Were any of you all taught about sexual harassment or assault in your sex education classes? Because I was not. This may sound stupid, but in turn I grew up not knowing when I was being sexually harassed and even assaulted. With the statistic being that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, sexual assault, and CONSENT should definitely be topics that are required to be hit within the sex education classroom. Although, only 24 states in the U.S. require schools to teach plain old sex education, and eight require schools to teach consent! This. Is. A. Problem!!
Since I first became sexually active, I have constantly been learning new things that I should have learned in my sex education classes such as different sexual orientations, the fact that masturbation is normal, the wonders of the clitoris, females actually enjoy sex too, and that sexual assault is not just rape.
Something that I have noticed since I started working in restaurants is that sexual harassment in the form of snide comments goes unnoticed a lot. People also use their power as a tool to get away with it. I was not educated on all of the forms that sexual harassment could come in when I started my first job in a restaurant and because of that, I continually brushed off sexual comments from a shift leader because I didn’t know that it was considered sexual harassment and “it was just a joke”.
I was also put under the impression that once I had been sexual with a guy, if they wanted to do it again I owed it to them. I made myself uncomfortable many times by pushing myself to do things that I didn’t want to do because I felt that it was expected of me. I was once sexually assaulted while the guy thought I was asleep, and I thought “oh I already did this with him last night, so I guess I owe it to him not to say no”.
I should have been taught that I never owe anything to anyone, I should have been taught how enjoyable sex can be, I should have been taught what consent is. Everyone should have been taught those things and more!! There are countless topics I could bring up that the youth should be informed on in school, but sexual assault has always been and still is a huge issue in our society.
Unfortunately, with our current administration, I’m sure that schools will not be making the changes they need to be making to our sex education classes any time soon. Fortunately, those of us who are educated on these topics and have learned from experience, can use our voices to spread and raise awareness about these crucial parts of sex that everyone should be aware of before they become sexually active.