Anne Frank’s Edited Anatomy

In all the places to find interesting sex-positive talk, I was informed of this link while listening to SModcast with Kevin Smith.  He and his hetero-lifemate Scott Mosier expressed their disappointment in our society for the censorship that we feel we need to impose on our children, including basic anatomy talk from a famous teenaged figure.  This from the guys who made “Clerks.”

The body talk in Anne Frank’s diary is an older story (the content discussed was first published in 1995), but resurfaced two years ago when parents in a Virginia middle school were complaining about the “explicit sexual content” in this classic piece of literature.

Reproduced here is the “explicit sexual content.”

“…Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris…”

As a sex-positive educator, I think the unedited diary could be one of the most important books a middle school student could read.  Simply knowing that teens seventy years ago had the same thoughts, feelings, and discoveries about their bodies could help teens today realize that their curiosity is universal.  And even through exile, war, and strife, Anne Frank found time to think about the amazing thing that is a woman’s body.  If she could, why should one be afraid to do that today?

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Photo thanks to ComunicaTI on Flickr Creative Commons

 

About Craig VanKempen

Craig VanKempen

Craig VanKempen, LLMSW/MPH, is a sex educator and therapist practicing in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area. His professional interests include HIV, polyamory, compulsive sexual behavior, religion and sexuality, and GLBT issues.