Flat White

#Metoo accusations linger in Victorian high schools

2 February 2022

9:00 AM

2 February 2022

9:00 AM

A ‘five-minute hurricane’ of sexual assault allegations hit Victorian high schools in 2021 after an online petition set up by Chanel Contos attracted nearly three thousand anonymous testimonies.

The media frenzy that followed painted Victorian schools as rife with sexual assault. Teenage girls posted anonymous accusations on social media which the press reprinted as fact leaving boys collectively responsible for something that may not have even happened.

As students begin their return upon another Covid-drenched school year, don’t expect the kind of craziness of 2021 to dissipate. The accusations – which saw students pointing the finger at other students – lingers over Victorian schools and particularly the young boys within them.

It remains pure insanity that such a grubby and defamatory narrative, targeted toward many innocent teenage schoolboys, blew over in the press within a few weeks. Left behind after the clicks and thirty-second headlines, were the children who have to live with what was said.

The finger-pointing, name-calling, blazer burning, gender-dividing, and gossip had a fundamental aim: to eradicate young men’s inherent worth as human beings.

With all this said, it is not to say that sexual misconduct does not take place and these kinds of young males do not exist. However, this issue became part of the ‘believe all women’ and ‘distrust any male’ pushback. Boys were unable to defend themselves while girls could make any accusation that they liked with impunity.

Young women in the classrooms who questioned this narrative were isolated and stigmatised as being anti-female. A woman being anti-female? Somewhere in the obscure mind of a leftist, progressive, feminist – this makes sense.

I lived it.

Myself (amongst those close to me who disagreed with the whole situation) were labelled ‘pro-sexual assault’ and ‘pro-rape’ by leftist-extremists females in the cohort. You actually couldn’t make up this kind of disgusting rubbish up if you tried.

For the inclusive lot, they seemed pretty triggered by a different perspective that suggested maybe (just maybe!) the boys weren’t actually the centre of the issue.

For those who weren’t in Victorian high schools during this whole two-week debacle, there are a couple things you need to understand.

This is how the press preyed on Victorian school children:

  1. The media would find a story and shout it out every night for weeks on end (because apparently, we have no news other than drama and scandal to report on in this country)
  2. School kids, with no idea they were being manipulated by the media to reproduce their story and share the scandal to increase clicks, posted it all over their social media accounts
  3. Alleged victims added their ‘stories’ to social media
  4. Schools caught wind of these
  5. Schools decided the best way to avoid a PR disaster was to hold a dedicated assembly to address the issue
  6. Headmaster/teachers apologised (only the males of course) and promised to do better moving into the future to create a safer, more supportive and inclusive environment for women
  7. Schools then called for student representatives to help educate adult staff
  8. Staff finally caught on to what kind of changes the students actually wanted which:
    1. had nothing to do with sexual assault; and
    2. would never prevent sexual assault within a school from occurring even if it were a rampant issue

What I mean by (8-1) in particular is that most of these incidents brought forward to the school never happened on campus and had nothing to do with the school, its staff, its culture, or safety procedures.

This is where a few of my peers and I began to seriously become frustrated and actually tried to explain this to indoctrinated staff.

The argument of these new committee-type student groups established to educate staff, were that it wasn’t the boys themselves who were the issue, but rather the school who encouraged a toxic culture that allowed the boys to think that disrespecting women was okay.

This would be like suggesting I, as a woman, learned from the culture of girls at my school to sexually assault males because the school encouraged that kind of behaviour. It is absolutely non-sensical.

Naturally, many girls did come forth and explain how the school’s ‘toxic’ culture made them feel unsafe at school. But hang on, most of the incidents addressed were outside of school?

It is not the responsibility of a school to get involved in a sexual assault matter that has happened outside of the school even if it were their own students involved. The only external parties that should be involved are the parents, police, and the legal system.

There are always going to be mentally sick people who commit repulsive crimes against women (and men). And dare I say it, no matter how much education or intervention is used to regulate the issue, that will never change – not because we aren’t progressing in these kinds of matters as a society, but because these types of people are mentally unwell and use sexual abuse as a tool to feel like they have control and power.

You can’t eradicate the mentally disturbed sexual predators from society, they will always exist.

Instead, we need to focus on education. Education in the home and in the classroom, but not the kind of education which is happening in schools now where the sexes are pitted against each other and supposed victims can’t be questioned in the name of the truth.

Let’s not forget, it’s the trauma and lived experience of those who have suffered from sexual assault who get lost in the process of the mob getting in the way of them actually being able to tell their own story.

Cheers to the victims who have the courage to speak out. But let’s not forget that most victims aren’t prepared to start shouting their intimate experience from the rooftop like many of these schoolgirls have been.

Most people want their abuser punished but are scared (for a variety of reasons) to speak out.

Unfortunately, due to the huge public scrutiny, many young males in the education system began over-the-top cringe-worthy apologies over social media. Or posting comments of ‘you’re so brave’ under pages long (literal novels) written by girls who spilled their ‘stories’ like guts on a page (backed by any truth, I guess we will never know).

You could say that the progressive faction love to repent for sins they never committed, if it gets their existence as a human being validated by the masses. But in this instance, for many males, it was a matter of social suicide if they didn’t.

These were confessions under duress made by innocent young boys.

Teachers were no better, and spoke the same juvenile commentary as the students did. Educators became an exhausted source of misinformation accrued by many unverified allegations from female students.

Included in the changes instigated by these students were alterations to the way the uniform is worn.

It won’t be any surprise when I mention that some female students on a newly established ‘uniform committee’ were vouching for an eradication of the ‘below the knee rule’ for dresses and skirts. I have never had issue with this rule (and to be honest such a rule was never really enforced and treated more as a suggestion anyway).

For the most part, this rule wanted to be eradicated to allow fellow female students to wear their skirts and dresses at a distasteful and impractical length. Because #feminism?

Let’s not kid ourselves, it had nothing to do with female empowerment and everything to do with feeling like they were at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

The most gobsmacking aspect is that it was all over within five minutes.

Stomach-turning posters plastered on the back of bathroom doors asking if you are ‘afraid of men’, the creation of uniform committees, scheduled and reneged sexual assault marches, or alleged abusers ‘hit lists’, all forgotten within a matter of two weeks.

But the false accusations for innocent schoolboys were not.

The damage has been done and the reputation of these young men have been tainted as they progress into their tertiary education and professional lives.

If they really believed it to be a serious issue, these students would have run the whole course with it to address the matter and create real systemic changes within these institutions. But, to their detriment, systemic issues within these schools were not discovered and as a result the entire situation was dropped like a hot potato.

Most of all I view this situation as an embarrassing case of mismanagement from Victorian high schools and a sad indication of where we are as a country.

Students were so strongly influenced by the media that the journey of ‘the issue’ died with the headlines, in true fashion of the lifespan of their beloved social media trends and attention span of young people.

As Aussie schools embark on starting up again for the 2022 school year, I really hope this greatly mismanaged issue takes a backseat so students can finally have an uninterrupted year to focus on their education.

The media, social media and government have had far too much influence on young people’s lives in the past two years and the ‘five-minute sexual assault allegation wave’ is an exemplar of such.

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