Favorite Daughter’s Extra Virginity Redux

20 11 2011
It’s not just olive oil -– women, too, now, are expected to come with a label that reads Extra Extra Virgin.

Remember Favorite Daughter’s Ruminations on Olive Oil and later — a seeming lifetime of growing up later — Let’s Talk About Sex?

Looks to me like these girls don’t know what the authority figures around them expect them to do –- or not do –- to remain “pure”. I’m eerily reminded of the 1950s, in which . . . people figured, I don’t know, if they didn’t mention it, the kids wouldn’t find out about it.

Now there’s a brand-new book all about the first. ;)

Sublime and Scandalous -- yep, that fits!

And in confluence sufficient to make ripening our conversation at this moment seem almost cosmically ordained, I opened this morning’s NYT to see their magazine cover story, “Good Sex” that illuminates her second sense in which we can understand extra virginity’s sublimity and scandal:

“Teaching Good Sex”
By LAURIE ABRAHAM

Introducing pleasure to the peril of sex education.

It starts with a whole other metaphor for how teens think and learn about sex — baseball — which it’s unlikely FavD will be writing about for you, because she’s not a big fan. So I guess we need homeschool-parent diehard Red Sox fans, like JJ (“what does it mean to girls, not just guys, to “throw like a girl?”) and Crimson Wife and Chris O’Donnell, to ahem, get this ball rolling instead. ;)

His goal was to prompt the students . . . to examine the assumptions buried in the venerable metaphor.

. . .In its breadth, depth and frank embrace of sexuality as, what Vernacchio calls, a “force for good” — even for teenagers — this sex-ed class may well be the only one of its kind in the United States.

“There is abstinence-only sex education, and there’s abstinence-based sex ed,” said Leslie Kantor, vice president of education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “There’s almost nothing else left in public schools.”

Who is this creep talking sex as sport to kids in high school?

“When God was passing out talents,” he likes to say, “I got ease in talking about sex.”

But any plan of God’s, whom Vernacchio, a practicing Catholic, often references, was nudged along by two earthly happenings.

“As a little kid,” Vernacchio said, “I got pegged as a good public speaker, so I started narrating all the school plays and reading at church; I got over the fear of speaking really early.” Then, around age 12, he started to research sex . . .

Play ball!

p.s. See also Snook’s Parenting sex and parenthood discussion:

I would consider myself a failure as a responsible parent if a child of mine grew up believing that the differences between a good choice and a less good choice are ever clear, or to be decreed by whichever authority claims most direct dominion over their private affairs at any stage of life, from a teacher, preacher, boss, peer or government agent to the nursing home staff on the other end of their lives. Nor would I want them to parent my grandchildren to choose to please authority first, and themselves later.

If choice isn’t deeper than that, it isn’t choice at all.


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7 responses

20 11 2011
JJ

Btw, when I say this moment for an updated conversation seems almost “cosmically ordained” I use the word “cosmically” in the second sense given by the online Free Dictionary:

Infinitely or inconceivably extended; vast

Does that fit real education about sex? You betcha.

20 11 2011
JJ

Sex education thought about as food education, is timely too. Olive oil’s extra-extra virginity side is a religious education emphasis, and we could think about what else religion teaches as “food” for thought. Fasting is comparable, perhaps, to abstinence from sex and sexuality, each meant to deny and purify the body and soul as religious rite. But fasting isn’t meant to be about healthy eating at all, though, is it? Basically it’s about the opposite — denying oneself something so fundamental to our very nature as human animals that it’s a huge sacrifice to forego, one that is simply unhealthy leading to starvation and death (the horn of Africa and anorexia come to mind) except when especially managed for larger meaning beyond the literal.

Even so, fasting is only a small part of what our nation’s churches teach about hunger and food, never mind all there is to learn and teach about healthy food and eating beyond Judeo-Christian doctrine. Communion as bread and wine, fishes and loaves, manna gathered fresh each day that spoils if stored and hoarded, times to feast throughout the liturgical calendar, old testament dietary laws, feeding strangers rather than denying them as piety, no meat on Fridays, the sin of gluttony, etc.

So teaching absolute abstinence doesn’t relieve even Church from teaching much more about food and sexuality than merely that. How much more then, must School and State offer food learning sufficient for each day and every purpose, for all children and their families and secular communities!

(Again, timely considering that schools on behalf of the general public teach all sorts of screwed-up, unhealthy, scientifically absurd food lessons, for all sorts of screwed-up, unhealthy, absurd causes — currently in the news for example, we see pizza can be ordained by educational authority to be a vegetable, and lunchtime literally can be as early as 9:30 in the morning when Authority so commands.)

Same thing with sexuality.

Remember the conversation after “Pregnant Teen Girls Gone Wild?”

The contraceptives and sex education issue — “birth control” — interested me as public policy because it was all there in the school and community already, but so clearly ineffectual. I’m thinking this tells us more about how ineffectual if not irrelevant, the whole “public education” system is to this community, how it just doesn’t change lives for the better no matter how good the intent or the tax money spent. (All the academics I mean, all the professional teachers, not just health and sex ed.)

If a Gloucester generation had been really educated rather than merely schooled, wouldn’t it have helped this community in all sorts of ways we could agree would be better for everyone than girls getting pregnant and having babies?

20 11 2011
COD

So if a virgin has never allowed a home run, does that mean extra virgin=nobody has been to third base, and extra-extra virgin = nobody has touched 2nd?

That’ll teach you to name check me in a post mixing up 3 of my favorite things, baseball, food, and sex :)

Seriously, though – that is a wonderful article. Although I suspect even if that sort of sex-positive approach caught on, we’d be very limited by the supply of adults capable of handling it like the teacher in the article.

20 11 2011
JJ

That’ll teach you to name check me in a post mixing up 3 of my favorite things, baseball, food, and sex

LMAO! Same here, which is no doubt why I did it — except to baseball, food and sex as favorites, I add newspapers and books, and of course Favorite Daughter herself, making an even more potent mix ;-)

21 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

Sex like Baseball?

Seriously?

All that’s missing is a barely literate coach in a locker room full of sweaty guys trying to squeeze by on their civics test.

I have to read the rest of the post–more on this in a bit.

21 11 2011
JJ

It’s because of how kids talk about it, you know, getting to second base or hitting a home run . . . so the teacher uses that as a way to get them talking at their level and sync up with them, then take them higher up and deeper in, so to speak.

I read a research study once about music, that if you’re feeling blue and want music to cheer yourself up, playing happy music won’t do it. First you have to sync up with the music by playing something that matches your bad mood, then travel with the changing music to happier places. And courting behavior is like that, too, remember? Body language — you sync up by mirroring the other person’s moves, and then they perceive you as someone they feel open to . . . hmmm, I wonder if they teach THAT in this progressive sex ed class. ;-)

25 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

It has been so long since I played spin the bottle, I forgot all about the bases. ;p

For some reason I was thinking that they meant something far more technical.

Well I am off to eat some pie.

And sometimes, a pie is just a pie. ;)

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