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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…

 


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  • http://twitter.com/MaxxBot Matt

    Behold the flawless logic of the Christian right: Anyone from any background should be able to find a job with a living wage and support themselves without government assistance, but everyone is too dumb to make choices about what to do with their own genitals to avoid STDs/pregnancy. The ability to support yourself financially is supposedly something that 100% of people are capable of doing but not even the most intelligent person can control their own genitals without consulting a 2000 year old religious text.

    Why is the issue of STDs/pregnancy not an issue of “personal responsibility?” There are numerous ways to avoid STDs/pregnancy that any reasonable intelligent individual should be able to figure out, but for you guys the ONLY option is to follow the bible and avoid all sex outside of marriage.

    • Diana Burkhalter

      Matt, it becomes an issue when those same people want that freedom and choice, claim that others should have to pay for their birth control and their healthcare.

      You should not be able to have it both ways. If one chooses to participate in risky, destructive behavior, don’t send me the bill.

      • http://twitter.com/MaxxBot Matt

        I agree that the federal government shouldn’t mandate that all insurance plans need to have contraception, but I also don’t think “abstinence only” sex ed classes belong in any public school because they’re ineffective and only done from a religious motivation.

        • Mark

          Matt, I think you may be confused regarding what is done in public schools with a “religious motivation.” Religion is nothing more than a set of beliefs by which a person lives their life. This notion that public schools are (or should be) totally neutral, innocent by-standers is completely bogus. They teach (indocrtinate, actually) the religion of secular humanism in almost everything they do – the teaching of evolution, moral relativism, man-centered thought, etc.

          Moreover, everything YOU do is based on your beliefs about the world. Don’t just get mad…Think about what I am saying and whether you can honestly claim that the choices you make are not based on what you believe. So don’t give me this garbage about something being motivated by religion. Everything is motivated by religion. The only questions are “Whose beliefs are good and right” and “Which religion (or set of beliefs) will be taught in the schools.” Because I can guarantee you that somebody’s beliefs WILL be taught. It is inevitable.

          If you disagree with the Christian point of view, that is fine. But you need to start being honest about the fact that everyone and everything is based on religion, whether it is secular humanism (man is the ultimate good and decides what is right and wrong…essentially man is god) or Christianity (God is God). And if you want to teach your kids self-destructive behaviors, be my guest. But don’t side with a coercive government that forces me against my will to pay with my tax dollars for “public” schools that indoctrinate the next generation with ideas that I find morally reprehensible. This practice alone would make our founding fathers roll over in their graves.

          • Vunderkint

            Let’s remember the absence of the Bible or religious teaching or prayer in public schools is a recent development only in the past 50 years or so and before that it was common in American schools. One has to ask themselves if our schools and society are better off now after the atheist and secular humanist Revolution to cleanse God from the public square have done their work, are our test scores higher is our literacy rate as high as it used to be and be honest about the answer and then there’s pregnancies that end in abortion (the killing of the unborn child) for mere convenience and then there’s STDs? The very foundation of America was created on the proposition that our unalienable rights come from God, if you reject God and that founding principle because you don’t like the idea of being held accountable to anyone but yourself all you are left with is not rights but temporary privileges that may or may not be there tomorrow, if you value your liberty you should think hard on this truth.

            “It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Patrick Henry

            “Every school child in America once understood the moral heritage of this country—but that is no longer the case. The result has been that traditional values and any moral instruction that suggests our Christian heritage have been banished. But in the absence of the commonly held absolute and standards—the mortar and cement that literally holds society together— discussions of right and wrong are no longer allowed because they involve value judgments. Thus, the props have been taken out from under the edifice of culture. Everything is relative; nothing is absolute. No wonder moral responsibility is disappearing” ~Jim Nelson Black, When Nations Die

          • http://twitter.com/MaxxBot Matt

            “Religion is nothing more than a set of beliefs by which a person lives their life.”

            That’s a pretty unusual definition of religion, did you get that from Steve Deace? Every religion I ha

        • Dave Aardema

          Matt, When you say abstinence only classes are ineffective do you mean they have no influence on the kids, or abstinence doesn’t prevent STDs? Since it’s nearly impossible to get an STD without the S, I assume you mean the former. You should relax a bit. Will it really do any damage if these kids wait till they get married? If this idea is foolish, it will soon fizzle.

      • Karena Gonzalez

        Is it considered risky, destructive behavior to have sex with your husband? What if you and your husband are not ready to have a child/have 10 children and don’t want more/don’t EVER want children/etc. Is it ok for one or both to use birth control? Oh! And what if you and your husband are broke and jobless and living with your parents? Ok to not take birth control and just let the state support your children? Which is what happens. A LOT.

    • Adam Houk

      abstinence is the only sure way to avoid STD’s and unwanted pregnancies. Those who wait for marriage by far are less likely to have STDs (almost nonexistent) and the relationship is already set for raising children.