This morning I read this excellent post by Mia White on the importance of teaching girls about their bodies as part of sex education. Her article can be found here:
This has been something that has been on my mind for a while. I believe that one of the root causes of male on female violence stems from male fear of the vulva. The dark mystery of a woman can inspire fear in some men.
The narrative of a woman as mysterious but also someone that a man is supposed to “conquer” in society’s eyes. One that a man must perform sexually for, using his penis to pleasure a woman. The concept is preposterous, but it fuels male rage. A man who cannot perform feels impotent. The role and purpose of a man is to perform. A man who cannot. perform is a man who is a failed man.
Feeding into this narrative is fear of the unknown. If a man does not know a woman’s anatomy, it most likely scares him.
In my own life I had the benefit of a great teacher, a girlfriend when I was in college. One day early in our relationship she sat down on the couch, took off her panties, lifted her skirt, spread her legs, and said, “come here.” I walked over and she pointed to the ground, “down,” she said.
I got down on my hands and knees between her legs, and she proceeded to show me. She explained her anatomy, she showed me the clitoris, she showed me how to pleasure her, and she asked me to do it, telling me how each thing I did felt. She taught about her vulva and her lips, and also inside, in her vagina.
At first, I. was nervous and scared, and felt very awkward. But after a while I stopped feeling that way. I am forever grateful and in her debt. What she gave to me was confidence. With her, with other women.
But that education should come earlier. Boys and girls should learn about the anatomy of both sexes at an early age. A quick perusal of high school sex education materials shows how woefully inadequate sex education is, and how skewed it is towards male anatomy and male pleasure. If we don’t teach our sons about how women work anatomically, and how to please them, the mystery risks becoming frustration, and frustration can lead to violence.
A fellow parent once told me that the best thing a godfather can do for a male child is to take him to a call girl for the explicit purpose of learning how to please a woman. I was shocked at the time, but now think he is right.