Though, to be fair, he is quoted by the Irish Times as to having “no objection in principle" to consent classes.
I really respected her and trusted her.
There was a weekly slot in the senior cycle devoted to what is now known as SPHE, but at no point in the 3 years did we ever talk about sex.
60 of us would attend retreat, and the other 60 would attend "response".
This thread is about the latter.
There was no wrong questions, they'd tell us. This was a relaxing and fun day for us, they said.
And what they taught me stuck with me, even long after I discovered it was untrue.
The first I learnt about contraception was from response. And I learnt from it was it didn't work.
Condoms - they said - were 99% effective 50% of the time.
The pill caused a vast range of diseases.
And they were the only 2 forms of contraception.
And so we believed them.
Even though I know what they said was a misrepresentation of facts, I'm still scared of condoms today.
With a conspiratorial glint in their eyes and hushed voices they told us about girls they had known or taught who'd become pregnant from being fingered at a disco or sitting in a jacuzzi.
A much repeated maxim in the run up to the referendum, but it was presented to us as something we had managed to come up with all by ourselves!
Together we then wrote out the pros and cons.
Pros: maybe we like the boy!
Cons: we will have sex and get pregnant.
Show of hands, girls! Who is going to go upstairs and have sex!
[no hands raised]
Our cool facilitators hadn't just taught girls, they'd taught boys too! And the boys had told them EVERYTHING.
Boy's don't like naked bodies. And breasts aren't their favourite parts of our bodies.
They like our hands. Which are small and dainty.
They'd asked boys: would you stay with a girl if she wouldn't have sex?
The boys huddled together to discuss this then came back with the unified response: yes.
What about if they do have sex with you?
Yes. "Until something better comes round"
By far the most damaging aspect of their education was on the subject of consent.
We were told flatly:
if you consent to one act, you consent to them all.
if you consent once, you consent always.
When I was raped at 23 I kept reminding myself: you gave him oral sex, you consented to everything.
At the end of the day, we could write any questions we were too embarressed to ask out loud and then the facilitaors would answer them.
Someone asked about abortion.
"Nobody here will ever have an abortion, so we don't need to talk about it"
Even with evidence to the contrary, I still believe in some of them.
Consent is not just something the boys and men of this country need. It is not something which is split on gender or sex.
I simply didn't know I was allowed to say no.
It is so deeply ingrained in me, that I will never lose the shame and the guilt of my own rapes.
It is too late for me, but it is not for future generations of young girls and boys of this country.
They will not cause those who have their heart set on abstinence to forsake it, or those deadset on having sex to not.
There is no possible argument in the world to reject their implementation.