How modern are we as parents? Really and truly?
Tinu is the executive officer of an NGO “Belfort Place”. She has a daughter called Banke. I am deliberately dispensing with surnames. That way they are private while we talk about them.
Banke is home on an exeat of a day. The mother takes Banke shopping and as they move towards the check out, something drops from Banke’s bag. Tinu had the presence of mind not to react instantly as Bank quickly drops it back in her bag. But for the rest of the shopping, Tinu is distracted. Later during refreshment, conversation ensues
Tinu: Who is he?
Banke: (Very mystified) He?
Tinu: Saw the condom in your bag
Tinu leans back and laughs, but Tinu is about to have a heart attack, never mind that her NGO counsels people on rape and victims.
“Honestly I didn’t know what to make of it, had she become sexually active already? She is only sixteen?”
Tinu had given her mother a look, shrugged and explained that another NGO had come to their school and distributed free condoms to all of them.
Tinuhad a lot to think about, it was an NGO, and the students had been given a talk about sexual activities. Tinu said, she felt suddenly vulnerable about her daughter and was not so sure she welcomed the idea of condom distribution in her daughter’s school. Seriously now, how many of us as parents who claim to be modern really love the idea of that talk? When we shared the event with Tunrayo, she was scandalized and went on and on about NGOs being part of the problem. She was of the view that children should not be told anything until they were well into their first year in University.
“Don’t be a goose Tunrayo said sharply, Olayinka got raped while she was in 300 level and she had been told nothing. If her mother had taken time to talk about sexuality at all, the poor girl would not have gone off to a strange city with her half- brother.
The argument moved from should NGOs be allowed to give sexuality orientation in secondary schools? Notice that my emphasis has been on sexuality and not on sex education. Is there a difference? Sure there is a difference? However the experience today is : what would be your reaction if your girl child has a packet of condom in her bag.
Banke said, she used the condom to let her seniors know of her preferred orientation
That started Tinu off as she asked what was going on in the boarding house for girls?
Banke rolled her eyes and turned to me: “Big Mummy, have you ever heard of feathering”
My throat went dry as I asked what she meant, and she said
When a senior girl is interested in a girl in the school, they ask her to be a friend with benefits. They educate her in what they mean about the benefits. If she refuses to give them the password to her server, they feather her. That means they come round to her bed at night and initiate her. Can you persuade my mum that I do not wish to give anybody right now a password to my server?
Can somebody please educate me further?