Ontario’s New Sex-Education Curriculum

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I write this the day before the Liberal government will reveal a new sex-education curriculum that will be rolled out in Ontario schools next September.  Ontario’s sex-education curriculum has been outdated and in desperate need of modernizing for a long time.  Five years ago, the Liberal government put forward the idea to update the sex-education curriculum but backed down after outcry from political and social conservatives.  I have no doubts there will once again be outcry from political and social conservatives.  While sources say there will be no backing down by the Liberal government, I will believe that in September when the curriculum is in schools.  As for the outcry from political and social conservatives, the government needs to do what’s best for Ontario and its students and that is updating the curriculum.

We need an updated sex-education curriculum because Ontario is not doing so well in any area regarding sex.  A large piece of this update is to include consent in the curriculum.  Every sexual assault offender, unless from outside of Ontario, has sat in an Ontario school classroom for sex-education.  With sexual assault rates rising while all other violent crime is decreasing, there was clearly a gap in learning about sexual assault and consent.  It’s actually very frightening that people from all age categories are unable to explain or define what consent is.  What’s even more frightening is the blatant disregard of consent.

One of the news headlines today read that students in the 4th grade will learn about the dangers of sexting.  Many of the comments that followed were outraged that 9 and 10 year olds will be learning about sexting.  Children this age and much younger are being given cell phones and webcams.  If a child has a cell phone with a camera or a webcam, they need to learn about sexting no matter how young they are.  In my opinion, if you don’t want your child learning about sexting at that age, don’t give them a cell phone or webcam so young.

We also need a sex-education curriculum update because we have multiple generations of people who don’t understand what healthy relationships are.  People of all ages do not understand what an abusive relationship looks like or when they are being abusive in a relationship.  Among the younger generations, it seems to be the idea of being controlling means that my partner cares and that I have a right to control the person I am dating.  An outdated sex-education curriculum is setting up children for failure in their romantic relationships.

I would also like to see the sex-education curriculum become less heternormative (focusing on male-female relationships as the norm).  Despite gains made by the LGBTQ community, homophobia and transphobia is still widespread and is present in schools.  Sex-education should be inclusive of all gender identities and sexualities.

I’m looking forward to reading what the new sex-education curriculum will include.  I’m even more excited to see updated sex-education being taught in our schools.  There will be outcry but the bottom line is Ontario’s children will one day become Ontario’s adults.  This change isn’t just for children; it’s for the province as a whole to move towards positive changes in sex and relationships.

Sources: Martin Regg Cohn: The sex-ed update Ontario badly needs in the Toronto Star (February 22, 2015).
Photo from: Wellness Education Consiglio

Short Hair, Don’t Care

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“Short hair, don’t care”.  Short, simple and my mantra.  I cut my long ponytail when I was 16 years old.  It was damaged, discoloured from all of the hair dye and I loved Mandy Moore’s hair in How to Deal.  It was always chin length until I turned 20.  Since then my hair has been a pixie style, cut around my ears.  It wasn’t until then that I noticed the war against short hair.

I don’t remember the first time a male told me they disliked short hair and thought I should grow mine.  I may not remember the first time but I remember the procession of men that followed that first comment.  I used to argue by telling them that short hair looks a lot better on me than long hair.  There were many times I almost listened and grew my hair out.  It grew a bit, I would get annoyed at how flat it would sit, found a cute short hair cut and that was that.  Now I don’t argue, I simply say “I don’t care”.  It doesn’t matter which length of hair looks better on me.  What matters is if I like my hair.

I like my hair short.  After learning about third and fourth wave feminism I realized that is really all that matters.  My hair is mine.  I’m the one who owns it and looks at it everyday so I will do what I please with it.  I don’t care if anyone likes it other than me.

Women are often afraid to take the plunge and chop off their hair because they fear how men will perceive them.  Yes, men have assumed and asked about my sexual orientation.  To that I say, drop your stereotypical ideas about women, sexual orientation and short hair.  Yes, men have made comments about my hair and how they like long hair on a woman.  To that I say I don’t care about your preferences.  When it comes to my body and how I look, my preference is the only one that matters.  I’m not here to be visually appealing for you.

I’ve been asked how short hair has impacted my dating life or relationships.  It’s been a main tension in some of my past relationships but in my eyes, it’s a good thing.  Having short hair makes it easier to weed out men who care more about what’s on my head than what is in it.  I don’t want to date someone who is more concerned about what my hair looks like than who I am as a person.

Whenever I come across the war on short hair, debate growing it or start to argue I remember my mantra, “short hair, don’t care”.  I think we should all wear and look the way we want.  Women’s bodies and looks are constantly picked apart in the media and in our personal relationships.  By saying we don’t care and looking how we want, we take back our bodies.  Saying you don’t care feels really good.  If you want short hair, cut it.  If you want long hair, grow it.  If you want blonde, red, brown or rainbow coloured hair, dye it!  It’s your body and your hair.  Find your “don’t care” mantra.

“Why Chivalry is Dead”: A Review

            After reading John Picciuto’s entry entitled: “Why Chivalry is Dead, From a Man’s Perspective” on elitedaily.com, a million thoughts popped into my head. In this entry, Picciuto discusses his conservative upbringing and learning the etiquette women should hold towards themselves and towards men. He discusses men’s lack of chivalrous acts that were once considered the norm such as paying for dinner, holding open doors and pulling out chairs etc. He makes a very forward point by stating that in this day and age, that dating realm no longer exists but instead, men and women engage in loose forms of intimacy (if you can even call it intimacy anymore). This has now, according to Picciuto, become the norm, which happens on the regular. I think Picciuto takes this a little bit far as relationships still exist. People meet, engage in conversation, date, and if all is well, establish a relationship. Intercourse may or may not have come to play somewhere in this process, but reality still shows that true relationships still exist that are not based solely off of sex. In addition, even with technology playing a large role in relationships through online dating (which yes, some of which are purely based on a “hook up” nature), traditional dating still exists whether it is going to dinner, a movie, for coffee or for a drink.

beingagentleman             I think Picciuto is valid to some degree, but it was when I read this that a horrible shiver ran through my entire body, which resulted in curled toes and griped fists. “The real problem here is that women, for one reason or another, have become complacent and allowed men to get away with adhering to the bare minimum. We no longer have to put in the effort of flowers, chocolates, dates, etc., and if we do, we come off as stage-five clingers.” What Picciuto is really trying to say is that it is women who are at fault for chivalries demise. What Picciuto neglects to point out is the fact that dating/relationships, whether chivalrous or not, is a two way street. Both parties are to blame here, not just women. I have met both types of women and both types of men: those who engage in common etiquette and chivalry and those who don’t. It’s a matter of values, how the individual was raised, and what the individual is ultimately looking for. Why do men get to call the shots in regard to casual sex? Do men really believe that all women want the romantic relationship and when engaging in casual sex, are merely giving in to men’s needs? This may happen for some, but not for all. Women make choices just as men do. Women choose to engage in casual sex just as men do. This should not be frowned upon, as it is merely a matter of choice. Just as some choose to wait to engage in intercourse until there are in a solid and stable relationship. Whether sex occurs on date one, date three or date twenty, this does not make women receive less or more than they deserve. Just because women engage in casual sex does not mean they don’t believe in chivalry and does not mean that they have lowered their self worth. It means that they are in tune with their sexual needs, which alongside men, need to be met. Maybe a relationship will come further down the road, but women are allowed to be focused on the here and now just as men are.

            Ultimately, relationships, dating and sex are a choice. You decide what you deserve and base your actions on such. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun here and there outside of a relationship. Chivalry is not dead to those who still wish to experience it. We are only lowering our standards if we are going against our values and against what we feel we deserve.

Original entry by John Picciuto: http://elitedaily.com/dating/sex/why-chivalry-is-dead-from-a-mans-perspective/

Image from: http://liveabundantly.ca/r-e-s-p-e-c-t/

The World of Online Dating

Who knew it could be so difficult to meet new people in a big city like Toronto? Meeting guys has never been easy considering I went to an arts high school, studied in a female dominated program in University and continued into a career path that is once again, surrounded by women. I’ve met men through friends, at bars, etc. but nothing’s ever really come from it. Desperate times call for desperate measures, which lead me to try online dating.

I’ve only gone on a date with a couple of guys off online sites. I’ve personally tried okcupid and plenty of fish, but there are also sites like eHarmony and lava life. I’ve noticed a particular pattern with the men I’ve met up with… they aren’t who they say they are. The first guy had a very mysterious photo that intrigued me. A very “hank moody” look wearing a nice jacket and black shades. When I met up with him for a coffee, he already had a coffee in his hand. Why he went on a coffee date and already had a coffee, I don’t really understand. So there we were, he was waiting in line with me to order a Starbucks latte while holding a Tim Horton’s coffee cup. Geeze. The date was doomed from the start.

The second guy I dated was great. He was handsome, a gentleman, and liked to jam out with me on his guitar. But I just didn’t feel the connection. No butterflies, no nothing. On to the next!

The next guy I met up with was a sweetheart. Over the years I started to think that romance was dead and Mr. Right didn’t exist. But here he was, standing in front of me. Sweet, kind, honest, amazing…. or so I thought. One night after a jays game and one too many $10 beers, he told me he had a book written about him. He gave me the book to read (of course I thought nothing of this). The book contained information insinuating that he was a serial online dater and that after he got board with one girl, he would start online dating again, start a new relationship and then end it with the original girl. Needless to say I was not impressed. Bad judgement on his part for letting me read that? Or bad Judgement on my part for thinking I was dating prince charming? Hmm…. was I doomed on the dating front?

After these experiences, I slowed down with the online dating. But who knows? You won’t know unless you try. And it can be a good experience, especially if you look as a fun experience and don’t take it too seriously. Why not give it a try? You’d be surprised by how may people are actually on these sites… you are not alone!

ONLINE DATING

Tips:

  1. When making a profile, use accurate information – You don’t need to go into details about your life, but it’s best to be accurate. For example, if you smoke, write that you smoke. There’s no sense in lying about it.
  2. Use a recent picture – Make sure you use a photo that actually replicates your current look. I suggest a close face shot and a full length shot so there is no misconception.
  3. Don’t be afraid to message first! – Many women don’t want to put themselves out there and would rather men message them first. But trust me, men are intrigued by a woman who put’s herself out there.
  4. Meet in a public place – It’s better to be safe and make sure you are surrounded by people, especially considering you’ve never met this person before. Try a busy bar or restaurant.
  5. Go with your gut – If there’s no connection, don’t try to force one. Tell the person you didn’t feel a connection and try it out again with someone else.

 

(Image from: (http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/news/relationships/2013/05/24/6017.html))