I live

During the last five years, my life consists of nostalgic moments in which I drown in grief but every now and then – I emerge as though some part of me struggles to catch a breath of air. An image or most likely something I read sparks something in my mind that reminds me I continue to live. Somewhere buried beneath the layers of sadness, loneliness, and depression is the person I am. One of the things he loved about me is my ability to unabashedly express my opinion on random topics. I often forget that I hold two degrees and will have a third in a matter of months. I forget that I am educated and capable of establishing well-informed opinions on so many issues. I forget that I am capable of writing so many things because I focus on struggling to breathe during the rare moments I emerge from grief.
This morning, I saw a meme that reminded me I still live.

13979_835437979849666_8032690525724461015_n      I am outraged. I forgot that I am educated because my initial response was “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” What a ridiculous, misogynistic, and ignorant declaration. Saying such a thing suggests a few things to me – the person who wrote it is a pedaphile; the person who wrote it is a blithering idiot; and the person who wrote it is indoctrinated to follow a misogynistic principle formulated centuries prior to this one. The unknown author suggests that wearing makeup and sexy clothing somehow spurs impregnation. What? The first suggestion is that allowing a girl to wear makeup at the age of 10 sets a chain of events into motion that will culminate in her becoming pregnant at 16 years of age. The ironic part is that the person who thought of such drivel most likely supports child beauty pageants. Little girls play with makeup. They just do. Now, if a 10-year-old-girl wearing makeup arouses someone who has crossed the threshold of puberty into adulthood, I propose the problem is not with the child but with the aroused. It’s that simple.

Allowing a child to date at 12¬ years old, what an odd concept. I thought that only happened when Jeff Warrens was around. Oh wait, that is not dating so much as rape and marriage. I don’t think Jeff Warrens ever considered the concept of dating. I suppose I live with blinders because I was not aware that children actually dated that early. Yes, I know they hang out in groups and have hayrides, but I think of dating as boy drives up in car, picks girl up at door, and so on. So, I suppose on this one – I’ll have to agree. I don’t recommend dating at twelve years of age.

The anonymous author then tries to convince readers that allowing a girl to wear “sexy clothing at 14” will result in pregnancy. I assume the author has not been shopping lately. Short of buying clothes sold at the local polygamist yard sale, it is difficult to purchase clothes that some warped pedaphile might not perceive as “sexy.” I suppose a parent could use duct tape to bind any hint of breast development and dress the child in layers of feed sacks, but even then, some twisted mind might imagine the child to be a miniature adult. No, a 14-year-old girl does not need to wear clothes commonly associated with prostitution, but I think we need to be realistic and understand that the idea of “sexy” originates in the mind of the beholder. Oh, and parents should forget about high-heeled shoes. In addition, forget about the cheerleading craze because they wear short dresses and cheerleaders are commonly associated with the idea of “sexy.”
I am convinced the unknown author responsible for this meme is a twisted misogynist or bitter woman indoctrinated by twisted misogynists. Girls don’t become pregnant at 16 because of any of the reasons the misguided meme author suggests; they become pregnant because they either willingly or unwillingly had sex. A novel idea to avoid unwanted pregnancy is to learn about sex education. Teach your daughters and sons that while sex is a beautiful part of life, it also brings adult emotions that they are not yet prepared to handle. Teach your children about birth control. I recently read an interesting story written by a woman who underwent the common indoctrination of how she would burn in hell if she had premarital sex. She later experienced a multitude of emotional and marital problems because of it. Look at the facts, our country has the highest rate of teenaged pregnancies and STDs. The idiotic method of teaching young girls to be ashamed of and hide their sexuality is not working. The misogynistic method of teaching young boys that it is perfectly fine for them to react physically when a young girl catches their fancy is not working. Why don’t we consider following the educational pattern that many other countries are successfully practicing in teaching the facts, the financial and emotional aspects, and the consequences, whether good or bad, of choosing to become sexually active?
Yes, I live and continue to think. I imagine the mysterious meme author also assumes that Jon Benet Ramsey’s parents invited the assault and murder of their daughter because they allowed her to essentially play dress up. That upsets me tremendously. The type of people who think that way are of the mindset that a woman who dresses provocatively invites rapists. While I don’t agree with beauty pageants, my disapproval has nothing to do with sex—it has to do with teaching young people that superficial beauty is somehow essential to happiness. But, I also have a big problem with teaching young girls to be ashamed of their bodies. The methods we try are not working. A cliché suggests that if one continues to try doing something one way, with the same failed results, one might be insane. Let’s do the math and consider a different method by educating boys and girls alike.
©Relinda R.


4 thoughts on “I live

  1. I think you bring up an excellent point in regards to educating children on sex. By law, the only sex education that is allowed to be taught in Texas must be specifically abstinence based. It is not designed to educate, only indoctrinate. Thanks, Rick Perry. Funny thing is, teen pregnancy and STD rates have gone up since he implemented this brilliant philosophy.

    I’ve been involved in this conversation with a group of other individuals, many of them parents, who adamantly DID NOT want anyone else talking to their kids about sex because that was up to them. I’m completely down with parents educating their children, but so many parents are uncomfortable with discussing sex, and therefore, either decide not to talk to the kids or they wait until it is too late. I do not see how it would be a problem for kids to hear basic facts, even if they have heard it at home before. I don’t have a problem encouraging abstinence (I think it’s great to encourage kids to wait until they can emotionally handle sex), but I think we need to be realistic.

    With the way sexuality is portrayed in the media and how every product being sold needs a bikini clad girl to promote it, kids are picking up on the wrong information and hearing crazy fables from their friends. I think we need to do a better job of preparing our children to handle sex in a more adult way.

    • Thank you, Kye, and I think Texas and the rest of the country needs more educators like you. It blows my mind that the same people who protest sex education in schools because they don’t want anyone else teaching it still trust educators to teach what they perceive as most important-faith. Until Americans start facing the fact that we fail to equip our children with basic knowledge they need, we will continue to promote teenage pregnancy and STDs. I think you said it best by saying, “we need to be realistic.”

  2. Relinda, you’re absolutely right on this. I often wonder how such nonsense manages to get passed on from person to person and it seems to me that places like the Internet are partly to blame. One of the things that happens when you let like-minded people converse at length is that they before increasingly polarized in their views. The Internet is such a place. While, for many it is a place where one can freely browse through ideas and, hopefully, encounter some that challenge existing beliefs, I think that for even more it’s just a place where the narrow minded can find and converse with those just like them.

    • Thanks, Maurice! It is sad how quickly ignorance spreads. I know so many people of this exact mindset and they refuse to look at other opinions. I try to teach my students that in order to have an opinion, they must look at both sides.

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