The bullies had a win last week when a sex education and consent booked aimed at teenagers was taken off the shelves of Big W stores.
To be fair, Big W says it has removed the book not because it agrees with the campaign against it, but because of threats to in-store staff.
It’s ironic really that conservative campaigners led this push to pull the book when they’re usually the ones so upset about cancel culture.
You can’t be an advocate for free speech and making your own decisions about what you consume, and at the same time demand a book like this be removed from the shelves.
The Welcome to Sex book was accused of “grooming” children, and being a “graphic sex guide”.
You have to wonder if those so loudly against this book, namely Women’s Forum Australia, are living in the real world.
Sure, in a perfect scenario your child grows up with that wonderful innocence we all wish we could bottle. They grow up with every moral and ethic you give them and only associate with good people.
But we know the world ain’t perfect, and sex education is far different than it was when many of these campaigners were growing up. Whacking a condom on a banana doesn’t cut it these days.
Our kids are exposed to sex at a much younger age in these times, they’ll interact with pornography one way or another earlier than most of us ever did, and they’ll likely have more questions than we ever did too.
It’s only right, then, that they’re more informed than the generations before them too and have the resources to assist.
There may well be elements of this book that you’re uncomfortable with as a parent, and that’s OK. You get to make an informed choice about whether your child engages with all of the content, some of the content, or none of the content.
Content that includes reasons not to have sex, myths about sex, awkward sex moments, orgasms and difficult parent-to-child conversations.
We’re not talking about reading this book in Kindergarten. The book makes it clear it’s aimed at 12 to 15-year-olds.
At some stage, I guarantee you your child in that age group will face a sexual situation they are scared about, uncomfortable with or uncertain how to handle.
Would you seriously not want them to have as much information and education in their heads to handle such a situation?
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.