Status of Chattel

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Status of Chattel

After a wee rant on my Facebook wall, words fail.

It's the girls' fault?

"The Government of Canada is pleased to provide support to Regroupement des femmes de la région de Matane for its project, Et toi ton couple, ça clic? (So, Are You Clicking as a Couple?). This project aims to promote equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents by targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence."

hysperia hysperia's picture

 

 

Truly, I am close to speechless myself.  Helena Guergis worked at the Barrie Rape Crisis Centre, according to her resume.  If this project and its description of it in the Press Release actually represent Ms Guergis' views on causes of male violence against women, I pity the women who had been raped or sexually assaulted who had the terrible luck to talk to her.  The damage done to young women (NOT "girls" btw) who participate in the programme and are taught that what they wear or the expression of their sexuality is responsible for male violence done to them, the damage to them will be simply incalculable.  CONTACT Helena Guergis: 

Contact the Minister of State: http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pc-ch/minstr/guergis/cntct/index-eng.cfm and the people at Status of Women responsible for this:

  Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women), (819) 956-4000; Nanci-Jean Waugh Director General, Communications and Strategic Planning

 

 

 

 

hysperia hysperia's picture

Comment on this at Liberal Arts and Minds

Unionist

Quote:
Research shows that hypersexualization puts pressure on girls to engage prematurely in sexual activity and also promotes violence in intimate relationships," said Ms. Marie-Laure Leymonie, Coordinator of the Regroupement des femmes de la région de Matane.

Thank goodness all members of the House of Commons - except Bill Siksay - voted to raise the age of consent. That should help keep those "girls" from premature sex. This also makes the job of judges easier in rape cases. It's the "girls'" fault.

 

hysperia hysperia's picture

AS IF that hasn't ALWAYS been the case! 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

martin dufresne wrote:
I did not read the SOW press release

NB: The acronym for the Status of Women Canada is SWC. The recurring idea that it is SOW is a right-wing hack job.

martin dufresne

I think we may have a misunderstanding here. I did not read the SWC press release as "laying hypersexualization on the girls" but as acknowledging, as many front-line activists have been doing in Quebec for years, that it is BEING laid on the girls - and indirectly on the boys - by an intensive commercial/social pressure for girls to buy into an artificial role as early as possible. Girls are not responsible for sexist advertising, for girl magazine COSMO-type copy where adult writers lecture pre-teens how to give better blow jobs to keep their boy-friend, for prostitution-inspired window displays in girls' clothing stores, etc. This is what is meant by hypersexualization in Quebec - a process whereby girls are pressured into acting and looking like "Lolitas". Which translates into sexual pressure and often violence from boys. Of course I also want projects to target male abusers, directly; indeed, this is part of what anti-sexualization feminist activists have been doing in Quebec, using traveling displays of hypersexualizing material, conferences, education work, protests, etc. It is all about confronting the male system that dictates the Lolita script.

To go back to the thread title, it is the commercial system that is trying to turn girls into chattel, not Status of Women by agreeing to fund front-line resistance efforts by grass-root feminists.

Unionist

Ok martin, I follow your point and agree with you in large measure as to one of the root problems. But please explain to me what the spokesperson means when she says, "pressure on girls to engage prematurely in sexual activity". What the hell does "prematurely" mean, and why is that identified as a problem that a women's organization needs to be dealing with?

 

hysperia hysperia's picture

Martin, that might be what the research says, but that is not what the Press Release says.  Quote:

  " This project aims to promote equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents by targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence. "
 
The "hypersexualization" seems to belong to the girls or to be a characteristic "of" them.  No matter how caused, this DOES NOT work for me as a description of the aim of the project.
 
And again:
 
"Research shows that hypersexualization puts pressure on girls to engage prematurely in sexual activity and also promotes violence in intimate relationships," said Ms. Marie-Laure Leymonie, Coordinator of the Regroupement des femmes de la région de Matane."
 
 
The hypersexualization of *girls* (yuck) promotes violence in intimate relationships?  How so?
 
I would prefer that this is miscommunication.  If so, it is *very* bad miscommunication! And Status of Women, of all departments, ought to know better.

theleftyinvestor

writer wrote:

After a wee rant on my Facebook wall, words fail.

It's the girls' fault?

"The Government of Canada is pleased to provide support to Regroupement des femmes de la région de Matane for its project, Et toi ton couple, ça clic? (So, Are You Clicking as a Couple?). This project aims to promote equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents by targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence."

Well at least the part about promoting "equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents" sounded good until the rest of it. Certainly there are things we can teach to young women that will help them establish healthy relationship boundaries but their partners need to take responsibility too.

martin dufresne

Research shows that hypersexualization puts pressure on girls to engage prematurely in sexual activity and also promotes violence in intimate relationships.

Do you dispute that research, Unionist? On what basis? Community groups opposing dating violence among youths such as VIRAJE (Violence dans les Relations Amoureuses ches les JEunes) have been documenting for 25 years that abusers being fed images and stories of hypersexualized teens by the media - including pornography - are more likely to abuse women. And that teenage girls whao are fed submission/seduction messages by the publications aimed at their market are less likely to resist sexual pressure and abuse. Deconstructing that propaganda has long been a priority for feminist movements and sex educators in Quebec. I, for one, am glad to see the feds starting to fund that work, that has most often been funded by Quebec or done on a volunteer basis by groups such as the Regroupement des femmes de la région de Matane.

P.S.: Thanks Catchfire; I corrected my mistake.

hysperia hysperia's picture

Martin, if I say a young woman has been hypersexualized, is she not hypersexualized?  If a woman is murdered, is she not a murdered woman.  WEV.  I'm prepared to accept your far superior knowledge of the Quebec context.  But it was an English language press release, very badly done.  Communication about how money is being spent at Status of Women is critical to the feminist community and to women, especially at this time, with this government having cut funding.  A Press Release is an important piece of communication.  I will be asking for clarification.  Saying less might well have been the better part of discretion on behalf of Minister Guergis.

martin dufresne

Unionist, when a gang of male kids harasses a pre-teen in primary school to get her to give blowjobs to kids she has never even spoken to, I call that getting her to "engage prematurely in sexual activity". You know this kind of sexist harassment has been happening: parents and progressive feminist sexologists such as Jocelyne Robert have been yelling blue murder about it in Quebec for years. 

Hysperia, if I say the murder or the exploitation of women, do you hear this as "belonging" to them or a "characteristic". The problem may be in cultural divide: French Quebec feminists have been defining "hypersexualisation" as an active social process, instilling an articial role, indeed derailing sexual development in youths. It's a substantive derived from an active verb: "hypersexualiser" and it acknowledges an exploitative process.

Of course, if one only looks at the result, one can see an hypersexual dress or demeanor as "belonging" to the girls that buy these messages. The Matane feminists are continuing a long-standing resistance progress that identifies the vectors of these messages, the businesses that profit from instilling alienated roles early on.

And yes, theleftyinvestor, male kids need to take responsibility for their abusive behaviour; how better than by funding and empowering the very people they most oppress, young women, in order to confront them with this educational campaign, have the boys face their own upbringing by the sexist commercial system that feeds them pornographic/lying images of women's sexuality, and their assaultive behaviour that derives from it? I have ben doing this kind of challenge-the-boys educational work in Montreal and Quebec schools, and I know how essential to do it as early as possible before mentalities are set and if possible, to do so within their own community. Which is why I am excited to see young women be supported as agents of challenge and change.

 

martin dufresne

Martin, if I say a young woman has been hypersexualized, is she not hypersexualized? If a woman is murdered, is she not a murdered woman.

Of course she is, but you are not "laying the problem on her", you acknowledge an external agent and you are not attacking women if you take steps to address her murder(er).

 

martin dufresne

Hysperia wrote: The hypersexualization of *girls* (yuck) promotes violence in intimate relationships? How so?

 

If you can read French, I suggest Natacha and Pierrette Bouchard's well-documented research summary La sexualisation précoce des filles peut accroître leur vulnérabilité

 

Also, from a Quebec's Status of Women Council Opinion on "hypersexualisation':

 

"...Young people exposed to such "hypersexualisation" engage in sexual activities earlier than the average, and many girls who had sexual relations at a very early age say they experienced violence in their relationships. Studies also show that early sexual relationships increase the number of sexually transmitted diseases.

The Council [on the Status of Women] thus wishes to see young people better equipped to handle the sexual messages which assail them. Their sense of critical thinking must be stimulated: the school thus seems to be highly indicated for this task. In order to reach parents and the general public, the Council proposes a broad media campaign to promote egalitarian relationships between the sexes."

 But most of all, I urge those of you who can read some French to read the actual project description before slagging it based on a misinterpretation of a Quebecois concept. 

 

 

hysperia hysperia's picture

Well Martin.  Very unfortunately, I can't read French.  Frown  I wish you would help us out a bit further by helping to connect those two things - the hypersexualization of young women that seems to be a causal factor in the experience of male violence.  Heterosexual sexual activity clearly leads to contact between men and women and for women, that's dangerous, undoubtedly.  The more intense the relationship is the more likely it is to provoke male violence, probably.  So it does seem obvious that if young women are involved in sexual activity with young men at an early age, they will experience increased levels of a certain kind of male violence at earlier ages.  That all seems obvious enough.  As to whether that is a necessary result of early sexual activity, I guess I would hope not.  Not necessarily is what I would want to tell young women.  It's also really clear that women of very young ages experience all kinds of male violence whether they are voluntarily involved in sexual activities or not.  I dunno.  What you're saying seems to be fairly complex and doesn't lend itself to a press release.  Someone certainly f'ed up somewhere.

I have to leave it there.  Vacation! Cool

hysperia hysperia's picture

Montreal Simon helps some.  And says, in part: 

"... are the Conservatives so incompetent they can't even translate French into English?

Or are they trying to impose their SoCon views on Canadians, to please their rabid religious base?"

 

Boze

Maybe male violence against women has more to do with how boys are socialized than how girls are socialized.

 

This is blaming the victim.

Michelle

BTW, this whole "ZOMFGs, 10 year-old girls are being recruited into giving mass blowjobs to every boy in school everywhere and your daughter is next!" thing is a Dr. Phil and Oprah freakshow - it doesn't really reflect reality.

"And next, on Dr. Phil: the entire audience will bully a 13 year-old by telling her what a slut she is for having casual sex with three partners at school, and giving blowjobs to her boyfriend like she just don't care!  Yes, right here in America!  Right here in your neighbourhood - your daughter's school - your daughter's friends - your daughter's bedroom!  Blowjobs everywhere!  Stay tuned!"

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:

Ok martin, I follow your point and agree with you in large measure as to one of the root problems. But please explain to me what the spokesperson means when she says, "pressure on girls to engage prematurely in sexual activity". What the hell does "prematurely" mean, and why is that identified as a problem that a women's organization needs to be dealing with?

 

"Prematurely" means exactly what the report says and of course this is an issue for a women's org to deal with! Do you really think no age is too young? Do you really not think 14 was too young as an age of consent?

This report was badly worded and does not address the actions of males (as it should!). However, there is a huge issue with hypersexualization of girls and women and it is not their fault in the least. martin details this above.

And Michelle, when I worked in child welfare I heard of just such a phenomenon from a few 15 year old girls. This was not the sensationalized version involving the whole school presented on US talkshows as the fault of slutty girls.

 This was girls with low self-esteem, emotionally abusive and absent parents in a culture filled with messages telling them that the way to be woman, cool, modern, etc. was to get it on right now and pleasure that man! This is why I spoke in the other thread about the "orgasm a day keep the doctor away" message and how destructive this can be for people who aren't consenting adults yet.   "No means no" does not have much resonance when girls are taught that it is not healty, cool, or womanly to say no.

Ghislaine

Regarding all of the stuff this report and iniative does not address - the fault and socialization of boys.  They are growing up in a legal system where stealing a few hundred dollars is treating more seriously by our justice system than stalking and physical and sexual assault of women. In my work experience, I have had young women call me in tears as the police had just called them to advise that their abusive former partners were getting released from jail that day and the police thought that the men were still dangerous and a threat to the women. So, yes, our legal system does view it as the fault of the woman. She better find an address he does not know, she better not be alone in the wrong place.

Unionist

Ghislaine wrote:

 

"Prematurely" means exactly what the report says and of course this is an issue for a women's org to deal with!

Yeah, a social conservative women's organization, lecturing them to save their virginity for their hubbies.

Quote:
Do you really think no age is too young?

I don't appreciate rhetorical questions. You apparently approve of this "premature" concept. You tell me what age is too young.

Quote:
Do you really not think 14 was too young as an age of consent?

 

Did you grow up in a nunnery or something? 14 was the legal age of consent until those friends of women and young girls - Vic Toews and Stephen Harper - changed it to 16. Of course, all the craven cowards of House of Commons (except Bill Siksay, who was disciplined for his principled stand by Jack Layton) got down on their knees and kissed the backsides of Toews and Harper, because they were afraid of mentalities like yours.

Hope my point of view didn't come across too too subtly here.

The entire tenor of your comments - and of the SOW press release - is to treat women as the objects of moralistic lecturing and "protection". Count me out.

 

 

hysperia hysperia's picture

Well let's do be careful saying that very young women who give blow jobs suffer from low  self-esteem and have emotionally abusive and absent parents.  The whole blow job deal is not a creation of Dr, Phil though his reaction to it is certainly stupid.  It is very real.  But I know some very present and pro-feminist parents who struggle to convince their daughters that this is a poor "choice" and I know daughters who think the behaviour is freely chosen and that their parents and the rest of us are uptight, old-fashioned prudes.  Any project that wants to assist young women in being aware of their autonomy and the possible motives for their "choices" is just fine by me.  But in the end, the choice to blow or not to blow belongs to the young woman, sorry.  Sexuality is part social construct, part social programming and part something else and most of us struggle to unlock our own shackles.  We're allowed to do that as we see fit and I'm not happy with any simple ploy to control and regulate the sexual expression of young women.

Also, I doubt that even Status of Women isn't aware that the problem is (also) with the socialization of young men but that's not a funding concern of theirs.  It's certainly an interesting idea though - who IS doing this kind of work with young men?  Who would?  And what young man would submit to it?

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:

Ghislaine wrote:

 

"Prematurely" means exactly what the report says and of course this is an issue for a women's org to deal with!

Yeah, a social conservative women's organization, lecturing them to save their virginity for their hubbies.

Quote:
Do you really think no age is too young?

I don't appreciate rhetorical questions. You apparently approve of this "premature" concept. You tell me what age is too young.

Quote:
Do you really not think 14 was too young as an age of consent?

 

Did you grow up in a nunnery or something? 14 was the legal age of consent until those friends of women and young girls - Vic Toews and Stephen Harper - changed it to 16. Of course, all the craven cowards of House of Commons (except Bill Siksay, who was disciplined for his principled stand by Jack Layton) got down on their knees and kissed the backsides of Toews and Harper, because they were afraid of mentalities like yours.

Hope my point of view didn't come across too too subtly here.

The entire tenor of your comments - and of the SOW press release - is to treat women as the objects of moralistic lecturing and "protection". Count me out.

 

 

It is not about lecturing girls to save it for their hubbies. This is not what I believe. It is about waiting until they are out of childhood and adolescence, knowing what a healthy relationship looks like and knowing that their pleasure is important. It is about teaching girls to wait until they are mature and old enough to make that decision. By my phrasing, it is clear that I know the age used to be 14. It should be 16 and I am glad that the NDP for the most part realized this. Do you really think it is a good idea for 14 year old girls to be taught that "an orgasm a day is healthy" with whatever age man who comes their way?

hysperia, I am not saying that girls who do that have those issues - I was pointed out that those issues can cause that behaviour.

I know that men would like girls and women to be sexually available for them from the age of young teens, but women can fight back.  Yes, I do believe that teenage girls need to be protected from horny men and that adult aged women should be protected from rapists and violent offenders.

writer writer's picture

Gosh, and here I thought it might be a good idea for young people to know that orgasms can be self-serve. Guys sure know it. And here you are, Ghislaine, propogating the stupid notion that females can't touch themselves, and instead need males to climax.

 

This crap is so back-to-the-future.

 

"Finally, I have lost my virginity." - From the diary of a then 12 year old. No, she has absolutely no regrets about her timing, and is one of the most sexually expressive, confident people I know. And she likes giving head.

 

Horrors!

Unionist

Ghislaine wrote:
By my phrasing, it is clear that I know the age used to be 14. It should be 16 and I am glad that the NDP for the most part realized this.

Yes, by browbeating their youth and LGBT caucuses into submission - then whipping their caucus to vote for Harper's bill - and disciplining Bill Siksay for daring to break ranks. I linked to Corvin's article the other day. Interested babblers can read more [url=here[/url]">http://auto_sol.tao.ca/node/2969]here[/url] [these are headlines of some of the articles at the link]:

Quote:

Queer and Youth-led Groups Say 'No' To Age of Consent Changes

Motivation behind bill is a distaste for young people having sex, groups tell Senators

NDP & Liberal cowards
DARING TOGETHER / Age of consent bill will pass because no party has the integrity to do what's right

Carstairs, Siksay oppose consent bill
FEDERAL POLITICS / Don't criminalize youth sex, pair say

Siksay spanked for position
POLITICS / Queer MP officially castigated for opposing crime bill

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

I think that the press release has been badly worded but if I believe that the program has mertis.

When I was a preteen I was fortunate enough to be in girl guides where we talked about these issues.  It was also an open discussion with my mother and, thankfully,  I actually had two teachers that provided good sex education before the bad sex education was put to me.  It was never put on us like it is your fault so you have to change your behaviour.  It was put to me that there are people out there who are waiting to make you a victim and so we want to equip you with the information that these people will use. 

Someone tried to pressure me into sex when I was to young.  What was to young, you ask.  It was before I was ready to have sex.  He was ready to have sex, but I was not.  He used many tactics that had been covered.  But I love you.  But everyone is doing it.  You'll still be a virgin.  Don't you love me. 

Fortunately for me at that point I had had about four years of preperation of being comfortable with myself and knowing that I was not yet ready because it had been an open converstation.  He was not the first person that I had talked to about being ready for sex, in fact he didn't even make the first 10.

If I would not have had this "training" I likely would have given in for various reasons because I was so young and I was very innocent at that age. Also because the first person, the second person, the third person I talked about it to I had not made any decisions, I explored until I came to decsion on my own.  If he would have been the first person I talked to before that decsion was made it may have been disasterous in my decision making. 

How would this have translated into an abusive relationship?  I would not have been ready for sex and all the emotions and implications that came with it.  I would have felt horrible.  This trauma would have opened me up to accepting an abusive relationship because I would not have been a whole person who could stand up and be independent as a girl who had not had the trauma would have been able to do.

Girls need training on how to be comfortable with themselves sexually, how to make the decision about being sexually ready before they are asked by their partner to engage in something as well as training on how to be real women.  This is all to undo the brainwashing that goes on in our society about what a woman's place is and what her value is.  I don't think that it has anything to do with placing blame, I think that was just the badly worded press release, I think that women need to be equiped to handle the "war" that they are about to engage in because of male privlidge and men running the messages that are put out about sexuality.  And make no mistake it is a war.  You can find men who are not engaged in this war but you have to go through a battlefield to get to them.

Should boys and young men also be engaged to change their view points?  Yes, but that is not what this program is about.  And I dare say that I don't even think it is up to the feminist to teach the boys this.  Feminist should consult with the men about how they should teach, yes, but I think that that job is best left to the men who provide good role models for how the boys should be behaving in relationships.

Ghislaine

writer wrote:

Gosh, and here I thought it might be a good idea for young people to know that orgasms can be self-serve. Guys sure know it. And here you are, Ghislaine, propogating the stupid notion that females can't touch themselves, and instead need males to climax.
 
This crap is so back-to-the-future.

Where did I say that that was not a good idea? We were talking about adolescent and teenage girls' sexual relationships with boys and men, the age of consent and the media/societal pressure on girls and women to pleasure men. I think girls should be taught about self-pleasure as part of sex-ed and that it is positive and healthy. I am not sure where on earth you got the idea that I thought masturbation was a bad thing.
 
writer wrote:

"Finally, I have lost my virginity." - From the diary of a then 12 year old. No, she has absolutely no regrets about her timing, and is one of the most sexually expressive, confident people I know. And she likes giving head.
 
Horrors!

Well a 12 year-old is a child who has not matured. She has no regrets and knows how to handle adults decisions? Well, why do we even define 12 year olds as children or give them special rights and protections under the law? We may as well just make the child welfare cutoff age at 12 then, eh? After all they are mature and able to make their own decisions and care for themselves then right?

Ghislaine

I am also curious whether 18 is too old an age for consent to porn? Certainly child porn laws are outdated! Twelve-year olds will not regret making the extra money....

writer writer's picture

Ghislaine, you made reference to teens learning that a daily orgasm might be good for them. Orgasms can occur through masturbation. What's the problem?

 

Ghislaine, the then 12 year old is now an adult. She did not see losing her virginity as an adult decision. She wasn't looking to get married.

Ghislaine

writer wrote:

Ghislaine, you made reference to teens learning that a daily orgasm might be good for them. Orgasms can occur through masturbation. What's the problem?

 

Ghislaine, the then 12 year old is now an adult. She did not see losing her virginity as an adult decision. She wasn't looking to get married.

writer, from my understanding the program was discussing it in the context of sex with others. I think it is great for teens to do that through masturbation. I have no problem at all with that. In fact, it is extremely beneficial for girls to experiment in that way, as when they are old enough to try sex with others they know what they like and feel much more confident and happy with themselves an their bodies.

We are not talking about marriage, we are talking about losing one's virginity. I cannot believe you seriously think 12 is not too young!

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:

Ghislaine wrote:

I am also curious whether 18 is too old an age for consent to porn? Certainly child porn laws are outdated! Twelve-year olds will not regret making the extra money....

Ghislaine, one is used to hearing such cracks from the religious right. Sorry to say that.

 

Well I am an atheist and I was only asking the question partly in jest. Given writer's views on 12 year olds no longer being children, I am asking the question seriously.

Unionist

Ghislaine wrote:

I am also curious whether 18 is too old an age for consent to porn? Certainly child porn laws are outdated! Twelve-year olds will not regret making the extra money....

Ghislaine, one is used to hearing such cracks from the religious right. Sorry to say that.

Quote:
We are not talking about marriage, we are talking about losing one's virginity. I cannot believe you seriously think 12 is not too young!

Before, you rhetorically asked me if I thought 14 was too young...

Would you like to return to the 1950s? Young women were doing very well then. They were protected from everything. Primarily, from themselves.

 

Unionist

Ghislaine wrote:

Well I am an atheist and I was only asking the question partly in jest. Given writer's views on 12 year olds no longer being children, I am asking the question seriously.

I'm not talking about your religious views. And I share writer's views, so you can compound your shock. What do you plan to do with all these young teens screwing each other? Teach them that it's a plot by advertisers? Same question to Refuge. You both seem to think that sex is a bad thing for very young people. What about kissing? Holding hands? Reading Marx?

ETA: I don't want to demean Refuge's personal account. But I would like to suggest that she not impose it as a conclusion on others.

 

writer writer's picture

I am saying 12 was not too young for her. I am saying this because I know her, and respect her.

 

I think coercion to have sex at any age is not cool. I believe it is rape. At any age.

 

People should take whatever time they want. Before and after becoming sexually experienced. A society that encourages sexual expression, self-explorations and relating to others as equals while celebrating one's own autonomy would go a long way to ensuring people don't have sex because they feel they have to in order to gain love or escape humiliation, abuse and harassment.

martin dufresne

Unionist, you can read French. Have you gone to read the Regroupement des femmes de Matane's project description? I can't believe you wold frame it as "a social conservative women's organization, lecturing them to save their virginity for their hubbies"... Talk about cheap shots. If you want to take on Dr. Phil, by all means do so, but please dont use Matane feminists for target practice instead. I find the assumptions behind the present discussion very disturbing.

writer writer's picture

I also think coercion *not* to have sex at any age is not cool.

Refuge Refuge's picture

writer wrote:

Ghislaine, the then 12 year old is now an adult. She did not see losing her virginity as an adult decision. She wasn't looking to get married.

You quote one person who as an adult states to you that she does not regret losing her virginity.  I know no one who was ready to lose their virginity at 12.  I know 3 girls that lost their virginity before the age of 13.

The first girl was abused by her father physically and was looking for love which lead to her decision to have sex.  All of the relationships she has been in have been abusive since then.

The second girl gave into her 16 year old boyfriend.  She got pregnant at 14 and had to have an abortion. Her boyfriend at that time left her and she suffers from depression and talks about that abortion and what she percieves to be her baby to this day more than 15 years later.

The third girl was innocent and thought she was ready because of what the media told her and what her boyfriend told her.  She had recieved no sex education at that point except that the kissing she was doing with her boyfriend was also a sin.  It was very different from what she thought it was and she came out of the experience with the same feelings as a rape victim even though she consented.  She became involved in relationships after that, marring twice and had three children but angrily divorced her last husband, became a Christian Fundamentalist and now leads talks on how evil sex is and how it is just men trying to take power over women and victimize them and uses all of her relationships to illustrate the point.

For the woman you quoted sex may not have been an adult decision but for a lot and dare I say most it is a decision that has far reaching implications well passed childhood and into adulthood that pre teens and teens need to be educated on before they make that decision.

writer writer's picture

Well, thanks for the sermon. Did you bother to read my follow-up post?

Ghislaine

How is believing in and protecting the rights of children to be children a desire to return to the 1950s? The 1950s had no sex education (particularly none that was masturbation-positive) and expected women to remain virgins until marriage. I am not advocating any of this. I am advocating teaching children to wait until they have matured to make a responsible decision. 16-18 seems like a good benchmark. And to teach them that they don't have to do it, they don't have to give in the pressure and that their self-pleasure is important.

The pressure on girls right now from popular culture to be thin, sexually available, pleasurable to their men, to act like a porn star, etc., etc. is enormous. The report is right to characterize it as hypersexualization. However, this report is completely wrong to say that this is a huge contributor to violence against girls and women. It is never the fault of women based on what they wear, say, etc.

Ghislaine

writer wrote:

I also think coercion *not* to have sex at any age is not cool.

At any age? Any age at all? There is no age that is too young? Lots of girls are getting their periods and experiencing puberty earlier and earlier - age 9 is not too young? You cannot see any reason whatsoever why parents and schools would or should want to "coerce" children into not having sex? You cannot see how immature children thinking they should put out is exactly what men want?

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

Unionist, you can read French. Have you gone to read the Regroupement des femmes de Matane's project description? I can't believe you wold frame it as "a social conservative women's organization, lecturing them to save their virginity for their hubbies"... Talk about cheap shots. If you want to take on Dr. Phil, by all means do so, but please dont use Matane feminists for target practice instead. I find the assumptions behind the present discussion very disturbing.

Ok, I apologize - you misunderstood my comment, which was in response to Ghislaine saying that "premature sex" is a proper object of concern for a women's organization - and I said, "yeah, a social conservative one". I certainly was not referring to nor intending to smear the Regroupement. I'm prepared to believe the press release is screwed up, and I will go look at the project description. But if an organization commits its energies to preventing young women from engaging in "premature sex" (which Ghislaine obviously applauds), then my criticism stands. This is a proper preoccupation for priests and nuns.

 

 

writer writer's picture

In context of my previous statement, Ghislaine. Focus, please.

Unionist

[Re Ghislaine's posts:] Why are we debating with a social conservative viewpoint? Maybe I should have said, "return to the 1850s". Ghislaine, I have daughters. They lost their sacred precious gift at ages which would no doubt cause you cardiac arrest. They're doing fine, now, thank you, recovering in intensive care. Innocent

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

writer wrote:

Well, thanks for the sermon. Did you bother to read my follow-up post?

I was writing my "sermon" as you wrote your follow up.  I still maintain that most girls are not ready at 12 and by saying that some girls are ready it somehow reflects badly on a program like this is wrong.

Ghislaine

Since when is advocating sex ed while believing the concept of childhood a social conservative viewpoint?

Unionist

Refuge wrote:

 I still maintain that most girls are not ready at 12 and by saying that some girls are ready it somehow reflects badly on a program like this is wrong.

How about 14, Refuge?

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

Unionist wrote:

What do you plan to do with all these young teens screwing each other? Teach them that it's a plot by advertisers? Same question to Refuge. You both seem to think that sex is a bad thing for very young people. What about kissing? Holding hands? Reading Marx?

ETA: I don't want to demean Refuge's personal account. But I would like to suggest that she not impose it as a conclusion on others.

It isn't just "a plot by advertisers".  Society is set up to have girls feel more comfortable to say yes to sex than to say no to sex.  I say that we need to create a space for teens to see that they can feel comfortable saying no as well as yes.  That does not exist right now unless there are specific education forums that create that space.  Male privlidge allows men to ignore that this space does not exist for women in main stream society because they have set it up.

The only other alternative is a society such as religion which only creates a space where girls feel comfortable saying no to sex but not yes to sex and this is equally as wrong and again Male privdige allows men to ignore how wrong it is because they have set it up.

I repeat.  Right now most of society is set up to have girls feel more comfortable saying yes to sex than saying no to sex.  This needs to change.

And, Unionist, I point out that my personal account talks about my education including a space in which the people around me let me know that it was just as okay to say no to sex if I didn't want it as to say yes if I was ready for it.  I would like to say that I conclude every girl, woman should have that space available to them, without exception.

 I did choose to have sex at the age of 16 with my boyfriend of two years.  I told my mom a few months later and she was thrilled that I had waited until I was ready and in a relationship that was stable and happy (to the point that it embarrased me how happy she was).  There was space for me to feel comfortable to have sex when I was ready and for me to feel comfortable to have say no to sex when I wasn't ready.

martin dufresne

This would be interesting in an "age of consent" thread - I am sure you've had some. I would take this opportunity to raise a few feminist points about the twisted notion of "consent," that enthrones sexual pressure from the overage folks hitting on underage folks (the ambit of that legislation). But this is probably beyond the radar of our 'sexual liberals' morality and their pipe paradigm of equalitarian reciprocity, the data be damned...Innocent

In the context of the Regroupement des femmes de Matane project, a necessary resource to oppose such pressure and allow young people to disclose dating violence (which is the focus of the question "Et toi ton couple, ça clic?"), it sounds like inappropriate drift.

 

martin dufresne

I am surprised at the venom being directed to Ghislaine and Refuge.

 

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

In the context of the Regroupement des femmes de Matane project, a necessary resource to oppose such pressure and allow young people to disclose dating violence (which is the focus of the question "Et toi ton couple, ça clic?"), it sounds like inappropriate drift.

 

You may be right - it's drift in this thread - but it certainly has exposed how important the whole subject matter is. The commodification of women, their transformation into sexual objects, their dehumanization and degradation on one hand - vs. the disenfranchisement of youth, sexual prudery, social conservatism, homophobia, etc. - there's no reason why these struggles have to be put into opposition to each other, but it's clear from this thread how complex and sensitive the issues are.

Quote:
I am surprised at the venom being directed to Ghislaine and Refuge.

Strong suggestion: Stick to people's views about people's views, and don't personalize this. If someone presents a view that sounds prudish to me, and I say, "That view is prudery reminiscent of the religious right", that's not venom against anyone. I respect Ghislaine and Refuge, but if they want to present views, let them prepare to defend them.

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