Submitted by megan on Sat, 09/08/2007 - 11:25
The workshop for youth went pretty well, I think. The facilitator and I had a bit of a debrief after, and discussed which parts seemed to hit home and which parts seemed to leave the group cold.
They were not a tough crowd at all. Either I was just a bitch when I was sixteen (highly likely) or I have distorted memories of how tough I was (highly likely). This group was nice. Some of them paid more attention than others, but by and large? I've talked to groups of adults - who paid for the privilege to have me natter at them - that as a whole were far less engaged than this group.
I started out by asking them for words about sexuality. They were quiet at first, but then when I didn't flinch when they said things like fingering or blow jobs, they started talking faster than I could write. It was mostly action words and body parts, pretty run of the mill stuff, until, of course, someone whipped out the dirty sanchez.
At this point, I was on my haunches scribbling at the bottom of the flip chart, my hand a blur and my writing illegible. My hand stopped moving, I swivelled around.
"I am not writing that down," I said. "The dirty sanchez is ridiculous."
When I was thinking about it later, I wished I'd said "The dirty sanchez is bullshit. It's racist - 'authentic looking mexican moustache'? Come the fuck on."
I looked it up on urbandictionary.com and was horrified at what else it was. Not only is it totally racist, it is violently sexist. Almost all of the user-posted definitions mention specifically that it's done to a woman, and the example sentences are so full of vicious vitriol they made my stomach turn.
But the group persisted with the term, and I'm sure the apparent cultural fascination with this term means something, so I caved and wrote it down.
"Angel kisses!" someone yelled next.
Wha? Good lord. When did I get so out of touch? I swivelled again.
"Okay, I have never heard of that one. What gives?"
"Oh, man, it's so gross. You don't even wanna know."
Ah, but I did. So I looked it up. Apparently, the thing that is so gross that the youth couldn't talk about it, sadly, involves cunnilingus and menstruation.
I wish, now, I'd asked them what they thought a dirty sanchez was. Would that have been too gross for me to want to know?
Thanks everyone, for all your comments about what you wished you'd known. Though I faithfully took them along, I didn't end up using them after all. They just felt out of place. Maybe I'll figure out a better way to weave them in next year.