A Teen's Open Letter About Her School's Sexist Sex-Ed Class Is Going Viral
The cover literally says "no means yes?"
A student in Singapore has complained after undergoing a series of sex ed classes that she said were bigoted and promoted rape culture.
Agatha Tan took to Facebook this week after reading through the booklet provided for her classes.
I attended the workshop with my class in the AVT. Before it started, I flipped through the booklet provided by Focus on the Family (FotF)... From merely glancing through this booklet, I learned a simple yet important lesson: that bigotry is very much alive and it was naïve of me to think I could be safe from it even in school.
The post, which has had over 3,000 shares, shows sections of the booklet she feels reinforce gender stereotypes.
She explains why the “jokes” in the book about women not meaning what they say are harmful.
This creates a dangerous situation in which questions like "does she mean yes when she says no?" become valid in the male student population's eyes. Their joking attitude here only serves to reinforce rape culture, since the guys now come to mistakenly understand that girls always mean the opposite when they say anything, including "no".
And are in direct contrast to the two-dimensional way in which "guys" are portrayed.
She illustrates how the educational pamphlet perpetuates rape culture.
When a "scantily-clad" girl walks past, for instance, a guy is sure to take notice because "no man with a pulse could have done otherwise" (page 26). It is precisely this kind of attitude that makes mothers warn their daughters not to wear short skirts and walk along the street alone at night, instead of warning their sons to be decent human beings and keep their eyes to themselves instead of appraising the female form like they own it.
And points out how harmful its contents are for men and women alike.
I felt it disgusting that, for one, FotF has reduced guys to nothing but their hormones, and for two, instead, then, of suggesting that we should cultivate a sense of responsibility in guys with regards to respecting boundaries, FotF suggested that girls therefore need to support guys so that they are able to play heroes and guardians.
We believe sex is given by God as an expression of love to be shared and enjoyed exclusively between a husband and wife.We believe that Christians have a responsibility to promote truth and social policy that improves the strength and health of the family, as God designed.
She finishes her letter by criticising the management of her school, and asks it to reconsider its approach to sex education.
By engaging the services of groups such as FotF to teach sexuality education in school, the management hence indirectly participates in promoting rape culture, tells students that we should conform to traditional gender roles instead of being our own persons, demonstrates that the acceptance of diversity in people is unimportant, and erases minority groups in the student population.
I hope that these concerns will be taken into consideration for future events and workshops.