Apparently they should consent to changes

Americans should just substitute the word “diaper” here where they see “nappy.” Even with that it won’t make a great deal of sense. A sexuality expert in Australia has insisted that we should gain a baby’s consent before changing its nappy. It’s possible that we’re too rich a society if we’re now supporting someone off the economic surplus with ideas like that. And it also tells us what’s going to happen to the world of work once the robots take all the jobs. We’ll be left to spread odd opinions, as no AI is ever going to believe something as stupid as that now, are they?

A sex education expert has sparked a debate on sexual consent, after she argued that parents should ask children for permission before changing their diapers.

Well, not so much sparked a debate as set off a sense of wonder at what some people will believe.

The ABC has drawn criticism and ridicule for airing an interview with a ‘sexuality expert’ who claims that parents should ask their babies for consent prior to changing their nappies.

Deanne Carson, a “sexuality educator” with Body Safe Australia appeared on the public broadcaster to talk about establishing a “culture of consent” in the home.

Speaking during the segment, she said she works with children from birth on issues of consent.

When asked to give an example of how parents could establish the culture in their home she said they could ask questions such as “I’m going to change your nappy now, is that okay?”

The organisation, Bodysafe Australia, insists that one in five children are sexually abused before they are 18. That might explain something about why Australians are as they are but we don’t believe it for a moment. Not unless sexual abuse includes being looked at funny or summat.

We do get a certain walkback when the details of this consent are explained:

“Of course, the baby is not going to respond, ‘yes, mum, that’s awesome. I’d love to have my nappy changed,’” Carson 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.”

Not that that’s much better. For of course that’s not how we should be considering the little snotdribblers’ desires. A very large part of the raising of a child is an insistence that no, you won’t do that, yes, you will do that. Sure, desire becomes important at times – you can choose between these strictly limited options but that’s all.

No, you can’t go play in the fire, yes, you will eat your broccoli. Your choice is as to whether you have your mashed carrot before or after your broccoli and that’s it Kiddo. As a child ages, from babby to their 20s – then regressing for men as marriage reduces choice – the areas of choice increase, the restrictions diminish. But the idea that a child should always consent, that they consent should even be sought on most matters, is an obvious mistake to start with.

And no, matters of sex do not change this. For we insist that a child doesn’t have the ability to consent in any meaningful manner in matters sexual. Therefore if consent cannot happen it cannot be sought, can it?