Friday, July 20, 2007

My First* Feminist Memory

*Note: The following story is, chronologically, my second feminist memory. However, the first one isn't as, say, third-wave appropriate as my second feminist memory.

When I heard Barack Obama's comments about age-appropriate sex education for children in Kindergarten, I was reminded of my Kindergarten days. Obama believes that 5-year-olds should be taught what is a good touch and what is a bad touch in order to protect them from pedophiles. At first I thought, How could this still be an issue? I learned about good touch/bad touch in 1989. Are we going backwards? Then I thought back to that day when I learned the difference between good touches and bad touches. I learned that a touch between the legs or the bottom is a bad touch for both boys and girls, and a touch on the chest is a bad touch for girls. My 5-year-old brain started working. I thought, That's unfair. Why are there more bad places to touch on a girl than on a boy? Why do I have to worry more about being badly touched than my boy classmates?

Of course, now I know it's because even 5-year-old girls are sexy to someone, even though they're flat-chested. Pedophiles see a little girl's chest as breasts, even before girls know that breasts are found to be sexy. I don't think it's the same with reproductive organs of both sexes. With the number of times I see toddlers walking around the mall with their hands down their pants, kids find out that their, shall I say, nether regions, are very fun way before they realize that those same body parts are sexy. At 5 years old, I had a hard time believing that any part of my body would turn someone else on, but I couldn't help but think, What's so great about my upper body?

Then I thought of something extremely disturbing. I started thinking more about pornography, particularly the women in pornographic movies. If today's pornography is any indication of what's in the fantasy of the typical heterosexual male, guys like hairless females with gigantic boobs who sound more like they're confused or being hurt during sex than actually enjoying it. Basically, the only thing pubescent about these women are their (surgically?) enlarged breasts. Everything else is reminiscent of a much earlier stage of physical and emotional development. *shudder*

If you were wondering, I have to think back to when I was 4 to recall my first feminist memory. I was graduating from pre-school, and we were all preparing for our graduation ceremony. We all stood in a line and said our names and what we wanted to be when we grew up. I thought this was completely stupid, because I had no idea what I wanted to be. I ended up copying off the girl next to me, who wanted to be a teacher. This plan could have gone much worse if I standed next to this one girl, who incidentally, was a few persons before me. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she proudly declared, "I want to be a mommy!" My eyes were about to roll right out of my head. I thought, "No, stupid. What do you want to do for your job? 'Mommy' isn't a job. Any lady can do that." At the graduation ceremony, I was dubbed "Quietest." I guess it was best that I didn't say most of my thoughts when I was 4.


Drew said...

I think the best follow-up to "mommy" would have been to just say "kiddie porn". Though I'm sure your parents would have kept a close eye for the rest of your life (and into the afterlife) if you ever said that at age four.

FEMily! said...

DYFS probably would have been knocking down my door so fast if I uttered "kiddie porn".

profeministmale said...

Hahahaha! This story makes me laugh, because it reminds me of my young days as a little boy feminist as well. :0) I used to be SO mean to girls who played with dolls in kidergarten. I once pushed a girl off a swing (of course, I didn't realize that I wasn't supposed to hit girls) and when asked why, I said, "Because she cried all the time. I hate stupid girls."

Anyway, you have quite the theory on sex, porn and age-appropriate sex education. More than just to protect children, however, it's a good idea, I think, to teach them about their bodies in appropriate/scientific ways from the very start.