Debate on sexual pleasure in schools shows hypocrisy
SA is a special country, and I mean special in a special needs kind of way. Indulge me.
As a publisher, it has been interesting to see books with Christian themes top the best-selling charts week after week.
Which SA do these buyers live in? I'm always baffled by it because it is not consistent with the SA that I know and inhabit. Sure, there are acts of kindness and a heart-warming story here and there.
But the fabric of what makes South African stories is always harrowing, which is what makes the few heart-tugging moments special, the stark contrast. Perhaps it is being a nation of sharp contrasts that makes us special.
It does not make it less comical though. Christian values, and/or religious values of any kind, ought to reflect in the every day societal engagement. But that it isn't so.
I could speak about the crime, murder rate, corruption but it is not easy to unpack in a space so limited. We are champions at doing things on the sly, that we speak against in public.
For example, if you were to ask people about their habits of sleeping around or cheating you would be forgiven to think they make up their heartbreak stories. Yet as a society we enable cheating.
Men hang out freely with their friends and side chicks (I hate this term but that's a story for another day). Women cover for each other with "fake shopping dates" while friends steal time with their lovers.
I have known women who have suffered nervous breakdowns when they learn that their in-laws not only knew of their son's affairs but actively engaged with the other woman. In other countries, politicians are brought down by stories of infidelity, not in SA.
Here you apologise, your wife stands by you and then you are back stronger next week.
But we are also people very quick to bring up morality when faced with issues, especially around sex.
It has been an interesting week of watching and listening to debates around the proposed introduction of self-pleasure into the life orientation of the curriculum. The morality gods have truly jumped onto this one. As a society we want to pretend, at least in public, that sexual pleasure isn't a basic need, when people do deplorable things in private.
I am yet to understand if the counter argument is that the children are too young or that sexual pleasure should not be taught. As a mother, I have not made up my mind about the age appropriateness of the proposal. As a woman though, I cannot think of a better thing to do for girl children.
The world is filled with women who have yet to fully grasp what sexual pleasure is and what it ought to look and feel like for them.
Sexual liberation for women ought to be pursued and teaching girls of their sexual power will enable them to not only expect but to demand what is due to them.
It might even help us raise men who aren't self-centred and think of sexual pleasure as only exclusive to them, or that their penises make them gods of pleasure.