Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue

Parenting-Beyond-Pink

by Gloria Partida

The parent engagement workshop “Parenting beyond Pink and Blue” at Cesar Chavez Elementary on Wednesday January 28th hosted by the Cesar Chavez climate committee was very well attended. The goals of the workshop were to increase understanding of gender as it relates to children, parenting, schools and to inspire the community to create inclusive environments where everyone can learn and thrive. The primary focus was to look at gender beyond the binary and understand that Gender is more expansive than “male” or “female” and to understand the negative impacts associated with gender expectations such as the loss of confidence young women feel when they enter puberty partly due to the message that their gender has no strength association or the taboo of intimacy among young men that are expected to “man up” and not admit that they may need help.

Kate Snow the District Climate Coordinator also explained the actions being taken by the district to accommodate gender expression and identity. Information about gender terms and labeling was also discussed. Many of the questions asked revolved around identifying whether gender non conformation was a phase and how teachers should address gender non conforming students.

As a member of the Phoenix Coalition whose mission is the prevention of hate motivated incidents. This workshop was extremely heartening. While our organization continually contends with the belief that Davis is not doing to bad in the areas of inclusiveness and whether it is really necessary to spend so much energy on addressing diversity, meeting the parents at this workshop reaffirmed that all children no matter what portion of our population they occupy are worth the effort. It would be great to see more of these types of workshops.

As the parent of two gay children and a son with severe disabilities I deeply understand the anxiety of having children that do not fall within the norm. The second tenet of parenthood, after love your child, is keep your child from harm. While there were parents in the room that were looking for the best way to navigate what they clearly perceived to be a long battle filled road there was also bubbling hope created by a packed multipurpose room and knowledge that the School District and a growing number of community members are willing to work towards inclusiveness.

Tips for Gender Inclusive Parenting:

  • Treat all children as individuals
  • Create an ethic of “difference=Positive”
  • Use inclusive language
  • Challenge “genderalization” and stereotypes
  • Offer a counter-message
  • Limit gender labeling, dividing, policing
  • Respect bodies and person space
  • Talk to your kids
  • Speak up you make a difference
  • Find support for yourself

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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97 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    Thanks for writing this Gloria. I find it interesting and timely that your article about gender comes at a time when choice of word for a body part unique to females came up on a different thread. To your list of tips for gender inclusive parenting, I would like to add the following suggestion.

    Use the correct anatomic term for all body parts. If as a parent, you don’t know the correct terms, learn them.

    As a gynecologist, I have seen the ignorance, shame, confusion and sometimes physical harm that is caused by using euphemisms for female genitalia in the interest of “delicacy”. If a woman cannot distinguish accurately her urethra from her vulva from her vagina from her anus, but refers to all the named parts as “down there” or some other “cute” phrase that her mother taught her,  there is a problem.

    The vast majority of women that I encounter still have some degree of shame or embarrassment about their genitals.  In order for boys and girls to grow into men and women who respect their own and each others sexuality, we need to stop dumbing down our approach to this particular part of our bodies and how they function.

    1. Miwok

      Thank you for your comment Tia, I agree people call body parts names because some parts of the body are considered vulgar. My aunt was a nurse and was the only person who was not ashamed of anatomy, especially for normal hygiene and inspections. I would have never got that from my mother or father.

      all children no matter what portion of our population they occupy are worth the effort.

      However, this statement by the author I fail to understand. “Portion of our population”?

      What does that mean? At first impression, I thought children were the “children” portion of our population.

  2. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    I agree Tia.  For the very reason you state, “If a woman cannot distinguish accurately her urethra from her vulva from her vagina from her anus, but refers to all the named parts as “down there” or some other “cute” phrase that her mother taught her,  there is a problem.”

    Our 3 and 5 year old know their body parts and have since they could talk.  Our daughter said to our 3 year old one day, “I am a girl and I have a vagina. You are a boy and you have a penis.”  Someone nearby was “shocked” that she used those terms and I said she used them in an appropriate manner and used the correct anatomic terms for their body parts.  It has bothered me when people dumb down or use “cute” terms for body parts.

    1. hpierce

      Reminds me of a scene from “Kindergarten Cop”…  The children appear to be technically correct, but have I to wonder if they still lack “situational awareness”.  What might be perfectly fine at home is not necessarily a good topic elsewhere… in the check-out line in a store might be one of those.

        1. hpierce

          Was there any indication that the parent/guardian used it as a “teaching moment”?  I didn’t see it.  If not a teaching moment, a child would naturally assume it was OK (and perhaps encouraged), and be likely to repeat the behavior.

    2. hpierce

      Reminds me of a scene from “Kindergarten Cop”…  The children appear to be technically correct, but have I to wonder if they still lack “situational awareness”.  What might be perfectly fine at home is not necessarily a good topic elsewhere… in the check-out line in a store might be one of those.  If someone is responding to an article about where drugs were stored, fine.  The context is there.  If the same term was used 5 times in an article about Measure R/J, it would be (most likely) ‘out-of-context’, and inappropriate.

      1. KSmith

        And that, of course, is part of socializing one’s children. It would be entirely appropriate for the mother in that case to quietly say, “Yes, you’re right, but we don’t need to talk about that right here.”

    3. KSmith

      Being able to say the names of these body parts and not have people immediately pearl clutch is a first step toward reforming sex ed in this country, since so many problems come from the sorry state of how we teach that subject (or pretty much -don’t- teach it).

        1. KSmith

          🙂

          Unfortunately, it is too true. My daughter just went through this last year at the  junior high in 9th grade. The health teacher was apparently embarrassed to cover a lot of the sex ed topics, and so just didn’t really go into them. There was also what my daughter reported as more emphasis on abstinence rather than giving them the full range of information that IMO is more helpful.

          Luckily, I am able to give her the medically-correct and scientifically-accurate information, and am not embarrassed to bring these topics up with her. I’m concerned for all those other kids in that class, though, who might not have a parent who is unembarrassed/willing to give their kids accurate information.

        1. KSmith

          It means when people get outraged/offended (usually morally) and figuratively “clutch their pearls” with an audible gasp. I believe that phrase originates in the South, where some older women wear pearl necklaces and literally clutch them when they are offended.

          I think this is going to turn out to be a generational issue. It seems to me that the younger generation (my daughter’s age) are getting to be much more comfortable asking questions, speaking of body parts with their correct names, etc. Hopefully, the schools will continue to go in that direction rather than the narrow abstinence-only curriculum that has been foisted on a lot of schools.

  3. Anon

    Two comments:

    1.  I suspect the wrong parents were at this workshop.  My guess is the parents that were there had kids that don’t fit the mold and get bullied.  I will bet you that the parents of the bullies were not likely present.  Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have workshops like this.  But perhaps a school assembly might be more worthwhile, or in-school discussions, altho the school district probably already has those.  Just a thought.

    2. As to the discussion of “female parts”, let me give you a different perspective.  When my children attended Davis schools many years ago, they were given sex ed.  Parents had to sign a consent form.  Had I known what was going to take place, I never, ever would have given my consent.  The class was co-ed.  Students were allowed to ask any questions they wanted.  The more vulgar boys asked absolutely disgusting and very suggestive inquiries intended to provoke embarrassment.  My children hated the class, got nothing out of it.  Sex ed classes like this, where any question can be asked, should be segregated with boys in one class and girls in the other, so that sort of nonsense is stopped.  Co-ed sex classes have to be given with a great deal of sensitivity if at all co-mingled.

    Having said that, I personally find the title of the play “Vagina Monologues” very offensive and would never go see it, even if the actors or whoever devised the title used the correct anatomical term for the female body part they were referring to.  What I am getting at is that using the correct female anatomical term has to be used in the appropriate context to make it okay in my book.  JMO

    1. South of Davis

      Anon wrote:

      > I personally find the title of the play “Vagina Monologues” very offensive

      So does Mount Holyoke College since it “offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman” and is “transphobic”

      P.S. To those that are not up to date on the changes in Mount Holyoke (and other Seven Sisters) admission policies Mount Holyoke has recently started admitting “male-to female transgender students”…

    2. Davis Progressive

      the wrong parents are always the ones involved – of course until they turn out to be the right parents because you never know whose kids is going to be the one to go off.  that said, i think we should have a series on ab 9 funding for anti-bullying programs and see if those resources will end up being helpful.

    3. Tia Will

      I am unclear what you find offensive about the title “Vagina Monologues” .

      It seems to me that you are expressing a discomfort with regard to a normal part of anatomy. Since you state that you have not seen the play, I am assuming that it is not the content of the play that you find objectionable, but the word “vagina” itself. This,if true is a great illustration of my point. Until we as a society become as comfortable with the term vagina as we are with “shoulder” or “knee” we will continue to have the kinds of disruptive behaviors that you described in your children’s sex ed classes. Once we demystify these parts of our anatomy, we will have gone a long way towards preventing these puerile kinds of behavior .

      1. Anon

        I would be just as offended by a title “The Penis Monologues”, or “The Anus Monologues”.  I am not offended by the use of these words in their proper context, but as a title of a movie or play or book, or as table conversation in mixed company that I don’t know that well… call me a prude or old fashioned if you will.  I’m proud to wear that title.

        1. Tia Will

          Anon

          I am really not into name calling. But I am curious. I find all of those titles quite appropriate. I am wondering what your definition of proper context is.

        2. Anon

          Tia: If I were talking w a friend about erectile dysfunction, in a private setting, I would have no problem using the word “penis”.  However, in a group of mixed company at a restaurant, I doubt I would be having conversations about anything involving the male penis.  For me personally, the male penis is not an appropriate topic for dinner conversation.  As for the “Vagina Monologues”, there is no question in my mind that the word “vagina” in the title was meant to be provocative, and so my guess is the content will be as well.  Therefore I feel it is safe for me to assume this is not something I would care to listen to or watch.  I find the use of the word “vagina” in this context to be inappropriate.  JMO

      2. sisterhood

        I am not offended by the word penis or vagina or meniscus or finger or any other word describing the human anatomy.

        I think Tia would like the quote, making the rounds on Facebook, by Betty White. She makes fun of the term “grow some balls”. She says that testicles are actually quite sensitive, and a better expression would be “grow a vagina” because…well, I think I better not finish Betty’s quote because it may offend some folks.

  4. KSmith

    “Sex ed classes like this, where any question can be asked, should be segregated with boys in one class and girls in the other, so that sort of nonsense is stopped. Co-ed sex classes have to be given with a great deal of sensitivity if at all co-mingled.”

    I think I would disagree with this. Having segregated sex ed classes will (IMO) continue the mystification and possible shame surrounding issues relating to sex and sexual health.

    I think a better solution would be to not allow this type of free-for-all. The teacher should have anticipated the kinds of questions some people might ask just to be provocative, and should have vetted all questions before bringing them to the whole class. That should be sufficient to shut down that kind of behavior.

    1. wdf1

      Anon:  Sex ed classes like this, where any question can be asked, should be segregated with boys in one class and girls in the other, so that sort of nonsense is stopped. Co-ed sex classes have to be given with a great deal of sensitivity if at all co-mingled.

      I think this teacher probably lacked adequate training for dealing with this.  A better alternative would have been for the teacher to pass out index cards to every student, ask that any questions be written on the index card, and have every student turn their index card back in, even if they didn’t write on it.  Then screen the clown questions from the serious questions.

      Even with that, I would take a serious look at the “clown questions” to see if there is any serious question embedded in it, and re-phrase the question more appropriately for verbal answer.

      I also think that a a co-ed setting is preferable for most topics in sex ed.  One big reason is for adults to model how to appropriately talk about sex in mixed company.  I also think it’s best to have both a male and female teacher present to do this.  But I would probably segregate to talk about topics related to personal health and hygiene.

    2. Anon

      But unfortunately you cannot trust the teacher to necessarily be sensible about how things are taught, hence the need for segregation by sex.  If you have a co-ed sex ed class, then the teacher must be very sensitive to how to word things or approach the topic in a way that does not cause unnecessary embarrassment and obnoxious behavior.  I know when I had sex-ed in college, I strongly felt the teacher was trying to shock us by how explicit he was in describing various phenomenon, e.g. necrophelia, etc.   You just cannot count on a teacher to set the right balance.  I would rather teach my children at home.

      1. sisterhood

        I grew up in a very conservative Irish Catholic family and my mom did not properly explain human sexuality to me. I was glad to learn about it in junior high, in a classroom. Because until then, I pieced it together from “dirty” jokes I heard on the playground in fifth and sixth grade. Thank God for the book “Our Bodies, Ourselves”.  I checked it out of the library when I was a teenager. It explained sexuality to me in a way that was not embarassing or shameful. Sad to say I had to hide that book from my parents.

  5. Frankly

    the loss of confidence young women feel when they enter puberty partly due to the message that their gender has no strength association or the taboo of intimacy among young men.

    Apparently this lack of strength/configence continues and is reinforced by eliminating the “no means no” standard (because apparently women cannot be trusted to have the strength of character and resolve to resist the advances of a man, and so they need help from the state.)

    And..

    Beginning next year Dartmouth will banning hard alcohol (not beer and wine) for students on campus; implementing a mandatory, four-year sexual violence prevention program.

    Dartmouth will introduce a comprehensive and mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program for students, as well as a first-responder training program for faculty and staff. We will develop this program by the end of summer 2015 and immediately begin piloting it during the fall 2015 semester.

    We will create an online “Consent Manual,” including realistic scenarios and potential sanctions, to reduce ambiguity about what is acceptable and what is not. This Consent Manual will be in place by the end of summer 2015.

    We will develop a Dartmouth-specific safety smartphone app for students to easily and immediately seek assistance if they ever feel threatened.

    The College will continue to enhance our partnership with WISE, the Upper Valley advocacy and crisis center for victims of domestic and sexual violence. This partnership will strengthen our existing confidential resources for survivors of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

    This is one vision of utopia.

    The other is that all people, male or female or ambiguous, are capable of self-control, to say what they mean and mean what they say, and to take responsibility for their own mistakes in judgment.    Ironically it is the people pushing the alternative utopia mostly complaining about the lack of these other things.

    I think it would be interesting to survey who supports this type of gender politics absurdity to see how many have sons.   My guess is “not many”.

    1. sisterhood

      It sounds like Frankly believes young adults should be trusted to use alcohol in moderation if they are 21. Is the same true for cannabis, if it is legal in the state where the student lives? What about an occasional xanax or a sleeping aid, if one has a prescription? I also believe that a 21 year old should be trusted to learn moderation. A young person can get just as drunk on white wine as she can on Jack or Grey G.

  6. Tia Will

    Frankly

    i completely agree with you that women should not need the help of the state to protect them. What they should receive is the help of the prospective male partner. How refreshing it would be to have an honest approach from a male. Maybe something like,

    ” I find you very physically attractive and would like to have sex with you ? ” The message is clear concise and without the ambiguity that ” romantic” sexual approaches frequently involve. As a mother of both a daughter and a son, I am wondering how many of you parents taught your sons to be this direct and transparent ? Or did you just teach your daughters that they are the responsible party and that anything that happens is their fault since they are the ones obliged to say “no” no matter how hard the boy pushes the issue or what lies he may tell to get her into bed

    1. hpierce

      Why limit it to “prospective” male (or female) partners?  Why should it not apply to all men, even as it relates to their wife (or partner) as the object of their affection?

    2. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > Maybe something like, ” I find you very physically

      > attractive and would like to have sex with you ? ”

      I had a (physically attractive) fraternity brother that used that line often with (physically attractive) female strangers he met, but I have never tried it myself (not a lot of guys can pull it off and/or are willing to take the risk of getting slapped or kicked in the balls FAR more often then getting a girl that says “sure”)…

      > Or did you just teach your daughters that they are the

      > responsible party and that anything that happens is their fault 

      I teach ALL my kids that their life is THEIR responsibility and ANYTHING bad that happens to them is their fault (I don’t think my kids are going to get in trouble by telling an attractive young female teacher “I find you very physically attractive and would like to have sex with you” or believing an attractive young male teacher when he suggest that “studying ” back at his apartment without mentioning it to anyone is a good idea…

    3. Topcat

      How refreshing it would be to have an honest approach from a male. Maybe something like,

      ” I find you very physically attractive and would like to have sex with you ? ”

      If this happened in a workplace or academic environment the male would most likely be facing a sexual harassment charge which could get him reprimanded, fired or expelled.

    4. KSmith

      I think this direct approach is something that would be very positive, and I would hope that this could eventually be incorporated into a sex ed curriculum (or the mandatory workshops that are now happening on college campuses, as addressed above).

      I agree with SoD below, though. In some ways this might backfire, and if this became a common approach, it might (at least initially) seem to solidify the stereotype that “all males just want to have sex.”

      On the other hand, I think it would help with some of the “regret reporting”: young women who report a sexual contact as being a rape because it turns out they have second thoughts after the fact, or expected more than just a one-time deal. (Admittedly, I have -zero- idea how many accusations of rape fall into this category, but it seems that if we got rid of the “slut shaming” that often is leveled at young women who want to have sex, -and- empower men and probably women also to have this direct approach, it seems like it could be a win-win).

      As far as your other question (how many parents teach their sons to be this direct and transparent), I have an anecdote that kind of fits in with this subject.  A year or so ago, a young man that was very close friends with my daughter (high school students) suggested that she commit a sexual act with him. She immediately came to me and told me about this request, and expressed her strong feelings against it (she pretty much didn’t speak to the kid for over a year afterwards).

      A couple of things about this:

      1.) I am doubtful that– considering his age–his parents taught him to be so direct. I don’t know–maybe they did.

      2.) The fact that I am unashamed to talk about body parts and medically-accurate sexual issues made my daughter comfortable with sharing this information with me, and we were able to engage in an ongoing dialogue about the things she should consider before making the important decision to engage in any kind of sexual activities.

      3.) She was quite horrified by this young man’s request, which I can understand. She argued that he was a bad person because of this request, so we had the opportunity to further discuss (several times) how the young man was -not- a bad person, but rather a typical 16-year-old boy who wants to engage in sexual activities and is letting his hormones do his thinking. She finally understood that this doesn’t make him “bad” or “dirty” or worthy of shame, but rather it can make his thinking processes not work rationally, and this is yet another reason why there needs to be a lot of talk between parents and their kids about what they should consider before making such a decision (so they’re not swept away by “the heat of the moment”). And his asking instead of trying to goad her into it when the two were hanging out somewhere prevented this possibility.

      So, on balance, this kid’s less “romantic” directness led to a lot of positive dialogue about a web of issues relating to sexuality.

    5. Frankly

      Tia – You are a hoot!  I don’t remember too much about dating since I have been committed and married for 37 years, but I think that if followed your advice and used that “precise” language I might still be single and a virgin.   And all the girls would talk about me as that “creepy guy.”

      The world is growing more absurd every day.

      My observation of modern boy-girl sexuality is that…

      1. It is nothing like when I was young.

      2. Girls are much more aggressive and more apt to take the initiative.

      3. There is a much more cavalier attitude about sex in general.

      The US is just a weird place… it is almost like liberals are pulling it back to some weird legal puritan version of itself while also demanding that everyone can flaunt their sexuality in the open without fear of repercussion.

      The women’s movement demands that women be treated no differently than men, but then backs new laws and rules that seems to treat women like pre-determined victims unable to take responsibility for circumstances they are party to.

      College campuses are even more weird in this dichotomy of message and reality.

      I do see one result occurring…   More and more young men hanging with the guys, playing video games and watching sports.  Having their intimate encounters with their Internet connection.  The clear message is that trying to hook up with a girl is more trouble than it is worth.  Maybe that is what the women’s movement really wants… more single men and single women and a greater division among them.

      But I do admit to being made all warm and fuzzy inside when that outspoken college student feminist grows older and has a male child and then gets a taste of the crappy world she has made for him.

      There is rape and sexual assault.   And then there is simply human sexuality and personal responsibility.  Frankly (because I am) I think there are a lot of people pushing the new rules that cannot differentiate the former and latter.  That is really a shame because it does a disservice to the real victims of rape and sexual assault.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        I have indeed been told that I am a hoot more than once. However, in this case, I believe that I should have been more clear about several points.

        1. Of course, I was not proposing this as a suggested script, but rather a template for honesty rather than pretending the invitation was to his room to “study” or “watch a movie” or anything other than his true intent.

        2. I believe that so many people interpret this as “creepy” because as a society, we are much more comfortable having sex than we are talking about it or planning for it.  It seems that we still  prefer to do it whether or not we are comfortable discussing it or thinking about its potential consequences. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone say, “It just happened” I would indeed by the “rich doctor” that some believe I am.To me, this is the ultimate abrogation of sexual responsibility whether coming from the man or the woman.

        3. My comments apply equally to women as to men. If a woman is the initiator, she also should be willing to be honest about her intent. If either wants a one night stand, they should say so. If they are looking for more, they should say that too.

        4. Of course the comment should be made in a setting chosen so as to provide privacy to the two. The work place or line at the grocery store are not good venues, but could be used to make the initial gambit of a cup of coffee or other private setting in which either could reveal their true feelings.

        1. Anon

          Good God, so are people on this blog encouraging one-night stands, or as it now is called, hooking up, so long as everyone is honest about what it is they want?  Really?  Egads!

      2. sisterhood

        “Girls are much more aggressive and more apt to take the initiative.
        3. There is a much more cavalier attitude about sex in general.
        …More and more young men hanging with the guys, playing video games and watching sports.  Having their intimate encounters with their Internet connection.  The clear message is that trying to hook up with a girl is more trouble than it is worth…”

        My son spent many hours bonding with his friends, playing video games and watching sports. My daughter spends much of her time with other young women and a whole lot of handsome gay guys. It’s extremely important to have strong platonic friendships and support systems. Most of my son’s pals do not think that hooking up OR getting serious with a young woman is more trouble than its worth. They just aren’t ready to settle down, marry, and maybe have the financial responsibility of children, before they’re fully ready. To me, this is a wise choice.

        Women are more assertive nowadays. And most young men I know like it that way.

        I’d love to hear from some older teens and twenty-somethings.

        I agree with you on one point: hooking up with a GIRL is more trouble than it’s worth. But being with an assertive, independent young woman is not.

        1. sisterhood

          P.S. I seriously doubt that there are that many more “hookups” today than there were “one night stands” in the past.  It is just more socially acceptable to acknowledge one’s sex drive nowadays.

      3. sisterhood

        “would help with some of the “regret reporting”: young women who report a sexual contact as being a rape because it turns out they have second thoughts after the fact, or expected more than just a one-time deal”

        Problem is, cash for convictions. Prosecutors would rather win a case than find the truth: Pressure accused into plea bargaining to save cost of trial, even if accused is 100% innocent. Use the huge well – funded staff in the DA’s office to harass innocent tax paying citizens.

        The win is what’s sacred to the DA. Not justice.

        Accused will usually cave, especially after the accused runs out of money and is embarrassed over reading their name in the news.  The women, men and children who are real survivors of sexual assault are also the losers, because people just don’t know what to believe anymore.

        Ms. Harris and Mr. Brown, one solution is to stop cash for convictions and fully fund criminal defense lawyers with same amount of money as prosecuting lawyers. And make proseutors and defense lawyers rotate their jobs every few years so they do not become jaded to one side or the other, and their political aspirations can’t jade them into doing their job, which is preserving justice for all citizens, not just the wealthiest citizens.

    6. Mark West

      Dr. Will:  “” I find you very physically attractive and would like to have sex with you ? ”

       

      There was a scene in the movie Tootsie, where Dustin Hoffman’s character, dressed as a woman, heard the target of his amorous intent make essentially this same statement.  Later, when he repeated the line back to the woman verbatim, this time when he was dressed as a man, he predictably ended up wearing her drink.  Times have changed since that movie came out, but not that much.  I expect this direct approach might be effective in a bar around closing, but not many other places. Our society just isn’t that enlightened.

       

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly I have indeed been told that I am a hoot more than once. However, in this case, I believe that I should have been more clear about several points.

        1. Of course, I was not proposing this as a suggested script, but rather a template for honesty rather than pretending the invitation was to his room to “study” or “watch a movie” or anything other than his true intent.

        2. I believe that so many people interpret this as “creepy” because as a society, we are much more comfortable having sex than we are talking about it or planning for it.  It seems that we still  prefer to do it whether or not we are comfortable discussing it or thinking about its potential consequences. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone say, “It just happened” I would indeed by the “rich doctor” that some believe I am.To me, this is the ultimate abrogation of sexual responsibility whether coming from the man or the woman.

        3. My comments apply equally to women as to men. If a woman is the initiator, she also should be willing to be honest about her intent. If either wants a one night stand, they should say so. If they are looking for more, they should say that too.

        4. Of course the comment should be made in a setting chosen so as to provide privacy to the two. The work place or line at the grocery store are not good venues, but could be used to make the initial gambit of a cup of coffee or other private setting in which either could reveal their true feelings.

  7. Michelle Millet

    The title of the workshop brings to mind a time when my now 8 year old son openly loved the color pink. He rode his sister’s pink bike bike wearing the pink bike helmet he picked out. His favorite blanket was named by him, “pink blanky”, and his favorite stuffed animal was a pink sea horse he picked out at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

    I can’t tell you the number of times adults commented negatively about the above listed things. “Why are you riding a girls bike” they would ask him, or “Why are you wearing a girls helmet”. I would inwardly cringe and try and change the subject, but as he got older he started to learn that boys were not supposed to like pink.

    One day when he was is in Kindergarten the teacher invited the kids  to bring a stuffed animal to school the next. He confessed to me that he wanted to bring his pink sea horse but he was afraid kids would make fun of him. Sigh.

    In the larger context of things, him not being able to openly express his love for all things pink was really not that big of a deal, but idea that one thing is for boys and another is for girls is pervasive in our society, and it can be destructive. Especially when when there is a negative association attached to the judgment.

    Workshops like this are useful because they lead to more awareness of these subtle judgments we make, which is the first step in eliminating the destructive ones.

    1. South of Davis

      There is a difference between a boy with a “girl’s bike” and a “girl’s helmet” then a “pink bike” and a “pink helmet”

      I bet the guy who rides the bike below get’s 100 comments about his “cool” bike for every person who calls it a “girls” bike:

      http://s3.matthewlang.co.uk.s3.amazonaws.com/2013/fixie-friday-josh-hayes-pink-and-black-leader-kagero.jpg

      I still have a bunch of pink shirts and while I’m not as good looking as the guy in the link below I don’t think I ever had anyone make a negative comment about the shirts.

      http://cdnd.lystit.com/photos/2013/11/29/ralph-lauren-ultra-pink-polo-customfit-minichecked-poplin-sport-shirt-product-1-15460347-858016026_large_flex.jpeg

      1. Michelle Millet

        SOD, while I appreciate the sentiment of your post, the experiences the guy who rides the “bike below” and the fact that men wear pink shirts, don’t change the experiences my son had or the fact that he felt that he needed to hide the fact that pink was his favorite color, because he was embarrassed to admit that he liked a “girl” color. Maybe by the time he has a son these types of irrelevant gender assignments will be a thing of the past.

        1. Tia Will

          Michelle

          Your experience with your son reminded me of a similar experience with mine. My son, three years younger than his sister, loved to emulate her when he was in the three to four year old range. I have a wonderful picture of him sitting beside his sister and her best friend with all three of them wearing “princess dresses”. He had no doubt that he was a “prince”. He just liked the dress ( which by the way was pink). He has never been ashamed of this picture.

          While in preschool he also liked to wear his hair held up on his head with a band.

          I remember clearly a conversation between him and a friend who happened to be a girl. One day she came up to my son and pointed out that her hair was up in a pony tail. Jeremy, with his hair fastened on top of his head pointed out that his was too. She happily agreed, and they ran off together to play. If we could only hold on to that degree of acceptance into adulthood!

        2. Miwok

          Since the NFL and other sports seen to like to dress up their players for weeks at a time in Pink, I think we might be there already? I never heard anything but good natured kidding about certain colors, such as Black Cats on Halloween, don’t wear green with blue, red and yellow, etc.

  8. Michelle Millet

    Since the NFL and other sports seen to like to dress up their players for weeks at a time in Pink, I think we might be there already?

    Umm, apparently not. Shockingly “dressing up” professional athletes in pink has not changed the stereotype that it is a “girl” color. I just asked my son, would you wear a pink shirt to school, his response was, “no, there is nothing wrong with it, but everyone would tease me, since everyone thinks that pink is girl color”. He then quickly added “but there is no boy or girl color.” (he knew where this conversation was heading).

    1. Anon

      If this is the worst that happened to your son, not that big of a deal IMO.  I don’t mean to sound flippant or minimize your concern, but by the time my son was in sixth grade, he had been beaten up several times.  By the time he was in junior high, he was beaten up, and had his calculator and bike smashed.  By the time he graduated from high school he had his head smashed (the perp was sent to jail) and it was pretty clear my son was going to be set up to be knifed (that perp ended up in jail too).  I just cannot get too worked up about your son being hesitant to bring his pink seahorse to school for show and tell because some might not think it the appropriate color for a boy to be interested in.  I’m not trying to denigrate or be difficult, just coming from a totally different perspective.

  9. Michelle Millet

    Anon, here is an excerpt from my original post: 

    In the larger context of things, him not being able to openly express his love for all things pink was really not that big of a deal, but idea that one thing is for boys and another is for girls is pervasive in our society, and it can be destructive. Especially when when there is a negative association attached to the judgment.

    So no I’m not expecting anyone to get to worked up about him not wanting to bring his pink sea horse to school. The title of the parent workshop just reminded my off this incident so I thought I’d share.

    I’m sorry about what your son had to endure, I can’t begin to imagine how painful that must have been for you both.

     

    1. Anon

      My hope is that your children will not have to go through what mine did.  I know you were bothered by the pink sea horse incident, but my guess is that you are going to do through a lot worse.  I really, really hope not, but I am not optimistic on that one.

  10. sisterhood

    I’m flabbergasted that readers don’t understand being bullied, being beat up, and/or not being allowed to bring a certain toy to show and tell is ALL the same side to the same coin. It shows a lack of respect for anyone who shows the slightest bit of difference. It shows the school is unable to treat all students with dignity. Whether the school ignores a child getting bullied, or geting beat up, or the school is the bully for not allowing a child to like the color pink. It’s all just different degrees to the same problem.

    It is a HUGE deal, IMHO, if a school refuses to acknowledge a child’s love of a certain color. Shame on them.

    1. Frankly

      I had an employee once that was a sensitive free-spirit.  It is a very difficult combination.   One the one hand he had this natural drive to be different.  To do things his way.  To follow his arrow to his own chosen target.  All cool stuff with me as long as he got the job done and participated in the general constant improvement theme.  I very much valued the creativity even if some of his ideas were frankly not very useful.

      But he was also super sensitive.  So anyone that made fun of his behavior, or dress, or ideas or comments became a source of anger and frustration.  He would come into my office and complain… a lot.  He would brood about it.

      I found myself caught in a conundrum of causing a disturbance in the whole to make more room for this sensitive unique employee to feel more… what?

      That is where I had an epiphany that the problem was not the free spirit tendency… it was the hyper sensitivity tendency.

      And this is where I think we are all screwing up with respect to bullying, etc.

      There is a balance of course.  We need to raise the level of sensitivity in people with weak skills and a tendency to say or do hurtful things to another (note that I separate out physical bullying here because it is a clearly actionably behavior that we should always be intolerant of).  But we are messing up not recognizing the other side of the coin… raising up the level of coping skills for those that tend to stand out for any reason.

      My work to help my my free-spirit employee was to send him to offsite training for developing personal coping skills… while I also worked with the rest of the group to develop greater appreciation for creativity in the workplace and to recognize the more indirect types of bullying and how it tended to create tension and stress in the workplace.

      It is really an interesting topic for me because many of the people demanding every increasing rules-to-live-by to make the world safer from getting feelings hurt are actually pushing for a more collectivist model that dictates individual behavior… something that is counter to the free-spirit protection impulse that started the demand for the rules.

      In the animal kingdom we have Ants and Bees demonstrating that well-ordered society where everyone knows the rules and roles.  And when those free-spirits are born into the colony they are quickly dispatched for getting out of line and behaving differently.

      Being beat up for being different and being teased about the love of pink stuffed animals is absolutely NOT the same thing.  The former is absolutely intolerable, the latter is a learning opportunity for developing coping skills.  It is simply the thing called peer pressure.   And we absolutely do not want our children to develop a tendency to cave into peer pressure that is harmful.  Nor do we want them to develop an expectation that they can do their own thing and have authorities around all the time to force others to ignore it.  As parents we need to say “pink is an awesome color, but some people see it as a girl color… are you ok if you get teased about it?”

      Parents, especially moms, demand the utmost safety for their children.  That is understood.  We can effectively make the schools hyper-sensitive and safe. The problem is that these kids then go out into the real world.  And by then they better have a good handle on human behavior so they can cope with the inevitable ugliness that is typical human behavior.

      1. Michelle Millet

        Being beat up for being different and being teased about the love of pink stuffed animals is absolutely NOT the same thing.

        I agree 100%.

        I also feel like I need to clarify something, to my knowledge my son has never been teased for his love of the color pink at school. He has always been sensitive to what other people might think about him and he is worried he would be teased  if this piece of information got out.

        As parents we need to say “pink is an awesome color, but some people see it as a girl color… are you ok if you get teased about it?

        This is very similar to the question I asked him at 4 when he decided he wanted the pink bike helmet. I don’t think I asked him if he minded being teased, but I did say a lot of people think that pink is a girl color are you going to be okay with that? (At this point I was already aware of his sensitivity to what other people thought, and I did not want to spend $30 on helmet he was going to refuse to wear as soon as someone teased him about it). At 4 he was okay with this.

        If I asked him that same question now, he would give me a different answer. In addition to being sensitive he is a perceptive kid,  and he does not want to be teased, so makes the decision to leave pink seahorse at home.

        As a side note, kids, while the can be mean, can also adapt quickly. I have repeatedly substitute taught in a lower grade class where one of the boys dresses as girl. From what I can tell this does not seem to phase any of the kids. When I have made the mistake of referring to this child with feminine pronouns, the kids in the class correct me, the same way they would if I pronounced a child’s name wrong, and that is pretty much it.

         

         

        1. Frankly

          Great mom stuff on display here.  And your son sounds wonderful.  Those “soft” skills will serve him well in life.

          By the way, I love pink!  Pink dress shirts.  Pint ties.  I have pink board shorts that my kids just hate.

          And I also line the music of Pink!

          And yes, I agree… kids can adjust to the new normal pretty quickly.  But that is also why we need to make sure the “normal” is a good one.

        2. sisterhood

          “In addition to being sensitive he is a perceptive kid,  and he does not want to be teased, so makes the decision to leave pink seahorse at home.”

          It sounds like he has learned to hide a little bit of his truth to fit in better. Hide his personality. Hide his love of the color pink. That’s kinda sad.

      2. Tia Will

        Frankly

        And by then they better have a good handle on human behavior so they can cope with the inevitable ugliness that is typical human behavior.”

        And perhaps we could stop accepting “ugliness” as an inevitable human behavior and work harder to eliminate “ugly” behaviors when and where they occur be it within the family, the school, or the work place. Perhaps if we were to value safety over dominance we would go a long way towards elminating the “uglier” tendencies.

        Having said that, I truly appreciated this post which I found one of your more thoughtful.

         

         

         

      3. Alan Miller

        Frank Lee, what an awesome post!  Agree 100%.

        From S-Hood’s antecedent post:  “if a school refuses to acknowledge a child’s love of a certain color. Shame on them.”  What does that even mean?  A school is not a person, it is an entity.  How does an entity refuse to “acknowledge” a child’s love of a color?  I should hope the board of school has no knowledge of what any particular child’s favorite color is.  As for kids, they just are what the are.  Good luck getting most kids to change their teasing behavior.  The strength is in teaching the former victim to be not one.  What can one learn by expecting others to change?  They won’t, and you can be a gloating victim in your right-ness.

        1. Frankly

          Thank you Mr. Miller.

          Yes, I agree.  The Lord of the Flies lives!  I think that the need for attention is a human survival thing that causes the underdeveloped to pursue it in unhealthy ways.  But if we save children from learning how to deal with this, they go out to the real world where there are a lot of underdeveloped adults and no officials around to save them.

          Although there has been a lot of attempts to force business into protecting the highly sensitive (sexual harassment, hostile work environment, etc.), the behavior just moves underground and becomes more subtle.

          Life is hard.  Life isn’t far.  Sticks and stones.  Words will not kill you.  Learn how to cope.  Stand up for yourself.  Learn how to relate to others.  You can be different, just don’t be hypersensitive.

          I wish we would teach THESE things in the schools.

        2. sisterhood

          “Life is hard.  Life isn’t far.  Sticks and stones.  Words will not kill you.  Learn how to cope.  Stand up for yourself.  Learn how to relate to others.  You can be different, just don’t be hypersensitive.”

          I disagree. Mean, hurtful slut shaming and gay bashing online words have caused many teens to take their own life, rather than try to stick out a horrible elementary, junior high or high school experience.  They just can’t imagine that it will get better.

          Where are the lunch yard monitors and the teachers, when this online bullying becomes face-to-face? Some adults probably witness it and look away? Teachers, what, specifically, do you do if you witness slut shaming or gay bashing or any number of scenarios where someone at school is being extremely mean and hurtful with their words? What does DJUSD require you to do if you witness a verbal ASSAULT?

        3. sisterhood

          What can one learn by expecting others to change?  They won’t, and you can be a gloating victim in your right-ness.

           

          Alan, I disagree. Tell your opinion to the followers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Harvey Milk and Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy and Cesar Chavez, and Simone DeBeauvoire,  among others. People do evolve. People do change.

      4. sisterhood

        Bad behavior, i.e., teasing, should not be tolerated. It is okay to”Teach kids coping skills” (assertiveness) in order for them to deal with jerks who are bullies. It is necessary to also teach kids NOT to bully in the first place. Perhaps the young man who beat up Mikey did not learn, as a child, that name calling and bullying was wrong? Perhaps he heard repeatedly that the person being bullied just hadn’t learned proper coping skils? Perhaps he was taught that being mean and bullying is just a fact of life, people shouldn’t be so sensitive, people should have a sense of humor, it “thins the herd”, etc. Perhaps all of that talk contributed to him thinking it was okay to get drunk and beat up an innocent person who was minding his own business?

        A poster commented that their employee was too sensitive, so the person was sent to a coping (assertiveness?) class? Were the mean co-workers sent to a sensitivity class? Or was just the sensitive person singled out for being too sensitive? Hmmmm.

         

        1. Frankly

          Sisterhood, I appreciate your points until you make the leap of using examples of physical violence.   There is some cognitive dissonance on display here.

          I have a lot of experience with hypersensitivity in the workplace.  Hypersensitivity is defined as an unreasonable level of sensitivity.  And you seem to be advocating that the organizational rules accommodate the most hypersensitive.  In most cases when I have had to deal with this, there was a need for the employee to get cognitive behavior therapy.

          I urge you to watch a celebrity roast… where other celebrities get up to the podium and poke fun at the subject person.  The intent is to state the obvious in a way that is funny.  It is done so at the expense of the subject person.  The words are meant to sting.

          Why can the subject person endure this?

          Because they have self-confidence.  They can cope.  They are not hypersensitive.  They know it is only words and the sting is only temporary.   Having fun poked at us at our expense is actually cleansing in bringing us down to reality… to help us with our need to pursue humility.  It can make it real.

          I had really bad acne in middle school and high school.  One day walking down the hall, one of the older class mates said “what happen to you, did your face catch on fire and someone put it out with a track shoe?”  That brought a laugh at my expense.  I laughed too.. because it was hilarious.  Now the person making the remark played with me on the basketball team, and at the next practice I had a lot of fun blocking his shots and saying “rejected by track shoe face!”   Other teammates laughed because it was hilarious.

          Turn lemons into lemonade.

          Hypersensitivity can be a personality disorder.  It can be a result of abuse.  It can be caused by a number of things… but it is unhealthy.  It can be the source of a lot of personal misery.   If words from others can affect a person’s ability to function, that should be a wake-up call.

          Now REAL verbal bullying is something that I also don’t tolerate.   But the problem is we are conflating much of what is normal human interaction as verbal bullying.   We are going too far to make the most hypersensitive feel completely safe.  This is an irrational and wrong thing with respect to education, because the world is anything but safe from the sting of words.  We prop up the hypersensitive to feel good about themselves in public school, and then they get a job and fall apart at their first negative performance counseling.  They fall apart when they have workplace conflict with a coworker.

          What I am advocating for is a balanced approach.  Teaching the least sensitive how to be more sensitive, and the most sensitive how to rationalize their extreme reaction to words.  You seem to be completely one-sided on this as it related to words.  I find that troubling.  But are 100% in agreement of zero tolerance for physical bullying.

  11. Tia Will

    Good God, so are people on this blog encouraging one-night stands, or as it now is called, hooking up, so long as everyone is honest about what it is they want?  Really?  Egads!”

    I think that your “Good God” and “Egads” belies your comment. From multiple previous postings in which I have expressed my belief that both the male and female should accept absolute personal responsibility for their sexual choices, I think it is probably clear that I do not promote “hook ups”. However, since I see in my office every day the adverse consequences of not being honest about one’s sexual intent, I can also not promote an attitude that denies one’s sexual urges and the consequences of not being proactive in preventing the most serious outcomes, namely traumatic sex, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmissible diseases with their possibility of permanent damage to the female reproductive organs leading to infertility.

    Just as couples did long before I was in medicine, and just as they are doing now, they will have sex outside of committed relationships. Since they are going to engage in this activity regardless of my counseling to the contrary, it becomes by job to help them with risk reduction. This is done most effectively if I can spend time discussing disease and pregnancy prevention in a commonly shared language. It is much more difficult if I have to try to decipher what the patient means by “I have pain down there” or my “chi chi” itches. Try deciphering what is meant by “chi chi” in a girl so traumatized by not the medical problem itself, but her own inability to articulate her problem due to shame surrounding this part of the body. While you may have taken on the responsibility of teaching your children responsibly and accurately, I can guarantee you from 30+ years experience that this is the exception, not the norm. So, we have a choice. We can decide to leave reproduction to the hit and miss mess that we have now, or we can bring human sexuality into the open as the essential life skill that it really is as the foundation for bringing new human life into the world in a stable caring family while acknowledging ( not condoning or encouraging) but acknowledging that for some, it will be a recreational activity before they are ready to commit.

    1. sisterhood

      I don’t have issues with casual sex or sex outside of marriage or even sex outside a monogamous relationship if both consenting adults are un-married and they take a blood test to assure they are not carrying a sexually transmittable disease. And they use a condem, if one of them is a male. Every time. And both people understand, beforehand, if the sex is casual or more serious than that. Problems arise when one partner pretends to be seriously interested in the other person, just to get laid, when the other person is looking for more, and the one person probably reads the little signals that the other person wants something more meaningful, but ignores the other person’s feelings.  Even when both people start out wanting nothing more than passionate casual sex, one person can fall in love and feelings can be hurt.

       

  12. Anon

    Tia Will: “From multiple previous postings in which I have expressed my belief that both the male and female should accept absolute personal responsibility for their sexual choices, I think it is probably clear that I do not promote “hook ups”. However, since I see in my office every day the adverse consequences of not being honest about one’s sexual intent, I can also not promote an attitude that denies one’s sexual urges and the consequences of not being proactive in preventing the most serious outcomes, namely traumatic sex, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmissible diseases with their possibility of permanent damage to the female reproductive organs leading to infertility.

    Here is what you said Tia: “i completely agree with you that women should not need the help of the state to protect them. What they should receive is the help of the prospective male partner. How refreshing it would be to have an honest approach from a male. Maybe something like,
    ” I find you very physically attractive and would like to have sex with you ? ” The message is clear concise and without the ambiguity that ” romantic” sexual approaches frequently involve.

    From my perspective, it appeared that you were okay with guys who just want to hook up with girls as long as the guys were honest about it.  As you know, hook ups result in unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and psychological damage.  I am more in favor of pushing abstinence as the best approach – you cannot get pregnant and are much less likely to catch an STD if you don’t have sex.  Do I recognize that not everyone will meet that standard?  Of course.  I am certainly not of my father’s view, that having sex out of wedlock is a mortal sin.

    In fact my dad and I had an interesting conversation about that very thing one time.  I asked him if an engaged couple had sex outside marriage, was that a mortal sin?  He said “no”.  He conceded, albeit reluctantly, that his view of mortal sin was very artificial.  There are probably some that still believe the mortal sin business in regard to sex outside marriage, but I suspect we as a society are growing a bit more enlightened.

    So let’s get back to the issue of sex ed.  I’m all for sex ed, if and only if it is taught in such a way that it 1) discourages sex outside marriage for the reasons I have stated; 2) it is taught in a respectful way, and doesn’t become a rowdy funfest for obnoxious male students.  My sex ed class in high school, which was way, way back, showed an excellent film – a fictionalized version of a teen pregnancy, and the repercussions of a back alley abortion (the girl died, and the boy who got her pregnant was devastated).  It got the point across quite well.  However, to just have a free-for-all, using all the correct anatomical names, as well as explicitly showing students how to use a condom in mixed company as if giving the message “this is how you do it”, is not how I want sex ed presented to my children.  If that is the best schools can do, then forget it.  IMO it does more damage than good.  Being brutally frank is not necessarily a good thing, unless it is couched properly.

    Lastly, one of the problems with the new “consent rules” that colleges are putting forward, is that it gives girls in particular the impression they should be able to go anywhere they want and feel safe.  This is not reality.  It is no different than telling any intelligent person not to go into seedy sections of the city, particularly at night, if they don’t want to get mugged.  Some sororities are beginning to get the real picture, and are actually eschewing frat parties.  The fraternities are furious, and want the sororities to rescind their declaration advising all sororities on campus to absent themselves from frat parties.  The girls have drawn a line in the sand, that they feel women are mistreated when attending frat parties.  Good for these girls – it is about time this type of sensible thinking happened.  I think it is the healthiest sign yet that women are truly empowering themselves to speak out and make wise decisions.  And they don’t need the gov’t to tell them how to do it, a gov’t which has done an abysmal job at it to date.

    1. Anon

      Here is the story about the sororities on the UVA campus: http://dcinno.streetwise.co/2015/01/31/uva-sororities-prohibited-from-attending-fraternity-parties/

      Panhellenic and other national sorority organizations are showing no signs of backing down on their decision to forbid University of Virginia sorority members from attending fraternity parties.

      After sororities at UVa were instructed not to participate in “men’s bid night” last week, on Thursday the national offices for 16 sororities decided the restrictions wouldn’t end there.

      A petition, letter-writing campaign and controversy over what is being called “gender discrimination” has failed to put an end to the Greek prohibition movement on campus.

      “While we value the input our chapter leaders have to offer on this important and ongoing dialogue, our members’ safety and well-being must remain our top priority,” reads a joint statement released Thursday from the national and international presidents of 16 sororities that have UVa chapters. 

      1. South of Davis

        Anon posted:

        > decision to forbid University of Virginia sorority members from attending fraternity parties.

        If the school is going to not let adult women decide what parties they are going to go to what is next deciding who they can date (and bring back the bans on interracial and same sex dating) or how about “protecting” them from car accidents with a ban on driving (like they have in Saudi Arabia) or maybe we can “protect” them from the stress of math and science classes (and the school can expand the Home Economics major)…

        1. sisterhood

          “or maybe we can “protect” them from the stress of math and science classes (and the school can expand the Home Economics major)…”

          Hear, hear. Good point.

          There was also a similarity to this kind of reasoning and the idea, in certain communities, (not Davis) to protect college women with a curfew.  Take back the night.Women, walk in the evening with your friends or a large dog and don’t allow this kind of argument to keep you from being independent. Try to strike a balance with the dark sky ordinence folks and your right to walk (or ride your bike) on a well lit path at night. If you’re studying at the library or a friend’s house, you have the right to walk home, in a safe, well-lit area, and not be afraid. Cautious, but not fearful.

          Another poster made a remark that feminists were causing problems for young men? How so?

  13. Tia Will

    Anon

    How refreshing it would be to have an honest approach from a male. Maybe something like,

    ” I find you very physically attractive and would like to have sex with you ? ” The message is clear concise and without the ambiguity that ” romantic” sexual approaches frequently involve.

    Yes, I did state that. What I did not state is what I would find even more refreshing. Obviously the safest practice of waiting until after marriage ( or commitment ) to a lifetime partner is the safest and most desirable route and when doing birth control or sexual counseling I always cite abstinence as the only 100% effective strategy. However, of the women that I see, very, very few are choosing that option. So for those who are already sexual active as well as those who have the wisdom and foresight to think ahead since they know they are going to engage sexually, I believe that complete honesty ( which I see as realistic, not brutal) is the best approach. I feel that this is also the best approach for women who have chosen not to engage in sexual activity prior to marriage since as I am sure we all know, not all marriages are a guarantee of monogamy or respect for the other partners sexual and reproductive preferences.

    I agree that education provided by the schools should present all options in a balanced and realistic manner. I believe that this should be done either by a health care professional or teacher who has gone through extensive training in the subject and has the emotional where with all to present this information as dispassionately as they would explain how the shoulder joint works.

    1. hpierce

      So, would information on how to copulate freely when, with whoever, and however one wishes, and how to prevent against pregnancy/STD’s in those cases, be presented on an “equal weight basis” as the health (physical and emotional) benefits of waiting, caring monogamy, including avoiding unintended pregnancy/STD’s?

      Mechanics is one thing, assistance in helping to develop ethical values in when and where to perform the mechanics should, in my opinion, be linked.  Particularly when presented in a public school forum.

      Parents, others can add “moral” values, as they wish.

  14. Tia Will

    hpierce

    I wrote “Obviously the safest practice of waiting until after marriage ( or commitment ) to a lifetime partner is the safest and most desirable route and when doing birth control or sexual counseling I always cite abstinence as the only 100% effective strategy.”

    Did you actually read my posts ? I clearly do not favor casual sex. However, the emotional benefits of waiting are only realized in those cases in which both partners actually adhere to mutual monogamy. Marriage is no guarantee of this outcome. It is emotionally dishonest to lead anyone to believe that the act of marrying will guarantee lifetime fidelity.

    1. hpierce

      Tia… had not read your cited post when I most recently posted.  I don’t necessarily read all current posts before I post.  Yes I read your posts.  My question to you remains unanswered…

      You wrote:  ” I believe that this should be done either by a health care professional or teacher who has gone through extensive training in the subject and has the emotional where with all to present this information as dispassionately as they would explain how the shoulder joint works.”

      What I responded to is still pertinent.  A shoulder joint can be explained in a completely mechanical manner.  I asked if you would have a health professional, in a school setting, discuss also the ethical and emotional dimensions of the sex act.  I guess that you didn’t fully read what I wrote.  There is nothing much involved with ethics nor emotions when discussing the functioning of a shoulder joint.  I ask again:  “So, would information on how to copulate freely when, with whoever, and however one wishes, and how to prevent against pregnancy/STD’s in those cases, be presented on an “equal weight basis” as the health (physical and emotional) benefits of waiting, caring monogamy, including avoiding unintended pregnancy/STD’s?”  Please note the term “equal weight”.

       

      1. Alan Miller

        “I asked if you would have a health professional, in a school setting, discuss also the ethical and emotional dimensions of the sex act.”

        The ethics issue has been made moot by the use of alcohol.  If one has ethics, but is also interested in having sex, one only need drink to the point that they are no longer bothered by their ethics.  In high school, this involves getting an older person buy a six-pack, followed by sitting outside the school drinking, followed by minty gum.  In college, the ethics are lubricated via the “kegger”.  These youth methods do a great job of allowing people to intentionally “forget” their ethics.  Of course, when one wakes up in the morning and realizes what they have done, there is still a solution:  drink again.  This is one way that alcoholism starts.

        1. hpierce

          Saw it 40 years ago… got complicated, even then, when some jerks were “spiking” the drinks with what would now be considered date-rape drugs…. spent a few hours, with other friends, getting a female freshman safe from the attempt, and she was in a state where she wanted to get laid by some of those who were helping her, who were male.  All of the males were “gentlemen”, but she was in a state where if any one of them was inclined, she would have been “theirs”… and, absent the drug, she was somewhat of a “prude”, or at most, a PT.

          Add the possibility of alcohol and/or drugs to your idea of what should be included in “sex education”.

        2. KSmith

          HPierce:

          Good point, and from what my daughter has told me, they have addressed precisely this issue in some of the classes she’s gone through (not drinking anything you haven’t poured yourself and not setting your cup down anywhere during a gathering). Hopefully they would cover that at the university level as well.

      2. Tia Will

        hpierce

        I am afraid that to be honest, I will have to answer your question with questions of my own since apparently my previous attempt did not suffice.

        Whose “ethics” or ” morality” would you have given “equal weight” ? Would you have equal weight given to “just say no” since we know statistically that that is ineffective ? Would you have it taught that sex outside of marriage is either unethical or immoral ? On what basis other than religious is this decided upon ?  And if we are going to use religion as the basis for our moral teaching, whose religion should we pick ?  Should a health care professional be forced to teach what they do not believe ?  I personal believe that it is unwise and imprudent to have sexual relations outside of a committed relationship, but not unethical or immoral as long as no one is lying about their intentions. Does my position with regard to the ethics of sexuality meet your criteria ?

        What I would be happy to see depending on grade level is a presentation that focuses on the facts ( not mechanics only, but emotional and social realities as well) followed by questions and answers in a submitted card fashion in order to avoid the “clown” questions and a discussion that explores peoples own feelings and ethical concerns about the issues raised. I would not make the assumption that these kinds of presentations will devolve into crude behavior, snickering, and embarrassment.

        1. hpierce

          “What I would be happy to see depending on grade level is a presentation that focuses on the facts ( not mechanics only, but emotional and social realities as well)”.

          Ok, think we’re coming from a similar (not necessarily the same) place.  I’d add that you should not engage in sexual activity UNTIL you know not only your own ’emotional and social realities’, but know, understand and RESPECT those of your intended sexual partner.  Ethics would include those along the line of “do unto others as…” and “walk a mile in my moccasins”.  If you cannot empathize with another’s feelings, etc., in my opinion, you should not be sexually active.  Ethics would also include being cognizant that you cannot exercise them (ethics) if you (or the other) are/may be emotionally impaired (recent break-up, other emotional trauma) or judgmentally impaired (alcohol, drugs, tired).  Ethics also mans respecting you intended partner’s moral inclination, EVEN if you don’t share that moral compass.

          Maybe I’m not a good person to ‘judge’ these things.  I believe I am “hard-wired”, not through religious training, fear, ‘sexual correctness’, social mores, etc., in that I REALLY wanted to be sexually active, but sexual activity meant so much to me, literally exposing not only my physical, but my emotional and psychic self.  Hoped that would be with one and only one person.  Everything in the previous paragraph was part of my mental/emotional/spiritual process.

        2. hpierce

          BTW Tia… was just looking again, and note that “morals” were NOT part of what I looked for from the schools.  Only parents, others for that role (as I previously wrote… who isn’t reading whose posts?)[Particularly in Davis, I DO NOT want DJUSD to teach morals! [Ethical reasoning is fine].  Funny how you say I apparently don’t read your posts, yet you mix mine up.  Guess it’s the difference between “hearing” and “listening”.

          The ‘difference’ I cite above is one thing I sometimes forget.  As someone I respect as a person, Tia (although we may disagree on many things) please think about the differences between hearing and listening, and reading and understanding.  I will endeavor to do the same, but do not promise I will be perfect in the attempt.
          Je suis “human”.

        3. hpierce

          “Would you have equal weight given to “just say no” since we know statistically that that is ineffective ?”  No.  for many reasons.  You may be citing Nancy Reagan who was not a role model in sexuality.

          “Would you have it taught that sex outside of marriage is either unethical or immoral ?”  No… I would have the moral issue set aside (as I noted previously), but I note and believe that sex outside marriage/commitment CAN be unethical.. Not always, but you “put words in my mouth” on implying I said that sex outside marriage was EITHER unethical or immoral.  Physician, heal thyself.  You have accuse me of not “reading you (see other post where I may be in agreement on key issues)

          “On what basis other than religious is this decided upon ?”  OK given drugging a female, taking advantage of her inebriation, etc. (even if you ask her ‘voulez-vous couche avec moi, c’est soir?”) do we need a “religion” (or a law) to know that is “just wrong”?

          “And if we are going to use religion as the basis for our moral teaching, whose religion should we pick ?”  There are certain concepts that span all faiths and non-faith.  I speak to all of those that are not truly degenerate.  I have picked up that you are somewhat antagonisti/skeptical towards religious systems.  Fine.. No Problemo.  Please note I NEVER SAID RELIGION (in a schools context) in my comment that you responded to.  Did I hit a nerve where you feel a need to defend?  If so, not my intent,  I apologize although I believe I am innocent.

          “And if we are going to use religion as the basis for our moral teaching, whose religion should we pick ?”.  See above.  To me, religion is a way we express, practice, our innate judgment/spirituality… our humanity.  Not the other way around.  If you do not believe we have innate ‘spirituality’ from which our morals/conscience/religions spring, then I guess we just have to agree to disagree.

  15. Anon

    South of Davis: “If the school is going to not let adult women decide what parties they are going to go to what is next deciding who they can date (and bring back the bans on interracial and same sex dating) or how about “protecting” them from car accidents with a ban on driving (like they have in Saudi Arabia) or maybe we can “protect” them from the stress of math and science classes (and the school can expand the Home Economics major)…

    NO, NO, NO!  The SCHOOL did not decide what the girls could or couldn’t do.  The GIRLS THEMSELVES, through their sororities, decided not to attend frat parties.

  16. Anon

    Tia Will: “Whose “ethics” or ” morality” would you have given “equal weight” ? Would you have equal weight given to “just say no” since we know statistically that that is ineffective ? Would you have it taught that sex outside of marriage is either unethical or immoral ? On what basis other than religious is this decided upon ?  And if we are going to use religion as the basis for our moral teaching, whose religion should we pick ?  Should a health care professional be forced to teach what they do not believe ?  I personal believe that it is unwise and imprudent to have sexual relations outside of a committed relationship, but not unethical or immoral as long as no one is lying about their intentions.

    Ethics and morals should be very much a part of sex ed.  I don’t think it should offend anyone to say it is unethical and immoral to: 1) try and inebriate a girl to the point where she is incapable of saying no to sex, and then having sexual intercourse with her while she is unconscious; 2)  engage in sex if one is not prepared to deal with the consequences of doing so, such as unwanted pregnancy, STDs, psychological repercussions; 3) force sex on anyone; 4) commit adultery, etc.  There are certain ethics and morality that cross all religions, philosophies and lifestyles.  To teach the mechanics of sex without moral and ethical standards to our children is UNETHICAL and IMMORAL.

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