Meghan Phillips’ flash-fiction chapbook Abstinence Only plays with the theater of the absurd that serves as sex education in most schools. I found it rollicking good fun to read. Students are made to kiss an CPR dummy wired to deliver an electric shock, girls wear signs saying noli me tangere, an alliterative list of discharges, e.g., “creamy chlamydia, is used to teach students about STDs. Yet, even while she’s making you laugh, Phillips doesn’t shy away from making clear the sexist treatment of girls in these lessons, and, even better, shows the girls with the wit and agency to resist.
Abstinence Only is available through Barrelhouse