thing really fucked up.  I do.  Girls need information.  And romanticizing a time when girls were protected from everything including their own thoughts is pathetic.  Your daughter deserves all the information and choices any child deserves.  The fact that this op-ed was sponsored by Juno almost makes it too sad to rag on.  But fuck it.  I’ll end the same way Flanagan did, just a slightly different intonation.  I think the girl who carved “please” into the bathroom stall was saying the following, “please, tell me that’s not all you plan on teaching me stupid lady.”


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