Teach your daughter to be sex-positive

A friend clued me in to this disturbingly backward HuffPo entry, in which the “(theoretically) enlightened” Arianna bemoans the awakening sexuality of her daughters. It’s actually the first comment on the post that kills me:

My lovely daughter is now 18… I lived through those boy crazy, adolescent years 14-17 with her myself, totally heartbreaking! […] They survive it, but their life and attitudes are sure different than our generations were.

Maybe, but women as young as Arianna’s daughters were getting married a couple generations back. Look back a little further in history, and girls were turned over to husbands as soon as they started menstruating. Sexual awakening has always started well before age 18, and my generation is far from the first to fetishize young girls. The difference? Girls today have some of the sexual freedom that men always had. They have more weapons against unplanned pregnancy than ever (kudos to the HuffPo commenter who told Arianna to talk to her girls about the Pill), and the lucky ones have learned how to protect themselves against STDs.

The unlucky ones, however, get messages of abstinence from their schools when their hormones are sending far different messages. I’m no proponent of telling your teenager to embrace her inner slut, but I also know that making her ashamed and afraid of her sexuality only leaves her vulnerable to AIDS, pregnancy, and unprincipled men. A girl who loves herself won’t let other people hurt her, and part of loving yourself is loving your sexuality.

So, Arianna, tell your daughters they’re beautiful, and tell them how to protect themselves. Then they can get on with their lives — with caution, but not with fear.

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One Response to “Teach your daughter to be sex-positive”

  1. Marisa Says:

    This just in: women important.

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