Sex education for me and many young black girls in the 1980s consisted of shallow, scary, guilt-laden directives on what to and (especially) not to do. From the women in my family I learned, 1. Keep your skirt down and your panties up. 2. Good girls don’t… (do anything related to sex with men, definitely not with women, and especially not with yourself). 3. All men want is sex. The only thing my father ever said regarding sex was, “Ain’t no abortions in this house”. From school I learned that if I insisted on being a wild, unruly, teenager and having sex, absolutely use condoms because unprotected sex causes pregnancy and nasty diseases that itch, burn, stink and cause sores. Finally, from the church I learned that my body is solely for my husband’s pleasure when making babies and premarital sex will certainly send me straight to hell.
To say old school sex education was less than comprehensive is an understatement. Additionally, girls’ education was drastically different from, and often in direct opposition to, boys’. While girls were taught to guard and value virginity at all costs, boys were often encouraged prove their prowess by having sex with multiple girls and women before, during and after marriage. Girls were given chastisements for chastity. Boys were given condoms and told, “Just don’t bring home no babies”.
In addition to being inaccurate and contradictory, these lessons lacked information on anatomy (female and male), autonomy, consent, sexual assault (particularly by acquaintances and family), the reproductive process, and pleasure. How do you talk about sex and not talk about pleasure?
Not only was the teaching incomplete, it was physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually dangerous, proving detrimental to girls’ development into holistically sound women. Hence, the staggering number of sexual assault survivors who have come forward during the rise of #MeToo is not surprising given society’s, especially women’s, poor sex education. Sadder still is that as bad as the sex education of the 1980’s was, for previous generations it was worse. Basically, our parents didn’t teach us better because they didn’t know any better.
But better knowledge is widely available now. And those who know better must do better and teach others so they can do better as well. We must uproot the culture of sexual guilt, shame, oppression, repression, silence, toxic masculinity and rape that has grown from the seeds of miseducation and flourished under sexist and patriarchal reign and rain. Simultaneously, we must sow new seeds of equality, respect, honesty, trust and communication to cultivate a new society free from sexual violence.
In teaching we must continue learning, to avoid inadvertently imparting obsolete and therefore erroneous information to those trying to learn. Education, like sexuality, is fluid: it can change over time. We must be prepared to adapt. And now that we know what we must do, let’s begin. The bell is ringing. School is back in session.
More information on the author can be found at: pviljoen.wordpress.com
STICK OF DYNAMITE (FREEDOM)
I took a stick of dynamite and through that bitch into my life
Family Blown up
D words like cuss words up in here
What makes somebody do something so dramatic?
Wings clipped head dipped
Shackles around my feet
I can’t fly I can’t breathe
Head towards the sky
Feet cemented to the ground I have to fly
Sticks of dynamite thrown into my life
So that I can fly I can breathe
I can do I can be
I haven’t been me
Deep inside I feel the essence of
What used to be me
I have become but a shell
You might not understand
You might not understand taking such
I could not breathe
I could not fly
Dynamite was all that I could cling to
Dynamite was my friend
I’ve got to blow this shit up and start again
I can’t do this
I think that I am soaring
Chains heavier than heavy can be
Weightier than weight can be
Have been pulling on me
And I’m supposed to just be
I’m supposed to just settle
Being the way it will be
But, fuck that, I need to be free
I need to breathe
I need to fly
I need to soar
I need to dip
I need to dive
Like a phoenix from the ashes
I shall rise
I must be me
I don’t know who I have been
But what I do know is that
There was there was little reciprocity.
Why must all responsibilities be on me?
My shoulders like a 400-pound gorilla Has been just sitting on me
Shitting on me I can’t do this anymore I must be free so
Dynamite became my best friend
Threw that bitch right
Into my life
So that freedom
I could be
AmberMarie ~La Femme Créole~ is a poet, spoken word artist, writer, author, inspirational speaker, dancer, singer, actor, painter…she is an artist. Her loves are those blissful things that tantalize the mind and senses. AmberMarie is the founder/creator of The LA Showcase, a Los Angeles based open mic established in 2008. She’s also a member of the eclectic band Stanky Gumbo, La Famille Creole.
AmberMarie is Creole (Black, French, Spanish, Cherokee and Blackfoot Indian). Her mother’s side of the family is from Shreveport, Louisiana and her father’s side of the family is from Houston, Texas. She was born and raised in Santa Maria, California. AmberMarie has lived in Palo Alto, California; San Diego, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
AmberMarie is divorced and has a beautiful, intelligent 16-year-old daughter, Ava Marie; a talented and brilliant 8-year-old son, Marvin “Tre Boogie,” and a smart and precocious 3-year-old son, Malachi. She also has two bonus babies, gorgeous Shaquay, 28, and talented Jaleel, 26, and two grandsons by way of Shaquay, Kameron, 9, and King, 4, with another little grandbaby on the way due in August 2019. AmberMarie is an ordained Kemetic-centered reverend who unashamedly and fiercely loves Mother/Father God and her family.
One of my career(s) was being in executive retail management. It was incredible money but A LOT of work. Once I left that job, a part of my missed the none stop hustle and bustle of things so I created this character, Grace, to fill the void. (clever huh?) If you enjoy comedy, short stories and shopping- get a copy of “Grace in Retail – The Bonus“. Here’s Grace in action…
This is that novel I wrote in 2015. While I am elated to be sharing my latest novel later this year… if you don’t have this in your library, click on the link and get your copy:
from the book “yardwork“
From the book “yardwork“