Conventional Wisdom

The ringleader of Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, always manages to teach us something with her stories. I admire her ability to use history to show us the way forward. I hope that no matter what personal beliefs you hold dear you know that I respect an individual’s right to their own beliefs. There can be no argument, however, that going backward takes us to a dangerous place our culture has been before.

There is only forward.

PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan

PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan

It was the most stupid five minutes in recorded history followed by paralyzing fear followed by horrific agony. Sarah and Jake were classmates. Their parents were friends. Their daily lives were orchestrated through group texts; busy, after all, is the new family value. Sadly, they hadn’t received the most important message.

“Name your poison.”

“What about the ban?”

“Come on, you know the rule. Can’t see us, can’t stop us.”

“There are cameras everywhere.”

“Not at my grandma’s.”

It was there, on the picnic table, that they made a memory. It was there that the consequences would be never forgotten.

*****

Thanks for reading.

*****

If sex is where the personal becomes political, then sex education is where, as they say, the rubber meets the road. What is taught matters. Where it is taught also matters. Left to an awkward moment in the backseat of a Chevy, sex education for our mothers and our mother’s mothers was not improved by a chance encounter with a copy of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie or Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Our mother’s mothers knew too little when it came to sex, even less about reproductive choice. But they knew enough to recognize that it was an important right worth fighting, and even dying to secure for future generations of women.

In the best of circumstances, sex is discussed in the safety and privacy of our homes. Unfortunately, many American homes are not safe places, neither are public schools. Right now, as it has always been, sex education isn’t being appropriately addressed in any place. When legislators don’t know the difference between human female physiology and that of a duck, there is a problem not only in our education system but in our representation. When the power structure uses targeted regulation to restrict women’s access to medical care, they are creating a neoslavery class.

Abstinence only ideology does not come close to meeting the urgent need to educate and empower young people to fully comprehend the personal responsibility required for choosing behaviors that come with life-long consequences. How many have been taught to critically think through risks? How many young people see beyond the next five minutes, beyond the selfie? For that matter, how many adults do?

Sentimentality and romantic falderal are not acceptable substitutes for the knowledge of how our bodies work. Teaching anatomy and physiology to students is the responsible thing to do. After all, knowledge is power, and who couldn’t benefit from more knowledge or empowerment?

Learning about reproductive health is more important than learning to drive a car. Knowledge of reproductive responsibility is as critical as learning not to text while driving a car or knowing not to leave the scene after you’ve rammed into someone’s car in a parking lot. There are important reproductive health facts to consider when wading through the political sewage spilling into the public domain about a woman’s right to choose for her self to be sexually active, to use birth control, or to consult privately with her physician to terminate a pregnancy. You don’t have to take my word for it. You can find out more here.

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