Tag Archives: school

#Campaign4Consent

21 Aug

Hello! This is Lilipop and today I wanted to tell you all about an exciting new TYFA campaign called #Campaign4Consent. This campaign is all about having sexual consent taught in the UK National Curriculum. At the moment the curriculum in sorely lacking and what teens are actually receiving in schools is even worse.

I just got my sex ed last term and I could have learned more typing “Sex Education” into google. I was so disappointed. We had two twenty-minute sessions in our PSHE lessons. Before the first session I was quite hopeful because some sixth formers had been talking to the Headmaster about improving sex ed at school so I thought it would probably be quite up to date with all however that was not the case. My sex ed was wholly contraception based. If nothing else it did give some quite good comprehensive information about contraception and how to get it but in every other area it was lacking. In fact I don’t think it even went into detail how conception works. We didn’t discuss relationships, consent, oral sex, abuse, kinks, LGBT+ sex or relationships didn’t even get a word in and it was generally just not informative enough. I know that most teens these days normally get most of their sex education through the internet and way before the age of 15 when most of us get our sex ed at school and some others get “the talk” from their parents however information from the internet is not always right and can often be exaggerated or very biased and parents may be selective with the things they talk about or more often wont talk about sex with their children at all. Sex ed at school is meant to give comprehensive and accurate information to kids so that they don’t have to rely on ropy information from the internet.

There are so many issues with the sex ed curriculum I can’t think about them all at once but a simple and universally relevant one that is missed out is consent. Sex without consent is rape and any other sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. We are not taught this at school and I would be quite surprised if someone stumbled across lessons on consent randomly on the internet unless they were specifically looking for them which they can’t if they don’t know what consent is! This is a problem because, in some assault cases, people don’t know what they are doing is wrong or that what happened to them was wrong. It is not uncommon, particularly in younger people, for a rapist or assaulter to not know what they are doing is rape or assault and I have read stories of victims not knowing what happened to them was assault or rape for twenty years or more. Victims will be affected by this and not know why they feel so bad and often blame themselves for what happened even though it is their assaulters fault. If teens, who grow up to be adults, know more about consent, what is a crime and where to report assault it will help as victims can get help the help they need, report what happened to them and hopefully the assaulters will be arrested and taken to court. It also will educate potential rapists or assaulters that what they are doing is wrong and a crime.

As you can see consent is pretty important and I think it is important enough to be taught in schools. Almost everybody engages in some kind of sexual contact at some point in their lives and so this is relevant especially to young people as they discover and explore their sexualities. The TYFA (which you readers know I’m involved with) have launched #Campaign4Consent, asking the government to put consent in the UK National Curriculum. We have a website (it’s not quite finished yet) but there are details on how to get involved on there. We want help from everyone, regardless of age, gender or sexuality to get involved!

#Campaign4Consent www.campaign4consent.co.uk

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My Feminist Society’s first meeting

24 Apr

So on Wednesday the 17th of April we had the first meeting of my school’s new Feminist Society (TFS)! As you can imagine I was OMJ SO EXCITED about this and I was right to be.

I only had a week to advertise the new femsoc at my school and we have 1500 students not including the Sixth Form which is another 600ish so advertising stuff is a NIGHTMARE!! I was fully expecting to be sitting in a room all by myself all lunch time so I made a few of my friends promise to come along. It turned out I didn’t need to worry because 15 people turned up despite me only putting the posters up that morning.

I made a powerpoint the night before about the basics of feminism which we looked at first at the meeting. I made the powerpoint into a video for you people.

After the powerpoint we had an amazing discussion about intersectionality and talked about sexism we had experienced and how it was wrong. There were lots of great ideas and IT WAS JUST SO FUN! A girl in the Sixth Form and I got a bit over excited and started shouting A LOT! It was amazing to talk to people in real life about feminism and get into proper discussions. I was really inpressed that everyone understood and kept up as well because most of them were not feminists before this meeting and about half were 13 years old or younger.

After the meeting I was just so happy, it was a great relief that it went well. When I got home from I looked on my twitter and discovered one of the Year 8’s (12-13) had written a blog post about the meeting which was super sweet and I have spent the last week “AAWWWWW”ing about it (here it is http://thestyledummy.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/twitter-youth-feminist-army-woooo/).

We had the next meeting today which was also a success. Here is the powerpoint from today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUBcACsSIhI. As a result of todays meeting we MIGHT start a society blog but I will keep you updated.

Guest Blog: Not One Dollar

28 Feb

Hello Everyone! This is Lilipop. I am proud to announce that we have a guest blogger today from the USA (exotic)! Charlotte has written about a film she saw that changed her life…

 

My name is Charlotte and I am a freshman at S******-B****** School. Part of my school’s goal is to help students find their voices, and I have wanted to find my voice since I was nine years old. I have wanted to find my voice since an exhibit taught me to fear death, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation. I have wanted to find my voice since I realized that I could use it to change my life. But I never thought of using it to change someone else’s, and I never realized that what I thought was a personal struggle was something women faced all around the world: not being heard. I knew that women were oppressed, but it seemed like a distant problem that I had no connection to. This year, a single film changed that for me, something I never thought a movie could do.

Three Saturdays ago, a senior at my school showed the 2004 drama Iron Jawed Angels as part of her Women’s Film Series project. The film tells the story of the final steps of the suffragist movement by through the eyes of suffragist Alice Paul and her companion, Lucy Burns. The movie captures the internal conflicts of the suffragist movement, from race divisions to the clash of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman’s Party, while also putting the movement against the political backdrop of World War I.

Besides putting us in touch with the history of women’s rights, the film was a welcome breath of fresh air in terms of its complex, multidimensional characters. This contrast to the standard depictions of women in film was accentuated by the first movie in the Women’s Film Series: Miss Representation, a 2011 documentary about the disparaging portrayal and underrepresentation of women in the media. In that light, Iron Jawed Angels was a unique movie in that it featured strong, multi-layered women who had diverse goals, desires, and priorities and whose entire lives didn’t rely on being in certain types of relationships. However, this welcome contrast also served to emphasize how one-dimensionally women are usually portrayed in film.

To pay the fine would be admitting guilt. We haven’t broken a law. Not. One. Dollar. -Lucy Burns, Iron Jawed Angels

That Saturday night, I walked out of the room where the film had played with quaking knees, but I felt stronger than I had in a long, long time. Instead of skipping the three steps that led to the door, I took the stairs one at a time, watching the soles of my shoes meld with the carpet and the rubber treads on the edge of each step. It was not the disturbing scenes from the Occoquan Workhouse or the tragic death of Inez Milholland that weighed me down, but the strength of those women. I saw the world through a lens of fury and passion: the same passion that Paul and Burns had displayed not only in the film but also in reality. I couldn’t imagine living through the thirty-minute car ride home, through studying for a math quiz, through all the

mundane actions that I realized made up my life, without knowing why. I had found my voice long ago, but I hadn’t realized how to use it. Iron Jawed Angels snapped me out of my spell of apathy. I wanted to be like those women: fighting for something I believed in. And what was there to fight for? The rights of my own gender.

That’s how Iron Jawed Angels turned me into an active feminist. But I can’t help be bothered that it took me this long, when the only thing that changed was seeing a role model, even a partially fictional one, who used their voice. Does that mean that I haven’t closely witnessed a woman speak out for what she believed in with such a fire in the last few years? And if I, a teenager raised in a socially aware family and attending an all-girls school, haven’t in the past few years, what does that mean for girls growing up in less accepting communities and cultures? One thing is clear: we need more women behind the scenes in the media. We may have gotten the vote back in 1920, but as for taxation without representation, we are unquestionably misrepresented.

Freak and Proud

21 Jan

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Hi this is Lilipop,

Sometimes at school you don’t always concentrate when you should be. I collected some of the post-it notes (I couldn’t live without them) from one Maths lesson to show you what kind of crazy stuff teenage girls talk about (I know you’ve always wondered). There are five “characters” here  – Ruby, Chloe, Semira, Jessica and of course myself (although I do not say much). I have put them in an order to make it into a kind of weird, maths lesson zine type thing which I have called “Freak and Proud”.

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Ah now in this one we meet our characters (apart from Jessica who is Very Grumpy and refuses to participate unless it is to be Grumpy)

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On this post it everyone has made their own pretend names.

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I hope you have liked this, it seemed like a good idea at the time!

Freak and Proud

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