Monday, January 14, 2008

Feminine Protection


The New York Times has a wonderfully sensitive and thoughtful essay today inspired by the excellent movie Juno. In the essay, Caitlin Flanagan explores the effects of pregnancy on underage women and ponders how we can protect our girls from the traumas of accidental pregnancy while still protecting their rights. She poses this question: "Does the full enfranchisement of girls depend on their being sexually liberated? And if it does, can we somehow change or diminish among the very young the trauma of pregnancy, the occasional result of even safe sex? "

It's an important question. No matter how much the world changes, pregnancy will always weigh more heavily on females than males. When a woman is pregnant, everyone knows. She can't run away from it. Even if she chooses to have an abortion, it is a frightening, heartwrenching procedure and the emotional pain never entirely heals for many. The same is true for adoption. So how do we protect our young women without taking away the liberty we grant their male peers?

2 comments:

Angelia Sparrow said...

I have two radical ideas:

The first is that we give the girls adequate sex education, including really good contraceptive information.
(something Flanigan apparently forgot existed)

The other is simply encouraging lesbianism. A lot iof teen girls are bi-curious. Encourage that under the premise that it lets them develop a sexual identity that is not centered around men and fear of pregnancy, but rather around their own pleasure and pleasing a partner.

Susan Edwards said...

Wow, now that's a radical idea! Not the sex ed, though in today's pro-ignorance climate, even that is radical. So, in Angelia's proposed world, girls do their sexual experimenting together. By the time they hook up with men, they know their own bodies and sexual responses well enough to teach their partners how to please them instead of thinking there's something wrong with them because they don't orgasm with 10 minutes (or less) of stimulation. Hmmmm. Radical.