Sexuality educator says parents should seek consent from children before changing their nappies
Several people called out Deanne Carson as they viewed her advice to construe neglect and child abuse, with Sky News Australia's Rowan Dean calling her statements 'leftie lunacy'
A sexuality educator was slammed for suggesting parents should ask for the consent of their infant and toddler children before changing their diapers. Deanne Carson, an author and educator who is also the CEO of youth relationship service Body Safety Australia, was heavily criticized and mocked after she appeared on an ABC News segment and insisted families should set up "a culture of consent" at their homes.
According to Snopes, which confirmed the story, an off-screen interviewer asked Carson on lessons about consent and bodily autonomy "from birth," when she responded saying, "Yes, just about how to set up a culture of consent in their homes so, 'I’m going to change your nappy now, is that OK?'"
"Of course, a baby is not going to respond, 'Yes, mum, that’s awesome, I’d love to have my nappy changed'," she continued. "But if you leave a space and wait for body language and wait to make eye contact then you’re letting that child know that their response matters."
The airing of that interview saw several people callout Carson for what they viewed as advice that construed neglect and child abuse, with Sky News Australia's Rowan Dean calling her statements "leftie lunacy."
Kirralie Smith, a member of Australian Conservatives and the founder and Director of Halal choices, wrote on Facebook, "This goes way beyond lunacy! This is neglect and child abuse!!!! Many children never want you to change their nappy. Asking them for consent is a serious indication of severe mental problems. Nappies must be changed to prevent serious skin damage and pain for the child. What is worse is the fact that ABC actually spent our tax dollars on this moronic opinion."
Her attempt to explain her reasoning backfired further. "I gave an interview the other day about teaching consent to young children," she said in a statement on Facebook. "Sadly, some people have chosen to ridicule me (oh no! Pink hair! Must be a lesbian!) and the notion of giving infants bodily autonomy (poo in nappies har har amiright?!)"
"For those people, I’m posting this," she continued. "One in three girls, and one in seven boys, will be sexually assaulted by the time they are eighteen years old. One in twelve girls will be sexually abused before their sixth birthday. The work we do with children, teachers, and parents is international best practice in abuse prevention.
"It teaches children their rights AND their responsibilities and connects them with people who care and can help. It invites their parents into the discussion and is sensitive to cultural and family values. Troll me all you want, add to your blog inches, but remember that when you do, you are negating the voices of these brave survivors of sexual abuse."
As expected, that response did not sit well either. "What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard," one commented, while another sarcastically wrote, "You’re doing such an excellent job, hence the reason they’re trolling."
Carson revealed the extent of the hate and vitriol she received on social media, writing on New Matilda, "They wanted to know if I had children, if I was a man, a woman or an 'it,' and whether I would do the world a favor and kill myself."
She said she finally switched off her account and went offline after one particularly disturbing message. "A final message telling me I needed a bullet between the eyes was enough for me to pull the pin and get offline," she wrote.
Watch Carson's video about nappy consent below.