The Weekly Cheek
The Weekly Cheek

Episode · 4 months ago

83. The conservatives' war on sex


In this episode, we're discussing conservatives' war on sex and how it affects us. What kind of sex education did you receive? Do you know how your pill works? How does religion infiltrate our relationship with sex?

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Hello, I'm Christin PARISONATO and I'm Hannah Ferguson, and where co founders of cheek media. This is the weekly Cheek podcast. Before we start the PODCAST, I would like to acknowledge that we are on stolen land of the Yagora and turable people and acknowledge their elders, past and present. Welcome back to weekly cheeks. Welcome, welcome, Bow Worckaow, what the fuck, I've lost it. We just had a pizza and I had a whole Hawaiian Hawaiian. For a lot of podcasts they start with like how are you? How are you? We just start with doing something weird. Yes, how are you? Um Full, but like I was in that leg zone where I was like, oh, could pulse it up for three and a half hours right now and then take a ship and then I kind of like bounce back when we were chatting and having a little giggle before bounce, bounce back. How are you? That's our favorite phrase. I don't pretty good. Actually, we're used it in the worst way. I know. It's very girl boss Queen of us. It's very bad. Yeah, anyway, we're like, oh my God, it's had the worst morning of my life. Oh, are you okay? Yeah, by bounce. Bounced back record time, a good time. I actually said to my psychology the other day and she laughed. I was like, I have a really good bounce back, right, and she was like and I was like fuck. I was like, I don't get it, because, like I'm the best. Did you say? You didn't say to the joke. No, I was just like, I know I bounced back quickly, but like, I do bounce between different routes as well. So I know that when were anything about bouncing back, we bounce back quickly, but we also don't go long periods of time without having a down period. So is it really bouncing back? I until this year I used to go along. I'm pretty much my whole life is no down period. That is such a red flag. Yes, okay, well, I'm back that later. Back to the topic. Back to the topic today. This year has just been fucked. It's external things that there's nothing actually wrong with you. There's nothing. It's just been really busy. Don't worry, this is not a cry for help. No, I'm fine. I asked me if I'm okay, because I am. I would know. Okay, anyways, should they we're talking about the conservative war on sex. Also join our patreon. Sorry, I perfect segue that transition. Wow, like us. Okay, into marketing. What I was a month to enjoy our close friends on instagram. Really Nice. You go to our Lincoln, our instagram by yeah, or out the description of this episode, anywhere. The conservative want sex. I was going to burpen that. I decided not because it would hurt your sensitive ears. Also, I always added it out. Damn it. Okay, you can't perfect into people's earphones. It's awful. What if I farted? I would I would prefer that to a bird. You're kidding me. It's a birth right into the girl, right into the ear. If I knew that, if I knew that everyone was listening in a car radio, I wouldn't care. But a burp into the earphone, terrible, beautiful, anyways away wasting valuable ments about sex. Um. So I think we will want to talk about what we've been taught culturally when growing up, what we were taught in school, what legislation teaches us, what politicians teach us, what is acceptable consent culture, the changes, and I think that it kind of stems from the idea for the topic stems from the reverse way to overturning, because it's like that is the Republican War on sex Um and the Republican war on reproductive rights and the bodies of people that have uteruses. But now I want to look at like in our country, like religious discrimination, religious freedom, separation of church and state, what we're taught in school, what's not acceptable in school, same sex marriage legislation, that all these things affect our perception and comfortability and shame around sex. Yes, I think that it all comes from religion. Say That's like the abortion argument, or from religion completely, even even if the link is not immediately obvious, it comes from a religious ideology, even if the person who holds that ideology is not religious and threats come, I think wouldn't specified it as...

Christianity, Christianity. Um, tell me what you did in school. So I went to a public primary school and then I went to a very conservative Christian high school and you can listen back to the episode they called was I in a cult, if you'd like to hear more about that. Um. So, I got sex said from in the year five, six and seven, I think. I don't think it was any earlier than that Um. And then I went to this very religious high school and one year in grade ten, I received absence only education from a pastor of a church. He delivered it. Who was a man? Pastors Company women. Everyone missed that. Pastors US Begin. I know I always say pastor or. Yeah, it's because it depends on the religion, but for us, for that religion, it was sor or. Yes, Pete, the denomination of Christiano. Yes, I think it was like methodist, do you? Because it was. It was Wesleyan. It's Marbo, it's the VIBE. It's the vibes. Anyway, it's not the vibes. And so we received I don't remember how long it went. I don't know if it was like a series, like a few classes in a couple of weeks, or if it was one class or if it was like one long session. I don't remember. But at the end of it we had to sign these like virginity pledges to God, to God to God, signed signature, Yes, promising her template letter. It was like a little like a postcard type thing, and we just put our names on it. Did you have to write anything personalized? You just sign it and then when do you put it Um. I think we kept them. Do you have it? No, I don't. I don't keep that frame it. I also did not tell or show it to my mother. What would have happened? She would have lost her ship. Karen Coeen. She would have gone into the school and carried on, but no one else's parents did. Well, I not that I knew of. It was a very small school and people were because I know in a lot of a lot of people who go to like, I think, particularly Catholic schools, but also like private schools. It's not really religious, like a lot of the UM students are not religious and don't come from religious families. The family just picked it because it was like the best forming school or to some other kind of reason. That is what happens in regional areas a lot of the time when there's not that many options. Well, my school was really religious, like the coverage of the students who were actively involved in religion was like very high so and no one thought it was weird either. No one pushed back on it. In fact, I didn't even think much of it at the time. I was like, okay, cool, I was gonna sign this. I don't remember thinking like I didn't take it seriously, like I didn't take the pledge seriously. I just didn't really think about it that much, because I only told my mom about like a few years ago and she was like what? MM HMMM. So that was what did you what did you get? I'm trying to think about it now. Oh my God, I don't know if I can tell this. Okay, I'm a bit repressed. I was repressed for a long time when I was in year eight. Oh my God, I can't ever want to say this one podcast, but I think it's people will get a kick out of it. Okay, have I had this story? No, maybe not, but we'll see. How do you react? When I was near Eight, I was in we had a compulsory religion to you twelve as a class when and we had like monthly mass prayer and roll call every morning, like it was a Catholic actually, and I want to mention this because the person will listen, a couple of weeks ago we talked about schools on the POD and I said mine was more progressive than yours, and someone in the year above me at school who listens to the podcast, messaged me that that day and said like, I'm really surprised you said that and I was like, funk, I'm really surprised said that too, thinking back, because I think she's absolutely right. Like my school wasn't progressive but was conservative, but I think that in comparison to yours, I felt like I was in the left, but I wasn't.

When I was in eight only. So I lived in Sydney till I was in irrate and then my family moved to Orangeo, three hours west of Sydney regional area. went to the Catholic school. Had Been in a public school before that. went to the Catholic school. Started in term four of year eight. So in that term it was maybe like the it was the last day of term of year eight and I was sitting in religion class and in the road behind me, Um, a boy started penetrating a girl finger. Oh still, wow, oh my God, and I was terrified and I turned around and so they were diagonally in the road behind me. So I turned around and, like she was moaning, it was we wore skirts. It was very obvious what was happening. Um, and we had a substitute teacher who was just up the front chat. Need someone like the whole hour and it just didn't stop. I was so traumatized, I was so scared and then it's quite traumatizing for a thirteen year old. I never said anything and then someone else reported it and then I was dragged into the school counselor and like what did you see? And I was like and then he was fingering her, and then the school counselor was like well, you can't prove that and I was like, excuse what? That's not the response. The reaction what I don't understand. It was about your experience if you're counsel it was really strange. What there if? But then I also will say like the priest that I would come to our school every month was very touchy. So I was always very uncomfortable around him and we would always there wasn't like a celibacy pact or abstinence or things like that. There wasn't absinence, only education. But I remember the PA wasn't. It wasn't at a Catholic school. You know. I remember in near nine or ten getting like a sheet that was like a table and it just had all the list of contraceptives and my teacher was it was a man. He was so uncomfortable and he just like just read all the options allowed and then just like stopped like a Liz. Yeah, he was just like he was a very awkward individual, like I don't think. I don't think he necessarily I think he was uncomfortable, but it wasn't the curriculum that was bad. Um, sorry, he was so uncomfortable and I remember just being left like it was the table was here to read a sentence and like match it. I remember being like a match game. Oh my God, trying to think of other funk up things have happened. How is how are any of us like well adjusted at all? Quite frankly, we're not. True, I think I am. It took me a really long time to come to terms with it. Like, I don't think I mean the year eight thing or not. No, like just I mean all of it, the conversations around sex. Like I for a long time I was like very Um, I felt like I was very innocent and like very childlike and like I wasn't very good at approaching those conversations. And I think it's only been since when I turned twenty it all changed for me when I went to uni and I was like living on campus and I was just living with u people that were having sex all the time, and that really freaked me out because I remember being like we were sitting like having like a picnic on the lawn or something, and one of my friends said to me, like it's happening all around us, and I was like what the fuck, and it like blew my brain up that like when you live together, it just happens all the time and everyone just says like rabbits, like it was fucked, but then I was like that means bad things are happening all the time too. Very interesting take from you. Clean. Well, it's just like I don't really know that many people that something bad hadn't happened. So I was like, well, if we're all having sex, it's probably some of them are going to be bad. And I think the thing is is that my friendship group in college was probably the most progressive, like I was in the group that was the most progressive about talking about all of this stuff, like we were always super forward, super comfortable saying literally anything to each other, and that is probably the most pivotal thing that happened for me in breaking down that taboo and like sort of breaking open that conversation and making sex not a conservative, secretive, shameful subject. But I still...

...out. I'm like so open about it. But I've carried Shane for a long time and I think now it's like in my private circles. Like I'm not gonna talk about the PODCAST, but now I'm like very open and comfortable talking to anyone about like what I'm interested in, like what it makes me feel good, what does it like? That sort of thing. Anyone? Sorry. What I mean is like if I was, you know, just starting to see someone or making friends with someone, like, I'll happily be open about sex and pleasure and like. But also, like on our instagram stories, I really respond to everyone who shares a sex thing and I'm not I'm not going to be like so this one time when I was having it's not like that. But what I mean is I'm comfortable talking about condoms, consent, what people like, what pleasure is, what masturbation is, all these sorts of things with most people, because I think that having those conversations normalized is so crucial to ensuring that consent culture continues to develop, because I think that every time we have these conversations with people. We fucking stop a conservative in their tracks because so many progressives are still scared of talk think about it or still feel ashamed of their bodies or ashamed of sex. And even like, I mean I'm an incredibly progressive woman and I'm still very insecure sexually and I like and it's one of those things where it's like all of us carry a lot of shame and secrets or confusion around it and I think that every time we have a conversation it breaks open something. Well, you did a podcast. I mean this is the podcast. You didn't instagram storybox. That was like tell me the most embarrassing thing, and I was really disturbed to see what people found embarrassed, because most of them were just normal sex things, sex and bodily function types of things. Yeah, yeah, and it concerns me because also it concerns me when people say this and they followed up with like you're the only person I've ever told Yeah, and I'm like, I'm a complete stranger and I get that you telling me and it's very special to me that someone's done that, but I also know that the capacity they're telling me in is Um, I don't know you and you don't know me. So I feel safe because this is kind of it's kind of a meaning this interaction. There's no power, like, what am I going to do with that? I feel like they feel like they're alleviating something and getting something off their chest to someone they don't know, but they also know I can't wheel it against them, so there's no risk. It's not actually I would argue it's not true vulnerability because there's there's maybe discomfort on your part, but it's being open and honest with someone that has no ability to yeah, I don't know. I think you would say to a stranger that you wouldn't say to friends. Exactly, just because it's like, Queen, would you have anything like that? You're not really like that. What do you mean? friends. I understan anything to stranger. That's exactly right, but it's different. But I just think that's that point doesn't apply to you. Probably it doesn't apply to me, Um, but I think it does apply like and I also think that, like, I mean I was thinking about it like on the Internet as well, because I think like saying things like that Um, when you're staring at someone's face that you don't know, it would be weird. Probably, absolutely, but I think that it's it's a great privilege for us that they want to share that, and especially in that sort of a space. But it's also interesting that you've never wanted to tell anyone that, but you're happy for it to go anonymously to the world in some capacity. And I get that must create some sort of relief, but is it fow relief? Like what is that? Uh, not that it really matters, to be yeah, I didn't think it matters and it's it's kind of against the point. But I think my my main takeaway from it is not that side of things. It's just the fact that, like, this person thinks this is really embarrassing and that is a really sad reflection of society. Definitely, because obviously at some point, I think usually those things that you're like the or this is the most embarrassing thing. I would never tell anyone that. So often, not always, stems from the fact that when that person was like a child or in their formative years or even an adult, someone made them feel like it was something to be very embarrassed absolutely and shame is, in my view, of wasted emotion, and I feel it often for someone who believes that. But I think that shame in any capacity is wasted. Shame is a hard one to like just stop feeling, though, no, exactly. So that's why it's but I think it's because there's a...

...difference between embarrassment and shame and I think that when people say that that's what, that's what. I think that sex carries the shame connotation more than embarrassment. Embarrassment is much more surface level. Shame is like deep yeah, because shame is such an inward reflection of who you fundamentally are as a person, as opposed to be like, Oh, I fell, you know. It's like out of your control. Versus. Yeah, if you trip over in public, that's embarrassing, not necessarily shameful, yes, but it also like people. Um, it's interesting. The question box I put up a couple of days ago for our close friends was, um, what's something that you were taught about sex that you now know is wrong? And the most common things, which I think all things that should know, contos and the teachers consent campaign have really started to break down, especially like the thing that came up more than anything was blue balls, M as like this is the worst phrase of all time and like that. It literally physically causes men pain to not finish short, to all that sort of stuff. The other one was please. Yeah, the other one is um that you can become pregnant any time in a month. A lot of stuff about it's very unlikely. Yeah, I don't want to like, yeah, perpetuate disinformation. Yeah, but if that's actually like, when you really look into the probability, it's crazy that anyone gets pregnant any time. Actually, it's such a small chance. It is so weird, isn't it? But also, I'm happy to share this if you don't think it's weird. You absolutely roasted me last year and you'll know what this is about, because I had a misunderstanding about the pill. Do you remember this? Yes, because I remember. Okay, so I'M gonna this is bad, but I think it's a reflection of the fact that we don't learn. Yes, so I would when I was wanted to get my period, I would not take the sugar pill. I would just stop taking the pill, wait for my period to come and then I would wait for my period to end and then I would start up the pill again and then I would think I would have sex. Oh, I thought you just so. I thought you're going to say something else on Hingge that you did before you started taking just the bill again, didn't you know? And then, and then, I remember once I was like lagging and I was like, Oh, Christ, I'm a bit worried, and you said we I explained what I did and you were like that's wrong, because you need the build up over, like you need to take the sugar pill and start retaking the pill when you're like when it's nat went through during seven days. You need to start taking the pill as the sugar pill progresses, like you need to follow the packet, because there's a reason that there are seven sugar pills. Yes, whereas I was thinking, perfect, I'll let make my pill last long. That's what I thought I was doing, because it would take me off in five seven days to get the period after stopping taking the pill. Queen, you were saving them. Well, I thought mine goes for ages, because my I would wait five, seven days to get my period. Then I would get my period for seven deaths. Okay, look, sorry, I don't want to be judgmental. Well, you, I was you were like yeah, because I know. I don't know how I didn't get breaded because, like you, the pills working while you're taking the pill. So do you just think that because you took the pill a few weeks ago that it was going to still work? I just didn't realize how long it toked to build up protection again. One week usually what you're doing maths wise. So if I can, I'll explain. Like so Hannah was taking the active pills for three weeks. Then you are supposed to take, if you want to have your period, seven days of the sugar pill and then again back to three weeks of the active pill. But because it takes so once you've taken, once you've gone into the eighth day of the sugar pill, you then need to have taken the active pill for seven days to then actually be covered again. And like that is that is like a conservative estimate, because obviously the pill companies wanted to be successful. But like that... like medical advices. You must take the pill, like if you go into any doctor and get the pill, they'll tell you some of them even I don't know if they if it's like different pills are like a different amount of time, because some people say two weeks, or if they just say something, doctors say two weeks. To be more conservative, I don't know, but they will tell you you need to have the Pill for either one two weeks before you are fully covered from pregnancy. So then, basically, when we worked it out with the Mass Hannah was only covered like one, one week a month. I think remember. That's fucking insane, isn't it so bad? But I think it goes to show, because I actually think I consider myself to be quite educated. Fuck literally, I was mostly well, I was mostly concerned for you because I was like, oh my God, pregnant right now. I wasn't, luckily for you, because you didn't want to offense to anyone who want Um. But it's like, in terms of like the wider problem was like, what the why the funk has someone not made sure that you understood that when they gave you a prescription three years stay safe out their homies? That was the biggest concern for me. I was like, some medical professional has let you walk away with a script in hand not ensuring that you understand exactly how to use the pill. That was the most disturbing thing for me, which is because online through a good service that it to my door. But like, I didn't know. But the first time you would have got it from a doctor. The doctor was like I never had a face to face. It was one of those systems where they didn't even talk to you. No, I didn't even have a meeting, I just phone call. No, I think I hadn't. I met a doctor in like you ten. I don't want to put it on them, but like you make sure anyway. That is concerning to me. It's just the thing, like I mean a lot of people don't know what stealth thing is. This is another topic that sort of come in hot also, I was reading this morning about how contrast had reposted one of their campaign so revenge porn is now called image based abuse, because revenge porn implies some element of the victim has to have done something wrong for to be taken revenge on. So true, so true, image based abuse. And it can be even threats. They can be fined up to a hundred and ten thousand dollars really for threatening much if it's threats or if they do anything. Also, there's a Chanelle shared on Instagram, I say, which I was like, this is past thing. I didn't realize you could do this. There's a platform that you can report it to and they get the ship taken down in twenty four hours. Really. Yeah, so, like we've made huge strives. I didn't know about this. No, I didn't. fucking so insane, and I think some people will be like, especially with the pill stuff, they'd be like, well, what does that have to do with the Conservatives, war and sex, because we don't talk about it enough and nobs what's going on. The right to contraception is probably going to be the next thing that the Supreme Court in the US goes for, the more that we understand what contraceptive can do and what the hours and why we need access to it, and it's probably for more than it's for so much more than pregnancy. Well, the contraceptive pill was like pivotal win in the Women's Liberation Movie, and it's very binary, but that's like how it started, was for women's liberation and like, I think that's something that we like no one ever talks about anymore. But also I think that the fact that we know so little about our own bodies and reproductive systems is such a testament to how little we've been educated and how the curriculum is so behind and the Conservatives want to keep it that way. I mean we can see that, especially in like Alan Tudge and Scott Morrison's issues with the national curriculum in relation to first nations people. But it goes so far beyond that. Like why do I like there was something specific I was thinking about. Honestly, until maybe two years ago I had no idea that herpes was forever. Really, yeah, Um, and I don't really have. I've never had conversations about the tree differences...

...between the range of St I s. like there's like s t I s, there's you get checked and then like what is the conversation beside that? Like there's not really and there's not like a normal culture of going to get checked regularly. No, I think we're getting there, but I don't know what to talk about. m I feel like I just feel like a lot of circles. Do I think that? Again, like the Queer community is way way further ahead on this actually. And then obviously right now the focus of sexual education is on getting affirmative consent legislated in all states. But it's so interesting because even when we look at like affirmative consent coming into play, the so many people who are progressive, who are kind of like pushing back. I've seen quite of pe people in our comments saying how it's an issue affirmative consent and saying, like, how is it going to play out in the courts if it's like they need to have specific like like how does that actually affect everyone, like where it's verbal, nonverbal cues, like things like that, and looking at the owners and Blah, blah, and I'm like, I'm sorry, I have a law degree. What the Fund you talking about? I have no idea what these people argument it is not the take, That's so confusing to me that there can be in fighting about something like that. Also, I just think we need, like we do unfortunately, and I hate this every day, I need to understand that like this, like those systems are never going to be perfect and like I think that we need to concentrate on making them better because at the end of the day, a lot of the time, like any kind of sexual assault or rape um so often happens with two people there and that is it, and then and there is no there is often no way too, in the eyes of the law, prove what didn't did not happen. So any type of progress in making that better for victims, who are very often women and um marginalized groups. I just think that, like we that should be fucking celebrated and it's like completely outrageous to me that I didn't see those comments. It's completely outrageous to me that anyone would even think about like questioning that. But I think it just says so much that, like, I don't know much about our cycles. I was watching Tiktok videos that were teaching me about like the different hormones and how we act, and it sort of teaches you about libido, mood, what you should and shouldn't be eating, just from a like dietary and supplementary nutritional perspective, what you're better at burning, like first fourteen days is fat, second fourteen days is car but like it's it's there's so much to be said about all this stuff. And like literally you're burning up to three calories more per day in the ovulation period of the period and it's like no, when you get the cravings. And if we learned to and this personal trainer. I was watching a Ted talk give a Ted Talk. One of the things he said was women or people who have a menstrual cycle should not be being measuring themselves ever in terms of training or like nutrition, on a week to week basis, because there's four distinct weeks in the cycle and you need to be measuring by on a month to month basis because you're never going to get a good comparison. And it's like it's interesting because so many of us so much Ab our lives and our routines around things that we don't actually understand. And I think about that and, although it's not directly related to sex, we think about periods, we think about every relationship experience and I think about how we are the information we have access to is purposely mitigated so that we don't feel educated and so that we feel disempowered from acting out at all and so that we were supposed to lead towards the culture for absence and celibacy. It doesn't happen, quite the opposite and we fall into the traps and then we just become so like dependent on the system that's unwilling to help us. And I think that the other thing about like not understanding hormones and things like that is then it gives energy and air to people who are like committed to putting out disinformation, because there are so many like, I guess like you can call them woo woo Um people out there who want to give misinformation about hormones. And it's like, well, like, I'm not surprised that there are so many people who are like Oh, okay, that must be there, because it's just like we don't know. And the other thing..., this is a bit of a random comment, but I was thinking about it. Um, I think it's so interesting that it is like the conservative like the conservative people, who will look at like a baby, like a male baby, and be like Oh my God, he's going to be a heartbreaking when he grows something, and then they want to lose their ship when you're talking about like when that baby is growing up and talking about sex. Better get your gun for your daughters. Yeah, like it's so weird that people do that, like it's I don't want to say it's sexualizing children, because I think that's a bit over like a bit of a stretch, but I think that it's like like talking about babies and children in that way is so like it's like it's acceptable when they do it about children, but it's not acceptable when that child grows up and talks about it in terms of themselves. Like what the Fund is that about? It's really disturbing, like all those t shirts. It's like future heartbreaker or like please, it's always so fucking Hetero, boring, boring. If you didn't find US completely insufferable, come back next Wednesday for a new episode. You could also find us on instagram at cheek media co or online cheek media DOT COM. Dott yes, that's the one. That's the one.

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