Abstinence = "Slut-Shaming"

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This Week’s Sign The Apocalypse is Upon Us

by Rebekah Maxwell

Ah, high school. The fair and open marketplace of ideas, where young minds blossom with knowledge from every perspective, crafting informed and healthy adults who operate with judgment and equity.

Or, a place where you can get “personally offended” and sue over a Christian speaker promoting abstinence, equating it with “slut-shaming.” That’s almost the same thing.

Note: for those unfamiliar with the term, “slut-shaming” is the act of making a woman feel guilty or inferior for engaging in sexual behaviors that deviate from traditional gender expectations. The term “slut” has lost most of its punch, (since we’re all good third-wave feminists now, and we women can call ourselves “sluts” freely with no penalty) so we added the word “shame.” Hence, calling your BFF a slut in casual convo is perfectly acceptable, as long as she doesn’t feel “slut-shamed.” Crystal clear?

 

At George Washington High in West Virginia (yep), some students were upset by the remarks an abstinence-only speaker made at an assembly at the school earlier this week.

The school allowed Pam Stenzel, a Christian speaker dedicated to teaching teens about “the consequences, both physical and emotional, of sex outside of marriage,” to address GW students in an assembly. The complaints came from a student named Katelyn Campbell, who claims Stenzel’s facts were inaccurate, but mostly, that the speaker hurt people’s feelings.

Campbell said Stenzel kept religion out of the conversation but that she still plans to file a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union. Campbell called Stenzel’s presentation “slut-shaming” and said it was filled with false statistics and meant to “scare students” into abstaining from sex.

“Many students felt uncomfortable with her outright condemnation of any and everyone who has ever had premarital sexual contact,” Campbell said. “Stenzel’s overall attitude was that any type of sex will guarantee the contraction of an STD or an unwanted pregnancy.”

“While her intentions may have been good, her tone was very loud, like she was shaming everyone in the audience. She was making girls cry. There were pregnant girls in the audience and she was implying, if you had sex, you’re not an OK person,” the male student said. “The only reason I am standing up against it is so other schools in West Virginia don’t have to hear this.”

Again, the basis of the complaint:

1) This lady is promoting abstinence. Très offensive.

2) She’s making us feel bad. Maybe even cry.

3) She was loud/ “her tone” made us feel guilty.

4) Even unspoken, her Christian “attitude” was intolerable.

5) The facts she gave about sex and the risks thereof were inaccurate. As reported by a student who admits she wasn’t there.

In fact, the student protesting this talk told the Huffington Post that she was decided against Stenzel the night before the assembly.

“Teachers received a flier that cited Pam would be testifying as to God’s plan for sexual purity. That’s what tipped me off.”

Well, naturally. We can’t have such an intellectual atrocity in our schools. Suggesting that abstaining from sex is a better, safer way than promiscuity? Burn the witch.

 

Amid the controversy, Stenzel is speaking out. She says she never said many of the “slut-shaming” things attributed to her.

‘If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you’? “I never in my life said that,” Stenzel told LifeSiteNews in a phone interview.  “I say the same thing over and over again, you can go listen to it yourself.  My talks are all over YouTube.  What I said was that if you are on birth control, you are at a greater risk of becoming infected with an STD.”

Stenzel said that most people who condemn her talks do so because they see her as an “anti-choice” speaker for sharing her personal history.  Stenzel was conceived in rape and placed for adoption by her fifteen-year-old mother at a time when abortion was legal.  She is grateful to her mother for that choice and tells students at her talks that she “didn’t deserve the death penalty for my father’s crime.”

But apparently, the voice of experience from working with crisis pregnancies for a decade doesn’t qualify as caring enough for modern teens. Pam obviously hates women. She obviously wants to “slut-shame” us.

 

Challenging the accepted norm scares us. Stop making us feel guilty. We don’t need to know the risks of sex in order to make informed choices. Especially those 10 million more young people with sexually-transmitted infections (that the CDC just “slut-shamed”). Especially those pregnant teenage girls. Just keep calm and keep handing out condoms. There is no better way. There is no better way…