Robyn Urback | February 23, 2015
On Monday, the Ontario government released the details of its new sex ed curriculum, catapulting the province’s fretful moralists into the soft velour of their fainting chaises. “MpffffSEXphhhKIDS,” they wail into crimson pillows, with the curriculum ripped in tatters and spewed across the bearskin rug. “[Unintelligible] ANAL IN KINDERGARDEN [unintelligible] WHY, KATHLEEN?”
Organizations have mobilized. The Campaign Life Coalition, which previously identified Kathleen Wynne as a “gay-activist” turned Premier — one who wants to get tweens “thinking about anal intercourse” — has launched a rally at Queen’s Park for Tuesday to protest the new curriculum. The Institute for Canadian Values was ahead of the game, releasing a statement last month abhorring Wynne’s supposed plan to “start teaching grade one children how to give sexual consent.” The REAL Women of Canada also got out early with a release, and they were aghast at a program that “conveys the message that promiscuous sex is expected of children.”
What’s next, Ms. Premier? Hmm? Drinking? Instructions on how to roll marijuana cigarettes? Talks about couples pooping on each other during intercourse? Is that want you want to talk about Ms. Wynne? Pooping?
It’s enough to make anyone reach for the smelling salts, but let’s do some filtering, shall we? Yes, the Premier is a lesbian. No, the Premier is not trying to create a province of little minion gays and lesbians. Awareness of a phenomenon does not necessarily endear one to a phenomenon; children will not decide to adopt a “homosexual lifestyle” for the duration of their adult lives because they learned in Grade 3 that some families have two daddies.
Yes, the new curriculum will include references to anal and oral sex. No, that will not happen in Grade One, and no, the Premier is not trying to create a province of little minion gays and lesbians (see above). The curriculum also does not encourage students to engage in anal or oral sex. It merely acknowledges the fact that some kids do, or will, and offers guidelines for teaching them how to do it safely. These lessons will begin in Grade 7, by which time, I guarantee, most kids are at least aware of anal or oral sex. And for the few that aren’t, I reiterate: Just because they hear about it doesn’t mean they’ll want to do it. Most students will giggle, draw a sketch of their teacher holding a balloon condom, and move on.
Ontario has been in desperate need of a new curriculum for more than a decade. Last updated in 1998, the existing program predates Facebook, the iPhone, Tinder, Instagram — basically, all modern forms of communication through which kids sometimes find themselves in trouble. It also predates the HPV vaccination program for Grade 8 girls in Ontario, as well as the ubiquity of relatively new forms of birth control such as the contraceptive ring, which prevents against pregnancy but not sexually transmitted infections.
While an update was clearly needed, there were some people who were going to be opposed to the government’s new curriculum regardless of the specific details unveiled on Monday. Those people usually contend that sex education should be the responsibility of the parents exclusively, and that the school should basically butt out when it comes to sex.
There are two major problems with this position. One: parents, generally speaking, have no idea what their kids are up to. They might skip the anal sex lesson, for example, believing that those sorts of deviant activities are only done by other children. The other issue is one of scope; parents can cover the birds and bees just fine, but do they know — and can they convey — the legal issues that might come into play when kids make and share intimate images? What do they know of child pornography charges? What about consent? Legally speaking, an individual cannot consent to sex if he or she is intoxicated. How many parents know that? And will they tell their kids? After all their kids don’t really drink alcohol, anyway.
The Liberals have said they are not backing down from their curriculum, as they did in 2010. That leaves hesitant parents with two options: they can either shrink into a dystopian reality — plush with velour and sober, abstinent children — where the lesbian premier is trying to encourage their six-year-olds to stick things in each other’s bums, or they can recognize the reality of modern sexual interactions among youth and temper lessons learned at school with conversations in the home. I can already hear the response: “MfffpmmSEXNO.”
Robyn Urback • email@example.com
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Premier Kathleen Wynne projects an image of fear and intimidation. She is unapproachable unless you are part of her cult, a culture that treats anyone who is NOT gay or lesbian as sub human.