For those who lived in her era, Charlotte Bronte was an unassuming person.
She was the oldest child of the widowed Patrick Bronte, a man of the cloth who some might have considered an odd duck. She lived in a dirty, poverty-stricken middle of nowhere town in Yorkshire, England. Her mother, Mariah and elder sisters, Mariah and Elizabeth died young, elevating Charlotte to the title of oldest Bronte child. Like her most famous heroine, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte was without the standard bearers of her day that would have made her a catch in the marriage market: beauty, status and/or money.
Today is her birthday.
In our own time, we celebrate her genius and the genius of her sisters, Anne and Emily. Jane Eyre, like her other novels, is a respected classic that is beloved by readers the world over, is part of the syllabus in many a classroom and for better and/or worse has been adapted for the stage and the screen.
We remember her as a proto-feminist, a writer in an era when novel-writing belonged to men only and a woman who refused to quietly give in to the image of what a woman should be.
Happy Birthday, Charlotte Bronte.
Like any subject, one needs all of the information before making any decisions. Sex is no different.
Our kids are going to have sex eventually. It’ a part of growing up and a part of life. For most, if not all students in America, sex education is part of their classroom experience.
Unfortunately, some adults still believe that the only sex education our students should receive is abstinence only. The problem is that abstinence only programs do not work in reducing teenage pregnancies or the rate of transmission of sexual transmitted diseases.
Very recently, the orange one in Washington D.C. has announced that he will be financially promoting abstinence among programs in the nation’s schools.
Not only is that dangerous, but it is a joke considering his own past.
While it’s true that not being sexually active prevents unwanted pregnancy and STDs, it is to my mind unrealistic to teach our young people that sex is bad. What is bad or wrong makes it all the more tempting and fuels rebellion.
Some might say that sex education encourages promiscuity, but I don’t agree. These are the same people who say that sex should wait until marriage. It’s 2018, to ask a teenager to wait until marriage to become sexually active feels like an antiquated idea that is straight out of 1958.
In the end, our kids will be having sex eventually. We just have to make sure that they have all of the information so that a decision that could potentially be life changing is based on facts and not myth or rumor is made.