Here in the land of Ontario, we don’t want our children to know what a vagina or penis is.
They must remain confused and urinate without question. For that is all that is done with these daisies and pee pees. Also, sexual harassment and consent – why do our kids need to know about that? Sexual health, healthy relationships, gender identity, sexuality, Sexually-transmitted Infections (STIs), stereotypes, puberty : the worst. The revised Health and Physical Education curriculum, the one that hadn’t been revised for almost 20 years, uses the word sex 282 times! I Command F’d it! The horror! Not in Ontario! What has changed in 20 years anyway? Just in case I need to mention this, I’ve been sarcastic up until now. BAM! Minds blown, I know.
It isn’t like sex ed was all that great before. You know who taught me about periods? Blossom. My Home Ec teacher didn’t even wear a hat. She did, however, draw a peanut on the board to show me what a woman’s body (is socially scripted to) looks like, and a pizza slice to show what a (scripted) man’s body looks like (picture the slice standing on the pointy part. The crust is dude’s shoulders or some bullshit). Maybe that was a BC thing. From what friends have told me, Ontario schools weren’t any more helpful.
I don’t actually know why people are protesting the new curriculum. Recently our premier Kathleen Wynne has said she believes these protests are politically motivated, as The Star reports, “I think the federal Conservatives are going to use this issue in certain communities in the federal election, which I think is despicable.”
I wasn’t sure what all these protests were about. It seems that six-year-olds knowing the clinical terms – the words, the names, you know, the language that we teach them to speak in every other circumstance – for their genitalia is having getting some people super freaked out. However, being freaked out over saying vagina instead of flower may be is worth the peace of mind in knowing that children will be better equipped to report sexual abuse if it happens. Audrey Rastin, a manager at Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention in Toronto tells The Globe and Mail in a March 9 article, “Using proper terminology is protective. Kids who are comfortable talking about their bodies are more likely to be able to disclose when something worrisome or uncomfortable is happening to them.” She continues to say that when kids do not use the proper terminology they can be misunderstood when trying to communicate abuse.
Another cause for freak out has been the inclusion of same-sex parents when discussing relationships. In 1998, same-sex marriage was still illegal in Canada, the sex ed curriculum was a reflection of this. Now, the curriculum is aligned with Ontario law. Of course groups like Campaign Life Coalition and columnists like Joe Warmington are scared, because the gays. Homophobic rant here. Transphobic rant there. Wynne and her gay agenda. Blah blah blah.
Fuck these righteous lame-os.
As for teaching consent, who would be against that? Why would parents not want their children to learn this. I keep seeing complaints that kids are learning about sex before they are the age of consent, as if sex just cannot physically happen before a certain age. I am happy to know that my daughter will learn about consent in a formal setting in addition to what we teach at home. It is important to me that the curriculum will reflect real things pertaining to her and her generation’s life such as sexting (if that is still a thing by the time she has a phone). I’ve never understood the hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil philosophy. I don’t even know if I got those in the right order.
All in all, it isn’t the end of the world. Parents, it’ll be OK. Our children are more than peanuts and pizza to be.
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