Why does YPSL support sexual liberation?
By: The Young People's Socialist League
Why Does YPSL Support Sexual Liberation?
We're human. We're sexual beings. And that doesn't change just because we haven't reached some mystic age - 16 or 18 or 21 or whatever. It doesn't change because our lovers may be older. And it doesn't change because we might love someone of the same sex. Sex is one of the most pleasurable forms of recreation available, no matter what turns you on. In our fight for liberation we refuse to overlook one of our most basic rights - the right to have sex for pleasure at whatever age we want and with any consenting partners we want.
Sexuality and sexual expression are a fundamental part of personal identity, and even more so as adolescents when we're starting to address sexual feelings in an active way. But that doesn't stop our parents and teachers, legislators and religious leaders, from trying to limit our lives to fit their models of what we "should" be like. Instead, our growth scares them and encourages them to try to control us. Self-expression is something that we aren't allowed, because self-expression, in the family as well as in society, undermines the power of parental authority figures. Self-expression endangers the status quo, and adults, just like any other boss, can't stand the idea of equality where it means losing control over others.
So they impose their laws and their rules on our lives - laws and rules they wouldn't even think of obeying themselves. They treat sex like they do drugs - OK for themselves, but not for us. The lawmakers can drink alcohol and smoke tobacco, but we can't. Parents and teachers can fuck and make love, but we're not allowed. They can buy magazines and movies showing people having sex; we're not even allowed to see them. Laws prohibiting abortion and requiring parental consent, as well as efforts to restrict the availability of birth control, only have one purpose: to try to discourage youth from having sex and to punish those who do.
And with sex, like drugs, they tell us to just say "no." Well, YPSL agrees, sort of; just say "no" to them and anyone else who wants to control you. Until we control our bodies, we can't control our lives.
Do What You Want ... Responsibly
We have the right to have sex if we want to. However, sex does not come without responsibility. It's true that while sex is fun, there is also some risk - unwanted pregnancy, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. Some parents and other adult authority figures want us to believe that because of the risks, we shouldn't have sex at all. In fact, they try to scare us by exaggerating these risks and then making it difficult or even impossible for us to get birth control or abortions. What do they care about more - our welfare or their power over our lives?
Sexual liberation, like any liberation, means having more control over your life. It also means being responsible for the actions that come from controlling your life. And like any other true liberation, it's something that is ultimately done by yourself. Many states outlaw various sexual acts, so your sexual liberation may depend on how much you're willing to break the law. No law can free you if you want to be a slave, and no law can hold you down if you resist hard enough. Controlling your sexuality means you, not your parents or the government, decide when, why, and who to have sex with, or not to have sex at all. It means that if you want to use birth control, no one is going to tell you that you're "too young" to have it. It means that you can live your sexual fantasies.
Sex is Not Rape
We don't want to sound like your parents or teachers or anything, but it's important to keep some other stuff in mind. Sex might be fun for you, but if you're with someone else, her or his feelings are just as important.
You can't free yourself while enslaving others. All sex must be consensual - everyone involved must agree to everything that is done. This is especially true in a society that glorifies strong men dominating and even subjugating weak women. No means no, point blank. If there is any question about whether anyone involved - and there's nothing wrong with more than two people - wants to do something. The answer is no. Talk about it, think about it. Don't force it.
And just as you don't want people interfering in your personal, sexual life, we have to extend that same respect to others. Diversity is what makes us humans; respect for diversity makes us human. Some people may not want to have sex, and that's fine; it's their life, not yours. There is also a lot of hatred of gays, lesbians and bisexuals. If you're straight, you probably don't want to have sex with someone of the same sex. Just as it wouldn't be right to force you to, it's equally wrong to harass or criticize someone who wants to.
What if you're unsure of who you are? Lots of kids, especially in their teens but sometimes for a long time afterwards, aren't sure if they're gay/lesbian or straight or bisexual. Explore whatever you feel comfortable with and don't worry about taking your time to find out what you want. Our society is preoccupied with sticking a label on everyone and everything, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take the time to decide for yourself.
Education, Contraception, Abortion
An essential component to the concept and practice of sexual liberation is free access to abortion for those who choose it. Women of all ages must be able to control their reproductive lives; parental consent laws violate our rights and threaten our lives.
source: 'Why Does YPSL Support Sexual Liberation?'; www.freespeechtube.org/v/11bn; The Young People's Socialist League (YPSL) is the official youth arm of the Socialist Party USA. The group comprises party members under the age of 30; No date on brochure; The YPSL was founded: October 1989 (dissolved: November 2010)