I was deeply distressed recently to learn many teenage boys were part of a 70+ school pornography ring defaming and sexualising young girls.
I wrote this list in response. Teachers and parents can unpack the points with both young men and women.
1. Treat girls as human because that is what they are. They breathe and they have feelings. Your words and actions can cause lasting damage. Think before you speak and act.
2. No slut-shaming*. Girls have the right to wear whatever they like without fear of being sexually assaulted. What they are wearing or the fact that they enjoy sex is not an invitation for you to make unwanted sexual advances or speak about or to a girl in slut-shaming terms.
3. When a girl says ‘NO’ to anything she means ‘NO!’ She does not mean ‘maybe’ or ‘I’m not sure’. Girls can say ‘NO’ at any time during sexual contact. This means you STOP immediately.
4. Girls are equal to you in brain power. In fact, many will exceed you. This may be news to you but they can also be physically stronger than you. They can also be better at sport.
5. Many girls love to have fun and party. This does not mean you can come onto them (make sexual advances) when they are drunk or high. In fact, this is a good time to look out for them as you would any human in a similar situation.
6. Girls are not here on this earth for your pleasure. They are not sexual objects. It may be news to you but they do not like cat-calling*, gossiping with others about their bodies or appearance, being stared at while going about their daily routines.
7. Pornography is not real. It is not what a loving respectful relationship looks like. What you may have seen are two or more actors. Even though the woman appears to enjoy sex that objectifies and degrades her, in real-life this most likely is not the case. A loving relationship is where two people enjoy time together and both enjoy sex that is mutually respectful.
8. Do not tell a girl you love/like her, get her to take a naked selfie and then post it on the internet so you look impressive to your friends. I repeat, DO NOT do this despicable and illegal act.
9. Do not take pictures of girls without their permission. Do not post such pictures on the internet. I repeat, DO NOT do this despicable and illegal act.
10. Lastly, be a kind, good human being to all other human beings this includes girls.
Educators/carers please unpack each point with teenagers. Ask, ‘What does this mean?’
*slut-shaming : also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings
*cat-calling: a loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman
By Jayneen Sanders
copyright Educate2Empower Publishing www.e2epublishing.info