Dorries’ Gambit

So on Friday Dorries’ Bill headed down the agenda for the days proceeding, it was apparently clear that it wouldn’t get a reading and then she withdrew it. What gives?

At the protest against it on Friday, outside parliament, we all cheered when it was announced the bill was to be withdrawn, because it means that (right now) it won’t become law. However, given that were it discussed, it probably would have been totally dismantled, it’s hard to know whether that it didn’t get it’s day in the sun is a good thing or not.

Right now politics feels a bit crazy to me, I’m not sure what’s going on, and so I was worried that beyond everyone’s expectations the bill could have passed and we would have ended up in a country where teenage girls only need to be taught not to have sex, and that this is all of sex education that would be compulsory besides anatomy and physical processes in biology.

It seems annoyingly convenient for me that a bill that was highly likely to fall managed to save face by not being read and subsequently being withdrawn, despite how glad I am that it won’t become policy just yet. The easy weak spots of the bill like that it has been largely spoken about by Dorries as only about girls may well disappear from future versions of it.

Like in a gambit in chess you sacrifice a piece to get your opponents to leave their defenses weak and then win the game. Hopefully that won’t happen, because really as far as this particular Bill and proposals like it are concerned, people who want to it not to happen, I hope, will have moved on, and will be prepared to refute more than just the “girls only” part.

I realise I so much prefer just taking part in sex ed and discussion than debate and parliamentary stuff. You can easily get wrapped up in being angry at some person you’ve never met, which when you think about it is a waste of energy. A few deep breaths can save your sanity.

I saw Nads on TV this morning’s “Big Questions” saying a lot of things that people who oppose her bill agree with… “girls are sexualised, there’s not enough focus on relationships.” and saying words like “empowerment”. I’m sceptical about all of this. She gives the impression that everything else BUT abstinence is being taught in schools, and identifies the issues of peer pressure when it comes to having sex before you feel ready. And also describes the difficult restrictions young mothers can often be made to endure.

Yet I really identify with the sentiments and the people I assume she’s trying to appeal to. Abstinence, which doesn’t really describe a choice any more as much as an ideology, really has failed at doing the things it set out to do… while completely obliterating what comprehensive sex ed would aim to do where it has been rolled out extensively and researched in the US. What we need to continue to do is clarify to ourselves what we would like sex education to be and why.

Here’s ours:

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