Monday, January 5, 2015

Dana Blog 5

Hello everyone!

Going home went just about as well as expected. Of course I loved seeing my family and friends, but we had the same arguments (about women's rights) as usual. Fortunately my mom is starting to come more over to my side. Some brief highlights: My grandfather refused to walk through a door I was holding open for him because this "women's lib is nonsense." My grandmother asked why women "are letting themselves get raped so much" and argued that it's because "they're stupid or something." I won't even recount the family trip to the Chinese restaurant... let's just say we had a female waitress who happened to be both quiet and Asian. So that was fun. The family wanted to know what I was planning on doing for spring break, so I shared my Women NC plans. I talked about the paper, and explained my topic in as brief detail as possible so as to not start a war with my 80 year-old grandparents. Though they were polite, they think sex education is in fact not all that important because people "don't have sex until they're married." I decided to keep the fact that 95% of people do have premarital sex to myself.

As usual, going home is a reminder of why this research is important and why sex education is so valuable. My grandparents, despite their flaws, are wonderful, kind, and loving people. But they never learned about sex in a positive light; they were taught shame. The results of generations of these teachings exist in every facet of our daily lives. Though I already knew this, I think it is so important to be reminded that this is going to be an uphill battle to convince others, no matter how good the research is. And the people who are fighting comprehensive sex ed aren't necessarily malicious misogynists - they are average, everyday people who weren't taught anything else.

Though I fear my grandparents may be a lost cause when it comes to the feminism front, working on this paper and looking through the lens of other organizations working on the ground has given me hope that we can help change the next generation and get to a place where sex education is considered as valuable as math, science, and history. We've definitely got a long way to go.


  1. Dana, I think your last two paragraphs sum up nicely why all of us are advocates for gender equality--we do have a long way to go, but it is important work, and important for us to show leadership and respect to those who were raised in a different time and culture. I do hope you are also researching some of the global aspects of sex education in other cultures.
    And your last paragraph sums up nicely the WomenNC vision to "raise a generation that honors women's human rights"!

  2. I am glad you can see your grandparents as human beings and understand the influence society has had over them. I am positive they know sex exists outside of marriage, they just had a name for those folks. In some ways, harnessing sexual energy has benefitted society and may have been a necessary component to our civilization so let's not knock it, or join it. :)