It’s now official. The world has gone completely mad and the Greens have so utterly lost the plot politically that they should never be taken seriously again. Well, OK the second part of that sentence has been true for quite some time. But the idea of the Western world increasingly losing all sense of its moral compass is encapsulated by the following Tweet from Adam Bandt, the acting deputy leader of The Greens:
Yes, you just read that correctly. Bandt is actually praising Fitzroy High School for instructing children as young as twelve on how to take and send nude pictures of themselves to others. In keeping with the Safe Schools ideology, the course is aptly called, “The Art to Safe Sexting”. This is what we’ve come too. Child pornography being propagated through state schools as a valid ‘art form’. And all this time I was under the impression that sending or receiving naked photos of people under the age of 18 was a criminal offence.
But wait just a minute, it still is! However, note that according to the article from The Herald Sun that Bandt himself re-tweeted, “Program author and lead teacher at Fitzroy High School Briony O’Keefe said sexting was a fact of life among young people and simply telling them not to do it did not work.” What makes that statement especially strange is that the video being used in the course makes it clear that sexting by people under the age of 18 is in fact illegal. So, what message are the children actually taking away?
What is so incredible about this whole affair is that religious institutions—such as my own one—are currently in the process of signing up to a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse, and yet here is an Australian Parliamentarian who doesn’t have the slightest idea as to how a sexualised course like this might be categorised as inappropriate ‘enabling’ behaviour.
The conservative political commentator, Sydney Watson identified the central problem brilliantly, though, when she tweeted:
What is especially pertinent about Watson’s comment is that Bandt has positioned himself politically as a champion for women’s rights. Approximately three years ago Bandt made the following speech regarding the students at Fitzroy High School to Parliament:
I rise to bring to the attention of the House the outstanding work of The Feminist Collective of Fitzroy High School located in my electorate of Melbourne. The Fitzroy High Feminist Collective started in 2013 following a student discussion about violence towards a female character in a book. It resulted in an elective class where students could discuss the everyday sexism they faced and observed and how this could be addressed within the school. This Thursday the Fitzroy High Feminist Collective did launch their student informed teaching resource ‘Fight Back’ addressing everyday sexism in Australian schools. The resource is aimed at educating secondary school students about gender inequality, the objectification of young women’s bodies and the use of sexist language. The resource also addresses the link between gender inequality and violence against women…
Can Bandt not see, though, the inherent inconsistency between the two things he has so enthusiastically thrown his support behind? How is sexting by twelve to seventeen-year-old girls not an example of ‘the objectification of young women’s bodies and the use of sexist language’? What’s more, does this not fuel the lust and violence of young men who would seek to take advantage of them sexually and psychologically?
Adam Bandt needs to publicly apologise at the very least. But if the Greens had any credibility left they’d also call on him to resign. But the fact that neither of those two things will occur is a sign of just how far society has slid since the redefinition of marriage approximately six months ago. This is yet another example of our culture’s louche lurch to the left. And it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
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