I’m liking Elizabeth Smart. She endured an incredibly horrible kidnapping situation with daily rape and abuse and has survived with grace, the good old fashioned social kind of grace, not the religious BS. She recently spoke against abstinence only education.
Elizabeth Smart, the young woman from Utah who made headlines around the world after she was kidnapped as a teen and held captive for nine months, is speaking out against abstinence-only education.
We atheists knew this but it’s encouraging when a devoutly religious person gets it.
She drew from her own experience while speaking at a recent forum on human trafficking at Johns Hopkins University and said she understood why some kidnapping victims might not run away from their captors after being raped. Smart, 25, said that after her own rape she “felt so dirty and so filthy.”
It’s time to stop blaming victims for not fighting back.
Smart said she grew up in a Mormon family and was taught through abstinence-only education that a person whose virginity was lost before marriage was considered worthless. She spoke to the crowd about a school teacher who urged students against premarital sex and compared women who had sex before their wedding nights to chewing gum.
Smart just became a feminist! No, she finally learned how to acknowledge herself as a woman with rights and dignities.
“I thought, “Oh my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum. You throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.”
This kind of education is revolting and should be made illegal.Do not teach that women are impure or ruined for life if they have sex before marriage. This kind of sex-ed is psychoterrorism.
Smart’s remarks come as some Republican lawmakers, including in Arkansas, Texas and North Dakota, are pushing legislation that would defund comprehensive sex-ed programs for at-risk teens.
Write your friends in these states and tell them to call their legislature. Hell, write them yourself.
In 2002, Smart—then 14-years-old—was abducted at knifepoint from her bedroom in Salt Lake City. She was held captive and raped but was found alive nine months later. Her kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, was sentenced to life behind bars.
Sometimes I wonder why we let these people live. I have always been against capital punishment but I wonder if it isn’t some relic of religion where we value punitive but “merciful” justice over restorative justice. Do life terms really ensure preservation of appreciation towards life? Sometimes I really would just like to get rid of the bastard–life is too dignified for them.
Smart, who got married last year, has since started the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which helps promote awareness about abduction.
I might have to call her grrrrl. It is amazing that she recovered well enough to have any relation with a man. Too many people don’t recover to normalcy or takes years. Taking her anger on the road as advocacy is brilliant. Now if she would just get the connection to patriarchal religion and, oh hell, I’ll take any positive change especially under such situations.
After hearing the incredible Amanda Marcotte at the Women in Secularism conference I bought her book and am enjoying the hell out of it. “It’s a Jungle Out There. The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.” The title should have “…Woman’s Survival Guide” instead of “…Feminist…” Read it. There are several great entries on sex education and the horrors of abstinence only versions. I bought a half dozen books but hers was the one I read first. There are some amazing liberal writers out there.
Jim Newman, bright and well