I really don’t want to talk about the complete education failure that is the Australian Federal Governments “The Good Society” campaign, but I guess I really should.
A part of what I do most days in my work as a straight male escort (sex worker) for women, is try to undo some of the damage that our society does to women – body shaming, slut shaming, guilt around desire, gaslighting, bi/homophobia… the list goes on. So it is good that progressive nations like the Netherlands are leading the way with age appropriate consent education and I am sure that their society will be better, more compassionate, and accepting places as these ideas take hold and over time new generations internalise respecting other people’s right to choose and the “old ways” die out.
Then along comes the federal government of Australia and creates a set of “educational” videos about consent that are so awful that they:
- Don’t even use the word “sex” when (apparently) trying to educate high school students about consenting to have sex – the infantilisation of young adults on display here literally belongs back in the 50 – which brings us to…
- Hold up the 1950 as the ideal of a “modern progressive society” – I mean really? We laugh about the Liberal Party being stuck in the past, but honestly they are now beyond parody
“…the Department of Education told Guardian Australia: “Content on The Good Society website was created by experts and reviewed by a Resource Review Group of subject matter experts. Community members, teachers, and school leaders were also consulted to ensure the content was engaging for students and consistent with community standards.”
Notice who’s missing from that list? Students. They didn’t ask the target audience – students – if they thought that the information was useful and engaging. No. Instead they asked – everyone else. Which really just reinforces my point above.
This wasn’t an exercise in making Australia a “good society” (whatever that means from the party of children overboard, indefinite detention, and opposing anything that might mitigate climate change). It was an exercise in finding another way to shoehorn Victorian values and ideology about sex into our schools.
It was disgusting. I’m glad the laughter and backlash at their ineptitude forced them to remove the worst films.
So </end rant>
I try to be calm and objective when I write for my website, but even I have limits. This travesty pushed me past them.
I have no doubt that I would be able to make much more appropriate, accurate, and educational films about consent than the awful tripe our government literally paid over $3 million for. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I could even do it for less.