All she said was, “Shannon, that’s something we do in private.” I’m guessing my self-love shame started around the same time church entered my life. The negative messages I received about masturbation were packed with shame and followed me into adulthood.
So you’ll understand my delight when one of the books I bought to read with Emma last summer specifically addresses masturbation with encouragement. At eleven years old she’s learning that touching herself is normal and healthy. I’m giddy to be breaking shame cycles, you guys. GID. DY.
My heart cheered when, during her G Day talk, my friend and presenter, Marnie Goldenberg (The Sexplainer) told the audience of 250 girls ages 10-12 that masturbating is a-ok. Because, I mean, it’s one thing to read it in a book, but it’s quite another for Emma to hear it from someone she’s decided is super cool and worth listening to.
Marnie’s talk was a list of ten things she wishes she’d know growing up. Number three on the list was: People masturbate. People with vulvas masturbate. (First on her list was about shedding light on the misuse of the word vagina. “Calling your vulva your vagina is like referring to your entire face as the mouth.” BEST.)
Marnie had the girls squealing and squirming, but they heard her. They heard her and they heard the other nine speakers with messages of sisterhood, celebration and power. And although those girls left the G Day bubble to face a world that continues to shame, dismiss, and objectify their existence, seeds were planted. Seeds that will hopefully bloom in to full-sized ninja warriors ready to challenge what I grew up accepting as Truth.
I’m thankful to be part of a positive, informed community encouraging my Emma to move through the world with bold kindness and tenacious worth.
Thank you Marnie. Thank you G Day.
G Day for Girls was conceived and executed by Madeleine Shaw (and her devoted groupies) of LunaPads fame. She set out to inspire, celebrate and empower our coming-of-age treasures. I watched those intentions punch through the sky on April 28th as a mama and volunteer.
Watch for future G Day events. You want the young girls in your life to be part of this. I promise.