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September 06, 2006

The cucumber people get a new name

This post discusses sex-ed in a juvenile way. If that bothers you, please click here to go to the next post.

OK, don't say I didn't warn you.

One of last year's big news stories in Montgomery County, Maryland, was a legal fight over the sex-ed curriculum. The curriculum had two features that were challenged:

(1) A section on homosexuality, for which the teachers' guide made religious arguments in favor of homosexuality -- or, more accurately, made religious arguments against religious arguments raised by opponents. The guide also designated which religions were good and which were bad based on their views of homosexuality. This is only slightly an exaggeration. In any event, the county's defense of this guide was laughed out of court by a liberal Clinton judge, who was blistering in his criticism of the guide.

(2) A video instructing students how to put a condom on a cucumber. The idea apparently was that high-school kids, when their sexual urges grew strong . . . would quickly pull out a cucumber out of a shopping bag and put a condom on it. I had a great deal of fun with this notion, referring to the proponents of the video as the "cucumber people." (My posts on the subject are collected here.)

As I've pointed out before, the idea that kids need instruction in how to put a condom on is ludicrous. There's only one way to do it. You don't need an AP class. You don't even need a manual. You certainly don't need an MTV-style video, which is what the sex-ed curriculum was offering. (Unless, perhaps, you're a highly educated parent of a graduate of the Montgomery County Public Schools.)

Just to make this point utterly clear, I just spent three minutes using one of the most rudimentary imaging tools around (MS-Paint) to create a single instructional image, which is all any kid could possibly need. In fact, if you even need my instructional image, you're probably dumber than a post and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a member of the opposite sex, ever. Please note: My crude drawing should be considered NSFW, although it's so idiotic-looking that the feminist in the next cubicle over from you will have no idea what it is. Nevertheless, better safe than sorry. Label it NSFW. And, please, don't click on the link if you're easily offended. (Not that my readers could possibly be easily offended if they're back here at Pillage Idiot.) OK, here's my instruction sheet.

Phew, that was three minutes of my life I'll never have back!

Now, why am I telling you this? It's old news, isn't it? Well, not entirely.

Today's Rockville Gazette, which I'm sure all of you read faithfully, reports that the warring factions have agreed on a new video instructing kids how to put on a condom.

The old video featured what some called an "MTV style," with slick graphics, quick edits and up-tempo music. It featured a young woman discussing how to buy condoms, as well as how condoms can reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases or becoming pregnant. She also used a cucumber to demonstrate the proper way of putting on a condom. Critics said the video did not emphasize abstinence enough and seemed to condone sexual activity among teens.

The new video features white text on a blue, swirling computer-generated background. A male narrator, who is never seen, describes how to examine, put on and remove and discard a condom. The person performing the demonstration is not seen other than his hands.

The video stresses abstinence.

"Abstinence from sex is the only way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections," is one of the first and last messages that students see and hear.
The entire idea behind the new video is that it's boring, as everyone involved has agreed. But perhaps not too boring....
"It’s almost like it's intentionally boring," [Jim] Kennedy said in an interview Friday. But that does not mean it will put students to sleep. "They're putting a condom over a fake penis," he said. "They're going to watch that."
So, you see, we now have a new name for the "cucumber people." We'll simply call them the "fake-penis people." Or, perhaps, the "people who think your kids are dumber than a post."

UPDATE (9/12): Even the Washington Post has to get in on this story. Post angle: Groups of the stupid and unwashed have "unexpected[ly]" endorsed a condom instructional video.