The absolutely awful milkshake video from the Morrison Government has been completely deleted from the face of the internet. If you’re still wondering why it needed to be taken down, Chanel Contos and Grace Tame, two sexual assault activists in Australia, have put it better than we ever could.
Chanel Contos, Grace Tame and other Australian voices have slammed the Morrison Government’s bizarre new series of educational videos about consent, calling them “belittling”, “insulting” and an overall failure. Most importantly, however, they explain just why the videos were so mortifying to watch.
Just yesterday The Good Society, an education resource platform for teachers, parents and students, became the talk of the internet after a relatively new set of videos gained media attention. The vids were aimed at high schoolers, and were designed to help them learn about sexual respect and boundaries. However, they were immediately called out and mocked online due to their comical nature, light-hearted script and failure to tackle serious topics head-on.
The videos used milkshakes, tacos and other food metaphors to clumsily explain serious topics such as sexual intimidation and rape. In the series of videos aimed at those in Year 12, the young actors spoke in complete metaphors, and also adopted a childish voice akin to Play School presenters. They drank milkshakes, and in some scenes, forced each other to drink milkshakes, but it was never made clear what the milkshake itself was supposed to represent. The word sex was not said once.
After receiving backlash online, The Good Society removed two of its videos, one featuring milkshakes as a rape metaphor, and one featuring a woman afraid to swim in shark-infested water as a metaphor for being pressured into sex. The video featuring tacos as a metaphor for sexual objectification, however, has remained.
If you need a bit of help understanding just why the removal of these videos is a good thing, Aussie activist Chanel Contos blasted the video on her Instagram page, labelling the videos as confusing and unremarkable in the way of enacting change. And honestly, she’s right.
“The government needs to know this isn’t good enough,” Contos wrote on her Instagram page.
“You can’t teach the logistics of sex talking about the ‘birds and the bees’ and you can’t teach the intricacies of consent using milkshakes,” she continued.
“That video is belittling to Australian youth and was clearly not expert informed.”
“You can’t put comprising on ordering pizza for dinner on the same scale as sexual assault.”
“We need to give examples of language that youth actually use that are [examples of] sexual abuse, harassment and coercion.”
“And we can’t call it ‘moving the line’. Call it what it is. It’s abuse,” Contos wrote.
Contos also dragged another educational video on the site, which has not been removed, for saying that “intense sexual desires” are what lead to sexual assault.
“It’s not intense desires that lead to sexual assault it’s having no empathy or respect for another’s boundaries or desires that does,” Contos wrote in response.
“And it’s not merely harmful or hurtful. It’s sexual assault – use the language. Validate victims and deter perpetrators.
“50% of year 10-12 students in Australia are already sexually active. They can handle talking about sex without euphemisms, and they need to talk about consent and sexual assault frankly, using real words and real examples.”
She also came for the childish pros and cons list featured in the milkshake video, which I cannot believe made it past the cutting room floor.
Australian of the Year and sexual assault survivor Grace Tame also spoke about the video on ABC’s The Drum last night.
“I think it’s just insulting to the intelligence of everyone, not just adults, to children as well,” she said.
“It minimises the experience of rape trauma, it fails to really address the nuances of this complex issue of consent.”
So yeah, thank the heavens that it’s gone. To wrap up, here’s this amazing tweet from Josephine Tovey that summarises this whole saga perfectly.
what if we asked boys to think about consent without using object metaphors and instead to think about girls and women as people? not milkshakes, not cups of tea, not unlocked cars, just like, people
— Josephine Tovey (@Jo_Tovey) April 19, 2021