As a parent, I keep thanking my lawmakers for the stands they are taking against any materials that may be “harmful to minors.” Here in Georgia, Senator Jason Anavitarte proposed Senate Bill 226, a bill that would protect my children from encountering anything that may be deemed “harmful to minors.” I wish, when I as a kid growing up in Louisiana back in the 1980s and 1990s I had laws like this to protect me from some of the smut we had to read while I was in school.
Sen. Anavitarte’s bill keeps my children safe from encountering any “description of representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse,” and I am thankful for that. He is fighting to make sure that they don’t encounter anything at school that would somehow be “patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors,” and if they do encounter it, he provides me with a well-organized plan to bring a complaint against the educators who seek to fill my children’s heads with such puerile filth.
I vividly recall during my childhood years in school encountering stories with “sexual conduct” and “sexual excitement” that made me feel uneasy as I squirmed in my chair, afraid to speak up and tell my teacher or parents about my uneasiness. My teacher taught us things that went against the “prevailing standards” of the community, but I did not have the courage to challenge my teacher because I feared the repercussions if I spoke out.
There are two stories that I explicitly remember. Sadly, I don’t recall the titles or the characters’ names, but the events that occurred in the stories left a lasting impression on me, and I felt extremely uncomfortable as we sat in a circle discussing them with my teacher, Mrs. Richland.
One story detailed the life of a man who had three sons. His oldest son married a woman, and the son died before the couple bore any children. So, the woman became a widow. In order to keep the family line going, the father had his second son marry the woman. Again, though, the husband died before they bore any children. As such, the woman was left a widow again. The father’s youngest son was too young to marry the woman, but the father told his twice-daughter-in-law to wait till the youngest son got old enough to marry her and then he would marry her, in hopes of producing a son and continuing the family lineage. The woman ten went to her father’s house to live as she waited for the man’s youngest son to come of age.
Years later, the man lost his wife, and he travelled to the woman’s city. Someone told her that he was coming, she dressed up as a prostitute and positioned herself in a place where the man would see her. When the man saw her, he solicited her, telling her he would pay her for sex. During the encounter with her father-in-law, the woman became pregnant with twins.
Three months later, the men of the town approached the man and told him his daughter-in-law dressed as a prostitute and got pregnant. The man’s response was to burn her alive. However, the woman proves that he was the one who solicited her and the man spares her life. There is no indication they married because the story says the man did not have any more intimate relations with her after the news.
This story struck me to the core as a child. How could a woman be so manipulative, for one, and how could sex play such a role in her deceptiveness? She prostituted herself, seducing her father-in-law with her wily ways, and she didn’t even marry him. I don’t want my kids reading about this type of behavior. It goes against the “prevailing beliefs” against incest and my personal Christian beliefs in not lying or deceiving and saving sex for marriage. If my parents knew Mrs. Richland taught me this story, I’m sure they would’ve complained. Thankfully, SB 226 protects my children and provides me with the opportunity to, if my children ever encounter this story in the classroom, speak up for the rights of my children so they don’t have to encounter such sinful filth.
The other story I remember dealt with a woman whose husband died and she chose to live with her mother-in-law. The woman’s mother-in-law chooses to go back to her hometown, and the woman follows her. Once they arrive in the town, the woman begins to work for a farmer in the fields so she can make money to support the two of them. The mother-in-law tells the woman to go, at night, when the farmer is sleeping, and lie down with him. The man eats and drinks that night, eventually passing out. The woman comes in, uncovers him, and startles him awake. Essentially, she has sex with him and he wakes up. She becomes pregnant from the encounter, and they do get married.
Like the first story, the woman manipulates the man, this time without his knowledge, essentially raping him because he does not give his consent. As well, they continue their relationship, having sex before marriage. I do not want my children reading about things like this because I do not want them exposed to such “sexual conduct” that condones such actions as pleasure or the use of sex as a selfish weapon to achieve an outcome that one desires.
I had to sit through these stories in Mrs. Richland’s class, and these are not lessons I want my children to learn. I want them to read the Bible and grow up knowing that sex should not excite them. It should follow the Biblical precepts set forward in God’s holy scriptures, and any deviation from that should not be present within our schools.
Sen. Anavitarte’s bill makes sure that if my children ever encounter something like this during their educational journey they can speak up and fight back against materials that are ostensibly “harmful to minors.”