Sunday, 20 May 2012

About that so-called *public* outcry against SEXhibit ...


Radio-Canada's Brigitte Bureau, who has done excellent work for Enquête regarding the influence that rightwing fundamentalist evangelical lobby groups exert on the Harper government, spoke to staff at the Museum of Science and Technology.

They stopped counting the emails that savaged "Sex: a Tell-All Exhibition" when they noted the overwhelming majority were template messages provided by religious institutions and many were duplicates from similar email addresses. This tactic is not all that different from the habitual RWNJ freeping campaigns and astroturfing.

Fundamentalist religious groups lobbying against the Sexhibit have been identified: Christian Gouvernance led by Timothy Bloedow (assistant to CON MP Maurice Vellacott), the Catholic Civil Rights League, Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, Canada Family Action and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

In addition the vice-president and legal counsel for that last group claims the photographs of naked minors (as above) is child pornography and has filed a complaint with the RCMP. I imagine that Don Hutchinson's next target will be all those "pornographic" text books used by pediatricians and medical students.

These groups are demanding that the federal government stop funding the Museum.

And yet, we learned from a few tweets that Summum, a privately published soft-porn magazine receives subsidies from Heritage and Culture. One wonders if CON MP Dean Del Mastro served on the committee that awarded this periodical federal monies.

Original Radio-Canada exposé about Summum, en français ici.

There are been positive reactions to the exhibit, from taxpayers affronted by the sexphobic outcry from the religious reactionaries.

Here are excerpts from letters to the Ottawa Citizen: here, here, here, here and here.

"A tell-all exhibit may be controversial, but it is certainly no insult to taxpayers.

What is insulting is how little teenagers know about sex and the responsibility that comes with it.

Being a teenager myself, I can see how easily we can fall through the cracks of the current sex-ed curriculum. Just among my peer group, very few know what IUDs are or what they do, nor do they know the facts about STIs: basic information that is supposed to be available to all teenagers, but is obviously lacking. [...]

For the more conservative Canadian, this exhibit may seem pornographic, but kids are exposed to sex everywhere, and we face a lot of pressure to engage in it. The aforementioned exhibit touches on such subjects as consent and when one is "ready" - subjects that seem to get missed in many a classroom."

"I am not sure whether to be surprised that the sex exhibit at the Science and Technology Museum raised the concerns of Minister James Moore. My lack of surprise notwithstanding, I would hope that he would have more pressing concerns than this.

Local, somewhat reactionary talk radio has lambasted the museum and those responsible for this exhibit. Do they not realize that this is not the 1950s, the time of mom and dad and 2.4 children and of no sex outside of marriage, as if that really ever existed. Sex is everywhere.

Check the Internet lately? And teens think about sex. A lot. And they think about it at 12 and 13 years of age."

"As any parent of teenagers will tell you, the amount of sex hormones raging through teen minds and bodies is inversely proportional to how much they want to talk to their parents about it.

As a parent of two teens, I welcome the opportunity for them to get factual information about human sexuality in an impersonal environment. I'd rather they get their facts from the Canada Science and Technology Museum, instead of the locker room or the Internet. And I'll go with them because you never know when opportunities for dialogue may arise."
For a more balanced response to the Museum's exhibit which is RWNJ-free, check out these tweets.

By the way, the Museum of Science and Technology was in the news recently for this exhibit. Interestingly enough, the *radical* groups that raised questions about this one-sided promotion of the Tar Sands were critical of the use of taxpayer-funded facilities to promote a corporate marketing strategy.


CanNurse said...

Brava, Fern! Well Done! sharing madly!

kokumlee said...

So now, the age for admission is restricted to 16 + up. When it is perfectly legal for a 14-year-old to have consentual sex. Ridiculous.

deBeauxOs said...

Ahem, CanNurse ...

Ici deBeauxOs. Ottawa is my home turf - all 4 posts regarding the religious fundamentalists fury about the sexhibit were written by moi.

Beijing York said...

Actually kokumlee, the Harper minority raised the legal age of consent to 16 in the first omnibus crime bill it introduced years ago with a minority government.

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