I have very strong opinions about sex. I think it’s ridiculous that sex is so censored in the media and that parents freak out if their kids are within a ten foot radius of anything even remotely sexual. I think kids need to learn about sex-it’s one of the most important things they can learn about-because if they don’t, they could hurt themselves and other people. To quote Obinze’s mother in Americanah, “An act is done by two people, but if there are any consequences, one person carries it alone.” (87).
My parents don’t really like to talk about sex. My dad makes jokes about it (and because he’s a dad, you know they’re bad jokes) and my mom cringes like the topic of sex is a physical monster that’s going to jump out and bite her if she even thinks about it. Because if this, sex was never a topic brushed upon in my household. I had to learn about it through a combination of media, the lesson in eighth grade that could barely be called a sex-ed, and a very close family friend whom I cannot thank enough. But what would have happened if I had never learned about sex, in any way, shape or form? The answer can be found everywhere and there are a variety of answers. To sum them all up: probably bad things.
When Obinze’s mother first pulls Ifemelu aside and begins talking about sex, I was a bit taken aback. And then I started cheering. Not because the boyfriend’s mom wanted to know when they started having sex. I cheered because she’s looking out for her son in every way possible (and parenting is another topic I’m very opinionated on) as well as making sure they’re being smart because judging from Ifemelu’s reaction to someone being that open about sex, there wasn’t a lot of sex education involved in her childhood. And, in the following chapters, we witness that firsthand as Ifemelu and Obinze have sex and don’t use protection, resulting in a pregnancy scare. Fortunately, that provides more quotes on sex from Obinze’s mother, specifically, “You should never ever let the boy be in charge of your own protection. If he does not want to use it, then he does not care enough about you and you should not be there.” (118).
Side note: I love that she is forcing them to take responsibility of their actions and basically tells Obinze that if he does get Ifemelu pregnant, it’s not going to just go away. Also, she focuses on STDs and pregnancy when referring to consequences.
That’s it for now.