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Opinie # 19

Listen to the Children

But Bush stumbles over sexual openness

A slogan often to be heard in the USA: "Listen to the children!".
Do they do that, there? No. 
Unless a child might speak, after hours-long interrogation, about sexual abuse.
Politicians use the slogan, but do not listen to children.
Politicians stumble over sexual openness.

At the UN's Children's top, 400 children from all over the world could speak.

UN's Childrens' Top Agrees About Action Plan

New York - The heads and prime ministers have, at the end, agreed about a new binding action plan.

The compromise was accepted with applause by all 189 participating states.

On the very last moment could be prevented that the new action plan should require a new vote.

The stumbling block were the contraceptives and abortion for minors.

The action plan involves among others the decrease of child morality, better access to education, and protection if children against exploitation and war.

The action plan, A World Suitable For Children, has a term of ten years.

Dutch newspaper, 
13 May 2002

One of them was Willemijn Aerdts (19) from Zwolle, the Netherlands. She's got a kiss from Nelson Mandela.

In her speech, Willemijn has emphasized a good sex education. 

"But then I heard president Bush say that youths in the USA don't have sex. You may ask if that man really knows what's happening in the world.
In the USA, there are a very great number of teenage mothers. In what way 'no sex'?"

 The USA is the only state that has not signed the Universal Declaration of Children's Rights. [...]

"Do you know what Bush wishes to add to that Declaration? That every family should consist of a father, a mother, and children. 
I may ask if he really ignores reality."

Dutch newspaper, 
18 May 2002

Children's Rights

The USA and Somalia are the only states in the world that have not signed the Declaration of Children's Rights. This Declaration gives children civil rights and special rights to protection, education and medical care.

According to the USA, the Declaration is contrary to family values and the rights of parents.

The USA protest against the statements that forbid capital and life punishment for minors, and against the article about the right to health education, which may imply also sex education.

Washington pleas for abstinence for children, instead of sex education.

Islamite states which are also against sex education yet ratified the Declaration because the Declaration does not explicitly mention this.

Dutch newspaper 
 6 July 2002

Willemijn from the Netherlands could freely speak about sex education, abortion, and teenage mothers. Students of the same age, who in the state of New York sat for their examination in English, got only censored texts. Each reference to race, religion, sex, nudity, alcohol or other drugs was removed from the original texts - even from a speech of UN Secretary Kofi Annan. One does not dare to confront 19-year-olds with a sentence from a book fragment "She was lesbian". Bad luck for whoever is lesbian. No support for her.

What about the younger children, who are viewed there as 'innocent' - read: a-sexual?

"Already soon after our arrival in that country, nice mothers explained us: our three-years-old daughter had to wear a bra. We had thought that the sun, the see and the sand in California were so nice that wearing nothing would be enough.

"Many people worry about chastity. For example, the man of the photo shop in Washington. He phoned us and pressingly asked us to come to his shop. He wouldn't say why.
His worry appeared to be some nude summer photos of our daughter and two girl friends of her. They were three years old and swung in our garden. 

The man friendly explained that he had not printed the photos, and that he, strictly spoken, was obligated to report the case to the federal police."
(Marc Chavannes, America: Chast from before the Fall, Translated from NRC, 8 June 2002)

It may go worse. An eight-year-old girl in Vermont was accused of 'sexual harassment' because she had written a note to a class mate asking him if he would be her boyfriend. 
Chapter 3 of Judith Levine's book, Harmful to Minors, The perils of protecting children from sex, mentions a lot of these cases. The example above is on page 49. [See the 'Read More' page]

Parents have not many rights in the USA. Such a nude photo may imply that your children are taken away by the state. A two-year-old toddler who, for a while, walked nude in the garden, was accused of exhibitionism. The child was taken away from the parents. Parents have no rights and no power. The power is in the hands of the right-wing conservative Christian groups who want to behold their power.

The USA is a very hard society. Adaptation is the device. Films as well as people are strictly classified by age groups.

"Sociological research in the USA proved that children from the age of ten (especially the girls) address and adapt mainly to their peers. They are more afraid of each other than of the teacher. Their real feelings are hidden and replaced by hollow boasting about drinking and sex.

Because the human mind asks for something to be busy with, one rushes into the commercial pseudo passion of the pop stars.

It is an escape to the security of the plastic idol."
(Vincent Icke, Passion and Precision; translated from NRC 7 July 2002).

Counter Balance wants to shadow our society and its rulers critically and if necessary provide a Counter Balance

Why? For a humane society, a society with human relationships of high quality. 
They exist, but some are limited and threatened.

Limited: because whites relate to whites, Turks to Turks, Moroccans to Moroccans, Christians to Christians, Muslims to Muslims, and so on. 
Limited also because children relate to children, teens to teens, adults to adults.
Is this good for our future adult citizens?

Homepage Counter Balance

"In [North-]America, you are an incredible loser if you don't follow the crowd, says America-expert Willem Post, speaking about Valentine's Day. 
In [North-]America, this [Day] has lost its anonym and romantic character. A hard society such as in the USA needs such outlets. People work hard and are scarcely at home. On Valentine's Day, they compensate their absence, but it is not a day for reallt true feelings."
(Bernice Breure, translated from a Dutch newspaper, 13 February 2001)

Back to the Children's Top of the UN

Berry Hanson (12) hands over 95 million signatures to  Nelson Mandela.


"Khadija Iman (14) from Kenya made clear that young people are not afraid to call a spade a spade. Khaija: 'We want free condoms, and free and voluntary tests [for AIDS]'

Geraldine Kamada (14) from Kenya: 'I want to become a journalist, but I doubt if it is possible - I mean: I am a girl.' Her main message: 'That children see there is a perspective, that they get possibilities to better their situation. Look at me: I am here!'

At the end of the Children's Forum, Nelson Mandela spoke to the children. The children welcomed him with an ovation, songs - and  some tears. 'To give him a hand was for me the peak', said Renee Zandvliet (15) from the Netherlands.

More that one year ago Nelson Mandela started an action for signatures Say Yes For Children, in which he asked the adults and children of the world to agree with ten points for a better world for children. 

During the Forum, he receives the result. Barron Hanson (12) from Australia handed him no less than 95 million signatures.

'We want a world that is good for children, because a world that is good for us is good for anybody', was the message from the children to the leaders of all states in the world. after having read the message, they got an applause. 

'We want equality in the fight for children's rights. We promise to support the action you will undertake. But we also ask your dedication and help to the actions we will undertake. We are not the source of the problems. Rather, we are needed to solve those problems.' "
(Translated from the Dutch UNICEF Magazine Children First! July 2002)


"We want not only to be consulted, but also to be involved in the decisions.

Kofi Annan:

"You will be heard."

Bush stumbles about sexual openness ...

Openness would be bad for children and for the country, thus there is no openness at all. Even sex educators are scarcely allowed to speak about sex and to show a biological scheme. The mostly speak about illnesses and The joy of not having sex - yet. Here in the Netherlands, we are far more open about sex.

... but we not

In our opinion, we should behold this openness and not follow the line of the USA. This would not be good for the country and its youth.

Gerry van de List agues for this in [translated as:] "Much sex, little harm", (Elsevier, 27 October 2001):

"Sexualization has not undermined our civilization but has strengthened it. [...] Without exaggeration, we may say that the Netherlands and all its people has become the most sexualized civilization in the history of the West. There have never been so much possibilities to speak about sex, to see images of it, or to practice one's own sexual preferences. Never before, the sexual fantasy is stimulated as it is nowadays. By this development, the Netherlands is a cultural sociological experiment.

"The older Dutchmen surely remembers how much sexuality was associated with sin and misery in Christian circles. They mat be jealous to modern youth who mostly is freed of such frightening conventions.

"Additionally, incest particularly happens in circles in which sexual repression is still severe. There is no reason to label rape and incest offenders as children of the sexual revolution.

"Thanks to the women's emancipation, extensive sexual education, and self-regulation, moral deterioration has remained very limited. It is not by chance that the number of teenage pregnancy is relatively low in the libertarian Netherlands. Sexualization has not undermined our civilization. It has strengthened it by enlarging the freedom of choice and by making life more pleasant for many people. Grosso modo the next statement holds true: the more sex shops a country has, the more peassant, free and civilized it is."

A report about a sexological congress reads:

"I took the microphone for reactions and said that we, in the Netherlands, have on of the lowest percentage teenage pregnancies and the lowest numbers of abortion in the world. By what? Not by a Postpone Sex campaign, but by education, information, openness, much talking, the pill and condoms, promoted by associations such as NVSH (Dutch Association for Sexual Reform) and Rutgershuizen (offices for help in sexual matters). The public applauded. 
After the session was ended, I got a lot of handshakes with remarks in several languages saying 'Your country is a good country! You're doing well there! Do not follow America! You have found the right way, go on on that way! Congratulations to live in that country!'
The next session corresponded well: Sanderijn van de Doef spoke about "Sexual education from age zero to eighteen in the Netherlands".
(F.E.J. Gieles, Seksuologie nu, twee recente congressen; www)

Let us behold the openness we have here. Our teenagers are quite young on an adult level. Those who listen to them will hear the want to be open about sexual matters. However, mostly not to their parents. There appears to be still a lack of trust in that bond, at least many teenagers keep secrets the won't tell their parents. Our teenagers think often about sex, but their are also willing to have safe sex. 

In this respect, our expert are a bit off-dated. "Sex orgies astonish experts", mention the Dutch newspapers on 23 March 2002. It appeared that a group of youngsters now and then hired a room in a hotel in Haarlem to have sex, according to their free choice and wishes. This is not an orgy but a date. The experts interviewed by the newspapers referred to Van der Doef, mentioned above, and to Rademakers, who we have quoted earlier. They also mention that the age of first sexual experiences has become lower. They advise to continue our openness and good sex education. 

In contrast, sex 'education' in the USA only speaks about illnesses and abstinence, thus it is anti-sex education. The result is a lot of lonely unmarried teenage mothers and much young aids patients. Openness and real sex education is a much better way.


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