H: Sies! How can you eat with your hands after that…?
N. That’s disgusting really!
From tapping away on my laptop, I caught on this little conversation from the girls. H has just turned 15 and N is 14 both being my niece and daughter respectively. Not wanting to miss out on this conversation, I then asked, “What was is so disgusting?
“Masturbation” they chorused, making me raise my eyebrows a little, thinking, wow! Is this really high school playground talk? Not wanting to be cut out from future discussions, I decided not to be condemning but subtly ask questions so that I can get the full story,
I then said “But your hands get to touch other disgusting stuff one way or the other”
“Oh Ma se Ngah” as they affectionately call me, “that is really disgusting now” rolling their eyes at me.
“I am just saying” I said defensively and l laughed it off returning to my laptop but still having all sorts of questions running through my head, trying to find something useful to advise. I also wasn’t sure what to say exactly as it seems like they actually know more about sex than I do.
As if reading my mind and to calm me down, I think my eyes where popping, they told me that in their clique they had vowed not to masturbate because it just feels dirty. H seems to be one who is driving this crusade. N doesn’t seem to be bothered much about this, scary!!!
N then went on to tell me because they had made that decision, they were considered uncool and that It was hard for them to keep to their morals at the expense of being labelled uncool. Thankfully N will stand for what she believes and is not easily moved by what other people think or say about her.
Going back to the playground, I asked if this is what they talk about in school, what about Literature, Maths or History? Again the eyes roll and they burst into giggles. Sex is talked about everywhere, the smartphone being the biggest culprit because you cannot only talk about it but also visualize it, on the bus, in class, on the field, anyway. They proceed to tell me that talking was just the tip of an iceberg.
Actually sex happens at school they said as if they were talking about a soccer match. In their school, there is a place at their school called top field. Because their school is built on a steep incline, the teachers hardly go there, so it has become a sex hotspot for the high school students. Even on the field one might see a boy fingering a girl or vice versa in plain sight. Nobody dares tell on for fear of bullying. Another place is the toilets that are not frequently used, the other students will keep watch at the door and block other users from entering while the couple (s) gets busy. No wonder teenage pregnancy is high, I think to myself as I am listening. What about the risk of HIV/AIDS infection? I subconsciously begin to shake my head, not only am shocked but heartbroken at the moral degradation.
This is chilling to the bone as most of these children don’t realize how hard their parents are struggling to get them to school. Most of the mothers are domestic workers, who earn just over the minimum wage and heavily in debt from chain stores and loan sharks. They literally live from one loan to another. Don’t this children feel for their mothers who usually are the main breadwinners? Do the parents have an idea that their children are going to school to have sex? I am almost in tears thinking of deadbeat mothers I see on the businesses, who are too happy singing and praying, excited to be going to work to provide for their families.
The girls tell me that Friday is the best day for most of the children. They run to catch the earliest bus at 13:30 so that they can rush home to rest. For sure, I agree that after a harrowing week of early rising to catch a bus at 05:30 they need to rest. The girls burst into laughter, shaking their heads at my ignorance. Then the girls then drop a bombshell, eyes still rolling as if to tell me I am so clueless. The children run home to rest so that they can be fresh and ready for the street bash in the evening which can last through to the next morning.
“What is a street bash” I ask, getting ready for another shocking revelation and it does rise to the occasion. A street bash is when these schoolchildren go to shebeen (an illicit drinking place) to hang out on weekends. Depending on the popularity and vibe it can draw all sorts of people from all works of life. The schoolgirls follow the more affluent shebeens, so that they can get a chance to score rich guys with fancy cars.
While the bash is going on, any guy can say to a girl “Please can you come with me to fetch my jacket from wherever?”. This is the invitation for a quickie behind a car or wall or wherever they decide to do it. So for as long as that girl is there she can get as many invitations and chose how many she takes till morning. Swingers at 14 or 15 with some even as young as 12. What is the world coming too?
“What do their parents say?” now I am in complete shock, I have put everything aside to pay full attention and try to understand. Some parents give their children a hiding, other parents don’t care enough to say anything. Maybe they have given up on their own kids.
What has happened to us, have we lost it somewhere, and if so where did we miss it? Are we indeed raising a sex crazed generation? By now I am gob smacked and can only thank God that my girls are still maintaining their innocence when they are bombarded by sex in various forms and degrees and yet maintain their sanity and morality.