Thursday, January 28, 2016

Growing Up and Knowing Your Body!

PS, this image is from Sophomore Mag

As we spoke more and more about coming of age stories and the way that a sort of womanhood forms, I started to notice a common trend. In Tina Fey’s stories, she touches on the confusion of growing up as a woman, and the sort of vague way that we approach menstruation and female puberty. Without even talking to Fey, her mother just left brochures in her room, almost as if what was happening was not meant to be discussed but was rather meant to be kept to oneself. Again in Fey’s story, she discusses how most women first discovered/acknowledged their womanhood, through a man that cat called them or said something to them. This sets up the framework that growing up is kind of scary and shameful. It has come to represent not just becoming a woman but also getting treated like a woman. Kaling’s story about getting boobs also touches on this point that you’re losing a sort of childlike innocence and entering into this scary, generally unfair, shamed womanhood.

I’m stretching a bit here, but these ways in which woman are shamed and told to talk about periods and masturbation and sex behind closed doors (especially in the south), has made me really passionate about better sex ed for women. Not just better sex ed but a sort of all encompassing course or program that teaches women about their bodies, puberty, healthy sex, and a more celebrated approach to growing up and to your body. When I look back on my sex ed classes in middle school, I remember we were escorted into a windowless room for a powerpoint presentation talking about menstruation and teachers gave the option for students to go home afterwards, as if we couldn’t talk about it in the hallowed coed halls. When it got to talking about sex, we learned a lot about male masturbation and all the negative consequences to having sex, but we were missing a huge chunk- what was sex, how was it supposed to work, female masturbation, and so on. We spent so much time learning about the end result without even knowing the means, and that has become significantly more pressing and clear to me, as I still have friends asking me questions about their bodies. I’ve attached a little video, which I hope you will all enjoy about female masturbation and how society should start talking about it!
Here's the link, I tried to put it on this page but having a little trouble so click the link and watch it!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that this class is making you think more about sex education. Last semester, one of my composition students wrote an essay arguing that most sex ed programs actually reinforce rape culture, and she made a lot of valid points. Before spring break we'll read several great articles about how female desire gets left out of the conversations about teen sex and sex education. Kate, I'll be eager to hear your opinion about those articles.