A little while ago, I wrote about my knee-jerk reactions to giving my children sex education. One knee jerked in the direction of assuming that Boogie would always be the one who would be pressured to say yes, whilst the other knee jerked in the direction of assuming L’il Boo would be, in effect, a sexual predator, always the one to try and get the other person to say yes. In this instance, there is something to be said for keeping your legs closed.
Naturally, on watching my knees, I strapped them down and told them to fucking behave. Other people however, see their knees routinely jerk off in stupid, stereotypical directions and think that the views of their knees should be made law.
Ah, Nadine Dorries. If you aren’t familiar with this knock-her-down-and-she-just-keeps-popping-back-up anti-abortion campaigner and Tory MP, read the comments below The Guardian piece linked (just this once, though, mind!). She is…unsavoury.
Yesterday, she popped up again like a particularly annoying Weevil, introducing under the 10-minute rule a bill which would require schools to provide girls of 13-16 with “additional sex education [that] must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity”. Only girls because, presumably, they exist in a sexual vacuum. Being abhored by nature (or the Patriarchy at least).
Now, 10-minute rule bills are just something MPs like to indulge in to amuse themselves when they get tired of cutting your services and stealing your money via expenses forms. It ain’t gonna become law (at least not any time soon). But still. 67 MPs voted for it. 67 MPs who, I’m guessing, better stay home come the revolution. 67 people – in positions of power in this country – think that (1) the onus is entirely on girls to say no, and (2) boys never want to say no and definitely shouldn’t be taught how to do so. And also that girls should be taught to say no in a boy-free environment so that boys never get to understand the mysterious, feminine ways in which girls are taught to repel them, like, oh, No, thanks, I don’t really want to, or, Without a condom, pal? You’re having a laugh – get it covered or bugger off! Or indeed, any of the other phrases which convey, essentially, ‘no’ (my personal favorite being, ‘No’). Now, even if you accept that girls are gatekeepers to the golden jewel of sexual pleasure, wouldn’t it help girls say no if boys got the same message? That saying ‘no’ was not only possible, but acceptable? ‘Do you want sex then, love?…No, me, neither; I’m getting mixed messages from the media about the acceptability of a slightly bent penis and I don’t feel ready to open myself up to your judgment just yet. Should we play Twister instead?’ Teenage parties would be all the more interesting for it, methinks.
Dorries of course has no truck with such arguments, stating on her own blog:
‘I do [want the emphasis to be on girls]. It’s girls who get pregnant, girls who lose their education, girls who are left to bring up a child on benefits, girls who reach old age in poverty, girls who are subjected to a string of guesting fathers as they throw in the towel in a life of welfare misery, girls who seek abortion, girls who suffer the consequences of abortion, girls who are subjected to the increased medical risks of giving birth at a young age, girls who have little control over condom use, girls who are pressurised, girls who are targeted by lad mag marketing, it’s seven year old girls Primark made alluring padded bikinis for, girls who are targeted by paedophiles…….
So in a world fraught with danger for girls, just keeping your legs shut will make it a fucking Nirvana. Well, it’s simple, I suppose. Taking Dorries’ list, I can think of, oh, eleventy billion things we could do to address those particular inequalities. None of them are just tell girls to keep it shut. Jesus, who’d be a heterosexual girl now? Legs shut lest you get yourself pregnant (yourself! har har!), mouth shut lest opinions make you unfeminine and unpopular with boys, brain shut unless you start to understand how keeping your legs and your mouth shut will do nothing to prevent the world from fucking you in all number of ways.