Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sex-Positive Educators' Book List

As I come to the end of my application process, I'm excited to get back to the rest of my life. In addition to blogging more frequently, I definitely plan on reading a lot.

What are your suggestions for me? I'm looking for nonfiction in addition to fiction. I’d love to read books related to sex ed and human relationships -- I'm sure you’re surprised -- as well as books on other issues that you care about a lot!

In return for the recommendations that you will give me, I decided to write my own recommendation lists. Some of these references are quite obscure, some are quite well-known. Feel free to ask me for more details on any and all of them.

Mimi's top 10 reading recommendations for sex-positive educators:

1. Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality, by Jessica Fields

2. Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality, by Deborah Tolman

3. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson

4. Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, Eds. Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti

5. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, by Mary Pipher

6. GenderQueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary, Eds. Clare Howell, Joan Nestle, and Riki Wilchins

7. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, by Daniel Goleman

8. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters, by Jessica Valenti

9. Anything by Paulo Freire

10. Anything by Jonathan Kozol

What do you think? In terms of transformative sex ed, what other books should be included on the reading list?

What’s the list of the books that you recommend for the issues that you are passionate about?

I can’t wait for your responses!

Monday, November 23, 2009

No such thing as TMI?

I always have an issue when people use “TMI” to excuse their talking about their own sexual experiences. It’s not too much information– it’s exactly the information that I want to hear! That’s why I’m listening to them, as their friend/ counselor/ teacher who wants to know what their experiences are so we can learn together and think together about our real lives

Check out Thomas's post on the Yes Means Yes blog.

However: A conversation I had last night brought up another layer to this discussion. Are there contexts in which sharing more details may make the listener uncomfortable? Yes, most likely. So? ASK! Check in. Ask for consent. "Can I tell you some more about..." Or, "I'd love to share some detail about... if you want to hear it!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I've been away so long...

I have been steeped in grad school applications (and my job), and I'm really sorry I haven't posted in so long! Here are a few thoughts, really briefly:

I just read a fabulous post on about sexist humor. It really gets to the core of why I protest offhand comments, jokes, and yes, it specifically mentions the ever-sexist Family Guy.

I'm beginning to enjoy the New York Times Style section more and more. I highly recommend a recent article about young adults increasingly popular androgynous clothing styles, and an article from a few weeks ago about high school students dressing in clothes more often attributed to a different gender.

In terms of my own job and my own thoughts... What can we do about sexual harassment on the middle school schoolbus? How can we create systems that support safety and accountability? How can we work to teach past and potential perpetrators new behaviors? How can we help the students who have been targeted and the other students who fear being targeted? This problem is far bigger than individual incidents, and the schools and bus monitors need to treat it as such.

I'll start writing more frequently, and in more depth, in January. Thank you for your patience! Meanwhile... your responses to my brief ideas would be much loved!