Thursday, March 26, 2009

Safe sex

This little rant has been niggling under the surface for a long time; every time sex education is mentioned in the UK someone stands up and says that it will encourage teenagers to have sex. It’s not rocket science, but teenagers are naturally interested in sex. It’s to do with the continuation of the species - it’s natural.

Every summer, over here in France, there is a campaign to remind everyone to take their condoms with them on holiday. You can buy them for a euro, indeed packs with 2 or three for a euro, we have machines in the streets, you can buy them at the supermarket and the chemists have them on prominent display. When a certain-young-man-who-shall-remain-nameless was in his early teens, he and his friends spent the summer playing water bombs with condoms bought from the chemist. “They hold a lot of water, you know mum, much better than balloons!” Non of them worried about going in to buy them which means that when they do need one for the pupose for which they were made, they won’t have any hang-ups.

Recently the above mentioned young man attended a university information day. He came back with lots of leaflets including a little book which he showed to me (provided by the student’s branch of our health insurance company). This booklet talked about sex and the different aspects of it. (Some practises of which I’d never even heard of.) The main point running through the whole book was, to practise safe sex, respect for others, relationships and hygiene. (Have you noticed we talk to each other about these things?)

My point is that if you hide it away, kids will educate each other in the worse possible ways and the results are children who aren’t really wanted or loved. I’ve taught young people who’ve grown up knowing they were ‘mistakes’ or ‘accidents’ – not a good start to their lives.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I’ll never be a woman - ugh!

My son said to me as I helped him on with his tights

Let me explain. Today is the ‘Percent’(père cent). One hundred days before the start of the baccalaureate exams. The tradition is that the lycéens in their final year dress up and roam the streets asking for money. They used to throw eggs and flour but that has died out mainly, I hope. One town has banned the practise. Everywhere the hundred days is marked in some special way. You may ask what they do with all the money they collect. They go out and have a good time. Tomorrow serious revision starts – some hopes.

Olivier has gone out dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. (The same costume Dom had for her Percent – I have a sneaking suspicion that he hasn’t asked if he can borrow it yet). He went out and bought a lovely blonde wig with plaits and has borrowed a pair of tights to complete the outfit. I just checked, he forgot his lipstick.

Anyway there we were at 6.30 this morning struggling to put on a pair of tights; he hates them. Rob and I took him to his destination. A certain set of traffic lights. Very popular, some groups camp out all night to bag the busiest lights. There were already some young people out and we gave a few coins to two groups. The costumes are always very well done, in the past I’ve seen chickens, cows, Where’s Wally, ladybirds, clowns and so on. Operating scrubs are very popular. They are all very polite, if you haven’t got any change to give they thank you nicely and wish you good day.

He received his voting card today ‘sniff’.