October 28, 2010

Why Scarleteen Matters and What You Should Do About It

Good, honest sexuality education is almost impossible to find in the United States. The reasons for this are rooted in our weird system of morals, fear of arming young people with information, and deep discomfort with sexuality. This all manifests in systems of funding. Which is to say, a really good way to control information is to fund what you (which is to say, the U.S. government and funders) want people to know, and don’t fund the dangerous stuff.

Scarleteen has never taken funds from the U.S. government or its agencies – to do so would make their work impossible. That’s a catch-22 if there ever was one, but many of the curriculum and reporting requirements that are in place along with much of the available funding make it really hard for folks like Heather Corinna and her team to be real with the young people her organization Scarleteen serves.

Which means: Scarleteen has and will always have a money problem. But you can help to contribute to the continuation of their programs. When you donate to Scarleteen, this awesome and scrappy little org gets your money directly, and it gets fed right back into their programs.

Through November 15th, if you make a donation of $10 or more to Scarleteen and send me the receipt, I will send you a signed copy of my book Naked on the Internet.

From October 15 through November 15, Scarleteen is running a blog carnival to help raise awareness and funds for their work. This post is part of that carnival. Last week, I also did a guest advice post on the site. One of Scarleteen’s major online projects is answering questions from their community. Here’s the question and part of my answer; check out the full post here.

Anonymous asks:
I was just wondering…can a girl have sex if she has undergone genital mutilation? Because I know a girl who has, and she said it was a TYPE 1 circumcision and that she couldn’t have sex EVER. Also, is there any way she will ever be able to reverse the mutilation? What limitations will she face, compared to a person who hasn’t been mutilated? Thanks a lot for your answer!

The World Health Organization defines a type one female genital cutting as: Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).

Many people who have a fully intact clitoris find touching their clitoris or having someone else touch it to be a source of pleasure and a kind of stimulation that does or may play a part in orgasm. However, the clitoris is not the only key to pleasure and/or orgasm. Most of pleasure and orgasm aren’t about our genitals at all, but about our brain and central nervous system. Even when it comes to the clitoris, there is much more than meets the eye: the visible hood and glans of the clitoris are attached to deeper structures. Underneath the skin, the clitoris is actually wishbone shaped, with long legs, or crura, that are underneath the labia majora. For some people, light touch or pressure on the crura is pleasurable and potentially orgasmic. In type one FGC, the crura are not harmed, so the “invisible” part of the clitoris is still intact and functional.

1 Comment on “Why Scarleteen Matters and What You Should Do About It”

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[...] to donate; I’m donating 40% of sales on a number of my Love U Parties items to Scarleteen; Audacia Ray is offering a copy of her book, Naked On the Internet, to people donating $10 or more to [...]

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