After a litany of own goals that led to a crash in its approval ratings from women, the government has doubled down with a ludicrously ham-fisted suite of consent education videos, targeted at year 10 to 12 students.
It’s quite a challenge to get so much so wrong on consent and respectful relationships, but it appears this is one challenge the Morrison government is well able to meet.
The list of failures is long and would be hilarious if this wasn’t so serious.
- A boy aiming a speargun into the distance as he sits next to a fearful girl
- Another boy lifting weights next to a slim girl standing passively in a weight-loss machine
- Drawing a deeply insulting equivalence between rape and eating tacos
- Coyly avoiding any mention of sex, as if 16 to 18-year-olds might never have heard of it
- Not even addressing the concept of consent with students until they’re in year 10, contrary to the advice of almost every expert in the country
- Disrespectful relationships explained by showing a mean girl smearing a milkshake over the face of a poor, hapless white boy, ignoring all the evidence that shows violence is overwhelmingly committed by men against women
- A disturbing emphasis on fixing or staying in a relationship (despite the milkshake disrespect) because she’s pretty and has wavy hair and kisses
- Relating to the youngsters with pinball machines and badminton
- Videos with sets that look like Play School leftovers
- The voiceover for the video in the technology section for year 10 to 12 students that sounds like it was recorded for the Play School demographic
- Commissioning a grandad-professor-from-the-1950s type to do the voiceover about sex and rape – without ever actually mentioning sex or rape
- The video called “Kiss”, about girls being the conflicted gatekeepers of sex, while boys pursue sex with no conflict or questions.
And that is far from a complete list.
If you follow the links through The Good Society’s website, you . . . end up on a site called Fight the New Drug.
FTND is a US-based public charity, which claims to have no religious affiliation, despite all its founding members being Mormon and as The Atlantic’s James Hamblin notes, “its facts rely on claims from Mormon author Donald Hilton’s He Restoreth My Soul: Understanding and Breaking the Chemical and Spiritual Chains of Pornography through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
This is not the only American link. The videos have a strangely American slant.