Friday, April 23, 2010

Is that a soapbox? Let me at it!

So this is what I get for procrastinating on posting.

I kept meaning to blog something about how pleased I was with the government of Ontario’s new changes to the sex ed curriculum. It involved a new focus on teaching younger students the correct terms for their body parts including genitals, and using more inclusive language throughout the curriculum to recognize families and relationships outside the heterosexual norm. This would include not using terms like “mother and father” or “husband and wife” exclusively when talking about relationships and sex. It would also weave this information throughout the school curriculum to normalize it, instead of confining it to the giggling sessions of health class.

Apparently, this new curriculum has been posted on the government’s website for months, although I can’t find the link. It was formally announced this week, and drew the expected criticisms from social conservative and religious groups. At first, the premier defended the changes, but now he has backed down and “shelved” the curriculum until “further consultation with parents”.

Now, I have a lot to say about this but I’ll focus on one thing for now. It really irks me that social conservatives seem to have a strangle hold on the word “family”. The opposition to this plan is continually referred to in the media as “family values focused”, “pro-family” etc. as though there is only one definition of “family values” and anything else is amoral.

Look, just because we don’t all have a mommy and a daddy who got married in a church and then planned and had some babies and will stay together forever, doesn’t mean we don’t care for and love one another and comprise a FAMILY. And because of this, it means kids need to have a safe and well-informed environment to learn about sex and relationships.

Bear with me, I may have more on this later.

No comments:

Post a Comment