By Laura Lorenzo
I think that my young acquaintance, Noah over at Mediaite, may have over-interpreted this exchange, just a tiny bit. That said, he’s a nice kid, and you should read him anyway.
The thing that caught my ear, during the clip, was when Melissa Harris-Perry talked about teaching young girls how to “negotiate condom usage”. Hmm. How about this, girls: “Wear a condom, or you don’t get any”. See how easy that ‘negotiation’ was? I barely broke a sweat.
I have never understood the dynamic where women are hesitant to ask a man to use “protection”. When did we forget that we’re the prize, and he shouldn’t be so picky? That also applies to the subject of cosmetic surgery, but I digress. It wasn’t so long ago that if a guy went out and hoped to ‘get lucky’, he would bring his own, just in case. Of course, those were the days before The Pill, and it wasn’t exactly a given that ‘luck’ would play out. The Pill made birth control the woman’s responsibility (and sex more likely), as though pregnancy is the only concern. That has always been far from the case.
How about “teaching” young women that if a guy can’t grasp the basic reasons why you use a condom, then maybe his knowledge of the sexual realm is limited in other ways? Cuz I know what let’s do! Let’s expose ourselves to all the considerable risks of sex, and not get anything out of it! Speaking as someone who was once a young woman, that is generally the case…and it doesn’t necessarily change as you get older, at least in uncommitted relationships.
In the way-back, we taught young women to value their virginity. That was enforced with a notion of morality and shame and societal/God’s judgment. Say what you will, but that was a whole lot simpler. Now, we have to appeal to their intelligence and forward-thinking. That’s tricky enough with teenage girls, and pretty much impossible with their potential partners, particularly now that ‘shotgun weddings’ are a thing of the past. You have to be real, and words like ‘negotiation’ don’t quite make it.