• Sharin Hussain

Censorship in the Asian Community

Asian cultures tend to hide from taboo subjects such as sex and period that are often not to be talked about especially between parent and child. However, societal differences prove that there is a lack of educating teenagers on these themes. The fact that parents allow their kids to learn about these subjects at school isn’t enough. How is it that we go into school to learn about biology and healthcare and yet it is such a taboo to be discussed at home? How are we supposed to learn, grow and understand what is normal when we can’t even discuss it within the four walls we live in?

Often enough, culture and religion can clash which perhaps plays a part in what is being communicated. In Islam, Muslim women aren’t able to pray or fast when they are on their period and in my household, it’s been a constant undercover job that myself and my mum have been doing at home surrounded by four boys. I dislike this sort of lifestyle of constantly having to lie about myself and what I’m going through on a monthly basis just to ‘protect’ men from knowing what they are already aware of.

When women don’t fast during Ramadan, it is a constant question of being asked ‘why’ by men who should remember that the act of fasting is between the faster and Allah and it isn’t any business for them to ask. The menstrual cycle isn’t something to be ashamed of, it is a part of life and what teenage boys need to understand. They can often shame a girl who bleeds in class, most probably not aware of what’s happening and they laugh and ridicule her. This is something that parents need to educate on their boys to stop them from thinking that bullying a young girl on this is ok.

There’s a blurred line between the discussion of sex and marriage. Marriage can be talked about amongst parents and their adolescent however what marriage will implement is the act of sex or love making which is a clear no-zone for both the parent and adolescent. However, that doesn’t mean that teenagers don’t have any questions regarding sex. They are able to discuss marriage without actually having to talk about sex and yet somehow, they are comfortable mentioning children.

I find it so unusual that Asian parents are so quick to want their kids to get married without preparing them beforehand. It should really be discussed when they are going through puberty but parents want to put a cloak over these taboo topics expecting their kids to be on their best behaviour and think that if they aren’t aware, they won’t be likely to pursue sex. However, the education system has helped many teenagers understand the basics of what sex is which is a lot more than what can be said about parents.

I know many people will agree that the birds and the bees isn’t exactly something you want to discuss with your parents however if your parents aren’t being forward with you about it then it prevents discussing other issues surrounding the topic such as consent.

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