As a modern woman who values her reproductive rights and the education of sexual health, I’m ALL ABOUT today’s young folks taking sex ed classes— but not when they’re sexist, bigoted and alllll sorts of wrong.
A secondary school in Singapore, Hwa Chong Institution, held a mandatory sex education session recently sponsored by Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs-based non-profit known for preaching abstinence and anti-gay rhetoric. One whistle-blower, a brave teen named Agatha Tan, was so appalled by the sexist and bigoted materials provided in the course that she wrote a thoughtful open letter to her principal complaining about the class, and posted it to Facebook. So why was she so appalled? Prepare to facepalm for days… Keep reading »
Selfies strike again.
Breanna Mitchell, 18, of Roanake, Alabama, graduated from high school this year. In June, she celebrated this milestone by traveling to Europe with her grandmother and visiting Poland. Like many teens, Breanna documented her trip on social media. Sounds like a great story so far, right? The ugh moment is that Breanna snapped a smiling selfie at Auschwitz, posing in front of nondescript buildings with the caption “Selfie in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp” and a grinning emoticon. Keep reading »
Did you keep a diary as a teenager? Does the thought of reading it now make you want to cringe with embarrassment or would you jump at the change to gain some perspective on the course of your life so far?
Dr. Irving Finkel of London, a self-proclaimed diary rescuer, has it made it his personal mission to preserve, archive and exhibit as many long lost diaries as possible. By day, Finkel works at the British Museum, but in his off hours, he’s slowly amassing a museum of his own with his Great Diary Project and receives regular donations of families’ old journals. His reasoning, he says, is that:
Diaries are among our most precious items of heritage. People in all walks of life have confided and often still confide their thoughts and experiences to the written page, and the result is a unique record of what happens to an individual over months, or even years, as seen through their eyes. No other kind of document offers such a wealth of information about daily life and the ups and downs of human existence. The Project’s idea is to collect as many diaries as possible from now on for long-term preservation. In the future these diaries will be a precious indication of what life, in our own time, was really like…All human life, in fact, is there, packed into small pages where every entry – for the future historian – is accurately dated.
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I want to think 19-year-old Austin Dennison, a church-going Eagle Scout who plays football, baseball, and basketball and performs in the school band, is a little goody-two-shoes. But I just can’t, because Austin is adorable. He called up his great-grandma “DD” — Delores Dennison — and asked her to be his prom date. Delores is 89 years old, a widower and suffers from heart trouble. She never attended her prom back in the 1930s, because she didn’t have enough money. So her great-grandson in Rockford, Ohio, called her up and invited her to be his senior prom date at Parkway High School. Keep reading »
Dear Young Women On My Subway Car Yesterday,
I remember high school, a small world in which everyone feels like a character in an epic drama. A place where peers pass judgement and share hearsay as entertainment. Where few consider the appropriateness or repercussions of their conversations. Yesterday, the two of you stood in a New York City subway car and gossiped loudly about a classmate, making the entire subway car uncomfortable, especially as the story was about a teenage girl having sex in a public place. You laughed at her confusion about a possible pregnancy even though a condom was used. You proceeded to tell the intimate details of what she and her partner had done. I won’t share those details because my intention is not to shame the subject of your conversation. And besides, I have no right. Keep reading »