Monday, January 22, 2024

Yvonne Van Dongen: Identity crisis

Women’s groups are hopeful that the coalition agreement spells the beginning of the end of gender ideology in schools and public institutions.

The agreement states the government will ‘refocus the curriculum on academic achievement and not ideology, including the removal and replacement of the gender, sexuality, and relationship-based education guidelines.’

Maori gender critical group Mana Wāhine Kōrero met with New Zealand First before the election. They are pleased the coalition agreement included this statement of intent, even if it is vague about what will be removed and what the replacement will look like. They, and other women’s groups, assume the intention is to purge the curriculum of gender ideology.

Gender ideology is currently embedded in the relationships and sexuality education guidelines (RSE) as well as the mental health (MH) guidelines to schools. Even though guidelines do not have to be applied, groups like Resist Gender Education (RGE) have heard from concerned parents that children are coming home wondering if they are a boy or a girl after being taught sex is mutable. RGE is a lobby group of parents, grandparents, educators and concerned citizens,

Gender ideology is infused right throughout the curriculum, says RGE spokesperson Fern Hickson. She knows of a school where pronouns are discouraged in order to prevent giving offence and a girl’s school where the word girl is not used. Instead pupils are welcomed with greetings like “hello team.”

All the education minister, Erica Stanford has said is that she is taking advice on what was in the coalition agreement but RGE believes a strong statement is needed from the minister instructing schools to immediately
  • Cease teaching children that it is possible to change sex
  • Desist from social transitioning at school and
  • Stop providing information about chest binders, puberty blockers and other ‘gender health care..
Picture books in schools like My Daddy’s Belly and The Gender Book introduce young children to what is essentially an unscientific ideology.

Hickson says the current guidelines create unnecessary division between parents and children by teaching them that parents inevitably pose barriers to their self-determination.

The RSE guidelines say students should be able to choose a toilet and changing room that matches their gender identity. ‘For example trans girls should be able to use the female toilets if they prefer to’ In other words boys get to use girls’ toilets.

It also advocates trans-affirming healthcare for young people, describes sex as ‘assigned’ and says that learning outcomes include identifying ‘that gender and sexual identities can change.’

Schools and teachers are alerted to the risks of calling in the wrong outside providers. The mental health curriculum warns their quality and motivation may vary. They may even have a particular agenda.

“In spite of this advice, one of the major providers to schools is InsideOut, a gender affirming service that teaches scientific falsehoods, for example that sex is on a spectrum and people can choose their sex or to have no sex at all.

InsideOut also suggests schools teach students about the establishment of intersex surgeries in the 1960s by John Money, “and the intersex activism movement that has sought bodily autonomy globally and in Aotearoa.”

John Money was the New Zealand sexologist and pedophile who famously experimented on a set of boy twins, one of whom died of a drug overdose while the other killed himself.

Women’s groups believe these resources are causing harmful identity disruption for children and young people. Instead of outlining the concept of a secure healthy identity, the guidelines raise subtle questions that open the door of doubt in a child’s mind.

Although the coalition has vowed to remove and replace the guidelines, Hickson points out that by the time they hire people to rewrite, edit and produce new guidelines, several years could have passed. In the meantime RGE hopes they don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater..

“There are a lot of fabulous things in the curriculum like looking at porn and how to manage it, asking what is a healthy relationship and talking about consent. It would be a shame if children missed out on this. The opposition can sound muddled. People can muddle the LGB with the T and want to remove the LGB out of schools.”

Gender ideology is also prevalent throughout the public service. Speak Up For Women’s website highlights the case of a Ministry of Transport policy analyst who challenged the presenter of an InsideOut workshop. The analyst questioned the definition of lesbian as same gender attracted and asked if a lesbian should be attracted to a male-bodied person. She later received a letter expressing concern about her use of this term and the way she challenged the presenter.

The Free Speech Union stepped in and wrote to the Public Services Commissioner. They reminded him that the public service was meant to be ideologically neutral.

The Public Services Commissioner referred the matter to the chief executive of the Ministry of Transport who dismissed the Free Speech Union’s concerns. Apparently the policy analyst had only been asked to reflect on her behaviour and consider how she might express her views in a respectful and considerate manner.

As the errant policy analyst said later “it should not require courage for a public servant in 2023 to say that lesbians are same-sex attracted females. And yet here we are.”

The woman has since resigned and moved to the United Kingdom.

Yvonne van Dongen is a journalist, travel writer, playwright and non-fiction author. This article was first published HERE


Anonymous said...

An article in Aus news media last week complaining about lack of information for transgender male menopause - not to mention it all depends on what drugs the individual is on. Imho information on birth control and No means No is more newsworthy. The transgender person’s concerns are private and a matter of their choices not a matter for public discussion.

Scott said...

Many of us definitely support the end of gender ideology in schools. And elsewhere for that matter. 😎

Hazel Modisett said...

Teaching Biology would end this nonsense.
Men are incapable of magically trading their chromosomes to XX & swapping their genitalia & reproductive organs to female. In addition, they are biologically incapable of conceiving, gestating, performing viviparous birth & breastfeeding, so to be perfectly honest about it, there is NO argument & any claims to the contrary are mere wishful thinking & only a complete moron would believe otherwise.
2+2 does not equal 5...

Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

NZ law recognises the right of a 16-yo to identify with the opposite sex but most school children are younger than that so my question would be whether the education authorities are acting lawfully by targeting below-16s with this programme. Primary legislation cannot be challenged in court in the British system in which Parliament is supreme but regulations made by govt agencies can be challenged and ought to be.

Hazel Modisett said...

Barend Vlaardingerbroek

NZers are too apathetic to tackle the govt head on & have little faith in its systems. Me thinks the high truancy rate has a lot to do with how Kiwis have had enough of this BS & if more kids are withdrawn from these classes, the ideology will die a natural death.