Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Teaching sexual consent in high schools

Bettina Arndt makes a number of good points below. She is undoubtedy right to ascribe present policies to anti-male feminists.

She should have gone further, though. WOMEN also need education about consent. I doubt that any consent education will do much but I am sure that almost any experienced man will tell you that female consent can be an enigma wrapped in a mystery.

It used to be well-known that women play games with men. They may be open to having sex with a man but will at no stage utter a clear consent. It is essentially a "wait-and-see" strategy that is not inherently unreasonable but it sure can be confusing to the male concerned

I have always refused to be part of such games. I was willing to spend time talking with a woman but if the conversation seemed too flirtatious I would simply desist from further conversation, apparently to the confusion of the woman concerned on some occasions. I once left party rather early after having a rather involved conversation with an Eve but was told the day after by a friend who had also been present: "You could have got her into bed, you know". I think he was right. I felt that at the time. I just didn't like the complexity of the games.

So in my case I have confined myself to situations where an approach of some sort from me was met with clear agreement, but not necessarily verbal agreement. Behaviour can be more eloquent than words. So I have always acted with clear consent but am well aware that I have missed out in situations where consent was less clear. And I have no doubt that on some such occasions the woman concerned has felt frustrated by my "stupidity". I know that because the woman concerned has persisted with me and been much more direct on a second occasion.

And a big problem often is that a rather assertive approach by a male is required for the woman to give consent. The consent will be genuine but for various reasons the woman likes an assertive approach. And thererein lies a big problem. How is the male to work out when assertiveness is required as opposed to where consent is genuinely not given? It can be a guessing game and guessing games can go wrong. Neither party is at fault when it goes wrong. The fault lies with a culture in which female consent or the lack of it may not be clear

So can we "educate" women to be clearer in giving or refusing consent? I would like to think so but am not holding my breath

Last month it was announced all Australian high school students are to be taught about sexual consent and coercion. Mandatory education programs are being rolled out across the country teaching boys not to rape.

It’s mainly due to Sydney schoolgirl Chanel Contos, who burst into the limelight last year when she announced that a school sex education course had led her to discover she’d been raped two years earlier. As a 13-year-old she’d been ‘forced’ to go down on a boy at a party but it took a Year-10 school sex education course for her to realize what had happened to her. She started a website encouraging other girls to tell stories of similar sexual assaults and nearly 2,000 obliged. Ever since she’s been out there calling out male misbehaviour and lobbying for school sexual consent courses.

This is just the latest front in the mighty feminist battle to rein in male sexuality and punish more rapists. I wrote recently about how the NSW parliament was misled by false statistics which were used to assist the smooth passage of enthusiastic consent regulations into law. At much the same time over 1,500 school kids were signing a Contos petition calling for enthusiastic consent to be taught in schools.

Our compliant media dutifully pushed the fear-mongering as Contos met with members of parliament and other power brokers to make it all happen. We heard shocking stories of drunk girls waking up to discover males taking advantage of them, boys behaving badly, circulating photos of their mates having sex, etc. some truly unacceptable male behaviour.

But gradually questions started appearing in online comments about why so many girls were finding themselves in these risky situations, why were so many vulnerable youngsters attending these alcohol and drug-fuelled parties?

Naturally, any suggestion that girls needed to take care of themselves were howled down. A principal of a Sydney girls school dared to suggest that along with more sex education in schools, parents need to be ‘having conversations regarding consent, the impact of alcohol, risk-taking behaviours, and self-respect’. Her sensible suggestion was treated with disdain by journalists who lined up enlightened souls to put her straight. The problem is ‘not about girls’ pronounced an executive from the Alliance of Girls’ Schools, but rather about the ‘underbelly of disrespect, privilege, and callousness displayed by young men towards young women’.

‘This is a systemic, centuries-old societal problem,’ she explained. ‘Behaviour that endorses male sexual entitlement, lack of accountability, and a power imbalance.’

That’s it, you see. Feminism 101, all designed to tie in nicely with the ‘respect for women’ ideological claptrap already rolled out in the Respectful Relationships programs allegedly tackling domestic violence, which are currently indoctrinating children in schools – teaching them about toxic males and helpless females.

Now sexual consent education will reinforce that message. I’ve just been sent snapshots taken from the brand-new curriculum being introduced in one South Australian school. Apparently, there’s flexibility in how the educators choose to address the topic but it seems most schools will take a similar approach.

It’s fascinating seeing how the educators twist themselves into knots to avoid any hint of victim-blaming. They’ve come up with a new slogan: ‘Vulnerability is not the same as responsibility.’ Look at this little scenario featuring Kim. Be warned, it’s pretty confusing because we aren’t given the gender of Kim, who uses the pronoun ‘they’.

Kim is out drinking, and a man ‘they’ know offers ‘them’ a ride home but instead drives to a secluded spot, parks and wants to have sex. Our educators spell out the message very clearly: it’s the villain, the driver, who is 100 per cent responsible for his actions and whether or not Kim is safe. Kim is simply ‘vulnerable’ as a result of decisions ‘they’ have made to get into this situation.

Neat, eh? In this particular scenario we don’t know the gender of the potential victim, but the bulk of the responsibility/vulnerability examples given in the curriculum involve males taking advantage of girls who arguably signal sexual interest in various ways by: wearing low-cut dresses; or inviting a boy to ‘snuggle’ with them in a private room at a party. Here’s a classic example, featuring Jen and Luke. Note that it is taken from an American publication called Men Stopping Rape – which says it all…

The predominantly female teachers who will be guiding the students’ discussion of these scenes will no doubt work hard to convince the kids that the boy is inevitably 100 per cent ‘responsible’ while the innocent girl is simply ‘vulnerable’.

Very occasionally they do present a girl as the baddie. Like the sexually aggressive Mila who is all over her boyfriend Luke and gets very indignant when he says he wants to take his time. ‘I said it was time to be a real man and do the deed,’ responds Mila. A rare toxic woman but overwhelmed by large numbers of pushy blokes who don’t take no for an answer, have sex with sleeping girls and boast about having sex to their mates.

The curriculum does include one scenario, Ali and Josh, describing the situation of a girl who has sex because she fears her boyfriend might dump her if she doesn’t. That’s true to life – a very good example of a girl giving consent she may later regret. The great pity is there is so little in this curriculum about the many reasons girls might be ambivalent about consent. The central myth of the ‘enthusiastic consent’ dogma is the notion that girls/women know their own minds and clearly indicate their desires. The truth is males are forced to interpret the muddy waters of female sexual ambivalence, obfuscation, and confusion. The apparent ‘Yeses’ that are really ‘Maybes’ or secret ‘Nos’.

This week I had a live chat on Thinkspot with a famous YouTuber, Steve Bonnell – also known as ‘Destiny’. Bonnell has made big bucks as video game Twitch streamer. but this clever, articulate young man is also a political commentator, debating all manner of issues usually from a leftist perspective. Funnily enough, just after our conversation Bonnell was banned from Twitch for ‘hateful conduct’ which might just have included our chat about sexual consent, which certainly would have got up the nose of the woke folk running social media.

Bonnell regularly challenges the new dogma on this issue, throwing down the gauntlet by declaring that women no longer have bad sexual experiences – if was bad, it was rape and the man’s fault. His argument is that men are being forced into a parental role – treating women like infants with no agency of their own. Bonnell also declares that if you invite someone to your house, you must expect them to see that as a sexual invitation. And that when it comes to stealthing, women shouldn’t have sex with anyone whom they wouldn’t be comfortable telling not to remove a condom.

Naturally I agreed with him on these points, but amusingly Bonnell was very careful not to align too strongly with what he sees as my overly protective pro-male stance. I was intrigued to hear him talk about young women today, whom he claims enter every sexual encounter with some element of fear. As I pointed out, I’ve never felt like that and see this as a total failure of modern feminism. Whatever happened to feminism’s celebration of women’s female strength and independence? Remember Helen Reddy’s triumphant song – I am woman, hear me roar?

Many of you will know Camile Paglia’s famous story about being in college in the 1960s when girls were still chaperoned and locked safely away from boys at night. She describes their fight to rid themselves of this protectionism, the fight for the freedom to risk rape. ‘I think it is discouraging to see the surrender of young women of their personal autonomy,’ she says, amazed that women are welcoming ‘the intrusion and surveillance of authority figures over their private lives’.

That’s the bottom line here. The sexual consent courses being introduced in our schools are simply the latest effort to convince young women that they are all potential victims, needing protection from dangerous males. Another step to creating a divided society.


Australian Covid-killing ‘fog’ guards Singapore Airport

Hi-tech hand sanitisers, nasal sprays, pills and even cannabis have all been spruiked as treatments to kill or ease symptoms of Covid-19. But could crushing the virus be as simple as using water?

Or more specifically, electrified water, with a sprinkling of salt, that can create a potent dis­infectant?

The nation’s peak science agency, the CSIRO, thinks so and has backed a South Australian company that has developed a Covid-killing “fog” that will be deployed at Singapore Airport in coming months.

The technology has received approval from Australia’s health regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, as well as undergone testing from the world’s two biggest airline manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing.

For the company, Ecas4, it is proof that life can really present bouquets. It originally developed the technology to extend the shelf life of fresh cut flowers.

The “fog” involves electrolysis of salt and water, creating a pH-neutral disinfectant solution known as Ecas4-Anolyte. This solution can be sprayed onto a surface or fogged in an enclosed space using a specialised machine, such as an aircraft cabin, to sanitise all the surfaces it comes into contact with.

Crucially, it has no harsh chemicals or side effects, meaning people can breathe it in (and out), helping stop the spread of Covid.

It is similar technology to the salt chlorinators commonly used in swimming pools, and Ecas4 director Tony Amorico cites this connection when highlighting its safety.

“Chlorine about 2000mg/litre becomes a dangerous, hazardous product. Below that it’s safe. We’re producing at levels two to 300 where we know we kill bacteria and Covid effectively, instantly,” Mr Amorico said.

After international borders reopened last month, Industry Minister Angus Taylor said Ecas4’s technology would help give people the confidence to return to the skies following two pandemic-plagued years.

“From incredible inventions such as rapid breath Covid tests, mRNA technology, to innovations such as this cleaning and sanitising solution from Ecas4 helping to get us back in the skies, this is the kind of groundbreaking innovation the Morrison government is supporting to grow our economy, create new jobs and help our nation reach the other side of the pandemic,” Mr Taylor told The Australian.

But like most fledgling companies with great ideas, committing precious funds for research and development can be risky and cost-prohibitive. And this is where the CSIRO comes in via its Innovation Connections scheme, part of the Australian government’s Entrepreneurs’ Program.

CSIRO introduced Ecas4 to the University of South Australia, which began investigating whether the solution could eliminate traces of Covid-19. The project was successful, and the solution subsequently received approvals from TGA and major aircraft manufacturers.

Other beneficiaries of the CSIRO’s innovation fund include plant-based meat start-up V2food, which formed a partnership with Jack Cowin’s Competitive Foods to launch the Rebel Whopper at Hungry Jacks.

For Ecas4, getting Singapore Airport on board was challenging, given international travel bans prevented them from installing the system in-person.

“Because the cost of transporting a solution to them was prohibitive, we built a purpose built machine to allow a batch production, which we can remotely connect to and we remotely see how much they’re producing,” Mr Amorico said.

“The best part of it is we can switch it off if I need to, as well for any reasons to stop them from producing if we want them to. And that’s how we ensure the quality of the product is produced on a regular basis because we can measure the conductivity of the solution and we can also measure the current and the voltage that we’re providing through that process.”


The Australian Federal budget holds an economic miracle

Perhaps it is the misery brought on by the ongoing global pandemic and war in Ukraine that has dulled the awareness of Australians to the economic miracle forming before them.

Two years ago when the economy was deliberately put into hibernation in order to save lives after the Covid-19 virus entered the country through air and sea ports, economists were full of dire warnings about coming double-digit unemployment, a house price collapse, and the deepest recession in a century.

The pandemic came to snap nearly 30 years of sustained economic growth, and put before policy makers a threat to the prosperity of the country that easily dwarfed that of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

As international and state borders slammed shut in 2020, Australians hunkered down in their homes and braced for the worst, with a generation of them unaware of what a recession meant.

It is through this bleak prism that the economic forecasts contained in the federal government’s budget for 2023 released on Tuesday need to be viewed.

Instead of a job market horribly scarred by years of recession, the country is now on the cusp of full employment. In simple terms that mean that anybody seeking a job can get one, or already has one.

Nearly every forecast for unemployment since the outbreak of the pandemic has had to be binned quickly as the economy consistently outperformed.

The jobless rate is now forecast to fall to 3.75 per cent by mid-2022 from 4 per cent currently. That’s a number no economic policy maker or politician in the country will have seen in their working lives.

Even Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe, who joined the central bank out if school in the late 1970s, can’t claim he has been witnessed to such a low number.

It’s a staggering forecast that, if anything, looks conservative given current trends in hiring and record numbers of job vacancies. It’s highly possible the unemployment rate will fall even further than that in the next year.

So instead of long lines of long-term unemployed, Australia is engaging its labour force, which is underpinning a forecast for the economy to grow by 3.5 per cent over the next year.

Some economists will argue that with closed borders and a federal government fiscal stimulus of more than $300bn to battle the pandemic, the country should indeed be approaching full employment.

They’d be right too. But the success also reflects the design of the government spending which had at its core a wage subsidy known as job keeper that kept firms afloat, but more importantly, kept employers paid and linked to a firm.

So when the lockdowns ended, the engines of growth re-engaged at speed. Prior recessions, like the one in the early 1990s, have been marked by years of sustained high unemployment. It’s usual that older and low skilled workers remain on the trash heap for some time.

The budget also includes a forecast that wages will grow by 3.25 per cent in the next year, reversing the trend of the moribund trend of the last decade.

Those looking for a dark lining in the Australian economic story will point to rising inflation. This is where it gets interesting. The budget forecasts consumer prices will rise by just 3.0 per cent in 2022-24 and by just 2.75 per cent in 2023-24.

Viewed against a back drop of inflation running hot in major economies, stoked by interrupted supply chains and soaring energy costs, these low numbers look ambitious. But Australia has been an inflation outlier for some time. Its proximity to Asia, where inflation is more benign, and a sluggish wage setting system, have helped to keep wage growth down.

Still, if the budget’s economic forecasts are too optimistic, it is here as inflation could still easily break out of its cage in the next year, setting up the next great challenge for policy makers to rein it back in.

Getting this wrong could undo the good work that is now visible strength in the economy, bringing with it rapid rises in interest rates.

Still, there is a strong argument to suggest that much of what consists of current price pressures in the economy will eventually fade. To have a true inflation break out, you need wages to jump. While they are drifting up, there’s no surge yet that would signal the genie is out of the bottle.

To round the story of the economy, the last batch of GDP growth data showed the economy steaming ahead at its fastest pace since March 1976, unemployment is currently at a 14-year low, and consumers have saved a large portion of the pandemic stimulus. It sit in bank accounts waiting to be spent.

In the last year, house prices have jumped by more than 20 per cent. While that’s a vexed statistic given the rise has frozen many out of home ownership, it still represents a big lift in household wealth.

After two years of pandemic, Australia has been left with a bulging government mountain that some economists will argue leaves the country more vulnerable in the event of another shock.

All that is true, but still, Australia’s debt burden is much lower than that of many of the major economies and the strong job market means the debt mountain can be eaten into by driving GDP growth faster.

By late 2022 (if not earlier), full employment is likely to have been achieved, and on current indications, interest rates will still be low.

It wasn’t meant to be like this.


The 'beautiful surprise' in the Budget that NO ONE is talking about - as top economist reveals why interest rates WON'T rise as soon as everyone thinks

A top economist has shone a spotlight on one of the most 'beautiful' things hidden in last night's Budget - sustained low employment rates.

Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson said the 'beautiful surprise' hidden in the 2022 Budget was welcome, and also predicted interest rates would not rise any time soon.

'It's not mentioned in any headline anywhere, it's only been a handful of months since the Treasury last updated us [and] they are now of the view that low unemployment rates in Australia can be sustained,' he told Sunrise host David Koch on Wednesday.

'Basically an extra 140,000 Australians can be in jobs from here on in. It looks as though we can run the Australian economy faster for longer, and that's great.'

Those considered 'winners' in Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's fourth budget were pensioners, carers, motorists, low to middle income earners and job seekers.

When asked if he thought there were any 'losers' the economist said of this budget: 'If you've got a pulse and a vote then you've got some money.'

However, he said there were 'hidden costs' as well as some consequences of splashing cash on an already healthy economy, with unemployment predicted to reach 3.75 per cent in September, the lowest level since 1974.

'When you drop extra money atop an economy that is pretty strong, you get higher inflation, that means our money doesn't go as far,' Mr Richardson explained.

'You may annoy the Reserve Bank into an interest rate rise, so the cost of your mortgage goes up, and we import more and speed up other economies rather than ours.'

He said the welcomed cash splash will in turn put pressure on the RBA to push interest rates up faster, but not as soon as people might think.

'We've got the view that is now unusual that the Reserve Bank will not be raising rates in the next few months. They'll still do it, but it's going to be the end of 2022 before they do it,' Mr Richardson predicted.





Norse said...

Years ago I went to a pub after a party and saw a pretty female sitting alone by a table. My usual standards were pretty much gone due to many units of alcohol, so I just sat down and started talking with her. She was from Finland. After a while she said we could go to her place and added that there would be no sex. Her wording was different and surprisingly blunt. I thought "we'll see about that, feisty" and off we went. After some talking and drinking she became rude out of the blue and started wrestling me. I told her to stop it and that I was not into silly games, and then she led me into her bedroom. Checking to see if I was violent, such a consideration was out of my purview, but I suppose it was the sensible thing to do since we were strangers in the night.

Norse said...

While attending a party once, a female approached me and sat on my hand. I remember noting in my mind that her move was was not subtle. She was good looking but for some reason I was not interested and could not be bothered to even ask her how she was doing. I am mildly curious what she was thinking about my lack of response but it is probably forgotten and why not. It still gives me a chuckle though.

Another time and party at the same place, was later told that a fine looking blonde was trying to get through to me, but I thoroughly ignored her and was seemingly too busy chatting with a female I did not and do not find attractive in the least. As for my lack of awareness of the potential for a bit of shaking of the sheets, I suppose drinking hard liqueur out of a vase did not help.