“Nobody laughs, giggles or makes jokes about it, OK? Or you’d be thrown out of the class,” she said sternly.
Everyone complied of course, but also because the lesson was super dry anyway. None of us back then had ever received proper sex education, even from our parents, and the lesson did not answer our curiosity about sex.
It made me wonder whether the younger generation had it better. Anecdotal evidence – the news, discussion with friends, and the letters sent to Magdalene (some of which show how oblivious they are about sex), however, shows that not much has changed.
The growing conservatism in Indonesian society has not made it easier to have conversations about sex education easier. Campaigns to increase condom use always face resistance, with people fearing it would condone “free sex.” An informative book written by a family psychologist was recently protested by parents and eventually withdrawn from the market. All he did was saying it’s normal to have sexual urge and act on it, but you have to know the risks of having sex.
So, it was exhilarating to find this short film entitled “Masa Sih?” (Really?), created by Pamflet, a non-profit organization aimed to encourage youth activism.
Set in a high school classroom, the 18-minute video discusses sex, dating and relationship, body image and homophobia in a well-written script and dialog that caters to the youth. The best part is the hijab-wearing teacher who talks about sex unapologetically and without once flinching.
“There is nothing filthy about our body. There is no need for taboo, so don’t be embarrassed (to talk about it),” she says.
The short film aims to shatter some stereotypes related to sex and gender, though the ending be slightly skewed towards heteronormativity. But overall, it’s a very good start. I hope it will become a series.
Check out the following video (in Bahasa Indonesia).
If you haven’t already, follow Hera’s graphic series on being pregnant at a mature age.