“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”- Talking With Teen Girls About Sex is Important

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“The Diary Of A Teenage Girl” is a new movie that has people talking, especially women.  Minnie is a 15-year-old girl, growing up in the 1970s, thinking about sex all the time.  Her diary is full of these thoughts and she has no problem talking with her friends about sex.  There are plenty of movies about sexuality, but few that show a strong female who is not being victimized.  However, some say this movie is not OK and portrays teen sex in an unrealistic way.

Minnie seeks out a sexual relationship with her mother’s boyfriend.  She pretends to be a prostitute. In an interview with The Huffington Post, filmmaker Marielle Heller and the graphic novel’s author Phoebe Gloeckner talk about these issues and the general idea of female sexuality in the media.

Heller says “It freaks [boys] out to see a girl who wants to have sex because that’s not the narrative they’ve been given, either. The narrative they’re given is that girls are there to be the objects of their desire. I think it’s damaging to both sexes that we don’t talk about sexuality as something we are both experiencing equally.”

Heller does admit there are parts of the movie that make the audience uncomfortable. However, aren’t there a lot of movies that cause the viewers to question their feelings? This movie is hopefully the first of many more.   No, not movies about older men taking advantage of teens, that is obviously abuse. However, we need more movies and more books, more stories about girls being in control of their sex lives.  Girls need to be told that it is ok for them to want and enjoy sex.

Of course we don’t want teen girls going crazy and having unprotected sex, but maybe if they are empowered there will be fewer victims.  Maybe if they realize sex can be enjoyable they won’t give into random, casual sex.  Maybe sex won’t be such a taboo subject and teens will realize that sex is part of maturing and not something to be afraid of (like some abstinence-only programs teach).  If nothing else, this movie shows us that we need to be having open conversations with our daughters about sex.  We need to stop making them feel ashamed if they are curious about it. We need to talk with them about how to safely experience sex. We need to tell them they are in charge, they are in control of their sex lives.  

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