I remember being a freshman in high school and just soaking up all of the knowledge that was given to me. History, Science, Religion, Math…well maybe not Math. However, being so impressionable and receiving said knowledge was not always a benefit to me personally.
I went to a Catholic school. My parents spent a great deal of money to afford the best for both me and my sister. Unfortunately, they could not be in the classes with us.
I still remember sitting in my freshman religion class and a priest coming in to separate the guys and girls. I have no idea what the guys were lectured on, but the girls were told many things that would later impact how I viewed dating and sex.
“Who do you think should pay when you go on a date?” my religion teacher asked.
Many girls said, “The guy of course!”
However, I was the outcast. The one who always got picked on for my “strange” ideas. I said, “I would pay for some dates and then have him pay for others.”
“That’s so stupid!” “Why would YOU pay when HE can pay for everything?” “That makes no sense.” All the girls would say in unison. I even remember meeting back up with the boys and the girls telling them what I said. Everyone started making fun of me for it.
That wasn’t the only thing we were lectured about though. The other was masturbating.
“It’s sinful to masturbate. Sex should be between a man and a woman to procreate. You should never just pleasure yourself for the fun of it.”
I wanted to say, “But why?” Unfortunately, my previous response only made me nervous to say anything else ever again in that class.
There are so many things wrong with that teacher’s sentence. I see that now, but at the time I soaked it all in, completely unaware of the impact their teachings would have on me later in life. I was terrified to masturbate. I thought it was wrong. When I tried it once, I literally prayed to God, said that I was sorry and admitted to him that I was dirty and a bad person for doing it. I cried and cried afterwards, saying through the sobs and into my pillow, “What’s wrong with me!?” Even talking about it now makes my whole body tense up. Something inside of me just screams it’s wrong.
It’s not right when a 15 year old girl is in her room crying over something like this, and being told that boys should pay for all of our dates because that shows they respect you. I wish I could go back in time and stand up to everyone. I wish that 15 year old girl hadn’t felt so lost and alone. I wish I knew what I knew now.