Cattle Call #4

A discussion about the number of teenage girls seducing “˜innocent’ men on television got me thinking about a Blue Heelers episode from a couple of years ago. Two high school girls have fallen out because the young, good-looking band conductor is sleeping with both of them. He denies it, but as the evidence mounts, so he falls on the defence “˜you know how teenager girls are’ (looking directly at the female cop, Jo) “˜always showing off, begging for attention’.

Jo doesn’t buy it. And neither do any of the other cops at the station – male or female. And this is after pretty much all of the younger male cops have been the subject of some teenage girl’s fantasy. Throughout the series, the writers illustrate that a man who’s young, good-looking and in a position of authority is always going to be a target for young women looking for adoration and security – but that the onus is on them, as the adults in the situation, to resist temptation, no matter how much it flaunts itself in a low-cut top or bikini.

I liked that general theme. That, regardless of whether or not the girls came onto the men, it was the men’s responsibility to put a stop to it. “˜Always showing off, begging for attention’ was not an excuse to commit statutory rape/paedophilia – even among men who’d had that kind of temptation thrown at them. (And I can’t remember clearly, but I’m sure BH adressed this issue in reverse – older woman/teenage boy – and came to the same conclusion.)

I liked that the audience was never asked to excuse the man for his behaviour. I liked that the girls, even if they had tempted him, were shown as victims whos only crime was experimenting with their burgeoning sexuality. I liked that they were seen as victims of a sexual predator, not the other way around.

I miss good Australian television.


  1. scarlett says

    The article or the sentiments? I’ll take either/both :p

    Reading over it again, I realise another subtley – differentiating it between tripe like SVU – was that it was plain from the word go that the guy was guilty as sin and there’s absolutely no excuse for sleeping with your teenage students, and that the whole episode was proving the guy’s guilt, not them deciding if he was guilty or innocent.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    I have nothing to add, but wanted to say that yeah, how it was shown in this episode is how it should be. Societies have to draw a line somewhere regarding the interactions of adults and children. If everyone knows where that line is, then even if you disagree with it, you know the consequences for breaking the rules.

  3. SunlessNick says

    I was thinking of the sentiments when I said it, but it goes for the article too. :)

    differentiating it between tripe like SVU – was that it was plain from the word go that the guy was guilty as sin … proving the guy’s guilt, not them deciding if he was guilty or innocent. – Scarlett

    Extremely good point, and reminds me of something about SVU, for which I’ll have to hunt up a thread.

  4. scarlett says

    There was an ep of SVU a while ago where a college student accuses her male professor of raping her; he claims it was consentual sex and she made up the story when he broke it off with her. The whole episode was about shoring up/tearing down the credibility of both of them and never actually lookde at how highly immoral it is to sleep with someone you have authority/duty of care over. Whereas in the BH ep they established right from the start that regardless of the girl’s coming onto him, it was immoral to follow through with it.

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