Supermodel launches sex education campaign

Supermodel launches sex education campaign

Supermodel Anja Rubik could be a symbol of any modern, progressive European country.

After joining a campaign to defend women’s rights, she started tackling school sex education and published a book for teenagers that sought to counter the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In her native Poland, it means she’s fighting against the political tide. Indeed, Rubik’s drive says less about the momentum that brought gay marriage to Spain and abortion to Ireland and more about the resurgent forces of Christian conservatism being harnessed by the nationalist government.

This is a country where Jesus Christ was appointed as the official king, Muslim refugees have been accused of spreading disease and barred, and opponents talk of a return to medieval times.

The narrative is that homosexuality can be cured and condoms are bad. Human Rights Watch attacked Poland this week for its treatment of women’s rights groups.

Rubik said all that’s missing from church-based sex education classes are “dragons and witches.”

“Kids are told that the period is a bloody cry of a uterus missing a fetus,” she said in an interview last week as she made plans to take her sex education program nationwide this summer.

“We’re not progressing, we’re going backwards, in a sense back to the 19th century,” said Rubik, 35, who started her modelling career two decades ago and has worked for some of the biggest fashion houses, including Yves Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana. That’s “against fundamental, constitutional rights to information and education,” she said.

Since coming to power in 2015, the ruling Law & Justice Party has thrown Poland’s gravitation toward the liberalism of western Europe into reverse.

It turned the country into a protective, nativist state clashing with the European Union over everything from the independence of its courts to what people can say about the Holocaust. The government is crusading against abortion, as well as IVF treatment opposed by the church.

It’s also indirectly encouraging women to stay out of the workforce by offering unprecedented family-oriented subsidies.

Rubik said she’s got plans to broaden her campaign, including bringing people together to talk more openly about how to educate young Poles about sex.

“I’m dreaming about a Sexedpl bus that would bring educators and offer workshops across Poland,” Rubik said.

She’s going to try to convince companies to sponsor it.

“Even though it turns out sex education is a risky topic in Poland.”


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