OK, so first up - thank you to whoever commented on my previous post and gave me a lil nudge nudge about using people's pictures and stuff. I've cropped her name and face out now, which I probably should have done when I first wrote it, but you know, my anger may have made me rush into publishing that post without actually thinking about the little things! But now... a lesson learned. Whew.
Speaking of lessons, does anyone else ever reminisce about school days? Cos I find that I have been a lot at the moment. And I find myself thinking - HOW FUCKING WEIRD WAS SECONDARY SCHOOL?
OK, I say weird, but I mean uncomfortable. Uncomfortably weird. Yeah, I know, it's not exactly a new concept: "oooooh, I felt so awkward in school!". I just mean the small, subtle things - like when boys at that age had NO IDEA how a woman's body really works.
I wouldn't say I had a hard time at secondary school, at all. I mean, yeah, I was a complete goon. Need I remind everyone of my 2009 Kawaii phase?
But, believe it or not, I was very sociable and had lots of friends. Bullying wasn't much of an issue at my school. But there were some weird points that I look back on now and think '...that definitely wouldn't have happened to a guy'.
OK, so here's the first one. I'm twelve years old, and we're doing this weird activity where we have to make a hypothetical packing list, as if we're running away from home. Fuck knows why (education standards in the UK really are tip-top ain't they?). So this boy I actually ended up being good friends with looks over at my list and is like "aren't you packing tampons?". And then all the cool girls launch into this massive chat about which kinds of tampons they use and I'm just sitting there like um, excuse me, I'm twelve, what the hell is a tampon.
I'm joking, I knew what a tampon was. But I was TWELVE - I'd never *used* one!
So I was like "haha yeah whoops lemme just add that to list", like silly old Tegan had just FORGOTTEN ABOUT HER TAMPONS. THAT.. SHE. DIDN'T. USE.
A few months later I even found myself telling another girl that I'd started my period because I wasn't just gonna say "no...I wouldn't know" when she asked me "don't you find you get so grumpy when you're on?"
SO MANY MENSTRUAL ASSUMPTIONS!
Girls were expected to have had started their periods by the age of eleven, and also to, of course, have massive boobs. Cos we're women now. I caught a girl secretly stuffing her bra in a changing room, and looking back, I feel so shitty that she felt she had to do that. But that's just the way it was. Girls = blood and tits.
A year later, I had a Music lesson, which was, of course, a prime opportunity for people to discuss intimate topics, instead of creating a basic keyboard melody. I was asked if I shaved or not. You know, down there. And all I could think was how this was such a Catch 22 situation for me, because I was embarrassed either way. If I said yes, then they would be given this image of me dedicating time to my hooha, and, ya know, touching it and stuff. But if I said no, they'd be all grossed out at the thought of me being hairy. I wasn't sure what the correct answer was. But it was stupid that there even had to be one.
Basically, for the whole of secondary school, there was a weird perception imbalance. And do you know what I think it was? PORN. Girls were surrounded by guys who spent a lot of time watching porn and building ideas of what a naked woman looks like and acts, and then came to school and sort of expected their classmates to be the same. I'm not saying all boys were like that, because obviously, you can't generalise everyone. And, clearly, most of the boys grew out of it (I hope?). But seriously it was weird. Boys were encouraged to watch porn, and girls were completely forbidden. If a girl watched porn at secondary school, she was a complete freak. But boys were parading it about, always talking about it. I mean damn, in a Tech lesson once, the aforementioned tampon guy actually went on a (OK admittedly, really tame) porn site (it was the only one the school hadn't blocked: "Babes with Books". I know. How cringe). But all the other guys just accepted it.
And you can say all you want that "porn can hurt a guy's self esteem too". I mean, yeah, there probably are a lot of sexy plumbers or whatever that are hard to compete with. But at that age - who cares? Girls aren't watching the porn, so they have nothing to compare guys with! And I'm sorry, but there aren't exactly categories where there's a guy getting raped or abused. It's much more of a female thing to be submissive. And that's just not OK.
I'm not saying get rid of porn altogether (wouldn't want to be labelled a 'prude' now would I?). So basically, either make people in porn look/act normal, or impose more of an age restriction. Because otherwise boys are only gonna watch it younger and younger (and heck, maybe girls too, I don't know what the youth are like these days, maybe it's OK for girls to do it now). And people are gonna be in for a shock when they're older, and girls don't want come on their face or have massive fake tits, and guys aren't all ripped with dicks that have been pumped or whatever. Crazy stuff!
Sorry that was kinda weird. Hope you're still with me.