Written by Joy and Chaya
Warning: Explicit Content Below
I am a relatively conservative person. Even though I am very active with Broadway shows, my tastes tend to veer more towards the innocent rather than the vulgar. Most of my friends and family know this, which is why when I went crazy over Spring Awakening most of them were more than a little surprised.
For a little background on Spring Awakening you can see our review here: To put it simply, it’s not a very clean, child-friendly musical. It’s known to be controversial and covers topics such as rape, incest, molestation, sex, and homosexuality just to name a few. It’s a coming of age musical about very sheltered, deaf, young adults.
It was only after having seen the show multiple times since its September opening, combined with one very long car ride, that I had my epiphany. Up until that point, even I couldn’t really understand why I was so drawn to the show. The truth is this show strikes directly home for me. I grew up in a very religiously conservative household, going to an extremely orthodox school and essentially was sheltered to the point of suffocation in my upbringing. This is not to place the blame with my parents, rather in the society in which I was brought up that made it okay.
It’s not normal to remove the reproductive and anatomical pages from the textbook, and further, not to replace them with some other type of knowledge exacerbates the abnormality. There’s nothing inappropriate with knowing how your body works. I feel that my school, certain members of my community, and many sects of the society I belong to, disagree.
At the start of the show, Wendla, a teenager, asks her mother where babies come from. The mother answers that they come from the love between a husband and wife. Which is a perfectly reasonable explanation for some parents to give their five year old children. Not so to a fifteen year old. Which is why a few scenes later, Wendla finds herself pregnant. Even worse, she doesn’t even know it. Even worse, this could have happened to any number of my classmates.
I didn’t receive a sexual education. I didn’t learn about rape and molestation. I know people who have grown up being molested, and instead of going to authorities, they’re sent off to other states and count