Ever since Harvey Weinstein’s actions had come to light, our entire world stopped and decided Time’s Up (pun intended).
We have begun to take sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations more seriously. More and more companies are beginning to implement anti-harassment policies and programs to ensure that their female workers are feeling safe and respected in the workplace. There is a bigger and more productive conversation when we discuss sexual assault that involves discussing the complexities of predation and power that play a part in these crimes.
And while we should not criticise the growth that has occurred, we should also be wary of being complacent with what is left to change.
Our conversations about sex cannot and should not only revolve around sexual assault and criminal offenses. Instead, we should be looking into the common couple’s experience with sex, something that is drastically different from Weinstein’s.
When the account on Aziz Ansari was published in Babe magazine, everyone seemed to have an opinion. Women in support of Grace shared their own experiences with men like Ansari. Women in disagreement with Grace also admitted to having similar experiences and just labeled it as bad sex. Whether it was shitty sex or a form of violation, most women said they related to her.
And that should be alarming.
Just because something is not criminal does not mean it's not wrong. Our conversations should not solely revolve around legal definitions and jail time.
And just because something is common does not mean it's okay.
The biggest lesson we should take away from this is that our sexual education system has obviously failed us.
It is not enough to warn us about chlamydia and where the ovaries are. We need to discuss effective communication.
Places like the Netherlands have found that adolescents had “wanted and fun” sexual experiences during their first time while 66% of sexually active American teens said they wished they had waited longer to have sex. Before we riot and say that we should be placing abstinence-only programs to prevent kids from having sex. Netherland has the most liberal sexual education system and their average age to lose their virginity is 17.7 compared to the U.S.’s average of 15.8.
Our sexual education should begin at a young age and should follow Netherland’s current practices.
They begin sex education during kindergarten and no they are not advocating 5-year-olds to have sex.
Instead, they teach them to confidently talk about sexual identity and to be more comfortable expressing their feelings. For example, they talk about how hugs make them feel. The thought process behind this is to get them at a young age to be more comfortable discussing intimacy in a positive way.
If more of us felt comfortable talking about what we are okay with and what we are not, Aziz Ansari would not be a headline because it would not have happened.
We currently live in a society that is obsessed with sex but doesn’t seem to have good sex.
And that, for a lack of a better word, is dumb.
If we think we are mature enough for it, we should also be mature enough to openly communicate with our partners about what we want.