This article details some of the recent debate over a state website providing sexual health information to teens. Republicans, predictably are calling the site “disgusting” and “obscene” and are urging the Governor to take it down.
The problem with this stance of.course is the unseen psychological impact on teens. young adults and even parents. You will see me talk here about “slut shaming” here from time to time. But before you can even get to the shame we bring upon those who practice and celebrate their sexuality, we have these instances where we are taught to be ashamed of even investigating on a very basic level our sexual health. To even learn about.our bodies in any way is deemed shameful and disgusting. To be able to explore topics of sexuality is somehow perverse and wrong.
Our society starts at a deficit when we deny access to basic human functions, including information about how the body receives and produces pleasure. To deny access and moreover, shame those who both seek to.access it and provide that information is a tragedy in our society. That is perverse and disgusting in and of itself. Completely irresponsible. And the only way it will stop is if we stand up against it. However, the shaming has worked on us too…and to stand up for sexual rights puts an uncomfortable spotlight on us that not many of us are willing to bear…even including me.
Five years ago my original sexual blog was outed to professional colleagues and complete strangers. I was shamed and forced to leave my job. I didn’t have the courage to stand up for my words…truthful words. Words that mattered about who I am and what was important to me. Shamed against telling my own truth. I hid…behind various usernames and hid some of my tracks. I lost my voice on the process as well. Worried about bringing further shame upon my family and worried about further stunting my career. Too many of us are forced into feeling ashamed of our sexual selves. Hiding them behind closed doors, not sharing our truth with the world. And it starts with messages like the Republicans are sending here.
Our nation is far too damaged from our wars, our poverty, and our violent discourse to carry the weight of shame we place on individuals who investigate and celebrate healthy sexuality. I can’t stand seeing this message played out in the minds and hearts of our next generation. Aren’t we damaged enough?