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children’s bodies

“If you ever feel uncomfortable in a room or with someone, don’t stay and go somewhere else. »

Posted at 7:15 am

Below the phrase, a boy runs. His cheeks are red, his mouth is tight. He is visibly uncomfortable. He walks toward a group: an old man talking to a small child, two adults talking, and a woman with a baby in her arms. He looks at the boy, worried. He will be heard.

Your body is yours! by Spanish author Lucía Serrano, has just been published in French by Crackboom editions. Intended for children ages 3 and up, the picture book takes a candid approach to intimacy.

Yes, it’s okay to explore your body. Yes, we can name the private parts without shame. No, nobody should touch us unless we want to. Not even an adult.

“If you say no, we have to listen to you. If they don’t listen to you, ask for help. »

I remember that as a child I was taught the children’s song “My body is my body, it is not yours. You have your own body, leave mine to me. It came from an educational film by Moira Simpson and Andrée Major, produced by the NFB, in 1986. Quite a worm…

Separated by three decades, the two messages are essentially the same. But I welcome the tools that are multiplying today so that children know their rights. Teach them to name everything on the broad spectrum, from discomfort to abuse.

To do this, a passage Your body belongs to you! particularly touched me.

Lucía Serrano writes: “It can happen that someone does something to you that you don’t like and at that moment you don’t say ‘NO’, because you don’t dare or because it bothers you. And time passes and when you think about it, you feel sadness. »

The author goes on to illustrate the difference between good secrets and bad ones: “When bad food gives you indigestion, your body rejects it, doesn’t it? You have to do the same with bad secrets. »

These prayers can be a release, I think.

Three years ago, I realized that my body had hidden a multitude of bad secrets.

I was filming the documentary series How to become a perfect person. Basically, she was using every tool she could to try to be smarter, sexier, organized, and resourceful. In one episode, I was immersed in a long hypnosis session. Towards the end there was a very embarrassing moment that I still can’t explain… I started to cry, repeating that desire is a mandate imposed on women since childhood.

The therapist asked me a question about seduction. It was a theme of the series, so it was planned to address this topic. I accepted it! But I had not imagined that a dam could be released…

Suddenly, I flashed through a ton of stored memories. I saw all those men who had sexualized me as a child. The looks, the hands, the hints, the beaks, the whistles, the allusions.

I saw them again, them, the passers-by, the strangers, the relatives, the “pretty” ones. And I wasn’t crying about my fate, I was crying with rage thinking about the girls who are objectified, who are conditioned to receive male attention and who are discarded with impunity at a time in their lives when they shouldn’t have to deal with it. with the interests of adults.

Also, only porn bearing the label ” barely legal (thus highlighting the barely come of age age of the protagonists) Being so openly popular overwhelms me… What does that say about our society?

How do we see youth?

This is precisely a question posed by Sarah Polley in her recent essay Run into danger: clashes with a body of memory. The Canadian actress, screenwriter and director reveals often buried and disturbing aspects of her past.

Among them is how different desires were projected on her from a very young age. Sarah Polley played the lead role in the popular series. The Tales of Avonlea. Some then allowed themselves to sexualize their son’s body. Others then wanted to force her into youth while her body became that of a woman. From one side or the other, she was giving him an interested, even authoritative look.

The author reveals that some men have crossed limits and that she has tried to forget them to continue moving forward.

She says, for example, that she was only 14 years old when she first met Jian Ghomeshi. He was then a very well known musician. An adult. That day, she thought he was going to kiss her.

A few years later, he had a sexual relationship with the celebrity. He was the first “non-teen” she slept with. He was a nightmare.

Sarah Polley quickly forgot most of the details of that night. She even continued a cordial relationship with the man. Memories of violence only resurfaced when the radio host was publicly accused of sexual abuse, in 2014… Accusations of which he was acquitted in 2016.

To read Sarah Polley is to be shocked, it is possibly to remember a trail of sores, but above all it is to wait for a change. Great conversations, convulsions, denunciations. And not necessarily the ones that come to mind.

Sometimes I find myself daydreaming with voices rising. Adult voices that put others in their place. Who strongly emphasize that children, like adolescents, have a right to holy peace.

That your comments, hands, eyes and hunger are knives.

Because unfortunately, as important as they are, it will take more than picture books and brave essays before children are no longer burdened with bad secrets.

Your body belongs to you!

Your body belongs to you!

crack boom

40 pages

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