Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Enough food, make with the rants!

For those who have been bored with/tortured by/uninterested in the recent heavily food-focused content around here lately, I've had some rants percolating. There will definitely be a rant about the US Attorney scandal forthcoming but it's one of those I'm trying to construct thoughtfully, since it's important and political and stuff.

Today's rant: Prudish fear of words associated with the human body! If you've been waiting to hear me sound off on the issue of the scrotum, vagina, or anus, today is your lucky day.

I'm sure no one is surprised to hear that I think the uproar over anatomically correct words for body parts is foolishness. I've been gritting my teeth and rolling my eyes aplenty over the last month as news items have popped up to spotlight yet another case of ignorance, foolishness, censorship, and (of course) the obligatory moral outrage on behalf of "the children" over words that name their body parts!

About a month ago, the New York Times covered the controversy surrounding the Newberry Award-winning book, The Higher Power of Lucky. In the opening pages of the book, the young protagonist overhears a man telling a story about his dog getting bitten by a snake... on the scrotum. Shock! Outrage! Horror! The "inappropriateness" of the term made headlines. The NYT quotes various outraged children's librarians saying things like "This book included what I call a Howard Stern-type shock treatment..." (which lets me know right off the bat that this librarian has never actually listened to Howard Stern) or "If I were a third- or fourth-grade teacher, I wouldn’t want to have to explain that." or (my favorite) "...you won’t find men’s genitalia in quality literature." because, as we all know, only scary, hairy, sexual MEN have a scrotum... little boys have a pee pee and everything else is referred to in hushed tones as "down there" with a dismissive wave of the hand. Of course, the fact that it's a DOG'S scrotum and not "men's genitalia" in the book is beside the point.

Next up was the Washington State bill that would set standards for sex ed in schools, namely that medically and scientifically accurate sex education be taught. Medically and scientifically accurate information in publicly funded schools? Those bastards, how dare they?! One Republican lawmaker was outraged about the word anus because "No parent wants their child to be talking about sex and anuses." (I can imagine her child's virginal wedding night now: "Up a hole, dummy!!") Another genius from the state legislature is quoted thusly, "We do not have a state-mandated curriculum for math. We do not have a state-mandated curriculum for reading, but with this bill we will have a curriculum for state-mandated sex education," to which I say FINE! Explain to me why we don't have a state-mandated curriculum for math or reading but we DO have the high-stakes WASL test that supposedly measures students on their math, reading, and science educations? If you think the WASL doesn't mandate a certain curriculum you need two hands for your crack pipe. But hey, it's not like unplanned pregnancies and rampant sexually transmitted diseases are public health concerns that are furthered through ignorance and that can be fought through education or anything. Not like the public has a pressing interest to address public heath concerns in public schools. I mean, when compared to your inalienable right for you to insist that your child be allowed to go through life in ignorance what's a couple of public health crises? It's not like cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes and HIV are on the increase in YOUR county. Oh, wait... they are.

Finally, the news that set me off on the decision that I'd had enough and was ready to rant this morning was this: Three students were ordered suspended after saying the word "vagina". These teens said "vagina" during a high school performance of, wait for it... wait for it... The Vagina Monologues! Actually, they weren't suspended for saying the word precisely, they were suspended for "insubordination" because they'd told the principle they wouldn't use "the word". You know, no saying "vagina" during the VAGINA MONOLOGUES. I suppose they were supposed to call the reading the "Hoohaa Monologues" or something? Good for them for making their stand, I say. Vagina is not an obscenity.

"My short skirt is a liberation flag in the women's army. I declare these streets, any streets, my vagina's country."

Damn straight, girls.

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Anonymous Anonymous Says:

As the executive director of Lifelong AIDS Alliance pointed out the other night at their annual meeting, Yakima County, which teaches abstinence-only sex ed in its public schools, has the highest teen-pregnancy rate of any WA county, as well as one of the highest STD rates. "If that isn't an argument against abstinence-only," she observed, "I don't know what is."


Blogger Angry Grrl Says:

The girls being suspended for saying "vagina" really got me, too. I mean come ON, what were they supposed to say?? It's a body part, not a dirty word.


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