Pesky Emotions!

I don’t know why on Earth I read The F Word. I end up whipping myself up into a fit of rage at their nonsensery. Here’s the latest post that shoot my annoyance-meter well above the “let it be” level.

It starts with the following:

“The NSPCC(…) are saying that schools should teach more about relationships in sex education.”

Except, they aren’t saying that, at least not just that. Here’s what they actually said in the news article:

“Advice on emotions and relationships should be made a compulsory part of sex education in schools, the children’s charity NSPCC says.”

Oh, those pesky emotions! I would have let it be were it not because the news article that this post is concerned about is titled

“‘Emotions’ urged in sex education”

Oh, those pesky emotions again! Again, I am not picking on this for fun, I do have a point, which will be made clear further down.

Now, this suggestion by NSPCC is in turn a response to the recent data, from Childline, that claims 50 children a day ring them up saying they feel pressured to have sex.
Let’s pause for a minute on that. 50 children A DAY ring them up saying they feel pressured to have sex. The experienced feminist will notice 2 things upon being confronted with this news. One, the savvy, “one eyebrow reaised” reaction that can be summarized by “So?” or by “Next they’ll be telling us water is still wet”. The other will be the following educated guess: “I bet which gender most of those children are”. Indeed. This is the natural consecuence of a pornulated sick society. Children are force fed sex at every turn, and since this is a patriarchy that tells us sex is domination used by males over females, the ones doing the pressuring are most likely to be boys. And when we look at the actual news article we find precisely that: 5,985 girls and 503 boys in an 12 month period. This experienced feminist is good!

Kate Smurthwaite isn’t all that happy with this idea of teaching about relationships AND emotions along with sex. Why? Well…

“The first thing that frightens me is that if the syllabus is expanded out to include relationships, what is the risk that the facts of biology will be lost? I think children have a right to understand how their bodies work in factual scientific terms.
(…) It’s also difficult to understand how children will react to hearing the facts of biology lined up next to what can be nothing more than advice about relationships. I think a clear line needs to be drawn between the facts of how the human body works and advice about how to deal with the stresses and strains of relationships.”

Yes, she continues to omit the “emotions” part. Again, it’s difficult to let it pass when Sue Minto, from Childline, said:

“(…) children needed information about peer pressure, relationships and love, as well as help developing skills to make the right decisions about sex.”

Love? Damn it with those pesky emotions!

By now you have probably guessed what my problem with this post is. In fact, Kate hit the spot right there when she said “a clear line needs to be drawn between the facts of how the human body works and advice on…”
Kate seems to have bough in to the patriarchally supported idea that the mind and the body are two separate entities. That emotions are not worth a damn because, well, because the menz have said so. And that individuals can be separated from each other because there’s no such thing as society. Note to Kate: there’s only one entity here, the human being, and I’m not even sure where it begins or ends. There is no “mind” on one side and “body” on the other. There’s a whole made up of everything. Body, soul, mind, heart, and yes, relationships. All relationships, not strictly romantical ones, are not something we can “choose” to have, they are an essencial part of our human nature. So when you refer to “how the human body works” you simply HAVE to include all those parts. They are not orbiting around our bodies; they are the stuff we are made of.

And if I may just pick on Kate’s post once more, because I just cannot ignore this bit:

“I think children should be taught that they have human rights, and that one of those is the right to make their own decisions about sex (or this could be covered under the women’s studies addition to the national curriculum that I’ve been talking about forever).”

Update: sex and relationships are only the interest of women studies. Because, you know, women=sex and relationships are something only women want.

See what I mean? There’s a very thin line between thinking about humans in binary terms, mind-body, sex-love, reason-emotion AND the final association of women with one term and men with another. Needless to say, women are associated with whatever term is regarded as inferior. And Kate has crossed that line.

Once more, people: emotions are not bad or “female”. They are a part of our humanity, no matter how much patriarchy wants to devaule them and dump them on women’s shoulders.


Note: I hope I didn’t sound too bitchy. I like Kate and her work and I have nothing against her.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    starfish said,

    I agree strongly with your point of view on this subject. (haven’t read your link so hope not to duplicate

    “Once more, people: emotions are not bad or “female”. They are a part of our humanity, no matter how much patriarchy wants to devalue them and dump them on women’s shoulders.”

    An emotional aspect is an integral part of our humanity. All of us. Men and women. What gets dumped on each sex is so very harmfully (mostly to women, I think, of course) genderised. eg. aren’t MRA’s some of the mostly violently emotional, emotionally violent men ever?

    I think sex ed should include discussions of social kinds of issues around sex, by gender too. Like how sexually active boys/men are still studly and girls/women slutish in all but the most ‘enlightened’ circles, (and what statistically insignificant percentage of a general population do those circles constitute?). And, to be really simple about it, every young person should be taught that no means no, for sure. These things are just as “factual” as bare bones bio.

  2. 2

    allecto said,

    Echoing Starfish. Great post.

    Robin Morgan blamed patriarchy for the propaganda that sex could be divorced from love. Look at the world in chaos that that idea has created.

  3. 3

    Also, emotions are, at least partly, chemical- I mean actual biology and everything.

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