A recent sex education campaign by the Australian government has been drawing flak on social media, forcing authorities to take down the viral clip that aimed at spreading awareness about consent through “bizarre" milkshake content. Rape prevention and sexual education experts have heavily criticised the federal government’s campaign and deemed it as misinformation about sexual consent.
The government released the campaign on The Good Society that consists of 350 videos, digital stories, podcasts and teaching materials to help teach sex and consent to school-age children. The website is part of the Australian Government’s Respect Matters program to support respectful relationships education in all Australian schools. It is an engaging, flexible, online program that helps students develop safe, healthy and respectful relationships.
However, the video that was released seems to have created more confusion than putting out a clear message.
The videos going viral show a young girlfriend smashing a milkshake on her boyfriend’s face while he doesn’t want to taste her drink. Another video reportedly shows a girl being scared to swim with sharks while her boyfriend trying to convince her to do so, which is supposed to represent that she doesn’t want to indulge in sex.
Although they have been taken down by the official website, the videos have gone viral drawing immense apprehension from activists.
The director of End Rape on Campus, Sharna Bremner, said that the videos fail to meet the national standards for the prevention of sexual assault through education terming the videos ‘bizarre’ and ‘trivialise an incredibly serious issue’, reports The Guardian.
She mentioned that probably the makers of the video haven’t met a teenager or don’t understand the content they need.
“This resource doesn’t give young people enough credit,” she told Guardian Australia. “It undermines their intelligence. It underestimates what they already know, and I wonder if anyone involved in it has ever met a 17-year-old boy".
On Twitter, netizens had similar opinions to make slamming the content of the video.
This is the government's new video to educate teenagers on consent… and honestly, I think I actually know less about the issue after watching this. What's going on?Originally reported by @samanthamaiden
— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) April 19, 2021
Like, teenagers are aware of what sex is? You can just say sex. Surely you would think that when trying to stop people from committing rape and sexual assault, we could just use the words.— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) April 19, 2021
So baffled by how this even got past the idea stage! Who approved this and why are they allowed to approve things?— Maddelin McCosker (@McCosker_Maddie) April 19, 2021
"If someone pushes the line several times … you may want to repair the relationship." WHAT is this?!— Amber Schultz (@AmberMaySchultz) April 19, 2021
This is worse than anything I ever saw or heard during sex education classes in the '60s & '70s.And of course it's the female who crosses the line with the milkshake, right?
— Jenny Frecklington-Jones; Spiky ️ (@JonesHowdareyou) April 19, 2021
However, the Australian education minister, Alan Tudge, and the minister for families, Anne Ruston, said the program had been developed in ‘conjunction with Our Watch and Foundation for Young Australians’ as well as parent, community and principals’ groups, as per reports.