Warning: Freaking Out!
November 9th, 2016
So for this article, I decided to tackle three topics that drive me CRAZY and not in a good way. Here’s the first freak-out of the story of Once Upon a Month (The Real Deal, what lies beneath) blog!
Did you know that many schools don’t offer sex ed classes!? I have a sister in Sec 5 who’s only had as a "course" – if you can call IT a course – a nurse who came into their classroom and quickly demonstrated how to put on a condom. Oh yeah, she also vaguely touched on the subject of STIs. Well, ok, they learned a bit about periods, as well as the anatomy of the penis and the vagina (not the vulva) but only from an ultra-scientific point of view. What happens is we forget everything about the clitoris and even more about masturbation of course. These days, the way young people are educated about sexuality always follows the same script and it goes something like this: boys have a penis and girls have a vagina (and the vulva and clitoris are NOT mentioned). To make a baby, the penis has to enter the vagina and ejaculate inside. And the vulva, whose main function is for a woman’s sexual pleasure, is almost never talked about.
Also, my little sister in Sec 5 confirmed that there were a lot of innuendos communicated by the teachers, as in, it’s normal that boys think a lot more about sex than girls do and that they need to masturbate. Not girls. What can I say? That needs to change. Now. Oh boy oh boy oh boy…
In July 2015, the Canadian and Quebec governments abolished taxes on feminine hygiene products. Unfortunately, there are still many countries fighting for that. Even if it’s a good start for Canada, I still don’t understand WHY we have to pay for feminine protection?!? No, but we agree that we have no choice but to bleed every month. Sure, there are ways to prevent bleeding all over the place, but they’re not exactly natural.
Another thing I find shocking: how is it that pad and tampon dispensers are not found everywhere? It seems to me that when you just blood-stained your undies at school – and you only realize it once you’re in the washroom – you don’t really feel like having to put back on your soiled undies, going to your locker to get a pad and returning to the washroom. It’s also happened to me before that there’s no garbage can or container to throw out used pads and tampons. In other words, you have to leave the washroom with your freak-show-bloody protection to throw it away… not exactly cool.
Third and last point: sexism. This past summer’s Olympic Games are the perfect example to demonstrate the extent to which sexism is still alive and well when it comes to representing women in the media. Elizabeth Plank – who I adore btw – had a little fun commenting on the sexism present in the media coverage of the sports as an Olympic event in its own right… and it couldn’t be more perfect! Need an example? When the Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszù beat a world record and reporter Dan Hicks attributed this accomplishment to Katinka’s HUSBAND… No comment.
Luckily there are movements that try to change things slowly but surely like the hashtag #AskHerMore by Amy Poehler launched in 2014. The purpose of this movement is to put an end to the superficial questions journalists ask actresses – and to women in general – and ask questions actually related to more serious subjects and that affect the careers and accomplishments of these women in question. You don’t think there’s a point to this movement? Read the article (in English) on how the site of British news Metro and magazine Marie Claire covered the inauguration of the British Prime Minister… by talking about what her husband was wearing. This makes us realize how women are judged much more on their appearance that on their skills and talents.
Final freak-out on sexism: the fact that men have the “right” to have a one-night stand and are never judged on their magic number of sexual partners they’ve had. However, a really open, sexually liberated woman is treated differently. Fortunately, that’s starting to change little by little and women are coming to terms more and more with their sexuality. An example of a TV program that, in addition to being hilarious, encourages women to take full advantage of their sexuality: Don’t trust the b*** in appartment 23! ;)
Moral of the story: yes, we’ve made progress BUT we still have a ways to go!
Do you have a sexist anecdote that has happened to you or a freak-out moment you want to tell us about?