Discover more from Resist Gender Education
Pride is Propaganda
Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa is from June 12-16. But what exactly is it celebrating or teaching? The week is led by InsideOut, a political lobby group that the Ministry of Education (MOE) has partnered with to promote gender identity beliefs in all schools. InsideOut says it wants “kids to be able to play, try out wearing a skirt or sparkles or a silly santa beard if that calls to them”. So far, so good. Resist Gender Education also thinks boys and girls should be able to play with any toys they like and experiment with their clothing, without being mocked or bullied for doing so. However, in contrast to InsideOut, we do not think this play acting – a vital part of child development – should ever include pretending that someone has actually and literally changed their sex. Trying out ‘he’ or ‘she’ if they want, as suggested by InsideOut, is a confusing and destabilising action that is discriminatory to other children in the classroom. Read more about it here.
Children and schools are being caught up in a political propaganda campaign designed to bolster a minority view of sex and gender.
The results of a Curia research poll were released today: The majority of New Zealanders do not support sex self-ID, which was voted into law by all NZ political parties in 2021 and comes into effect on June 15.
Many schools promote Pride activities as ones that celebrate diversity and teach children acceptance and inclusivity, goals that most parents would support. But if you look a little deeper, you will find hidden messages that are often age inappropriate, reinforce sexist stereotypes, or worst of all, teach things that are not true.
Activities that appear to be harmless can be teaching children age inappropriate ideas or indoctrinating them into a belief not held by most people. For example, the suggested common ground activity is a good way to help young children find commonalities and friendship, but what happens if the teacher makes statements like “most boys have penises, but not all”? What happens to a child who is the only one in a class who dares say that isn’t true? Likewise, colouring-in rainbow flags, baking rainbow cakes, or the hunt the rainbow flag game are inappropriate because they are introducing young children to symbolism that is about sexuality. The fact that it is about LGB sexuality is irrelevant – schools should not be promoting straight sexuality to primary age children either.
Reinforcing sexist stereotypes
Reading material that recognises adult lesbian and gay relationships and celebrates children who are gender non-conforming without saying they are the other sex, do give positive messages. But books like ‘I am Jazz’ that say there is such a thing as a ‘girl brain’ are sending negative messages to both girls and boys. Girls who don’t like pink and fairies are led to believe that they’re not ‘proper’ girls. Boys who like long hair and ballet might think they need to follow Jazz’s example and try to change their sex.
Another activity that relies on sexist stereotypes is making DIY pronoun badges. Instead of teaching children that there is no right way of being a boy or girl, pronoun badges say that a girl in boyish clothing is actually a boy and vice versa, and that everyone around them must agree with the badge wearer or suffer unpleasant social consequences.
Discussions, or “little conversations” as they are called at primary age, are not proper discussions when only one point of view is allowed to be expressed.
Teaching things that are not true
Several statements made by InsideOut and the MOE are not scientifically true. Intersex is not a third or in between sex. Sex is not randomly assigned at birth. Humans cannot change their sex. Lesbians are same sex attracted, not same gender attracted.
One colouring activity recommended for Pride week teaches that everyone has a gender identity when there is no objective evidence that is true. It places biological sex on a spectrum when it is unequivocally binary and it incorrectly includes being asexual (not interested in sexual relationships) as a sexual orientation.
Increased opportunities for bullying
Some recommended activities have the potential to increase rather than decrease opportunities for bullying. The ‘Day of Silence’ activity, that asks students to stay silent for a day at school “in solidarity with the wider rainbow community” actually creates an ‘in’ group who can then identify and isolate those students who do not want to participate.
Gender identity doctrine
To understand how deeply embedded the belief in gender identity has become in the NZ Education system, refer to this 6 June 2023 article in the Education Gazette. It collects in one place links to all the Ministry of Education policies, curriculum resources, and recommendations on the topic. It includes a link to the RSE guidelines where suggestions are given on “dealing with objections from the community”. This section, while saying that “consultations are an opportunity for the community’s voice to be heard”, also provides schools with advice on how to counter that voice and states that “the consultation does not require that the community… need to agree to the delivery statement, nor specific topics covered.”
Pride has become inextricably linked with sex denialism – the idea that sex is unimportant and that policies and laws should be based instead on individual, internal feelings of femininity or masculinity. RGE believes it is not the role of teachers to push their personal political views onto students or of schools to promote this highly politicised issue and teach unproven ideas as confirmed fact.
What you can do
1. Talk to your child’s teacher about incidental classroom learning – things like the games, activities and ‘discussions’ mentioned above. Explain you do not want your child to be taught the falsehood that humans can change sex and you think children should be celebrated for what they contribute or achieve at school, not simply who they are.
2. Write to the principal or Board of Trustees. A template letter is here that you can adapt to suit your own school and the age of your children.
3. Find other parents who hold the same concerns and approach the Board as a group. Ask to speak to them. Advice on speaking to a BOT is here.
Thanks for reading Resist Gender Education! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.