It’s official: Spain has declared access to abortion a fundamental women’s right. Women will no longer risk jail for getting an abortion, nor will they have to pretend to suffer from serious mental health issues because of the pregnancy. The Catholic Church is upset about this, and promises to make a fuss.
Strangely enough, abortion is not considered a woman’s right in Canada: it’s been decriminalized and depenalized, but no government so far has dared take a strong stance on saying that it’s perfectly legitimate for women to make the decision to end a pregnancy.
Educate, Motivate, and Mobilize! An International Challenge to Raise Awareness about Sexuality and HIV & AIDS
YAHAnet is looking for design ideas for a new graphic T-shirt that will spread awareness and positive messages about sexuality and HIV & AIDS. Send us an effective phrase or word collage that can be put on a T-shirt to educate, motivate, and mobilize people! YAHAnet reserves the right to print the winning designs on T-shirts and display them at conferences and other events around the world to raise awareness; however, the T-shirts will not be for sale.
Create a “message from the heart” that educates, motivates, and mobilizes!
What do you want to say about sexuality? What do you want to say about HIV & AIDS? What words would you wear close to your heart that you want others to feel that they can wear close to theirs?
Participants must be between the ages of 12 and 25.
The phrase or word collage can only be placed on the front of the T-shirt.
The phrase or word collage must be less than 15 words.
The phrase or word collage can be hand-drawn (we need a high quality scan of the image) or digital text. T-shirt design images can only be submitted by e-mail and must be JPEG formatted. Discs will not be accepted.
The applicant must have the rights to the designs, which means they have to be your own!
The design must be original and never used before for another organization, group, or contest.
Participants may submit more than one design.
Submissions must include your name and address in the email. Group submissions are accepted as long as contact information of all contributing members is provided.
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. English, French, and Spanish submissions will be accepted.
Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Creativity and originality
Strength of the design to educate, motivate, and mobilize
Relevance to sexuality and HIV & AIDS issues
The deadline to submit your design is March 5, 2010 at midnight in the time zone where you live.
YAHAnet will pick the top 5 designs based on the criteria above and post them to our online Image Gallery. You can then vote to determine the winning T-shirt! Voting will take place from March 15–19, 2010.
Remember that you need to be a YAHAnet member in order to vote, so sign up today!
The winner will receive 5 T-shirts of their design to hand out to friends and family. Those who don’t win will still have the option of having their T-shirt design uploaded to the YAHAnet Image Gallery along with a contact e-mail address so that any youth group that might be interested in using a certain design can contact the creator(s). So start thinking about T-shirt designs to raise awareness about HIV & AIDS!
While this video is heterosexist because it assumes that all women enjoy penises and that only women enjoy penises, it still confirms part of what Hugo Vaillancourt shares on p.234 of our amazing Peer Education Manual. Are you big enough? See for yourself…
Am I Big Enough?
By Hugo Vaillancourt
When it comes to penis size, “size doesn’t matter” is the politically correct mantra constantly repeated over and over. Yet, “size doesn’t matter” should be recognized for what it really is: a well-meaning lie and an attempt to avoid the delicate matter at hand. Let’s face it: if you’re a guy, you’ve probably wondered if you were big enough at some point in your life. If penis size wasn’t such a chief concern among males, you would be getting much less obnoxious spam in your e-mail box. So penis size does matter to an awful lot of people.
We live in a society that has eroticized huge penises. There are very few male porn actors or models who have a smaller or even average-sized penis – and for us young men, porn can sometimes be the only measure of comparison. However, porn is misleading: It’s intended to be fantasy, it doesn’t represent reality and it’s chock-full of stereotypes.
Here are the cold, hard facts. Most erect penises measure between 12 and 17 centimetres in length (between 5 and 7 inches approximately) and 4 cm in diameter (one inch and a half) at the widest portion. The size of a flaccid (soft) penis is not proportional to its size in erection; actually, penises that are longer when flaccid expand much less in erection than smaller soft penises. Penis size is completely unconnected to the size of other body parts: big hands and big feet do not mean a big dick. Finally, a teenager’s penis usually takes a few years to fully develop; if you haven’t hit 16, or even 17-18 years old, odds are that you still have some growing up to do below the belt.
Some people do like bigger penises: they enjoy having a handful, or they get more stimulation out of being penetrated by it (in this regard, girth – thickness – seems to make more of a difference than length). However, there are disadvantages to being “large”. It can make vaginal or anal penetration more difficult, even painful; just like penises, body openings also come in larger or smaller sizes which may not be compatible with a large penis. Big penises can also be intimidating to some people.
On the other hand, having a smaller penis can be reassuring to your partner and make penetration much easier.Small penises can also be sucked quite effortlessly for a long time, which is a bonus for both you and your partner, something that doesn’t go even for average-sized penises (unless you have a really big mouth). Finally, penis size makes no physical difference to the pleasure its owner gets out of it.
Yet, even though the size of your penis can impact your sexual activities, there are so many more things that are important to having a fulfilling sex life. Chemistry and an openness to communicate with your partner. Imagination, creativity and sensuality. Daring tongues and fingers. Enthusiasm and shamelessness. In a sexual relationship without these things, even a foot-long banana will not prevent the relationship from being dull, mechanical and routine. After all, the brain is the Number One sex organ. That, and maybe the heart.
Since yesterday was V-Day, I think that it’s particularly fitting to talk about the vagina.
Is yours too tight, too loose, too smelly or too hairy? Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. Vaginas come in all shapes and sizes (and scents). And, if you’re not comfortable with your own, then you might not be getting the most out of sex or your partner. So, take that hand mirror out and start exploring. I can guarantee a mesmerizing experience. *Teehee*
To finish things off, here is an excerpt from Eve Ensler’s My Angry Vagina monologue:
“Don’t believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals when it’s supposed to smell like pussy. That’s what they’re doing, trying to clean it up, make it smell like bathroom spray or a garden. All those douche sprays, floral, berry, rain. I don’t want my pussy to smell like berries or rain. All cleaned up like washing a fish after you cook it. I want to taste the fish. That’s why I ordered it.”
Hi folks! Just wanted to let you know that during the month of February, Sense Project’s “e-division” will be tackling the topic of body image.
As stated in our lovely Peer Education Manual, “body image is how we feel about our physical selves and how we think others see us. Our body image is influenced by our family, our friends, the media and society in general. It’s influenced by what we think we ‘should’ look like in order to be attractive and how we think our bodies ‘should’ perform”(p.227).
Of course, having a poor body image has an impact on a person’s sexuality. Here are a few points to consider:
-It can make us settle for unsuitable partners and unhealthy relationships because we don’t think we deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
-It can make us use sex as a way of feeling “good enough”.
-It can lead us to take sexual risks in order to feel desirable.
-It can interfere with pleasure by bringing up feelings of inadequacy and shame.
-It can make us waste a lot of time, effort and money trying to be something we’re not, while neglecting our own unique qualities (Peer Education Manual, p. 227).
Therefore, this month is an opportunity for all of us to resist “negative-trashing” beliefs and promote inclusive “body-positive” messages.
PFLAG Canada is an organization that “supports, educates and provides resources to anyone with questions or concerns. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” And, they definitely provide lots of awesome material designed with everyone in mind. There’s stuff for youth, seniors, parents, family members, employers, co-workers, educators, clergy, healthcare providers and so forth. Basically, whether your sexual orientation and/or gender identity or someone else’s has got you confused, angry, fearful, proud or ashamed, PFLAG has got you covered.
For a very ultra mini taste of what PFLAG has to offer, here are some general tips for coming out that I pulled from their “So what is it like to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and/or questioning” sections:
General Tips for Coming-out
You may be very nervous about telling family members that you are gay, but here are a few strategies that can help you decide what to say and when to say it:
1) Don’t be rushed, timing is important. Try to pick a quiet time of the day that will allow everyone who is involved to focus on the discussion and any questions that follow.
2) Tell them there is something you feel they ought to know. This says that you are making a deliberate effort to share important news.
3) Keep your opening statements brief. If you want to start with, “For a long time, I have felt…” or any other lead-in, keep it to two sentences – or less! The anticipation may be worse than actually hearing the news.
4) Be clear and direct. Say the words, “Mom and Dad, I am gay.” If you are telling young children, read the section on “Coming-out to your Dependant Children”.
5) If they react poorlytell them you understand that this information is difficult to hear.
6) Explain that it has taken you a lot of time to understand it yourself, so you realize that it will take them some time too.
7) Try to answer their questions, but tell them you may not have all the answers. If the exchange goes poorly, don’t fret. It doesn’t mean they will never accept you. They may just need time to absorb the news and think about what it means to your relationship.