Friday FREAK OUT! Yet another rape comment

Is it really a surprise that yet another Republican candidate has made an outrageous comment about rape?  This week Richard Mourdock, a candidate for the Indiana Senate and endorsed by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said, “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” Also note that while Romney said he disagrees with Mourdock on this issue, he still supports him.

Stephen Colbert’s Team RAPE

The string of comments from republicans this election season has received overwhelming attention from the media, including John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who offers a summary of comments from the GOP and rounds them up as Team Rape.

Sexuality educators! PLEASE use this opportunity to discuss the topic of sexual assault and sexual violence with your participants.  While we may be laughing at the extreme comments made, especially the recurrence of them, rape is no laughing matter.  Use the commentary to engage in thoughtful conversations about why the comments being made are so extreme, and how they can formulate their own opinions about reproductive choice.

Here are some points to make:

  • No one deserves to be sexually assaulted in any way.
  • Consent is paramount when engaging in sexual activity with another person.
  • Rape and sexual assault are against the law.
  • You have the right to make choices about your own body.
  • Everyone deserves to have healthy sexual activity that is completely safe and consensual.

Also see my related post about Todd Akin’s comment on legitimate rape.

 

 

 

Friday FREAK OUT! Binders full of women

During Tuesday’s debate between President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a young women asked a question about what each would do in response to the inequality of pay between men and women in the workforce. In Romney’s response, he claimed that when looking to fill cabinet positions in Massachusetts he had his staff compile ‘binders full of women’ as potential candidates for those jobs. Research into this claim has shown that he did not initiate this task, it was actually a non-profit effort to get more women into government positions. His comment has gone absolutely viral- there is now a Binders Full of Women website, tumblr, Facebook page, Wikipedia page, and an urban dictionary entry. Pictures on product descriptions for 3-ring binders have been added depicting political messages such as “Bain Capital outsourced my job to China, and all I got was this lousy binder!”. I might even be a binder full of women for Halloween! And the list goes on so long that there are now stories about how viral Binders Full of Women has gone.

Responses have included-

  • Outrage at Romney twisting the truth
  • Mocking Romney’s attitude in the first place
  • A uniting of women nationwide to send Romney a binder full of women who are voting for Obama
  • A rebuttal ad from the Romney campaign and
  • Disparaging the 24-year old pre-K teacher that asked the question.

This overwhelming response highlights an important message that should be repeated over and over: women matter. Women are not second class citizens and they should not be an after-thought when bringing people together to govern a population that is 50% women. Women should be considered for any position they are qualified for and paid the same as any man with the same qualifications. They should also not be lumped together as one giant blob to tap into just to reach a quota. Women, like any human being regardless of gender, should be respected and considered for their strengths, knowledge, and skills as individuals.

What can sexuality educators do with this media frenzy? In a safe, intentional learning environment this can be a valuable teachable moment to discuss gender, power, and equality. This is an opportunity to talk about the value of inclusivity, and self-worth. You could have participants do an art project of a binder full of you, with pictures of an individual throughout their lives. You can talk about how gender relates to relationships and whether both people have equal rights in that relationship. You can also show how one question about job pay asked in a presidential debate can spark millions of freak outs about gender inequality and how maybe that will institute change and motivate action. Some binders full of women like to party. 

Friday FREAK OUT! Gay teen denied Eagle Scout Award, despite his project on tolerance

Ryan Andresen

 

http://nesa.org/methods.html

The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.

 

The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.

 

Ideals

The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.

 

Patrols

The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.

 

Outdoor Programs

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Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for God’s handiwork and humankind’s place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Boy Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.

 

Advancement

Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

 

Association with Adults

Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.

 

Personal Growth

As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is so successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.

 

Leadership Development

The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.

 

Uniform

The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.

Check out this Huffington Post article, outlining the ordeal.