Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gentlemen, Need Help Slaying that Dragon?

I've ranted. I've raved. I've yelled here, at conferences, and in classrooms. The abstinence-only sex education programs are dangerous and...well, the word evil certainly springs to mind. But now I'm close to speechless. I can apparently still type, but I tell you it's a near thing.

I was looking over the materials on "secondary virginity." (Does the mind reel, or what?) And they're lame enough, heaven knows. But amidst the drivel, I spot a fairy tale intended for younger audiences. It's in the Choosing Best series. There's a prince, a princess, a village maiden (literally -a virgin) and a dragon. Clearly, the prince and princess are destined to live together happily ever after, after he slays the dragon. I've read this one. Except, the princess -tramp that she is- gives the prince too many suggestions as to how to kill the dragon so he marries the village maiden instead. The commentary after the story says, "Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."

What the bloody hell? First off, how is this sex education or abstinence promotion? Secondly, let's say hypothetically there are reasons for young people to abstain from sex -and I think there are plenty. Is it impossible to imagine that we could start from the position that strong and self-defining girls don't need to be in early sexual relationships? Why do we have to go back to "whatever you say, dear" models of relationships in order to keep young people safe from the consequences of premature sexual activity?

And that's bad enough. Really. But the notion that women who have the audacity to have thoughts, suggestions, and opinions aren't sexually upright purely pisses me off. If the poor princess had had her own sword and just gone off and killed the dragon herself, they probably would have burned her at the stake. Moreover, it's just deranged to suggest that girls who aren't virgins won't be able to snag a husband. They haven't even considered the possibility that women are perfectly capable of living alone, for crying out loud.

Who writes this stuff? And why? And how are we allowing this shaming, blaming, and girl-diminishing stuff to be be disseminated with taxpayer money? Here's the book you need instead of uppity princesses permanently damaging men's egos -and not getting marriage, sex, or security for their efforts: S.E.X.

No comments: