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New old school
The new education minister has been getting stick for what many see as his very old school suggestion that sex education should be stricken from the secondary school curriculum and replaced by what he called “vital” religious instruction. Both the TT Humanist Association in a letter to newspaper editors and its erstwhile president, Kevin Baldeosingh, in his column in these pages, have rained a world of faecal matter on the head of the education minister, and at least one wag has suggested that he should abandon his Cabinet ministry and take up a holy one, but I reckon the education minister is right all ’round.
Sex education should not be taught in Trinidadian schools at all because there is no firetrucking need for it. Every year, we have hordes of 13 and 14-year-old girls who are forced to leave school because they’re pregnant: if somebody already knows how to get pregnant, what, pray tell, could you teach them by way of sexual education? With a baby on the way, I think it’s a little late for oral sex technique, don’t you?
Okay, perhaps there might be some benefit to, say, a class in lacy bras and fishnet stockings for girls and another class telling boys to pull their pants above their boxers. And God knows there are a lot of plump girls out there in Junior Sec land who should learn the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the thong, the G-string and the big granny nylon.
But these are all matters they should best learn at home.
Now I’m working on the necessary assumption that the education minister interprets the term “sex education” to mean “sexual instruction or sexual indoctrination” and suspects teachers of referring to pole dancing manuals instead of biology textbooks.
It seems logically impossible that a man with a fully developed, normally functioning brain could frame any objection at all to young girls at risk of having their lives, and the lives of their prospective offspring, ruined by early pregnancy, learning the rudiments of sexual responsibility. The good education minister must be suspicious of sex education in schools because he thinks it necessarily involves hanky-panky.
Hanky-panky between children, that is.
Because all the religions the education minister advocates teaching in school permit adults to sexually abuse children.
The Catholic church—from which sect the education minister himself springs—has all but institutionalised pederasty by its priests by, not just failing to prosecute its holy men who made life Hell for little boys, but by actually going out of its way to protect them from the criminal convictions they should have faced. All over the Catholic world, when the scandal of priestly sexual abuse broke, from the very highest office—that held by His Fiatness himself—to the least influential of lay groups, the main—dare one say the catholic?—aim was to protect the reputation of priests and church, not the anal sphincters of six-year-old boys.
But at least Catholics don’t actually declare adult-child underage sex to be a good thing. The Hindu Marriage Act, the relevant section of which is still on our law books, allows grown men to have sex with 14-year-old Hindu girls, with parental consent; and, one assumes, encouragement.
And the Muslim men the education minister must consider holy (and possibly lucky) don’t have to settle for any old bat teenagers: the Muslim Marriage Act allows hard-backed, 60- and 70-year-old men to marry 12-year-old girl children; it actually creates a legal loophole allowing what would, but for the intervention of God and the statute, be rape. Muslim men must praise God every day for the continued existence of the Muslim Marriage Act.
Which leads naturally (though some might think unnaturally) to the religion the education minister wants taught in school.
God knows it ought to be Islam.
The education minister is himself a Catholic but the religious instruction he favours must surely be Muslim. If religious instruction is a good thing, then surely it gets better as it gets stricter? Even in its most bizarrely stretched form of Opus Dei, which requires modern women to treat their reproductive organs like little sanctified Catholic factories, Catholicism can’t hold a candle to Islam for strict and unquestionable “discipline.” The holiest men on the planet—the Taliban and the Islamic State—understand that anything that takes thought away from God, like music or football or art, is to be banned. If a female is suspected to not be a virgin, she is killed; surely that’s the kind of terror of sex we want to see in our holy children.
Viewed from the education minister’s perspective (sex education bad, religious instruction “vital”), Islam is far more beneficial than anything else: it seeks to stifle human sexuality so completely that women are required to cover their bodies from head to toe, with the holiest form of Islam requiring all but the pupils of the eyes to be hidden. Female adulterers are stoned to death; what more could you ask of a faith, if what you want is to make sure no one has sex in any way but the way approved by the old, sexless men in charge of everything?
So I’m backing the education minister all the way: get that sinful sexual education out of schools at once. And call in the mullahs and imams. Better prayer mats in every school than those evil condoms!
BC Pires is a unquestioning believer, as long as the statement of the creed is, “I believe I’ll have an ale.”
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