Saturday, April 14, 2007

There it is, in black and white...

I've just started reading the Mathematica report on abstinence-only education in the US, and goodness, is it ever an interesting document (and I'm only on page 14/164 so far). Hat tip to Vanessa at Feministing for the link.

There has been a considerable amount of speculation in the feminist blogosphere about whether these professional abstinence promoters basically want to promote the idea that poor people shouldn't be having sex. The answer is unequivocally yes, according to this report. From their summary of Title V, Section 510 (b)(2)(A-H) of the Social Security Act (P.L. 104-193), one of the goals of abstinence-only education is to "[t]each the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity." It may depend on how they're defining "self-sufficiency" in this case, but considering the other rhetoric we've seen around welfare recipients, it's pretty obvious that they do, in fact, mean economic self-sufficiency.

In other words, no fucking until you can afford it. If you can never afford it, well, then, you don't deserve sexual pleasure, you lazy piece of worthless trash.

I think I'll be blogging more about this as time goes on, and I think I want to be taking notes as I'm reading, as well.

Suddenly, holding masturbation seminars for low-income people seems very subversive...

4 Comments:

Blogger Deacon Barry said...

Seminars!!?!!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

In the US, Bill Clinton fired the then-Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders, for suggesting that masturbation be taught (I'm assuming as a concept) in public schools. (Yes, that Bill Clinton -- the best Republican president of the last 40 years.)

I know it was taught as a "safe sex" option in the public schools I went to, mostly I think to counter the prevailing attitude that anyone who masturbated was obviously a loser who couldn't really get laid. That said, I'm Canadian, and we're just a bit more relaxed (or were, I dunno about now) about such things.

So yes, seminars. Mostly focusing on stuff like, "It's ok to masturbate, here's why you should do it" -- for women, it's a good way for them to get to know their genitalia, since it isn't like we can look at/into the thing without a mirror, and it's also the way many women learn to have orgasms from sexual contact. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to mention that mutual masturbation is kind of fun, too, and can serve as a "reasonable hand-drawn facsimile" (*snerk*) for the other kinds of sexual things one can do with a partner. I might also add a section on buying and using sex toys, either alone or with a partner, just to demystify and destigmatise some of this stuff...

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Eli said...

Hm. So sex is a privilege to be earned, eh?

10:44 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

Apparently they think so. It ties in nicely with today's Doonesbury: Take the advice of the Republicans about sex, because they're just ever so much more trustworthy, no matter how they behave.

In other words, Trudeau picked up on the IOKIYAR idea.

2:51 PM  

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