The school captain of a prestigious Brisbane boys school has become a viral sensation, and for good reason.
Mason Black, school captain at Brisbane Boys College, delivered a powerful speech on sexual consent to his fellow classmates on Thursday and it has gained the attention of thousands of people around the country.
In the moving address, the Year 12 student urged his peers to “stop being boys” and to “start being human”.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
He admitted that he “feels sick” that his school has been named among dozens of others across the country in testimonies from young women claiming to have been sexually assaulted.
“It makes me feel sick and it makes me feel embarrassed that our school is featured in the testimonies of young women who are victims of sexual assault.
“I feel ashamed that the action of some reflects poorly on us all, but realistically it isn’t just those who are mentioned in the media.
“If you have ever objectified a woman based on her looks, talked about females in a misogynistic way, or taken advantage without consent, you are part of the problem.”
He continued by admitting that the problem cannot be fixed by those higher up, but instead by “the boys” themselves.
“Boys, if a woman wants to say no, and she says no, we have to listen, understand and accept this,” he said.
“This rape culture is so deeply ingrained into today’s world, and it needs to be addressed.
“As good as this message is coming from public speakers or staff, it’s up to us. The boys.”
Mr Black went on to urge his peers to “stand up to any man, no matter how big they are, if we see it happening, and we have to keep our mates accountable, no matter where it may be”.
“Too many of my friends, our friends, too many of my loved ones, your loved ones, and too many women around Australia are victims of sexual assault,” he said.
“For me it cuts too close to home,” the youngster admitted.
“Even my own mother, at the age of 10, against her will, was sexually abused before she learned about the birds and the bees.”
The BBC captain questioned why “with all of our money and laws everyday women around our country continue to be abused, raped, psychologically vilified and denied the basic human rights that most males take for granted?”
“If we are so smart and so enlightened on this issue as a society, why is it still happening?” he said.
The powerful speech, which is continuing to be shared online in the thousands, finished with Mr Black thanking the women in his life for “being so strong”.
“To all my friends that are girls, thank you for being so strong,” he said.
“To all the mother figures, especially in the boarding house … thank you for being there for me.
“And to all women, I am so inspired by you.
“To mum, I hope sharing your story helps boys understand how close this issue really is to home.”