One of the things I think a lot about as a mom and a feminist is integrating a positive, age appropriate, respectful attitude around sex and sexuality. And in a shame-based, sex negative culture this can often be really tricky. These things don't marry easily.
If you know my story and have been following along with me and my family's journey, you know this is an important and very relevant core aspect of our belief system and values - a wide openness around things that many others keep hidden, fighting against the fear and shame.
So, when Alex found these lovely Goddess cards at the vintage flea market today and my oldest saw him buy them and was of course curious (he is an 11 year old boy after all), it was a teachable moment where we could talk about such things. It's not the kind of thing we are inclined to hide.
I grew up in a home that was very sex-positive in this way. There was never any shame or deep secrecy around adult delicacies, and I always have felt so empowered by how I was taught to both respect women and nudity and sexuality in general, but I also learned to not feel threatened by the desires of my partner <---- huge, right? I owe my mom so much for being the strong, sensible, warrior women she is. To this day I am grateful for this subtle but much bigger life lesson.
While we won't be playing Go Fish with the kids using these cards, they know they exist in our life, and that is enough. I know this from my own experience growing up, that normalizing sex and desire is part of instilling the kind of values we hope they will carry with them. Small gestures along the way towards a much greater understanding and tolerance, that also allow for opportunities to ask questions and have meaningful conversations. Sex positivity grows from these tiny seeds that ultimately have to be strong enough to survive complexities and social stigma that threaten a healthy attitude around every turn.
In this house, what we fight to keep our children sheltered from is the judgement and shame and not necessarily sexuality itself.
I can only hope it's a battle we can win.