Everyone knows that communication is absolutely essential to satisfying sex, right?
So therapists, physicians, educators, progressive clergy, even a know-nothing like Dr. Phil are continually encouraging people to talk MORE about sex with their partners.
But there’s a problem with this. Here’s how a lot of my patients communicate about sex: “Down there.” “Y’know.” “Let’s do it.” “Um.” “It.” With a vocabulary like this, more communication isn’t going to help much.
As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t think of sex decently, so we don’t have a decent language with which to discuss it.” Let’s face it, no one requests or offers “cunnilingus.” No one says “I’d like to stimulate your vulva.”
It’s obvious to almost everyone that comprehensive sex education is really, really necessary. That’s how young people will learn the sexual knowledge they need, words to discuss it, and the comfort to actual use them.
Admirably, the New York City Board of Education has provided teachers a syllabus for the task, directing that students be encouraged to use words they understand.
For doing exactly that, Faith Kramer was investigated, disciplined, and removed from her classroom last year. Kramer, a city teacher for 26 years, led a classroom discussion in which kids used street language for body parts and sexual activities, words that were listed and compared to other words in an actual dictionary.
Last week, almost a year later, the charge of violating school regulations and the suspension were dropped, and Kramer was reinstated to her classroom duties. If this story isn’t about you or me, we can say that justice prevailed and life returned more or less to normal. Imagine, though, if this were your story. Would you say “Oh good, OK, never mind”? Would your middle-age life return to “normal?”
The paranoia and rage in this country about sexual words is astonishing. Just 4 weeks ago we ran a story about a judge who jailed a woman for wearing a t-shirt in court that said “pussy.” Even worse, news outlets, including the allegedly progressive Huffington Post, ran the story WITHOUT mentioning the word that made this woman a prisoner.
Pussy. Dick. Tits. Cum.
Pakistan and Bangladesh recently banned Facebook from their precious shores because a user invited others to post images (positive, by the way) of Muhammed. Has America descended to this level of medieval fear and attempted mind-control? If a teacher gets fired for allowing kids to say sex words in sex education class the terrorists don’t need to win. We’re giving this country away.
The planet is melting, airports have become emotionally toxic, half of all American kids are obese, millions of people text while they drive, Red Sox pitching is horrendous—and a bunch of frightened parents actually objected to their kids hearing “jerk off” in school. Do they think their offspring not only don’t do it, but don’t know what it’s called?
These parents desperately need help. So do their kids—although they may learn a little bit about sex despite their parents’ selfish demand for their ignorance. That pathetically inept principal who pursued the disciplinary action needs a spine implant and a new job, since education and curriculum outlines are clearly not his calling.
U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein provided every American student and adult with a brilliant lesson in civics. His decision explains exactly what “due process” is, and why it’s so important to a free people.
Sadly, I suppose the parents who objected to their kids learning about sex would object to them learning about everyone’s Constitutional rights as well. Some parents want to transmit a love of learning and curiosity about others’ ideas. Others want to transmit a fear of them. Just like in Pakistan and Bangladesh.