I’m not on Twitter, but my fella is; so I’m obliged to annoyingly look over his shoulder occasionally to sneer at something. Anything.
I spotted this gem earlier from some bloke re-tweeted by Róisín Ingle:
“any1 justifying why they don’t need to attend a sexual consent workshop NEEDS to go 2 1 ASAP”
An obvious reference to the dissent greeting Una Mullally’s piece in the Irish Times’ today instructing readers on why we need “a solid framework of education around sex and consent”, which apparently amounts to compulsory sexual consent classes due to be introduced for freshers to Trinity in the coming year.
Mullally makes no reference to proven models of good practice that exist within youth work provision; the comparatively higher success in exploring these issues at a younger age in a non-formal educational setting in which young people are facilitated to explore the responsibilities that come with sexual development along with their peers rather than top-down instruction; and the on-going cuts to the sector that attack this vital function.
Instead, the reader is treated to a blunt defence of the approach, and a neat comparison of these classes with the similarly necessary imposition of breathalyser tests, and other put-’em-up tactics designed to undermine the legitimacy of any chin-stroking or reservations about the move. The limits to the elasticity of consent in the context of debate are seemingly off-limits. And that might well be the most annoying sentence I’ve ever written, but let me not interrupt my own righteousness any further…
The problem with reserving the right to reflect on the issues a little longer than the length of an opinion column and its umpteen curled lips, is that one is obliged to share question marks with strange bedfellows. By strange, I mean bonkers, as a cursory read of the regular commentariat below the line of columns on the Irish Times website will confirm.
Similarly, the problem with having a left-leaning feminist outlook is that that broad value system is shared with what appears to be an increasingly bug-bite ridden band of bed-fellows intent on knocking themselves (and the validity of their own argument) out with spectacular feats of intolerance. Shutting down the need for all ideas to be given a good kicking appears very much at odds with their own philosophy.
The quality of the debate is one thing, but the rush to paralyse it with such thoughtful and insightful comments as the tweet above is further evidence that elements of both the Bonkers and the Left are becoming indistinguishable. Or as my new best friends over at the Irish Times’ comments section would put it – what a load of shite.
For a more rounded, open-ended, view on the issue that treats the reader as an adult, have a read at Fionola Meredith’s take from the same paper. Or as my new best enemies over at the Irish Times’ comment section would put it – what a load of shite.
And your Ma smells of wee.