And to think I woke up with no opinion on this song whatsoever

I was thinking about “The Girl from Ipanema” this morning. It’s basically just an unremarkable dude writing a song about feeling entitled to a gal he was oogling.

Thing is, he must have a bunch of albums. ‘Cause the kind of dude who gets so bent out of shape by a woman ignoring him probably gets ignored by a ton of women.

I expressed the above on Facebook today and one of my friends chimed in. He said, rightfully so, that there’s a lot of problematic stuff in past pop music, but as far as he’s concerned this song gets a pass. Who hasn’t felt the pangs of unrequited infatuation? Of wanting to talk to someone you take a fancy to, but being too afraid to say a word. This is undeniably true.

That said, the song still kinda felt a bit iffy to me and I started to think why. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with checking someone out in public. We all do it and anyone who says otherwise is probably lying. Checking someone out, in my mind, is a cursory glance or two. It’s not quite staring so intently at them you look through them and into the void. It’s not lingering unnecessarily enough that you gauge how similar the rhythm of their walk is to a musical genre. If you’re glowering at them day by day and you never make eye contact, maybe there’s a reason. People have a decent amount of peripheral cataloguing. I have no doubt that this girl- nay, woman- knows that dudes are watching her. It even says in the song that when she passes by, they go “ah!” The fact that they’re making actual exultations does not sit well with me. She knows where she’s sashaying (to the sea) and she’s pointedly staring straight ahead. This further underscores that she understands she’s being watched. She sounds single-mindedly focused, which may imply she’s had bad experiences in the past and just wants to get where she’s going. Then there’s this dude pining in the background studying her every movement thinking “how can I tell her I love her?” Love her? You’ve never met her, let alone loved her. You don’t know a thing about her, but you’re in love with her? You’re not in love with her, you’re attracted to her or infatuated by her. You’re not in love.

To be entirely honest, I have a ton of issues with the way love is represented in a wider sense. In so many movies (and not just romcoms, but especially romcoms), people “fall in love” for the sake of a plot. What they term as “love” I feel is closer to just infatuation. Maybe I have commitment issues, but love means a lot more to me than being attracted to someone pretty. I can like being around someone, be attracted to them and enjoy the chemistry, but that’s not love. Your mileage may vary, but love to me feels earned. Love is something that kind of takes hold when you realise that person is a large part of your life. Love is knowingly embracing the fact that your significant other has shortcomings. It’s not seeing the rosy ideal of how that person fulfils your needs. Love is when you want to go out of your way to take care of someone because them feeling better makes you happy. Love is picking ingrown hairs or shitting with the door open. Love is having the hard conversations without taking shots or one-upping each other. It’s understanding that there’s the option to cut and run, but there’s something larger worth preserving and working on that as a team. That seems like love to me.

Shoehorning romance into a plot or song as a way to make it easily palatable feels lazy and uninspiring. Stop using romance as a seasoning when it’s a veritable meal on its own.

ALSO after doing a bit of research and math, the “girl” in question was 17 at the time. The songwriters were 35 and 49.

Fuck this song. That girl dodged a bullet.

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Taking the scenic root

Cabin in the Woods spoilers to follow. Though at this point if you haven’t seen it yet, that’s kind of on you.

I went to a party last night. While that sounds like a generic statement someone in their early 30s would toss out, it was pretty refreshing. I’ve been hermitting big time lately. A combination of lower energy levels and a widespread loss of mojo mean I’ve had trouble socialising. It’s a pity, ’cause getting pulled into meandering conversations with friends of friends is kind of my favourite thing. It’s how friends of friends become friends instead. It’s not simple every time, but occasionally I’ll walk into a party in a good mood and other partygoers will help bolster it. Do you ever feel like you’re on your game, charming, witty and making other people feel good about themselves? It’s the best. The conversations twist and turn and you find yourself walking away with a renewed perspective.

Last night the topic of Ten Years Ago came up. In case you’d forgotten, Ten Years Ago it wasn’t the 90s. Ten Years Ago we’d just gotten smartphones and the world was reeling. Opportunities opened up, the word “app” became common parlance. Social Media expanded, the world reaching new levels of online interactivity. Clickbait may have ruined the phrase, but smartphones changed everything. Remember going to the airport with paper tickets? Now many of us merely bring our phone. What if it died and you couldn’t get your tickets? Ten years later, the notion of our phones dying doesn’t factor in. We’d never be without a working phone. Are you nuts? People have an arsenal of backup phones now.

We started wondering what kinds of new technologies and services would be offered ten years from now. I thought about people paying for personal, artisan experiences and wondered if we’d cross past certain puritanical lines. What if, I thought, you could have tailored sexual experiences, directed by an auteur? Much like Cabin in the Woods (here be spoilers), you and your partner(s) could be placed in a controlled environment room. You’d tell the director what kind of feelings you were looking to engage with. They’d call the shots from a production suite. They’d pull in certain music or audio cues, like thunder and rain outside. Maybe wolves howling in the distant background. All kind of lighting effects, setting the mood. Raising or lowering the heat for the desired effect. Encouraging intimacy or even sinister atmosphere. Influencing the experience of the paying customer. I’m sure there’d be a host of celebrated directors across a range of genres. Avant garde mavericks creating strange experimental environments, or horror directors playing with status dynamics. Even sweet and tender scenes. Would certain genres become old hat quickly? Basic Bitch sessions that were no more than glorified painting by numbers? The wedding equivalent of a DJ set? Would certain individuals become sought after for their ability to warp reality and evoke desire? Could customers get over the idea of people watching them having sex enough to let loose?

I’ve got zero idea whether or not I’d like the service, but it’s interesting to think of. If it has the potential to give people encounters they couldn’t cultivate themselves, I don’t see the problem.

They could even have Wednesday specials for hump day.

If I were a reptile I’d be an instigator

Is there any job where I could be a professional shit stirrer?

In our kitchen at work there are five or six coffee pots and two coffee machines. There’s a constant rotation of pots. One will be filled while the others lie ready for the taking. There are also two different types of coffee. There’s the regular stuff and flavoured. It’s like some serious 90s adversarial shit. There’s no crossover. You’re a regular or flavoured person, no exception. I’m surprised there aren’t turf wars or anything. Handily there are post its and pens. Protocol is, if you’re filling a pot you write the coffee type and brewing time. It makes a lot of sense. You know that what you’re drinking is fresh and that you’re on the right side of this absurd rivalry. That all makes sense so far, right?

Not so, to some people apparently. I walked into the kitchen to get coffee this morning and was greeted by PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE POST IT NOTES. To be clear, they were in ALL CAPS, so I’m not just being dramatic. On one pot it said something like “NEXT TIME PLEASE NO FLAVOURED IN THIS ONE”. Another note said “PLEASE FIRST FINISH FLAVOURED BEFORE MAKING A NEW ONE THANKS =)”. On another pot it “helpfully” said “YOU CAN PUT FLAVOURED IN THE UNLABELLED ONE.” It was silly and all a bit much. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. Maybe someone didn’t tip out the remainder of the cold flavoured coffee and put regular stuff on top. Perhaps they didn’t even do that, but the “Regular” folk are so particular that they can trace the subatomic particles of the flavoured abomination. For the record, I’m Team Flavoured. It’s not good coffee, but both types are garbage and out of the two it’s the one that doesn’t taste burned to all fuckery.

Me being me, thought it apt to fuck around a little. So I moved all the notes to the same pot, then added another saying “HERE BE DRAGONS.” Just in case that wasn’t delicate enough, I threw in one more “IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE ME AT MY WORST YOU DON’T DESERVE ME AT MY BEST.” I went back an hour later and a bunch more had been thrown on. “THIS ONE IS NOT FOR REGULAR” “AIGHT, CHILL MY BAD” and “DIDN’T SEE THE LABEL”. I love nothing more than sowing chaos and on that level, today has been a good day. Didn’t have to shoot an AK.

Speaking of sowing chaos, I left the subway quite baffled yesterday. It’s an unfamiliar mood for me while disembarking. Usually I’m exhausted, stoked to be heading home or gutted to be going to work. Last night it was a darker shade of bemused. So I was sitting down waiting for service on my phone. The woman next to me was sitting cross legged, one leg dangling. There was a dude standing in front of her, staring straight ahead. She was listening to something on headphones, reading her phone. The guy had ear pods and sunglasses. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed her leg snaking out, slowly rubbing the inside of his leg. He didn’t react. It was quite peculiar. If they didn’t know one another, that was a) pretty creepy and b) a bold pick up move. If they did know one another, I guess it was fun couple play or something? Thing is, there was no indication whatsoever that they did know each other. It happened again once or twice. My stop was coming up. I didn’t stare, merely watching from my peripheral vision, but they didn’t give one sign that they were acquainted. I got off to meet my girlfriend for dinner and glanced back. Without speaking, he sat on the seat next to her. I still have the same question I did when this all started. Did they know each other? Was this all above board? Or did she slyly pick up a dude with a big risky move? What was going on?

Was she a professional shit stirrer?

Back home there was a brand of boysenberry cider called “Boysencider”. I thought that was funny

My girlfriend’s going to Ottawa for two nights this week, so you know what that means… Boys’ Nights!

When I say Boys’ Nights, I more accurately mean Boy’s Nights. For this Boy, there will be two Nights in which I will have the house to myself and a cat. What will I do with this wild and crazy opportunity for madcap misadventures and silly shenanigans? I’ll probably go to the gym, come home for dinner, play some Magic and sleep with the bed to myself. Maybe I’ll even have a friend over to watch a movie. Call my unimaginitive, just don’t call me late to dinner. Because I’ll be making the dinner, so your plans will fail. Perhaps I’ll even put something in the Instant Pot so there are leftovers for future dinners. My girlfriend could even have some when she comes home. We have a freezer, time isn’t superbly limited on this whole leftover thing.

Are you disappointed at my lack of ambition? Honestly, the concept of a celebratory Boys Night Out seems kind of outdated in my life. Firstly, I don’t give a shit about the gender of who I’m hanging out with. If I enjoy their company, that’s good enough for me. Secondly, it’s not like I’m kept on a leash of sorts. My girlfriend and I live together and bed together, but it’s not like we spend all night waiting desperately for the other to get home. We hang out, but we’re also independent enough with both mutual and separate friends. Our schedules don’t always align and even when we’re home, sometimes we want to do different stuff.

The time worn “ball and chain” mentality has always fucked me off. I’m an independent guy, I don’t know that I’d last long with someone who wanted to exclusively hang out with me and not have their own interests. If I didn’t have a partner who made their own plans, I’d find it pretty tedious. We’d have nothing to talk about when we came back together (or after we “came together”, if you catch my drift). I don’t always even want to hang out with myself, let alone the same person. I need alone time and I need an assortment of friends to soak up on the regular. The only social constant I want is new and refreshing perspectives. It’s hard to get that when you’re perenially hanging out with the same folks.

If someone was enough of a drag to feel like they’d imprisoned you, why the fuck would you have married them in the first place? With a few harrowing exceptions, I’m going off the assumption that if you’re engaged, you’re probably an adult. Why “saddle” yourself with someone you create excuses to escape? That’s fucked up, right? DON’T MARRY THEM. You’re wasting their time and emotional energy until death/divorce does you part. That kind of makes you a piece of shit. Don’t be a piece of shit, don’t marry someone if you’re unsure. Personal preferences aside, it’s arguable whether marriage actually matters in this day and age beyond a symbolic gesture. I’m not knocking that gesture. Hell, I want to get married someday. I also don’t see a point in embarking along that path with a partner until it makes sense to do so? Weddings cost a lot of money and take time to plan. They’re fraught situations where many many strangers have many many opinions. Why get into that beleaguring morass with someone who you compare to a colonial incarceration tool? That seems like more than a mild oversight (if I’m being incredibly charitable) of sorts.

So yeah, big party for me. I might even put on some washing while she’s gone.

Is there any difference between a frozen coke and a slushie?

Today was a weird mélange of oddly timed food and naps, so this is gonna get spacey.

Why does it feel so unnatural to sing “DuckTales, Woo Hoo” instead of “oo-woo-oo?” Is it the intrusive “h” sound? Is it segmenting it into two words? Is it using known onomatopoeia instead of a pure guttural howl? I can’t put my finger on it, but something about that little switch up makes me feel subtly disturbed. Also if you haven’t read it, this is a lovely article about the musician who wrote it.

If you were a folk singer who wrote songs exclusively about excrement would you be called Scat Stevens? If you had an interpretive dance troop who performed exclusively to Cat Stevens songs, would they be called “Express “Yusuf?”

One time I was watching a porn vid. I was almost in a daze looking at the guy’s total lack of rhythm. I couldn’t believe how uncomfortable it made me feel. Something was just off. I scrolled down and every single comment was just complaining about the guy’s rhythm. A bunch were straight up said “guy’s rhythm needs work.” Others praised the atmosphere, shots and his female partner’s performance, but every one of them *also* complained about the guy’s rhythm. It was the most connected I’ve ever felt to total internet strangers and I think about that a lot.

On that note, I’ll never understand people who actually download porn. It’s a frame of mind I can’t fathom. There’s so much of it out there. It’s not like you’re gonna run out. Even if, by some calamity, a favourite video of yours is taken down and you can’t find it anymore… there’s still so much more of it out there. You can find something else that’ll fill your tank. It’s such an expansive world out there, why wouldn’t you be constantly looking for new things to explore? I guess there are those people though, the folks who love “regular” flavoured chips. “Ready salted” in lieu of everything else, y’know?

How can your world be so perfect as it is that it’s not worth giving other things a try? I had this girlfriend once, and I couldn’t understand her. Not on every level of course. She was wonderful, but she had this particular thing with frozen coke. She loved frozen coke at the behest of all other treats. Nothing wrong with that, frozen coke is delicious. She’d get it all the time. I thought it was cute. One time we were walking past a food court kfc and they had a frozen coke machine. There were other flavours. Frozen raspberry too. I asked her if she wanted me to grab her a frozen raspberry so she could try it. She said no, she wanted frozen coke. I said why don’t I get the frozen raspberry so she could try too? She didn’t care. She didn’t want to try it, because she knew she liked frozen coke. If she had a sip of the raspberry that could’ve been a sip of coke, that was a wasted sip. I understood having favourite flavours, but this seemed extravagant. It was such a low cost. What if she had a sip and discovered she loved frozen raspberry even more? Then it could be her new favourite thing? By not even trying it, she had no idea that there could be a new world of appreciation at her fingertips. Was she afraid of that? Perhaps getting attached and sometimes not having it? If then frozen coke would become the flavour that she’d “settle” for? That once she’d reached that high, normal frozen coke would feel like crashing back to earth?

Knowing me, I was probably just being an annoying dork and this was a spite move.

Well you know what [@^&*)(#]? It worked. Consider me spote.

Also maybe put an advisory against breakfast ice cream into the curriculum too. A good way to crash in two hours

In 2015 the Ontario Liberal government did an overhaul of the 1998 sex ed curriculum for children in schools. With the vast technological and societal advancements over the years, it made sense. The new curriculum taught concepts of consent, body positivity and respect for diverse gender/sexual orientations. It was a necessary upgrade. The recently elected Conservative government decided to scrap it because some of their more conservative voter base didn’t like the idea of children calling their own genitals by their real names. I dunno, people are odd. I didn’t agree with this notion, so for the first time in my life I wrote a strongly worded letter to a politician.

Dear Lisa Thompson.

You don’t know me. Well, I hope that’s the case. Not that I don’t want to know you or anything. I’m sure you’re nice. We just don’t have any mutual Facebook friends (I checked), so I’m sending this in the blind hope that you’re a swell person.

As I said, before I started rambling, you don’t know me. It makes sense, I didn’t grow up here. I grew up in the stunning, coastal country of New Zealand. It’s really pretty, you should visit sometime. I’m sure you’d love it. I don’t say this in full confidence of your likes and dislikes, but most people have a terrific time when they visit Aotearoa (that’s its Maori name. I think it sounds lovely). NZ was a really swell place to grow up. There were lots of beaches, our cheese and chocolate were sweet as, and we had summertime Christmas. We also had some choice public schools. As I said, I don’t know you, but from your elected position I’d guess you’d be interested in learning about other education systems. I’ll tell you about some of my experiences, if that’ll help.

When I was seven, I asked my friend if he wanted to hold hands while we walked. “No way” he said “that’s gay”. I’d never heard that word before (“gay”, not “no”. My parents used that one when I asked them for breakfast ice cream), so I asked him what “gay” was. “Gay is bad” he said. I nodded dumbly at his sage wisdom, and absorbed that thought. Easy. Learning is fun, right? I always liked reading as a kid and to this day, words are some of my favourite things. Seven years and I knew what “gay” meant. I was awful proud.

When I was eight, I was quite chubby. One of the few chubby kids in my year. It’s probably why my parents didn’t let me have breakfast ice cream. As an adult I know that my size and shape didn’t make a difference to how cool I was. As a kid, most everyone told me the contrary. Kids are pretty creative and bullies had quite the Rolodex of mean names. I was told by some of the other boys that with my lumpy chest, I’d probably be able to feed babies. I told them that was silly, but without the actual reproductive education, I wasn’t entirely sure myself. To be clear, I have yet to produce milk. A pity. Here in Canada milk comes in bags and after five years of living in Toronto, that still kind of freaks me out. If I made my own, I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

They didn’t just call me names. A bunch of the older boys got physical too. I’d get pushed over or punched because I was different. They’d steal my stuff and throw it around until I cried and they gave it back. I remember one time being late for class because I was trying to run away from these kids who kept tackling me and shoving hay down my pants. I told them to stop, but they were having a good time and my opinion didn’t seem to matter. I guess they were more into Utilitarian than Kantian ethics. The teacher was not impressed that I was late. I didn’t want to tell on the kids by name, ’cause whenever I told the teacher they’d usually get rougher the next time.

When I was eleven, during a sex ed class, the teacher asked if anyone knew what a “wet dream” was. Being the total nerd I was (not sure why I’m talking in past tense there, Lisa), my hand shot up. “Yes Leon?” the teacher asked. I replied. “Is a wet dream where you have a dream that you’ve gone swimming at the beach with friends (a common NZ summer pastime) and you wake up having wet your bed?” The class laughed. This was the wrong answer. I felt pretty embarrassed. We didn’t learn a lot about sex and gender at Intermediate School (ages 11-12 ish). Mostly that we’d smell funky and get hair in weird places over the next few years. We’d get taller too. I couldn’t wait.

In high school, our sex ed got quite a bit better. We learned all about the whole cycle from intercourse to birth. We learned that STDs were now called STIs. We were taught about how contraception could decrease the likelihood of their occurrence. They showed us how to put condoms on fake phallic shaped things. We learned about different relationship styles and gender attraction, that they were all healthy expressions of love.

Now, despite being a pretty smart kid (my dad used to call me a smart arse all the time), I still hadn’t really gotten past what my friend had said when we were seven. “Gay” meant “bad”. We were teenagers in the early 2000s. Boys were still constantly teasing one another for being gay. I don’t think I actually had anything against gay people. My parents had lesbian friends and they were really nice. I babysat their kid once and he was well behaved. Teenage boys in NZ, however, thought being gay was one of the worst things you could be. I remembered what it was like getting bullied as a kid and I didn’t want to get bullied as a teenager. I mostly kept my mouth shut. I got called gay a bunch of times (which I think was the quintessential high school experience in that era), but denied or diverted the conversation. I don’t think I ever was gay as a teenager, primarily because I wasn’t sexually active. I knew I didn’t want to be though. That would be “bad”. Being a teenager was hard enough already.

Once I entered College, I met a girl and had my first kiss, etc. I liked the “etc” a lot too. We didn’t do a lot of it. We were both pretty new to it and didn’t really know how to put words to what we wanted. We mostly didn’t get what we wanted, so eventually we broke up. Don’t worry Lisa, I met other girls and they were all wonderful people. I got better at “etc” and asking for what I wanted. I was in my early twenties and I sure wanted “etc” a lot. I feel like I wanted “etc” more often than my partners did. Sometimes they weren’t in the mood for “etc” when I was and I’d get all mopey. Sometimes I’d moan enough about it that we’d “etc” anyway, even though they weren’t super enthusiastic about it. I didn’t know the concept of “consent” yet, but I did know “no” (remember breakfast ice cream?), so I’d often ask until they said that. I figured that was fair. Clearly, as a twentysomething I still had a lot of growing up to do.

Being a kid these days is quite different from how it was in the 90s. People were still using the term “Information Super Highway” and my parents would get angry that I’d tie up the phone line chatting to friends. Bill Cosby was a venerated family figure. Sexual and gender identities in public for the most part only came in basic flavours. Times have changed a lot. I know one or two high school kids these days who’ve come out to their school friends. Their friends have been really supportive. That sounds a lot better than bullying, right? Many many many of my friends are queer, with a myriad of sexual and gender identities. They’re wonderful people (otherwise I probably wouldn’t call them friends) who bring so much joy to my life. I often feel pretty disgusted at how I shunned alternative sexual identities as a teenager. Imagine, not having these outstanding humans in my life purely because of who they love. Seems like an awful shame.

In the past ten years I’ve learned a lot about consent. I no longer see “etc” as a finite resource. If a partner was not interested in having “etc”, why would I push them into it? There are so many things to do, why try to make them do something they didn’t want? In the age of #metoo, it seems paramount for children to know that it’s not okay to force people into actions that make them uncomfortable. I sure do wish those bullies who shoved hay in my pants knew about consent. I definitely would have told them “no thank you”. Being bullied had severe effects on my emotional well-being that therapy has only really unravelled over the past few years. Imagine the emotional anxiety of not feeling like you have a right to your own bodily autonomy. Kids should know that they’re allowed to speak up when they’re not feeling secure. Other kids should know how to look for ways to support them in these times. The emotional health of children is incredibly important. We can both agree on that, right Lisa?

I don’t have kids, Lisa. But I want them someday. When I have kids, I’d love for them to know that their self-worth is not predicated on how they fit into the expectations of others. That they’re wonderful beings full of potential. For them to learn about their bodies and what makes them tick. I’d hope that they’d treat others with respect and compassion. That other kids would treat them with kindness too. That someday they’d grow up and meet people that’d make their heart sing. That my kids would be caring and considerate. That whoever they loved, they’d be a positive force in their lives. That they’d get to feel the electricity of holding hands for the first time, of kissing and “etc”. That the “etc” would come when they were emotionally ready, nay, excited. Doesn’t that sound wonderful, Lisa?

Imagine if my hypothetical kids and their peers could grow up learning to be nice to everyone, regardless of who they were. Imagine if they understood about how their bodies worked and loved themselves no matter what they looked like. Imagine if they didn’t have to worry about being bullied. I know, kids are cruel and this one seems pretty far-fetched. Still, if we’re imagining here, why not shoot for the moon?

Lisa, I’m gonna try to be the best dad I can be, but I’m only one person. I don’t have the influence to encourage kids across the province to grow into fantastic adults. That’s kind of why I’m writing this letter to you. I know some people aren’t happy with the 2015 revisions to the sex education curriculum, but the curriculum in its current state has the potential to do a lot of good for a lot of kids. You have a chance, in overturning the decision to repeal it, to do a lot of good for a lot of kids. As I said, I don’t know you Lisa. Still, I’m gonna assume you got into politics to help people. Younger Leon sure could’ve used the kind of help you can provide.

Thanks Lisa.

Drake has a kid in Ontario, right? I hope he’s upset too

Recent changes to the Ontario sex ed curriculum are upsetting.

I don’t mean the 2015 update, rather the fact that the new conservative government has decided to roll back to the previous curriculum. Apparently the revised 2015 curriculum was upsetting to some of Doug Ford’s voter base and one of his party promises was to repeal it. The plan at the moment is to revert to the 1998 sex ed curriculum. I could be snarky as hell on this, but I don’t know that it serves much of a point. The world has changed a lot in the 20 years since this past curriculum was implemented. Here’s what the world looked like back then:

  • Bill Cosby was a venerated family friendly icon.
  • We thought the world banking system was going to collapse over a calendar issue.
  • The human population of the world was under six billion
  • The world had never seen a black president.
  • It was illegal for LGBT people to be married in Canada.
  • Apple created the iMac. iPhones were still years away.
  • Netflix was a physical operation.
  • The Global Financial Crisis was still ten years away.

Time changes, right? The world is a lot bigger now (roughly 7.6 billion people) and we’re wildly interconnected through the internet. Obama came and went. Turns out Bill Cosby wasn’t such a nice guy. A lot of people don’t even have TVs. Y2K would almost be old enough to drink by now. Because of smart phones, we can all ignore each other on public transit. The future is now.

Socially, it’s a whole new playing field. LGBT relationships have been accepted so widely that corporations cynically try to cash in on their sexuality every year in Pride. The concepts of gender have strayed beyond their binary trappings and we’re questioning the validity of old patterns. Like, why do single stall bathrooms need to be gendered? We have hashtags now, and #metoo has brought awareness to a ton of people about the necessity of consent. Same sex couples have kids enrolled in public school. While discrimination certainly still exists, the concept of treating someone differently because of their sexual orientation is a relic from ages long past.

The 2015 curriculum sought to address a bunch of these changes and prepare children for the world they live in. Concepts like the importance of consent and respect for people different to oneself were all part of it. Body positivity and self-confidence, challenging stereotypes and understanding one’s own body all found their place into it. The curriculum talked about cyber-bullying and creating healthy boundaries. Makes sense.

Apparently this was a bit too far for some parents. On one hand, I can realise that change is scary. The idea of kids growing up too fast fills some parents with dread. Thing is, whether kids call it their wee wee or penis, it’s not gonna change its form or function. Even if you’re against expanded gender and sexual orientation expressions, pretending they don’t exist isn’t gonna make them go away. Being aware of the existence of sex isn’t gonna make kids suddenly want to do it. Netflix is available at any time now and it’s great. I’m sure most kids would rather watch cartoons than porn.

1998 was a wholly different world. Let’s please not go back to there.