I just came from the masturbation workshop!

November 19, 2009 § 1 Comment

This week we celebrated “Love Your Body Week” at Grinnell, hosted by the Feminist Action Coalition. Yay! There were (and still are) a ton of great events including a film screening and discussion, a fat activism workshop, open mic night, Grinnell Monologues (comparable to the Vagina Monologues), queer sex-ed, and my personal favorite, two masturbation workshops! It really was very comforting to see how well-attended these events actually were. I think the week did a lot to dispel the myths of apathetic college students across the country.

I think one of the best things about the week (and, coincidentally, about this blog) is that most of the events weren’t strictly serious, stuffy, or overzealous. Who says learning about your vagina has to be uncomfortable or boring? Basically, congratulations to all the humorous feminists on campus, and all of those who got over their fear of humorous feminists. Let’s keep on dispelling more myths (and yes, I probably will use this term several times. Sorry).

Finally, I really appreciated the atmosphere of communal learning that was pretty apparent in all the workshops I attended. Obviously, most people came from different backgrounds. Some were really familiar with all of the ideas being bandied about, but some, particularly at the very well attended masturbation workshop, had received very little education on such taboo topics. The fact that students who knew more were completely willing to help out those who didn’t was super refreshing. What was more refreshing was the fact that women (who attended the female identified masturbation workshop, I have no idea what went on at the male identified one) were not helping each other out of obligatory sisterhood, but out of actual desire.

I do have one question though. It seems as if I am encountering a barrage of social justice-y causes, open dialogue, and fun terms like “doing gender,” “dispel the myth,” and “social construct” just in the nick of time- before I enter the real world. Why does it have to be that way? What If we taught these terms, habits, and ideals before having them hurriedly shoved in our faces? This has been bothering me a lot lately. Obviously this isn’t going to happen any time soon given the other pressing problems in our educational system, but what is so wrong about introducing the concept of loving your body to grade school students? What if these so-crazy-they-just-might-work ideas had a place in every elementary school curriculum? We would probably live in a much more understanding environment, where no one would need to ask in a college class what “the gender binary system” is.

dyyyyyspeeeellllll mmmmmmyyyyythhhhhhsssssssssss.
I am so sorry for the above display of crazy.

§ One Response to I just came from the masturbation workshop!

  • Yumi says:

    I completely agree about teaching social justice issues as early as possible. I’ve had high school English and history courses that touched on these types of issues, but usually not as a main focus. Health classes seem like a good place to introduce some of these concepts, especially in relation to body image and sexuality. Some sort of discussion of racial prejudice and stereotypes seems necessary as well, since race has such a huge effect on our perceptions of others and ourselves. The more I think about this, the more it seems like a shame that so many health classes are centered around abstinence-only “education” when there’s so much more they could be doing. (So many myths to dispel, so little time…) Even at my ultra-liberal high school, the only health course I’ve taken didn’t teach anything related to sex ed or body image and used a textbook that had some nasty sexist, fat-shaming material. I love my school, but I’m really looking forward to college. Feminist groups on campus? Sounds like heaven.

    P.S. This is my first time commenting, but I’ve been reading your blog since Feministing linked to it a few months ago. I love your writing, and it’s good to know there are other teenage feminists out there. :)

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