Skip to main content
Opinion

Outrageous GOP bill bans talk of menstruation in schools

Mar 30, 2023

Share

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam

Share

A nationwide poll revealed that about 71% of Americans say schools aren’t giving children an honest view of history. And now there’s a new debate about what’s being taught in schools. A controversial bill sponsored by Republican Florida state Representative Stan McClain prevents teachers from teaching children below the sixth grade about menstruation and other sex education topics. This bill has caused extensive backlash because, according to the Cleveland Clinic, girls in the U.S. can get their first period as young as nine years old (typically third or fourth grade) and as late as 15 years old.

Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid explains why girls in the lower grades deserve to learn more about their bodies.

The fact that the need to legislate about the age at which girls can learn about the menstrual cycle is even on the table, even being discussed, when there are slightly more important issues at hand, should tell us everything. It’s not about periods. It’s not about the children. It’s about creating a culture war in order to secure and maintain power. See, when you’re not doing a great job governing, say, when you’re not actually creating actual policies that actually improve the lives of Americans, how do you keep people’s attention? You create a culture of fear. And history has shown us that a moral panic is an excellent way to achieve this. 

These men do not care about menstruation. I very much doubt that most of them could even locate the basic parts of a human vagina with a map. They’re drumming up these bizarre morality wars in order to distract from the fact that increasingly, Americans, you know, we’re waking up to just how much of a cesspool the political system is. 

And they’re saying, “Look what will happen if you don’t keep me in charge. Your children will all be gay and there’ll be shouting from the rooftops about CRT and menstruation.” They’re trying to take all of our eyes off of what’s really going on. You know what’s really going on? They’re just looking out for themselves.

You know, there’s not much going on in the news cycle these days. Washington’s cool, everyone’s getting along. No former presidents are trying to sow the seeds of national disaster. We’re good. So, today, let’s talk about periods, and if any Republican representatives are listening — period, period, period, period period period, menstruation. I know, that was scary. You’ll be okay. 

Florida state Rep. Stan McClain (R) recently proposed a bill that would require that sexual health classes only be taught in grades 6 through 12. It would require teachers to get prior approval for materials used in these classes and it would require schools to teach a specific definition of sex and reproductive roles. If passed, and well, because its Governor Ron DeSantis, that is a very likely thing, the bill will join Florida’s other controversial bills — the “Don’t Say Gay” law and the “Stop Woke Act” — that restrict how educators can inform their students about things like history and gender. 

While the bill is nominally about sex education, what it’s really about is touting conservative values with regards to sex and gender. For example, according to the bill, sex is either female or male “based on the organization of the body of such person for a specific reproductive role.”

It also prevents teachers from discussing any topics having to do with sexual health to students younger than sixth grade, including menstrual cycles. And if you’re wondering why this is a problem, well, little girls do sometimes begin menstruating before sixth grade. It’s not that uncommon. It’s also not that uncommon for it to happen for the first time at school, and making this very natural, very human, very miraculous process, a taboo subject for the girls who are experiencing it, I mean, what? Why are we legislating this? Why do these old white men care so deeply about the protection of our youngest minds from the devastation that can be reached by educating them about their bodies? 

They don’t. The fact that the need to legislate about the age at which girls can learn about the menstrual cycle is even on the table, even being discussed, when there are slightly more important issues at hand, should tell us everything. It’s not about periods. It’s not about the children. It’s about creating a culture war in order to secure and maintain power. See, when you’re not doing a great job governing, say, when you’re not actually creating actual policies that actually improve the lives of Americans, how do you keep people’s attention? You create a culture of fear. And history has shown us that a moral panic is an excellent way to achieve this. 

These men do not care about menstruation. I very much doubt that most of them could even locate the basic parts of a human vagina with a map. They’re drumming up these bizarre morality wars in order to distract from the fact that increasingly, Americans, you know, we’re waking up to just how much of a cesspool the political system is. 

And they’re saying, look what will happen if you don’t keep me in charge. Your children will all be gay and there’ll be shouting from the rooftops about CRT and menstruation. They’re trying to take all of our eyes off of what’s really going on. You know what’s really going on? They’re just looking out for themselves.

 

More from Jordan Reid