Thursday, February 26, 2015

fear and loathing on facebook



Maybe it's just the circles I run in, but I'm seeing a lot of opposition to the new sex education curriculum proposed in Ontario.

Like, a lot.  

Like, I miss the good old days of global warming and vaccine conspiracies plugging up my Facebook wall.

The problem with these protestations is not that people have differing opinions but that these opinions are not often their own.  This will not be a post on the intricacies of the curriculum itself but rather directed to those who don't take the time to read the curriculum itself in order to familiarize themselves with the intricacies.

There's a word for stealing other people's ideas in lieu of using original, creative arguments: plagiarism.

And is that what we want to pass on to our kids as an ideal way of living?  Do we want them to grow into adulthood thinking that a broken-telephone-system of hearsay and rumour and fear-mongering and assumptions and clouded understanding is the best way to make an opinion? 

Isn't the opposite of education, ignorance?

I become weary of the SIGN THIS PETITION and MEET ME AT THE PROTEST and WRITE YOUR MPP NOW invitations because when there really is a valid issue to sign a petition for, or protest, or write our MPP about, I feel as if our voice will be tuned out.  

There are too many legitimately appalling issues that we should be taking steps to reform.  Rational, engaging, tolerant and fair education curriculum isn't one of them.

If you're still hot under the collar, try these ideas:
  1. Believe in yourself.  You are an intelligent person, and extremely qualified in the area of childrearing if you are, indeed, rearing a child.  So give those eyeballs a rub, connect them to that beautiful brain and read the curriculum.  Yes, it's lengthy.  But, let's face it, if you're hot under the collar you're most likely focusing on the sexy bits (frankly, you should read it for its incredible overall approach to fostering mental, physical and emotional health rather than just "command+F" phrases like "anal sex").  But, whatever.  Just read it.
  2. If you would like a balanced view on the subject, instead of bouncing your ideas off of people who share the same ideas, take a teacher out for a coffee.  Actually, take a teacher out for a coffee anyway.  They work damn hard.  And, contrary to some opinions, are not hell-bent on perverting your child.  If you can't commit to coffee, at least give them a hug.
  3. If you still want something to post on your Facebook wall, after all that self-education and coffee and hugging, try this brilliant article.
  4. While you're on a curriculum high, try thinking of other areas than sex ed where your child could benefit from additional education at home.  Are the history lessons Western-centric?  Are the literature selections male-centric?  Are the mathematic exercises devoid of real-life financial applications?
  5. Feel free to write a member of the government, and try making it nice.  Encourage your city counsellor, your MP, and your MPP for all the hard work they put into making your life a little better.  It doesn't matter if you voted for them or believe in their politics.  For extra bonus points, send a quick email to Premier Kathleen Wynne thanking her for doing a job that you would never want to do.
But, if you can't do all six, just read the curriculum.  And use Facebook to post pictures of your adorable, creative, educated family.

“Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering." - Yoda 

1 comment:

J Puddy said...

You have beautifully summed up and improved upon the conversation Maija and I had last night. Well done. We love you and everything you stand for.