ASP News & Updates

The need for comprehensive, compulsory and universal sex and relationships education has never been clearer

According to VicHealth’s National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey, one in six Australians believe when a women says ‘no’ she means ‘yes.’ One in five believe that a woman who has been drinking is partly responsible should she be raped. More than two in five believe men rape women because they can’t control their sexual urges. Overall, the survey shows that victim-blaming and violence-supportive attitudes are rife in Australian society. These findings are disturbing but, sadly, not surprising. In 2013, these attitudes were strongest among people aged 16-25 – and haven’t changed in nearly twenty years - suggesting that our current sex and relationships curriculum is failing our nation. 

While all states and territories have some provision for sexuality education, Victoria is the only state in which it is compulsory in government schools. According to the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website, ‘the goal of sexuality education in . . . is to [enable] young people to make responsible and safe choices.’ There is no mention of promoting respectful relationships or correcting harmful attitudes regarding violence against women.

The Victorian sexuality curriculum is explicitly embedded across three teaching domains (Health and Physical Education, Interpersonal Development, and Science) in every year level from Prep to Year 10, which is admirable and progressive compared to other states and territories.

Student performance in in the Victorian sexuality curriculum is, generally, not monitored and its effectiveness in the ‘real world’ is not, of course, assessed. In the National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey, we have that assessment, and given there are no state/territory differences in attitudes toward violence against women, the Victorian curriculum clearly isn’t doing its job.

Although Victoria leads the country in sexuality curriculum, we know that, based on the VicHealth results, the current Victorian curriculum is not comprehensive. Furthermore, it is not universal. Catholic and other independent schools are invited, but not required, to adopt the curriculum.

What we need is a universal, comprehensive, age-appropriate sex and relationships curriculum if we are to change our nations damaging attitudes toward violence against women.

Quite young children can learn about respectful communication, consent, personal responsibility and personal boundaries. Victoria should work toward a curriculum, appropriate to the cognitive and emotional development of primary school children that provides a factual, non-judgemental, and inclusive education around general ad intimate relationships.

Sex and sexuality education is crucial to the development of healthy attitudes around intimate, romantic relationships. Early (primary school) introduction to concepts like difference, respectful communication, consent, privacy, and personal boundaries will provide the foundation for healthy relationships in general. Later, secondary level, instruction around sex, sexuality, gender, consent and intimacy will be crucial in the development of healthy and respectful attitudes to intimate relationships.

A comprehensive curriculum is crucial to promoting respectful relationships, but the best curriculum in the world is of little value if poorly implemented. We need to ensure that the sex and relationships curriculum starts early, is explicitly taught and is universal. We know that in Prep, most children are becoming attuned to sex and gender differences. It is vital that we use this brief window to establish the foundations of healthy respectful interactions before harmful attitudes and gender stereotypes become set.

The sex and relationships curriculum should be presented in an explicit and holistic manner. Divvying up the content among various learning domains means students have to piece the parts of the curriculum together themselves. This reduces the educational impact on students and undermines the importance and seriousness of the endeavour.

Perhaps most importantly, the sex and relationships curriculum needs to be universal. Like maths, English and science, the sex and relationships curriculum should be compulsory in all schools, both government and independent alike. We do women a great disservice when we provide only some of our students with a factual, evidence-based and comprehensive education.

The authors of the VicHealth report advise, “we need to focus our efforts on the younger generation to teach them how to nurture equal, caring, respectful partnerships throughout their lives.” School-based education is part on part of the solution to this complex problem, but one in which Victoria can lead the way.

Dr Francesca Collins is a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Studies at Monash University and the lead Australian Sex Party candidate for the Southern Metropolitan Upper House region.

Victorians Deserve To Know

Last night the Australian Christian Lobby hosted an event at Queens’ Hall, Parliament House of Victoria. At the event both Premier Denis Napthine and Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews committed to allowing their MPs a conscience vote on any private member bills affecting abortion in the next Parliament.

With every Coalition and ALP MP to be allowed a conscience vote this raises questions that each candidate at the Victorian state election should answer before any votes are cast.

Few of the voters in Frankston, let alone the rest of Victoria, knew of Geoff Shaw’s stance on abortion until his rise to notoriety. The topic of abortion became the plaything of Geoff Shaw after he resigned from the Liberal Party and held the balance of power in the Legislative Assembly as an independent.

Victorians overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to choose a pregnancy termination and were disappointed and angered that one man would seek to impose his views upon Victorians. He threatened to introduce a raft a measures winding back the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, which decriminalized abortion in Victoria and provided legal certainty to medical practitioners.

It’s not good enough that only the Australian Christian Lobby gets to demand answers from the leaders of the major parties.
Victorians deserve to know which candidate might become the next Geoff Shaw.

Victorians deserve to know the stance of each candidate on reproductive rights, on Section 8 of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 and on the ongoing intimidation and harassment of patients and staff outside facilities that perform pregnancy terminations.

Without this knowledge Victorians cannot be confident their vote will be cast for someone who supports a woman’s freedom to make decision affecting her own body.

The Fetish Expo!

September 20th 2014, Fitzroy Town Hall, Napier Street, Fitzroy Doors open 12 noon…

Shop, catch high-octane fetish and neo-burlesque shows, and marvel at exhibitions of erotic art and photography. Grab a drink from the bars, eat some home cooked food and wander around the venue to your wicked heart’s content socialising with friends old and new.

Dress code: Any clothing is allowed, but undercarriages to be covered please. Kink/alt outfits are heartily encouraged.

Prepare to be entertained, amused, aroused and, if you’re very lucky, tongue whipped by your hostess, the outrageous Polyfilla, a full time hedonist and dedicated pleasure facilitator on the fetish scene. Together with the lovely Poly we have Otonowa (Japan), Gestalta (UK), Princess Kali USA), Kate Wright TRO, Mz MM & Kintama, Ms Von Dyke, Lucy La Pa, KC Kynk & Jessyka Rose and Amy Wineglass.

With our Fetish Fashion Show 4 pm with the likes of Bossy Girl Secret, Marquis DeSade, Eagle Leather, Fantasy Fair, Victorian Gothic and Leg Heaven

Fetish Expo is an alternative fetish fashion show with performance that will blow your mind baby!

Cultivated to support and bring to the top the efforts of new and established avante garde fetish fashion designers, the Expo thrives on promoting the evolution of sexual innovations and dungeon design. We have been operating since 2007 so we know how it’s done and have been devoted to both individuals and businesses within the fetish industry to help provide a stable platform to network, trade and find new like minded friends to explore what we feel is an incredibly diverse and interesting lifestyle. We believe everyone should have access to fetishism and we provide a sympathetic environment for both new comers and seasoned members to relax, meet friends and find wonderful new items to enhance their lifestyle.

We think you will find more bespoke artisan sellers than you would ever dreamed of finding here all under the one roof…so won’t that be a rest for your kinky soled boots kinksters? And of course you can find out about all the other events Oz Kink Fest has on offer right here.

So what are you waiting for?…Oh of course September 20th at 12 noon…come on down!!!

Facebook or website

FETISH-EXPOweb

 

Sex Party Releases Upper House Candidates: Balance of Power Now Possible

The Australian Sex Party has announced candidates for the Victorian Upper House election in November. For the first time, every Victorian who is eligible to vote will now be able to vote for the Sex Party. Party President, Fiona Patten, said the party is standing candidates in every upper house region with the expectation that it has a chance of getting as many as four candidates elected to the Legislative Council and possibly with balance of power.

“As a truly non-aligned party who owes nothing to Labor, Liberal or the Greens, we are ideally placed to hold the balance of power,” she said. “We are a sensible and thoroughly modern political party that can offer Victorians the chance to see long-overdue social reforms put into place”.

The Candidates

Fiona Patten is the Party President and will once again stand for the Northern Metropolitan Region. In 2010 Ms Patten was within a few hundred votes of being elected to the Victorian Parliament. In 2013 she would have won the Senate seat now occupied by the Motorist Party except for a well-documented preference sting.

Dr Francesca Collins is lead candidate for Southern Metropolitan Region. Francesca is a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Studies at Monash University who is concerned about religious education and the lack of quality age-appropriate sex education in our schools.

Vicki Nash is lead candidate for Western Metropolitan Region. Vicki is a small business owner and a keen supporter of Greenpeace and ORRCA. She is passionate about social equality and relishes the opportunity to promote social change and the rights of the individual. Ms Nash was a candidate for the Division of McEwen at the 2013 Federal Election.

Martin Leahy is lead candidate for South Eastern Metropolitan Region. Martin contested the 2013 Lyndhurst by-election, polling an impressive 8.37% of 1st Preference votes, and was candidate for the Division of La Trobe at the 2013 Federal Election. He currently works in warehousing and logistics and says most people want Government to run the state - not their lives.

Stephen Barber is lead candidate for Eastern Metropolitan Region. Stephen works in the Community Housing and Social Welfare sectors and has a passion for the arts and the great outdoors. Mr Barber was our candidate for the Division of Deakin at the 2013 Federal Election.

Charlie Crutchfield is lead candidate for Northern Victoria Region. Charlie contested the 2013 Federal Election for the Division of Bendigo and is determined to achieve drug law reform in Victoria.

Jayden Millard is our lead candidate for Western Victoria Region. Jayden believes in the individual’s right to choose and contends that conservatives are over represented in the Victorian parliament.

Ange Hopkins is lead candidate for Eastern Victoria Region. Ange is the finance and operations manager of the Love Pharmacy, a longtime member of the Australian Sex Party and was a Senate candidate for Victoria at the 2013 Federal Election.

Each candidate would add diversity of life experience to our Parliament, taking a strong stance on civil liberties and the secular needs of all Victorians.

Lower house candidates will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Sex Party to Address Cannabis Rally Today

Australian Sex Party President Fiona Patten will address a medical cannabis rally in Treasury Gardens today to support the legalisation of cannabis for medical uses. The rally kicks off at 2:30pm near the old Treasury Building.

Ms Patten has welcomed Labor and Liberal commitments on medical cannabis recently but said she was sceptical because both of them had deeply entrenched attitudes to drugs that would not shift easily in a party room debate. “They can say they will set up trials and enquiries just to win votes but the truth of the matter is that both major parties are deeply conservative when it comes to drug law reform”, she said. “If they decide to go slow on the promise it could take a decade of debate and enquiry before anything concrete happens. The old groupers in Labor and the ghosts of John Howard and Brian Watters in the Liberals, will make law reform very difficult."

If elected to the Upper House, Ms Patten said she would provide a constant conscience to the parliament on cannabis and be a thorn in the government’s side to move forward on legalising and regulating cannabis for medical, industrial and recreational purposes.

“Nearly 5000 years ago a Chinese Emperor wrote about cannabis as a popular medicine. India and the Middle East were using the plant for medicinal purposes around 2500 years ago. Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire both have records of cannabis being used for medicinal purposes. This is not a new idea and there have been tales of its therapeutic potential for millennia,” she said.

She said she wanted to see cannabis legalised for medical purposes and research avenues to be opened up to better study the medicinal effects of cannabis. “The laws around cannabis have been outdated since they were first written in the 1920s. The Australian Sex Party supports regulation of cannabis for all the reasons it is currently criminalised. Not only should we be allowing patients access to a vital medicine, but we should allow the industrial hemp industry to flourish as well as the carefully regulated recreational market. Bringing cannabis out of the black market has major ramifications for the economy and the social fabric of Australia.”

If elected to parliament, the Australian Sex Party will use very opportunity to:

  • Legalise and regulate medical cannabis for all who need it, based on the new Canadian medicinal cannabis model.
  • Move quickly to establish cannabis as a medicine. No time-wasting committees or inquiries on an issue we already have significant evidence on.
  • Move to license growers quickly and efficiently.
  • Push for the legalisation and regulation of the recreational market.
  • Remove any significant barriers to entry on the industrial hemp industry, allowing for more competitive hemp products.

Sex Party Calls for Moratorium on Medical Cannabis Prosecutions

Australian Sex Party President, Fiona Patten, will address a medical cannabis rally in the Treasury Gardens today to support the legalisation of cannabis for medical uses. The rally kicks off at 2:30pm near the old Victorian Treasury Building.

She said people should not trust the major parties to hold to their growing pledges to legalise medical cannabis. “Although there are a few individual voices in the Coalition and Labor who want medical cannabis, the evidence is that they have had 20 years to move on this and they are still sending people to jail for supplying of forms of cannabis. If the major parties are genuine in their approach to legalise medical cannabis, they would introduce an immediate moratorium on its supply, free Mullaways medical cannabis supplier, Tony Bower, stop the harassment and charges against an ACT man for supplying medical cannabis and allow the Norfolk Island government to go ahead with its plans to issue medical cannabis licenses”.

She said that both parties have an entrenched and pejorative attitude toward marijuana that will delay and try to overturn any moves to legalise cannabis in any form. “The old groupers in Labor and the ghosts of John Howard and Brian Watters in the Liberals, will make law reform very difficult,” she said. “They will propose endless enquiries and committees and will tie any eventual laws into lining the pockets of big pharmaceutical companies.”

She criticized ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury’s approach to legalizing cannabis as piecemeal and without any clear business plan for continuous supply. “Politicians must learn that you cannot legalise one area of the cannabis plant and criminalise others. Medical, recreational and industrial cannabis needs to be considered as a whole. If it’s good enough to ameliorate epilepsy, help you sleep at night and stop you from being sick on anti-cancer drugs in one form, then we should at least stop sending people to jail for using it like beer or wine. After that, freeing up and funding industrial hemp should also be a no-brainer”.

Australian Sex Party Extend Sympathy to Nimbin

The Australian Sex Party extend their sympathies to the people of Nimbin, who have been subjected to an inappropriate and disproportionate operation by New South Wales police.

On September 11th the NSW police force sent in around 70 officers to Nimbin, making several arrests for small drug offences, raiding local businesses and seizing two kilograms of cannabis. Richmond Local Area Commander Superintendent Greg Martin told the media that the arrests were the culmination of six months work by the local Drug Unit.

“Six months of work and 70 police officers. For two kilos of cannabis. This is exactly what we have been talking about. The War on Drugs is a waste of time and a waste of money. It's a waste of our resources and all for what?” said Fiona Patten, Australian Sex Party President. “I must admit, I laughed in disbelief when I read that Commander Martin claimed it's all about the drugs and their effect on the community. For someone who has reigned down such heartache on a community already reeling from the fire last month to then say he's helping... it's absurd.”

The Australian Sex Party oppose the prohibition of cannabis and other low risk psychoactive substances, noting that global drug prohibition is failed policy.

Fiona Patten said, “The conversation around the globe is turning to evidence informed policy, yet we still have police departments engaging in counterproductive action. This is why we need to regulate the market and legalise.”

SLUTWALK - Saturday 6 September

The Sex Party is a proud supporter of the Slut Walk event in Melbourne. Come put on a yellow tshirt and join us in the fight against victim blaming. SlutWalk Toronto founded this international movement have have this to say about the reason why this event began:

“On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.

With sexual assault already a significantly … under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.

Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.” For more information visit

facebook.com/slutwalkmelbourne  
facebook.com/events

SlutwalkPostCard 53

Melbourne preparing to put some kink in its spring

Oz Kink Fest® 2014 returns for its 7th year as Australia’s biggest kink festival

While much of Melbourne will be focused on the AFL finals, from September 19 - 28 the alternative lifestyle and fetish communities will be busy getting its kink on.

Oz Kink Fest® brings fetish enthusiasts, experts and retailers together for 10 days of workshops, parties, performances and trade across a number of inner-city venues.

The showcase event is the Melbourne Fetish Expo on Saturday 20 September.  Over 40 local businesses and vendors will bring the best of their products to the Fitzroy Town Hall, giving visitors a unique opportunity to explore leather and fetish wear, toys, equipment and services under one roof, with performances and demonstrations throughout the afternoon culminating in the Grand Fetish Fashion Show.

Oz Kink Fest® producer, MzMallice, says many in last year’s capacity crowd were new to ‘the scene’ after the Fifty Shades trilogy of erotic novels took fetish fantasy to a huge mainstream audience.“Melbourne Fetish Expo is a supportive, fun environment for those who’re thinking about adding a bit of kink to their sex lives”, she explains.“And for those who’ve been around for a while, it’s a great way to share skills and experiences and find new interests to pursue.”

Major parties, including Provocation: the Fetish Expo After Party and Hellfire Resurrection on Friday 26, will see guests debut their favourite outfits, show off their moves on the dance floor and bring their fantasies to life in the play areas. Throughout the week in between an extensive series of workshops covers topics from spanking and flogging through ropework and bondage to piercing and (human) puppy play, culminating in a full weekend workshop intensive on the 27/28.

MzMallice says “we’re thrilled to once again have the support of AdultMatchMaker.com in producing such a significant festival for our communities. It’s the only annual event of its kind on this scale in Australia and it brings people into Melbourne from around the country and beyond”.

Festival Event Pass and individual tickets are available online at ozkinkfest.com and at selected outlets including Eagle Leather, Lucrezia& De Sade, Hares & Hyenas, MJ's ToyBox, Piercing HQ, Marquis DeSade

Full details and updates for Oz Kink Fest® 2014 are online at ozkinkfest.com and OzKinkFest on Facebook.

All Oz Kink Fest® events are open to the general public; participants are expected to adhere to respectful behaviour and principles that ensure a safe environment for exploring adult sexuality.

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Fiona Patten on Late Night Live with Phillip Adams

Fiona appeared as a recent guest on Phillip Adams’ Late Night Live with Josie Delap, the British home affairs correspondent for The Economist. They discuss Delap's article on sex work and technology in the current issue of the magazine. Listen here.

Fiona Philip

(Left) Illustration by Brett Lethbridge (Right) Illustration by Gavin Ryan

Spend Chaplaincy Budget on Sex and Relationship Education

Following yesterday’s announcement by the federal government that it will ask the states to administer their own chaplaincy budgets, the Australian Sex Party has challenged both the Victorian Liberal and Labor parties to channel the funds into sex and relationship education for students instead.

In 2010 The Victorian Treasury costed the Sex Party's sex education policy and found that for as little as $6million, a sex education curriculum could be provided to all schools for four years.

Sex Party President and Upper House candidate for the upcoming state election, Fiona Patten, said that the High Court had made a decision on chaplains which happened to oppose the personal religious beliefs of the Prime Minister. “Like a man possessed, he is now seeking out any avenue to impose his religious beliefs on the nation’s school children”, she said. “By any reasonable account this is just religious indoctrination disguised as pastoral care”.

Ms Patten said that school children would be much better served in their adult lives by learning how to have a safe and informed sex life and a better background in creating a loving relationship, than they would by learning about religion. “The High Court found that what the federal government was proposing was unconstitutional and affirmed that Australia does have some constitutional separation of church and state”, she said.

She called for mandatory, comprehensive sex education, focusing in early years on issues of safety, body image and self esteem through initiatives in later years aimed at reducing STIs and teen pregnancy. The Sex Party is pushing for comprehensive educational reforms aimed at promoting ethics and political education, replacing chaplains with qualified counselling and psychology professionals, requiring private schools which receive public funding to abide strictly by anti-discrimination legislation, and giving more power to schools to respond to the specific needs of their communities.

“The federal government is trying to give hundreds of millions of dollars to inculcate Christian religious values in schools and we're leaving behind notions of civics, ethics, teaching democratic values -- even things as basic as how the government works”.