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Tuesday
Feb042014

Christian School Principal Forbids Primary Students Having Girlfriend And Boyfriend Relationships. 

Whenever I enquire why parents chose to enable and fund child abuse, homophobia, misgogyny, discrimination etc by sending their children to single sex religious schools, they always respond that it's to keep them from being 'distracted' by the opposite sex.

I respond 'What if they're gay?'

The parents are always gobsmacked. It's never dawned on them their children could be anything other than straight. Their response reveal the fear and shame theses parents have about their children's bodies, sex and relationships and I'd suggest their own. 

It comes as no suprise that the principal of Northern Beaches Christian College has sent out a letter saying that year 5 primary students are forbidden FORBIDDEN to have girlfriends and boyfriends. Forbidden FORBIDDEN to talk about crushes and that children should not be allowed in a room with a closed door with a visitor of the opposite sex and more (letter in full below). 

1. Are parents paying to have their children brainwashed to believe sex is bad, their body is their enemy, desire is wrong, romance and intimacy only occurs between people of the opposite sex and visitors are potential predators? 

2. Are Christians concerned that talking about crushes could be a gateway to emotional wellbeing and perhaps questioning this invisible friend in the sky who does magic tricks, thinks men and boys are god, the son of god and made of the image of god while women and girls are virgins, martyrs and whores?

3. Despite the rock solid, rolled gold fact unhealthy and abusive sexual contact is far more likely to occur with a member of the child's own family than a visitor, visitors of the opposite sex are the ones you should worry about. And of course if you're gay, go for gold. Because you don't exist. 

4. Do the teachers and parents from Northern Beaches Christian College not realise it's precisely this kind of shaming of normal emotional development that leads to sexually risky behavior in children, teens and adults and bad choices, abusive relationships and attraction to dysfuntional partners throughout their lives? 

Here's the email he sent. 

Letter from Principal of Northern Beaches Christian College

After receiving feedback that some students were discussing ‘boyfriends and girlfriends’, I recently had a conversation with our Year 5 cohort on the topic.

I made it clear that ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ relationships were not appropriate at this age and that there should not be any discussion on the topic between students. The main points addressed were:

  • Such discussions place pressure on individuals which is unfair and unwanted.·        
  • Social activities involving groups of boys and girls are healthy, as long as parents are involved in the planning.·        
  • Dates between individual boys and girls should not happen at this age.·        

Please reinforce with your son or daughter that ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ relationships are not to take place amongst Stage 3 NBCS students. Please also emphasise that discussing such relationships amongst peers, or the writing and sending of notes on the topic, is not helpful and is not to happen at our school.

Below, please find a few suggestions which may assist you in your parenting on this topic:

  • Don't allow your child to close the bedroom door when someone of the opposite sex is visiting. This should be a non-negotiable rule.·        
  • Talk with your child. The more conversations you have, the less likely he/she will be to get into trouble. If you've always kept the door open for discussions, your child may be more likely to come to you with questions or problems.     
  • If you're too oppressive and restrictive, you may trigger rebellion. Use logic and reason when creating rules for your child.     
  • Don't just forbid certain activities, explain why you forbid them. Doing this will help your child understand that you're not merely trying to be bossy or imposing arbitrary rules.
  • As a parent, it's your job to teach your child the importance of self-worth. Children who value themselves as they are won't need to ‘find themselves’ in other people.

I apologise for the direct nature of this correspondence. However, some students have been making others feel uncomfortable through their words and actions on this topic.

I am lost for words. Here are some from Nina Funnell author of Loveability an awesome new book on first crush to the first break-up how our romances as teens shape us

"Instead of treating the sexuality of children as something to be either feared or controlled, we need to encourage open conversations about intimacy and relationships. It is also important not to demonise young people's sexuality or interest in these topics, as this can create stigma, anxiety and shame. 

"It is deeply unhelpful to teach young people that the only reason why a girl might seek out intimacy or connection is due to low self esteem and a lack of self worth. This view totally disregards the desires and natural sexual urges of young women as well as the legitimate and positive experiences they draw from relationships."

Thanks Nina. 

Here's some words from me.

 

Want to write, write better, more different or that project that you're stuck on? Come to my GUNNAS WRITING MASTERCLASS. Beginners welcome.

 

 


Saturday
Jan112014

Am I A Bogan? 

Recent questions from my 11 year old.

‘Mum, did you know Jewish people don’t have Christmas, they have ‘Handidcap’?’

‘Do penguins have feathers?’

‘What is flotsam and jettison? Is it like bowing and scraping? The bowing I get but what’s with the scraping?’

‘Why do dogs in the country not wear collars? Is it that farmers think collars are like jewellery and they don’t want their dogs to look gay?’

Yesterday he asked, ‘Mum, how do you tell if someone’s a bogan?’

I grew up in a big poor family. We lived in a housing commission house in a suburb that was the butt of jokes (our suburb LOVED being the punchline, it made us feel famous)

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Wednesday
Jan012014

Save Money, Don't Marry 

A recent study found over 97% of people think it’s the man’s job to propose. Is that 50 shades of WTF right there or what?

Only 2.8 percent of women said they’d “kind of” want to propose, but not a single man indicated he’d prefer that arrangement. Notably, not a single male or female, “definitely” wanted the woman to propose.

97%? How is that going to work with all the gays and lesbians who’ll be tying the knot any day now when the world catches up with the fact marriage is a mistake everyone should have the right to make? How does that fit with feminism, equality and encouraging women to choose their life and live it their way?


Thursday
Dec262013

Road Trip Hume Highway 

I love town slogans. On a trip to Bland to visit the Bland Museum a few years back (don't ask), the ones I remember were: Albury - A Proud Seat Belt Wearing Community; Gympie - Free Regulated Parking; and Narrandera - Home Of The World's Largest Playable Guitar. It's no wonder they call this place the lucky country.

I love travel. Just thinking about my suitcase makes my heart race. Airports make me incredibly frisky. Don't pretend like I'm the only person who requests a cavity search at Tullamarine. After dropping off a friend. For a domestic flight. To Mildura. Stuff it. I pay my taxes.

Mile-high club? I'm just happy if I'm on tip-toes, my head's thrown back, my knees are trembling and a bloke called Glen from Diggers Rest is flicking his rubber gloves.

''Ask me what flight I just arrived on. And where I'll be disembarking. Do I have anything to declare? Actually I do. You smell like Brut 33 and dim sims. Ask me if I packed my bag myself. And where I'm travelling to. Yes! Yes! I'm almost there. Don't stop …''

The smell of my passport makes me vibrate with excitement. When I die I want to be reincarnated as Catriona Rowntree.

Just without the ersatz warmth, fake bubbliness and that ''my life is a dream come true!'' look I want to slap right off her smug, self-satisfied face.

I love travel, but I'm not that keen on holidays. My favourite holiday is work. Which any parent will understand.

Last week's drag up the Hume found me trawling for a place to break up the 800 kilometres. Sussing out the possibilities it dawned on me the term ''gateway'' is code for ''it's a hole''. Basically we're shit, but we're close to a place that isn't.

I thought about stopping in Holbrook! Premier Driver Reviver Town! Halfway on the Hume! (We have a submarine! Please stay! Or take us with you. Come back. Please! We'll do anything.) Or Tarcutta: Home Of The Nation's Only Truck Driver Memorial. The evening we drown through there was 'stew' on in the 'bistro' for 'tea'. Grouse! 

We ended up staying in Gundagai. Why? Because it's not every day you give your kids an unforgettable forgetfulness experience. ''That's the dog on the tuckerbox, boys; don't worry if you miss it, you won't remember it anyway.''

Which was preceded by the once-in-a-lifetime experience of eating the worst toasted sandwich on earth served by the saddest people in the universe. We ended the night with dinner (dinner as in tea) at the Gundagai restaurant (restaurant as in roadhouse), the only place in the world where fish and chips is under the heading ''light meals''. It was very Wolf Creek.

The motel had an exterior festooned with wagon wheels and an interior with a nautical theme. With ''ironing board'', ''ashtray'' and ''kettle'' listed under luxury features, and toast arriving in small white waxed bags, its slogan should be ''Australia's favourite crime scene''.

We're holidaying in a place called Manyana, which is Spanish for tomorrow. Which is of no use because I don't even know what today is. So basically we're time travelling.

''Wait until you go back to school and tell your mates you holidayed in THE FUTURE. An ice-cream from the shop? Tomorrow. What do you mean we're already in tomorrow. Someone's been overdosing on mummy's smart-arse pills.''

Just in case you were wondering, in Manyana (aka THE FUTURE) there are chenille bedspreads, washing machines that attempt to walk out the door when they agitate, grillers that burn your eyebrows off when you light them, board games with missing pieces, no decent cutting knives but 10 shit ones, and wood panelling peeling off the kitchen cabinets.

It's like a student house, just without a bong. But near a beach.

Wish you were here.


Wednesday
Dec252013

My best advice on happiness.

met Waleed when my hot water service blew up. There’s never a good time for your hot water service to explode, but this particular time in my life could not have been worse. I was broke, sick, heartbroken and not getting much work.

The life of a hot water service is about ten years so it’s not one of those things people put money aside to cover. People generally end up having to raid their savings, borrow from buddies or max out their plastic. However you look at it, it’s not ideal. It’s a pain in the bum.

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