The Government Tried Teaching Students About Consent With A Milkshake Video And It’s Baffling
I simply can't explain just how badly the government missed the mark with this one.
In the most baffling move imaginable, the government has decided to teach school kids about consent with a confusing series of videos featuring milkshakes and tacos.
As part of the Australian Government’s Respect Matters education program, ‘The Good Society’ has been created as an online resource to help teach “respectful relationships education” in schools. The educational resource has been designed for students in primary, middle and high school, their teachers, and parents.
But despite good intentions, the videos suck. They entirely miss the mark, and barely teach anything about rape, sexual assault and consent. Plus, the metaphors and innuendos that are used are just far too confusing to understand.
For example, as part of this education hub The Good Society released the ‘Moving The Line’ video aimed at students in Year 10 to 12. But instead of including any helpful information for these 16 to 18-year-olds, the government decided to instead tell a baffling tale of the “action zone”… as a woman smears a milkshake all over her boyfriend’s face with no mention of consent or sex at all.
I guess the milkshake is supposed to represent a woman forcing her boyfriend to have sex with her?? I think??? Genuinely how can anyone, let alone children, even tell at this point???
Wait so this is how the government wants to teach school kids about consent? This video actually melted my brain pic.twitter.com/TWBDHPc11C
— Jenna Guillaume (@JennaGuillaume) April 19, 2021
Strangely beyond barely linking to consent at all and not even mentioning sex, the full ‘Moving The Line’ video also focuses on the importance on maintaining relationships even when someone feels disrespected, as the boyfriend was in the video.
“In a respectful relationship, if someone moves the line, you might be upset but ultimately want to repair the situation,” the video says. “If a relationship is fundamentally disrespectful, you have even more difficult choices. Should you still try to repair the relationship, get help, or just walk away?”
Giving the vibe that sometimes it’s worth trying to “repair the relationship” with your abuser, the milkshake video somehow gets even worse when the perpetrator is the only person offered support through a 1800 RESPECT card while her boyfriend gets no support network.
The Twitter response to something can make it seem worse than it is when you finally see it.
But in the Milkshake Consent video’s case, nothing you lot said prepared me for how bad it actually is.
— Craig Reucassel (@craigreucassel) April 19, 2021
Another one of these non-sensical videos feature a spear gun-wielding man convincing a woman to swim at the beach even though she’s fearful of sharks, while another focuses on a boy eating a taco that doesn’t give consent.
The issue is that not only do these videos make light of how important consent is, it doesn’t give children any useful information to help navigate the serious and real-world issue of sexual violence. Children above the age of 16 are not clueless. Sex education is already taught in schools, so hiding important messages about consent and sexual assault behind quirky tales isn’t helpful for anyone.
Perhaps using shark analogies and innuendos about milkshakes is more appropriate for younger audiences, but covering the main message for older teens who are able to consent to sex is a waste of time, funding and resources. Instead children entering adulthood should be taught “respectful relationships education” with realistic examples in the hopes of actually providing relevant information on how to deal with these sadly, common, situations.
Don’t know who in government needs to hear this but: teenagers know what sex is! They’ll listen if you treat them like equals, not if you condescend to them in gibberish about tacos and milkshakes
— Joshua Badge (@joshuabadge) April 19, 2021
I spent three days digging through the government's website. I watched every video. I read all of the accompanying materials.
I cannot work out what the milkshakes, tacos or sharks are supposed to represent. And I run an org called "End Rape on Campus Australia". https://t.co/sshajJPAkk
— Sharna Bremner (@sharnatweets) April 19, 2021
The thing about that consent video for highschoolers is that there was never any need for it to be wacky. As a teenager I would have killed for a plain-speaking adult to talk about this stuff with us in an honest, open and informative way. That's literally all it needed to be.
— Alex Lee (@alex_c_lee) April 19, 2021
According to Sharna Bremner, the Founder and Director of End Rape on Campus Australia, the consent information on The Good Society society “completely fails to meet the national standards for the prevention of sexual assaults through education”.
“The fact that the federal government is releasing resources that don’t meet national standards is concerning,” Bremner told 7News. “It’s not just the matter of them releasing these wacky videos that use strange, cutesy metaphors for sex. They’re providing harmful and incorrect information to students.”
As a result of these The Good Society videos just sucking so incredibly much, people on the internet couldn’t help but poke fun at the entire thing — especially the bizarre milkshake video.
do young people still go to local diner for a milkshake
— Aus Gov Just Googled (@GovGoogles) April 19, 2021
— Meg Watson (@msmegwatson) April 19, 2021
The whole internet loves milkshake fuck, the governments video about milkshake fucking
— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) April 19, 2021
Welcome to the action zone pic.twitter.com/NGQEmOAiEE
— Jim Malo (@thejimmalo) April 19, 2021
The milkshake video can't really be milkshake ducked, because it was already so cooked on arrival. I think what we have instead is a new term, 'milkshake video', for things that immediately suck.
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) April 19, 2021
— Kailas Wild 🐨 (@kailaswild) April 19, 2021
"Dad where do babies come from?"
"Well son, when two people love each other very much they both drink milkshakes…"
— Mitch Feltscheer (@mitchfel) April 19, 2021
But in all seriousness, Scott Morrison needs to do way better than this piss-poor attempt at consent education and sexual assault awareness. STAT.