01 April 2009

The Stupid Sex Education Show (its new official title)

I watched the first two episodes of the Sex Education Show vs Pornography last night, and it was really bloody annoying! I thought some of it was good, but some was really poorly done and really narrow-minded given the aim of the show and the way it was marketed.

I thought it was good in that I think it's helpful for teenagers to get a much more honest and detailed description of sex and human bodies; sex education in schools is based far too much on diagrams and vague descriptions. I also thought it was useful for them to see why porn and real sex and real bodies are different, so they don't get unnecessarily worried about their own bodies or have stupid ideas about what you need to be doing during sex.

BUT, beyond that I was really disappointed. That stupid Anna Richardson who presents it makes out that she is very open-minded and interested in showing what things are really like, but in actual fact she's not at all. She'd obviously made up her mind about a lot of things before she even started talking, you could tell by her tone and the way she lead the discussion. And even worse than that, she deliberately asked the children loaded and leading questions in order to extract the answers she wanted.

Case in point for her so-called open mindedness: she goes into a sex shop, and one of the first things she says is "I don't know where that goes, and I don't want to know!". Then she picks something up:

"What's this supposed to do?"
"It stimulates your g-spot."
"How???", with incredulous and mildly disgusted look on her face.

Then she gleefully prances around some supermarkets and comes scuttling out triumphantly branding a bottle of lubricant she bought in order to demonstrate the ‘sexualisation of our society' and proceeds to excoriate the fact that these things are available in Sainsbury's. So bloody what? It's only a fucking bottle of lubricant that was probably on sale next to the condoms in the pharmacy bit. What would she prefer, that you can't buy lubricant without going in secret to some sex shop? So that instead people end up using non-water-based household items instead because they are too embarrassed to go to a sex shop, which in fact will just rot the condom and make it break? Is that better?? No! Should they not sell condoms in supermarkets either??

I am surprised at Channel 4. Particularly as I remember a while ago they showed a good programme comparing our sex education to the Netherlands, where information is freely available to teenagers and everyone is very relaxed about sex being a natural part of life, and where they have a much lower teenage pregnancy rate than we do. How does that then tally with her waving a cockring around outside Waitrose like a giggly fucking schoolgirl?

And then there was the bit about porn and her entirely unrealistic attitude to it. Again, I found her prudish and ignorant. Yes there is a lot of porn on the internet. Yes it is freely available, and an unsupervised minor can access pretty much any kind of porn they want to. But I don't agree that porn is a bad thing, and I don't know why she was surprised that teenagers would want to be looking at it. And she's started a stupid little crusade now about protecting children from porn which in my view is entirely misdirected. She thinks ‘the IT industry should take responsibility for protecting our children', and had members of the public making stupid comments like it should be controlled at distribution level. Take some fucking responsibility! The man from BT was entirely correct in my opinion: he said they provide some different tools for parents to control access on their computers, but it's up to them to enforce them (which Anna derisively dismissed with "so they've put the ball squarely back in the court of parents"). Yes you fools. If you don't want your children looking at porn, then put the damn computer in the living room, put parental control software on it, and discuss with them the boundaries for things they aren't allowed to do on there. Just because you're more ignorant than your 13 year-old child about computers is no excuse! And as for saying "we need to control it at source", that's like saying we need to control printing presses to stop people making dirty books.

People like sex and they like nudity. Porn is just a natural expression of human nature. Yes it's not for children, and that's fine, but as long as no-one is being forced to do anything, and no-one is being harmed, and the people who make the porn want to make it and the people watching it want to watch it, I have no problem with it at all. Children will end up seeing some of it; they're naturally curious and they're cunning, but if it weren't on the internet they'd still get it somewhere else. I saw dirty magazines when I was about 12!

And one stupid parent who she showed porn to said "well I think that's bordering on evil". Idiot. Are horror films bordering on evil because you see someone getting their head cut off or their arms minced up in a blender? No! They're not for children, but they're not evil either.

Anyway, this has gone on for ages now so I should shut up. Oo, final point though: the bit where the children picked out the artificial tits as being the best ones. Well DUR. Of course they're the fucking best ones! That's what the surgery is FOR. That's why people do it! You have surgery in order to bring your body closer to our accepted notion of what's beautiful, so what does she fucking expect them to say?? It's fine to explain to the children that most people don't look like this, and they should be able to appreciate normal bodies as beautiful and arousing too. But it's about learning the distinction between what you see in the media and what real life is like. To try to induce them to say a pair of breast-feeding-ravaged tits is more beautiful than the pert round ones is ridiculous.

So anyway, I didn't like that programme much. I might watch the rest of the series just so I can pick holes in it.


Anonymous said...

Excellent rant!
She's also on the Supersize vs Superskinny show on C4 (which I have many issues with) and is utterly useless on that too.
She made a series of hilarious "concentrating and sympathising" faces when interviewing anorexia suffers which made me want to slap her.

jimmy said...

God I saw that programme, well the first twenty minutes until I got so annoyed I had to stop.

As a media student I was appalled by the biased idea of porn they represented, which I think is just a result of our prudish culture and history where sex is inherently bad (whereas killing people on screen in the cinema, and showing such images on the news, is perfectly fine). Also, as a Swede I've had a very different sexual education in school, but the reason why my experience was 'better' than that of my British friends had noting to do with what she was talking about (well, at least in the first bit of the programme which I watched lol)