Desde Chile: Don’t Mess with My Rights!

By Andres Kogan Valderamma

HAVANA TIMES – Schools were recently delivered an updated guide called “Guidelines for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons in Chile’s educational system,” and it’s sparked a heated controversy and offensive by the country’s most conservative groups, who have even ripped into the Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Avila, for allegedly wanting to impose his sexual orientation on everybody else, having even filed a “constitutional accusation” against him.

Thus, terms such as gender ideology, hypersexualization of children, Leftist indoctrination, grooming and normalizing pedophilia, will be freely used by these far-right groups who oppose any attempt to establish a comprehensive sex education, under the pretext that all the Government wants to do is stir confusion and fear among the population, launching a crusade that continues to deny their basic rights.

I’m talking about this after results from the First National Survery on Sex abuse and Childhood Adversity came in, carried out by CUIDA UC and the Fundación para la Confianza (Trust Foundation), which shows us that one out of five people say they have been victims of abuse when they were minors, 23% of this abuse has come from within the family unit, which proves just how serious the problem is and how necessary it is to establish a comprehensive sexuality education from a young age.

This goes hand-in-hand with the serious exclusion, abuse, bullying and discrimination people who have had a different gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation to the status-quo, have suffered for decades, and a study by the It Gets Better Foundation reveals that 70.3% of LGBTIQ+ students reported feeling unsafe because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and 29.7% said they felt intimidated.

However, the country’s most conservative groups, and other supposedly liberal groups, are ignoring this reality and human suffering, putting their ideology above the care and wellbeing of children and youth, establishing a narrative that denies human diversity and proves just how important it is to work with comprehensive sexuality education from a young age.

Consequently, the clumsy misinformation campaign that organizations such as “Con mis hijos no te metas” (Don’t mess with my children) are leading, saying that comprehensive sexuality education in schools would violate parents’ preferential right to educate their children, ignores different international conventions about childhood protection, and their basic rights.

The Children’s Ombudsman raises this issue, speaking out on its social media profiles (5) about this new controversy sparked by conservative groups, saying that children and youth have the right to receive comprehensive sex education, depending on their age and maturity, as it is a consecrated right in the Law of Safeguards and Comprehensive Protection of Children and Youth (Law 21.430).

That said, the fact these far-right groups against a comprehensive sex education are saying that parents’ preferential right isn’t being respected is completely malicious because all of these documents were written up by institutions, within national and international legal frameworks, in conversation with school communities.  

As a result, it seems like they don’t care about the harm done to thousands of transgender children and youth with different sexual orientations to the status quo, establishing an absurd, extremist and perverse idea that comprehensive sexuality education is imposing a particular agenda on everyone else, when it has been the exact opposite historically-speaking.  

It also seems they are forgetting the inadequate and non-existent sex education we had growing up, especially those of us over 30, when families nor the schools we were in ever touched upon this subject, which led to boys learning with pornography, and reproducing the worst of sexism and violence against women.

It would have done us men a lot of good to have been taught to respect different genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, and to reflect upon the mandates of men and women that have been imposed on us, because we would be a lot more free and happy, and we wouldn’t have fallen into cruel practices against others who are different to us, who deserve to be treated properly with dignity and respect like every other human being.

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