Politicians have mocked the federal government’s new sex education and consent campaign, claiming the “tortured metaphors” of milkshakes, tacos and sharks are too confusing to translate into real change if attacked.
Green Senator Larissa Waters called it “the worst informed consent I have ever seen” while Labor’s Tanya Plibersek said it was “a waste”.
The educational material, commissioned by the Morrison government through the Respect Matters program, includes a collection of quirky Wes Anderson-style videos that have been posted on social media.
In a consent video, a man uses a harpoon to convince a woman who is afraid of sharks to swim on a beach.
In another case, a woman smears milkshake on a man’s face in a lesson on respectful relationships.
“What a waste of an opportunity. How is it that this government does something wrong every time? “An incredulous Ms. Plibersek, Labor shadow minister for education and women, said.
Rape prevention advocates have found the government’s new school resource platform, The Good Society, to be basic, confusing, and even imprecise.
This is the government’s new video aimed at educating teens about their consent … and honestly, I think I know less about the problem after watching it. What’s happening?
Originally reported by @samanthamaiden
Full video here – http://t.co/hzxSFGWvKq pic.twitter.com/MflbzhDPZP
– Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) April 19, 2021
“Dad, where do babies come from?”
“Well my son, when two people love each other very much, they both drink milkshakes …”
– Mitch Feltscheer (@mitchfel) April 19, 2021
It comes after weeks of sustained pressure on the Morrison administration to deal with a rape allegation of former Liberal worker Brittany Higgins, as well as wider discussions about sexual assault, harassment and misogyny in politics and society.
“It really shouldn’t be complicated. We don’t need bizarre scenarios and tortured metaphors, we just have to let the actual experts produce the content, ”Senator Waters said of the videos.
The New Daily has asked Federal Education Secretary Alan Tudge for a comment, but his office has not responded at the time of publication.
Karen Willis, a veteran prevention educator, said the content did not meet national standards for preventing sexual assault through education.
“More than a decade of research suggests that this content will not help change behavior and prevent violence,” she said.
“Young people are more demanding than this content would give them credit for. And sex and consent are far more complicated than videos of milkshakes and sharks on the beach. “
The “tortured metaphors” of milkshakes and tacos were slammed.
Fair Agenda and Rape on Campus Australia want an expert to urgently revise government consent materials and replace modules on the website.
Sharna Bremner, the founder of End Rape on Campus Australia, said it was evident that a violence prevention expert did not help produce the government material.
She said the content also failed to take into account that there may be a rape survivor in the classroom and provided inaccurate information about what to do if you were sexually assaulted.
I spent three days browsing the government website. I’ve seen every video. I’ve read all of the accompanying materials.
I can’t figure out what the milkshakes, tacos, or sharks are supposed to represent. And I run an organization called End Rape on Campus Australia. https://t.co/sshajJPAkk
– Sharna Bremner (hard carnival), April 19, 2021
An approval campaign is a good idea. But that’s not how you do it. https://t.co/VWeh7fJdWY
– Dee Madigan (@deemadigan) April 19, 2021
For exampleThe Consent Law and Rights section and Additional Information section of the website incorrectly advises students that they can report “any sexual abuse” to the Australian Commission on Human Rights.
It does not contain any information on how to tell the school, a trusted adult, or the police about it.
Proponents criticized a Page instructing young people to contact the police if they are being followed, but which does not contain instructions for crimes such as sexual assault.
Activists have raised concerns about the content of ‘The Good Society’ such as:
- A power connection abuse resource to a support resource that is not available
- A section on sexual consent has messages like “Sexual Desires … Can Really Distort Our Thinking”.
- A bizarre “yes no I don’t know” video about diving into the water with sharks
- Rather than going directly into the behaviors a student is likely to be trying to navigate, the site features confusing videos, including about milkshakes and tacos.
Senator Waters, the Greens’ spokeswoman for women, claimed the federal government was “completely out of touch on this issue”.
“We have a crisis of misogyny and sexual violence in this country and research shows us that effective consent training at a young age can promote gender equality and prevent gender-based violence,” she said.
Ms Plibersek repeated similar views, saying that Australians are “crying out” for a revision and update of consent and sex education methods. She asked the government to return to the drawing board.
“Why don’t we listen to the people who got it right with so little resources for so long, instead of throwing money into a campaign that experts say just doesn’t work because the messages are too confusing?” Ms. Plibersek said.
“We’re back to a government with an ad-supported response, and they don’t even have the right advertising.”