To start with the feminism: My church was mentioned on Feministing! It made me laugh when my friend pointed it out to me; the article is about OWL, a comprehensive sex education program sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ. Being new to UU, I missed a lot of the Sex Ed 101 offered to younger students, but right now I'm participating in the high school program. A bunch of us (mostly freshmen, but a few other older kids) spent a day in the church talking about gender identity, sexual response cycles, and how to put condoms on cucumbers. It was surprisingly fun - I've never taken real school sex ed by some weird flukes of scheduling, but I can't imagine it's anything like that.
However, the strategies that are so effective in OWL seem geared towards small groups of people who are already comfortable with each other. How can we open this up for bigger classrooms in public schools? Especially since heath classes, at least at my school, generally feature about 40 kids who want nothing to do with each other.
So that's the feminist question of the day. But I've also had art on the brain lately. (I'm an art kid, in case you didn't know. Mostly sewing and design, but I do some real art too - check it out here.)
Have you ever heard of Amanda Palmer? She's my favorite, and she has an amazing post up today about "abortion, rape, art, and humor."
It is some intense stuff.
Someone mentioned at Fem 2.0 yesterday that feminism isn't always so great at presenting our ideas artistically - we like to keep our serious academic/political business on one side and our arts business on the other side, I guess. And while I get why that happens, Amanda Palmer's post raises some interesting questions. Art is an important way of exploring topics - including the heavy ones like abortion and rape, where all the talking points and research in the world won't get across the thousands and millions of different experiences women have. They're important stories to tell - isn't removing the silence and shame and stigma part of what we're supposed to be working towards?
In case you didn't read it, the blog post was about Amanda Palmer's song about rape and abortion being banned from several networks because it was humorous/ironic instead of depressing. Her point was that humor is as valid a way of exploring personal experiences as anything else. I see why people might be offended by it, of course... but isn't that not necessarily a bad thing, if it gets people talking, raises awareness, gives people a space to share their own experiences as they're comfortable?
I have no idea if this made any sense, as I'm about to go to bed, but this caught my attention.
Going to skip off to sleep and leave you with a quote.
in art, everything must be fair game, everything must be explorable, everything must be speakable, or we go BACKWARDS! we go DOWN!