Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Should you rape a woman?

The Australian Football League is making an interactive DVD as part of their efforts to improve players' respect for women. Respect and responsibility program co-ordinator Melanie Heenan says it's purpose is to "prompt confident decision-making in situations that can be quite complex".

We are always thrilled when a professional athletics organization takes a step to deal with violence against women. However, we are disappointed that the type of training being implemented by the AFL is actually necessary. Melinda Tankard Reist says it best:
We have so failed in the very basics of civilised human interaction that the Australian Football League has been forced to hire a swag of actors and a film crew to make an interactive DVD to help players understand that perhaps it's not a good idea to pretend to be your best mate so you can have sex with his girlfriend.
As sarcastic is it sounds, Reist's chosen scenario is drawn from an actual draft question from the training DVD's script. Among the drafts released to the public are the complicated moral dilemmas of whether or not to trick a woman into having sex with you, take of advantage of a woman who is very intoxicated, or watch people have sex without their permission. In respect to these questions, blogger Melissa McEwan comments,
That these are considered complex ethical questions is just completely insane to me. It's like being asked: "You see your friend Todd walking down the street toward you. Do you: (a) say hello or (b) hit him in the head with a shovel?"
In her column, Ms. Reist goes on to say that it does not seem that the DVD will address the seriousness of sexual assault and that it is playing on negative stereotypes of women. She also believes that the actions of the AFL are a reflection of a larger culture of contempt for women as exemplified by an Australian made t-shirt that reads "It's not rape, it's surprise sex."

No comments: