New law in the USA: Periods should become taboo in schools
In the USA, a law is intended to prevent girls from being informed about their periods. What horror movie did we end up in?
A shy girl who is regularly bullied by her classmates is standing in the shower and suddenly notices her blood running down her legs. The girl does not know what is happening to her body, she panics, screams and cries while her cruel classmates look on and laugh at her ignorance.
The girl’s name is Carrie, she is the main character of the film of the same name from 1976. In the film, the daughter of a religious fanatic was not informed about the menstrual bleeding – she simply did not know what was happening to her in the shower at that moment. That it’s a perfectly natural bodily reaction and nothing to worry about.
It seems certain men in the US are willing to put up with little girls having to go through such a traumatic experience as well. Except that this experience will then take place in real life, almost half a century later. And it is to be feared that the classmates in that scene will also react in panic, because nobody will have enlightened them either – at least not at school, the place that is actually dedicated to the education of its children. Is this another horror movie from the 70s or are we really talking about reality?
A draft law is intended to prevent early enlightenment about the period
Florida is in the process of taking big strides back to the Middle Ages. The reins are being held by Republicans, who are introducing and driving a series of bills aimed at banishing issues such as gender and diversity from the minds of children and adults. Worst of all, Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis (aka “Brained Trump”) is expected to sign these drafts.
During a hearing of the Florida House of Representatives’ Educational Quality Subcommittee on Wednesday (March 15), Rep. Ashley Gantt (Democrats) questioned Republican colleague Stan McClain about a proposed law that would limit the use of educational materials on menstruation. Accordingly, classes on sexual health, sexually transmitted diseases and human sexuality should only take place in grades 6 to 12. In the sixth grade, the children are usually between eleven and twelve years old.
Gantt asked her colleague, “So if little girls experience their period in fifth or fourth grade, does this law ban them from talking about it because they’re in a grade lower than sixth?” McClain’s answer was as simple as it was shocking: “It would.”
The state determines gender and marriage
Look at that draft law more closely, it seems to be a sweeping blow: “Gender” is the classification of a person as either male or female, sex is an “unchangeable biological characteristic”. and it was “wrong” to attribute to a person a pronoun that would not correspond to the person’s gender. Means: Teachers should not address their students with the pronoun that they ascribe to themselves. Furthermore, schools must teach both men and women that “biological males fertilize biological females” and that these reproductive roles are “binary, stable, and immutable.”
And to complete the heteronormative bullshit list: The school should please convey that abstinence from sexual activities outside of marriage is the “expected standard” for all students and “at the same time convey the advantages of monogamous heterosexual marriage”. Wow. But you have to be fair here: These paragraphs are not new and were already present in the older version. The men and women in power in Florida are casting a shadow over the so-called “Sunshine State,” which is increasingly becoming a hell state for queer people and women.
What does a period have to do with sex?
A burning question some readers may have asked themselves in the course of this article: What does menstruation actually have to do with sexual health? What about sex in general? The accusation of many people that one would “sexualize” the children with topics like queerness, gender and sexual diversity too early – it doesn’t seem to apply in this case.
As many people know – apart apparently from the Florida government – having a period is a normal process in the body that has absolutely nothing to do with sex. Egg cells mature in the ovaries every month, usually only one mature egg leaves the ovary and travels along the fallopian tube towards the uterus (ovulation).
The cell attaches itself to the uterus and dies if fertilization does not occur (which, as we now know, is only possible by “biological males” in “biological females”). Then some blood vessels in the lining of the uterus open, the top layer of lining loosens, the tissue is shed and flows out of the body through the vagina along with some blood. The bleeding at the end of this cycle is called a period or menstruation.
Girls before sixth grade in Florida may soon no longer be allowed to have this explanation given at school. Teachers will be forbidden to talk about it. Once again, men determine women’s bodies, and once again attempts are made to silence women. This is happening right now, in 2023, in the USA and in many countries around the world.
Human rights are just a nuisance to some people
What is currently happening in Florida is just one of many bitter reminders of the fact that all the advances of the last few decades, all the things that women and other people have fought for, suffered and sometimes died for, cannot be taken for granted. In the minds of some, human rights and their observance and upholding may be an integral part of reality – but for others they are just a nuisance that needs to be eliminated.
The outcome in Florida has not yet been decided. “I hope we all understand that by telling our children we want to protect their innocence, we are taking away our children’s ability to think critically,” Gantt said during the hearing. “They will be adults someday and they need to be informed adults. We don’t get second chances for children, we don’t get that opportunity again,” she said. “So why are we introducing or proposing policies that prevent little girls from understanding their bodies?”
Sources used: washingtonpost.com, stern.de, flsenate.gov, aok.de