Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby
On a serious note, though, it seems that sex is more in the news now than ever… and a lot of it is bad news. People coming forth about molestation and/or rape years (sometimes decades) after the horrific experience. I hurt for the people in the world that have gone through such a traumatizing event in their life. You are never ever the same after something like that happens to you. It doesn’t matter what gender you are (yes, men can be raped, too). Having this happen to you does not make you less than human. It does not invalidate your being. However, more often than not, it ruins the person it happens to because they don’t know how to live after. And they shouldn’t have to learn how to live after because it should not happen in the first place.
I feel that if we were more open about sex and sexuality, instead of shoving it into the darkness and shadows, that there might possibly be less people who have to endure a nightmare because they didn’t know that people aren’t supposed to touch them in their private areas. I know people who have been through some pretty awful experiences. Some seek out therapy, others seek out drugs and/or alcohol, and then there are those who either take their own life or they perpetuate the horror onto another.
I’m straying a little here. Recently I watched the movie Hidden Figures. I’ve wanted to see it since the first trailer came out. I was excited about seeing a movie that yanked open a box covered in dust bunnies hidden in the dark. Watching this movie was a true eye-opener and holy crap the feelings it instigated in me made me want to rewind time so far back and put myself there so that I could try to make people see that outside differences mean nothing.
Just writing about this movie, talking about this movie, gets me riled up. I get angry and my eyes sting because I get teary-eyed. If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s definitely worth the emotional upheaval. I laughed. I cried from laughing. I cried from sadness. I was offended on so many levels for so many people that it hurt. Then my daughter made me watch The Imitation Game on Netflix and that did not help matters at all.
Personally I think that the human species, if we were capable of looking passed gender, color, religion, and sexuality of individuals, we would be so much further advanced. We’d probably have colonized the moon and Mars if we hadn’t allowed ourselves to be held back by such horrific things. Unfortunately, we tend to prefer atrocity over acceptance. And that is a very sad, devastating way to live.
We’ve debilitated ourselves as a species. We’re killing each other, countless other species, and our only home because we cannot learn to accept differences.
Back to Sex and the News
I was watching the news the other day and it caught my attention (because I was concentrating on drinking coffee and a writing assignment) about these women coming out of the darkness to share their story about being molested by a doctor when they were in gymnastics. I don’t recall many of the details, but the thing that struck me was the one woman who said that she treated it as if she’d had her ankle wrapped. You didn’t tell everyone that you just got your ankle wrapped. She thought it was part of her treatment by this doctor who molested her.
I exclaimed something, I don’t recall what exactly, which caught the attention of my daughter who came out of her room to find out what I was yelling about now. When I told her what they’d said on the news and what the woman said about thinking it was treatment – and this happened (if I recall correctly) when she was 9, my daughter responded: “I remember when I was 4 and you were giving me a bath. You told me that if anyone ever touched me down there to tell you. That it was my ‘no no square’ and that no one was allowed to touch me there.”
After all these years, I’ve forgotten a lot of things, and to be honest, that was one of them. However, one thing I’ve always done with my daughter is to keep an open dialogue between us. I told her for her entire life that she could talk to me about anything. And I meant it. A lot of parents will say these very words, but the second the topic of babies or sex come up, they clam up, or they sputter, or they talk fairytales (the stork brought your brother).
Instead of celebrating strengths and building up the weak, we are more often smashing and crashing the things we disagree with, the things we dislike, the things we fear, and the things that are simply different.
My daughter was taught to make her own decisions as well. If she didn’t like a song, she had to speak up. If she didn’t like a movie or tv show, she had to speak up. In order to get what she needs or wants, she has to speak up. She’s 22 and I still have to remind her to speak up. It’s true about the saying you’re always a parent once you have a child. It doesn’t matter what age they are, you’re always going to be teaching them, reminding them, loving them. And that is the goal, to love them, to teach them how to love and care for others.
Communication is Key
We need to stop hiding sex like it’s a dirty thing. Sex is not a dirty thing. It’s not a sinful thing. It’s not something you only do to procreate. Sex is meant to be enjoyable and pleasurable either by yourself or with others. We should be teaching children “this is your no-no-square”. We should be teaching them how to value their bodies and minds. In turn, this will teach them to value the minds and bodies and choices of others.
Look at the world today and take off the blinders. Look at how many women continually come forward after being silent for so many years. Look how often people are keeping these secrets because they didn’t know. Or no one believed them. Yes, there are people out there who are cruel and will purposefully malign someone’s life with a lie, but no one, not once, has ever asked to be raped, molested, enslaved, or treated like they don’t matter.