Sex Education Part 1?

When it comes down to it, I think that sex education is directly tied to being comfortable with your body. I don’t mean necessarily that you feel comfortable to put it up on display or even to expose yourself. At its core, knowing how your body works is an incredible sense of empowerment.

You know the phrase, “Knowledge is power?”

Basically that’s it.

The knowledge that you know your body, that you know how it will react, what pushes it to its most efficient, how it helps you get the job done… All this is empowering when you realise just how much information you have.

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So what does knowing your body have to do with sex education?

Well, it comes down to basic protection. The thing about sex education is that it is supposed to demystify the process of having sex and/or everything related to reproductive health. And reproductive health is more than simply sex.

What is sex education anyway?

In most definitions, sex education is more than sex. What is sex? It’s a mating activity that two (hopefully) adults partake it. Sometimes there may be more adults. Sometimes there may be only one. Sexual activity varies, but involves one human being (or more) touching themselves to achieve orgasm.

Where do they touch?

Usually the genitals, but there are other parts of the body, called the erogenous zones, which also serve to stimulate sexual desire. In females, such stimulation will lead to the lubrication of the vagina. In males, it will lead usually to the stiffening of the male penis. The desire, when accompanied by physical stimulation, is supposed to peak to the point it culminates in what is called an orgasm.

And now, here we get into a somewhat murky part of the syllabus.

Traditionally, it has been taught that orgasm is the ultimate aim of sex. What makes it murky is that a female’s orgasm is not as obvious as a male’s, and is often thought to be harder to achieve. For males, it is taught that ejaculation is proof of orgasm. Another word for this process is “climax.”

However, while it is true in many cases that orgasm accompanies the male ejaculation, it is not true in all cases. Google says that orgasm is characterised as a feeling of pleasure at sexual climax. In males, it is considered to be an accompaniment to ejaculation. However, in cases of rape and non-consent, it is possible for the body to be sexually stimulated and achieve climax without actually achieving orgasm.

Hands up if you followed me through all that. Good. You know now a little bit more about mechanics of sex than you did before. Would you be surprised to learn that the Malaysian education syllabus doesn’t include that bit of information?

And we haven’t even gotten into the topic of how sex can be pleasurable, how to protect yourself, and taking good care of your reproductive health. We teach our kids about how eating fibrous food is good for their digestion. We teach them that exercise is good for their health. We teach them the importance of keeping clean.

Yet when it comes to their genitals, we are strangely silent. The genitals is another part of the human body. It is used every day, as part of our natural bodily processes. It is as part of us as our arms are. Where is the shame in that? In learning how it works to keep our kids safe?

We tell our kids not to play with knives because they can cut themselves. We teach our kids how to play sports in accordance with the rules so they will keep their limbs intact. Yet we will not arm them with the information they need to make safe reproductive health choices. Are we not failing them as parents? As adults?

Thoughts about rape

After talking with friends on Twitter, this is what I want to emphasise:

Rape is forced sex without consent.

If your partner cannot say no to sex, it is rape.
If your partner does not understand what sex is and its consequences, it is rape.
If your partner is unable to say no because they are scared of you, it is rape.
If your partner is too drunk or passed out to say yes or no, it is rape.

Only if your partner is a adult who understands the consequences of that sex act and is willing to still have sex with you, is it a yes.

And yes, this applies to both men and women. Rape is not a gender-based crime. It is a tool used by rapists to silence their victims, to assert power, to satisfy their own selfish desires and egos. “Lust” is simply an excuse used by irresponsible people to force themselves on others.

Rape culture is an extension of that. It blames its victims and puts the onus on them to defend why they were raped instead of the rapist.

Rape is rape. That is all.

Movies List

This is an incomplete list for Montimer of Twitter (links go to his site and Twitter respectively). From what I know, some movies are still banned, while others have never been promoted because we never knew they existed. The advent of the Internet and intrepid VCD sellers in Malaysia have hurt both the government’s pocket and their reputation. In some cases, the movies, while banned from being shown in the cinema, was subsequently either available on DVD (legally) or on satellite TV (Astro).

Montimer, please bear in mind I’m writing this from memory (reactions to the movies at least). [Joicy] and [Chris] can you double confirm for me please?

Recent movies that have been banned:

Nearly all of Yasmin Ahmad’s Orked films at one point or other
This covers the first three movies she made; Sepet, Rabun, Gubra.

Sepet was kept in limbo for two months or more, because it dared a romantic relationship between a Chinese and a Malay without the Malay girl persuading the guy to convert to Islam (This was one of the many contentious points of the MCB- Malaysian Censorship Board). It was later allowed to show in the cinemas, becoming one of the sleeper hits for that year (can’t remember the year now). Current status: Limited circulation in DVD shops.

Rabun was banned shortly after it was shown on terrestial TV, as many male chauvinistic pigs in Malaysia who called themselves Muslims had a hard time understanding why an elderly man (who seems to be the embodiment of them in their old age) would stoop to washing his elderly wife’s feet. In their opinion, it should have been the the other way around, as a woman is supposed to be subservient to a man. Current status: Unavailable anywhere, even on the Internet.

Gubra was banned for a short while also, because the bilal (sp?), a religious man or alternatively the imam (priest) of the village temple was shown to be petting a dog, something the Sunni Muslims in Malaysia believe to be unclean. There was also a lot of moral issues that were resolved NOT the way the powers-that-be liked, which of course, increased the demand of this film.  Current status: Limited availability in DVD shops.

Zoolander:
Current status: Still banned in Malaysia and not shown on Satellite TV.

Kill Bill: Vol 1
Current status: Still banned and not shown on Satellite TV, due to excessive violence.

Brokeback Mountain
Current status: Still banned and not shown on Satellite TV, due to its homosexual content.

Borat
Current status: Still banned and not shown on Satellite TV (the reasons for this is kinda obvious).

All the Saw movies
Current status: Still banned and not shown on Satellite TV, due to excessive violence.

High School Musical 3
Current status: As far as I know, this movie has been released in Malaysia and shown in both Cinemas and satellite TV. However, my brother tells me different.

Invasion, Changeling, Watchmen (censored humourously), Haunting in Connecticut, Hangover, Dead Silence, Max Payne, Wanted
Current status: All were shown in the Cinemas, and if I’m not wrong, are available on DVD (I saw Wanted in the cinema. Mmmm James McAvoy).

Zack and Miri make a Porno
Current status: Still banned and not shown on Satellite TV, mainly due to the title.

The Harold and Kumar Series
The first movie was shown on Satellite TV and the other was shown on both Satellite TV and apparently enjoyed a short run in the cinema. Current status: Available on DVD and shown on Sat