Thursday, 19 March 2015

Consent

The latest guidance on SRE is going to have children talking about pornography and consent in school from the age of 11 up.

I will pass lightly over the topic of pornography, assuming that anyone who reads this blog will realise how evil it is, and how thoroughly misguided it is to encourage children to discuss it, particularly in mixed-sex classes.

I want to dwell on the issue of consent. Recently, a blog post was written and widely promoted and praised on social media, explaining consent by means of the metaphor of making someone a cup of tea (here).  It is very well done -and it is as fallacious as the lessons to which our children will soon be subjected.

The fundamental error is to assume that sexual intercourse is as trivial as having a cup of tea.  Clearly, that is a nonsense. Some of the immediate differences that spring to mind are:

  • the meaning of the act
  • the possible consequences of the act, both positive and negative
  • the implications of the act with regard to other people
  • the strength of the interest of one party in the other party's engaging in the act
  • (related to the last) the likelihood of deception in the asking for consent

and so on.

So perhaps a better analogy would be two organisations, or even nations, agreeing to work together on a matter of significance.

In that instance, typically the first thing to do is to establish a memorandum of understanding, or a framework agreement.  Because this is important, there may even be the requirement for some formality, and witnesses.  Then, within that context, specific actions by either or both parties may be agreed.

The point of that process is to minimise the likelihood of misunderstanding, cheating, exploitation, and so on, when the stakes are high and the desires of the various parties coincide in part but not necessarily in whole.

And of course, that is what civilised societies have developed with regard to sexual intercourse.  The memorandum of understanding, or framework agreement, is analogous to marriage. Each party agrees to the overall terms of engagement, with witnesses, so that the risk of being misled, or hurt, or having to deal with the consequences alone, are vastly reduced. Within that framework agreement, of course, consent with regard to individual acts is also necessary: but the chances of meaningful consent are far greater.

Indeed, over the centuries, and enlightened by the teaching of both Natural Law and religious wisdom, we had reached a stage where we knew what the framework agreement needed to cover: a life-long, exclusive commitment to be there for each other, no matter what, and to raise the children of the marriage together.

But the consent envisaged by the blog post I linked to, and the ideology it represents (typified by Brook and other self-appointed experts who dictate education policy in this country) is quite different. It is a spur of the moment consent, easily obtained by false promises, or simply honeyed words and lust, and yet it is taken as the one criterion of morality.

And that is what our kids will soon be being taught: if you fancy it, say yes, and everything will be wonderful. And if you don't say no.

As if that is going to work...


2 comments:

Bruvver Eccles said...

I do wonder about people who seek to expose innocent children to pornography, or to get them discussing sexual matters. This is so clearly evil, that it's strange that politicians (from several parties) are so keen on it. Do you have to sell your soul to the Devil if you wish to become an MP?

Ben Trovato said...

I think it is a progression (which one can clearly see in many, alas) from the World (pursuit of power) to the Flesh (cf the scandal that is just breaking) to the Devil. You don't have to start there, but there is a strong risk that it is where you will end up in modern politics.