Charles Sturt University in New South Wales has introduced a compulsory, intensive education program for first-year students. Students watch and then discuss material that has been specially designed to approach the topic of consent in their own language.
ABC News reports one student has refused to take part and four were sick. Unless there was a sudden outbreak of salmonella (there wasn’t), it’s safe to say those four also refused to take part. If you’re struggling to see that, good luck with wrapping your brain around the intensely tricky concept of consent.
According to ABC News, one student who had been sexually assaulted said she “believes the program will make a difference”. She said, “There is always that thing of it being, ‘Why didn’t the girl say no? Why didn’t the girl push him away? Why did the girl go home with him?’ I think why I was so scared to seek professional help [was] because I didn’t feel like I had a good story to tell.”
May I suggest that if anyone is coming out of a consent training program using the words, “a good story to tell”, the success of said program is dubious?
The truth is, all of those questions she has listed are reasonable:
If a girl doesn’t want sex she should say the word ‘no’. Men are not telepathic.
If a girl doesn’t want sex, she should push him away. Men are not telepathic.
If a girl doesn’t want sex, she should think very carefully about going home with a man.
And, dear lord, seeking professional help has nothing to do with having “a good story to tell”.
The program leader also believes the program is a success and notes people are wearing ‘Hell, yes’ badges to bar nights. “Our tag is ‘it is not a yes unless it’s a hell yes,’” she says.
If any male is still going to bar nights on any campus, hopefully they’re wearing a badge that says, “Hell no, it’s not worth the risk.”
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