SILLINESS IN A NEBRASKA SCHOOL DISTRICT
HIGHLIGHTS OUR CULTURAL MADNESS
By now, probably everyone has heard about the Lincoln, Nebraska, school district whose “gender sensitivity” training included a handout encouraging teachers to avoid calling boys and girls “boys” and “girls.”
As reported by the Lincoln Journal Star, Fox News, and numerous other outlets, teachers were advised to attract their students’ attention by using expressions like, “Calling all readers!” or “Hey, campers!” and to refer to them as “purple penguins” or other cutesy, gender-neutral images.
The training materials were acquired from an organization called Gender Spectrum, which according to its website, “provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.”
A local watchdog group — named, appropriately, Nebraska Watchdog — posted excerpts from the handout, highlighting several of its key recommendations, such as…
“‘When you find it necessary to reference gender, say “boy, girl, both or neither,”’ the handout said. ‘When asked why, use this as a teachable moment. Emphasize to students that your classroom recognizes and celebrates the gender diversity of all students ….’
“‘Be intolerant of openly hostile attitudes or references towards others … on their statements about gender. Being punitive may stop the behavior, at least in your presence. Being instructive may stop it entirely ….’
“‘Avoid using “normal” to define any behaviors.’”
Nebraska Watch also cited an accompanying booklet titled “The Genderbread Person” that…
“encouraged kids to define their gender based on how much they align with ‘what you understand to be the options for gender’ such as ‘two-spirit’ and ‘gender/queer.’ The options for expressing gender ranged from butch to femme and androgynous to gender-neutral.”
Which certainly succeeds at charting a wide course around anything which might be described as normal.
“‘happy’ and ‘pleased’ with the training materials because the school district wants all children to be successful and not feel like outcasts or be afraid to go to school. He said the school district needs to be inclusive and educate and understand all children and address bullying.”
It didn’t take long, however, for Superintendent Joel to dial back his enthusiasm, after the press got hold of the Gender Spectrum handouts, setting off a nationwide uproar around those happy little Nebraska purple penguins. As reported in the Journal Star, he insisted at a press conference…
“Never once has anyone inside our system mandated that a teacher take (the words) ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ or ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ out of their interactions with children or interaction with adults. There’s no policy, there’s no procedure, there’s no changes being made to bathrooms in schools.”
I’m glad to hear that about the bathrooms. Enough strangeness goes on there.
One is almost tempted to wax nostalgic about the “good old days.” It used to be that the worst school bathroom infractions were smoking between classes or pushing the head of some scrawny kid into the toilet. Now that was bullying.
Setting aside any attempt to either defend or refute the validity of transgenderism as a psychological concept, let’s examine why a public school district would even consider so odd a recommendation as avoiding use of the terms, “boys” and “girls.” On the face of things, it would seem that “boys” and “girls” are words that reflect life. They are merely the youthful variants of “men” and “women,” the two categories of human beings which have been observed since the beginning of time.
Not only is avoiding gender-specific terminology a denial of reality, it doesn’t even match the inclinations of children who might be experiencing sex-related emotional conflict. After all, a boy who’s confused about his gender doesn’t think of himself as a neutered, sexless entity. He dreams of being a girl.
Ask all those boys who want the ACLU to pressure their schools into letting them wear gowns to the prom (see my post of April 7, 2013). Or take a few minutes to check out the countless video journals on YouTube where sad-eyed sufferers undergoing “gender-reassignment” share their transitions in heartbreaking detail.
There’s no groundswell of demand for erasing the gender line, only (among a certain constituency) for crossing over.
It is Feminism that’s brought us to our current state of cultural madness. A movement spurred by the simple and quite obvious fact that women face a variety of unfair disadvantages in life morphed into a relentless campaign to convince us there are no differences between males and females other than the plumbing. Such that by now we’re told we must accept the inane proposition that gender is a purely social construct, a set of myths designed to buttress male supremacy — the manifest differences in body parts and emotional makeup notwithstanding.
And so the children of Lincoln, Nebraska, are no longer boys and girls. And we live in a world where Sam Killermann, a self-designated “social justice comedian” associated with Gender Spectrum, can assert…
“gender isn’t binary. It’s not either/or. In many cases it’s both/and. A bit of this, a dash of that.”
(What can I say? He’s definitely a comedian.)
This silly business in Nebraska is the kind of thing that diminishes the real, positive accomplishments of the Feminist Movement — in particular, its signature achievement, eliminating different pay tracks for men and women. But then, those advances occurred back before Feminism joined hands with Gay Rights and leapt into a weird fifth-dimension of ideological fantasy detached from human truth.
Is it any wonder that so many young women today disavow any association with the movement or, at most, describe themselves as post-Feminist?…
Well, I guess the Feminists did do some good things back when my mother was young, but…
Let’s get real. Little boys are “boys.” Little girls are “girls.”
And people are people. Complex. Often confused. But human.
Here are links to reports on the gender-neutral language controversy in the Lincoln Journal Star…
Here’s Nebraska Watchdog’s take on the handouts along with comments from the executive director of a conservative group called Nebraska Family Alliance, who insists that the Gender Spectrum training materials go…
Back in 2011, commentator Dennis Prager observed the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, reflecting on some harmful effects of Feminism. Prager was a lot harsher on the movement than I am, but his insights are worthy of discussion…