Public education and a national curriculum are failing our kids. This propaganda was emailed to parents from my local high school this week:
“YEAR 12 MODERN HISTORY – STUDIES OF CHANGE – FIRST WOMEN’S MOVEMENT IN GREAT BRITAIN
Our Year 12 Modern History class has been studying First Wave Feminism in Britain for Term 1. They are investigating the origins of the movement, the status of women up to the 19th century, the emergence of the suffrage movement, and notable suffragettes and the way in which Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, and suffragettes carried out peaceful protests, demonstrations, civil disobedience campaigns and controversial militant action to achieve suffrage (the right to vote) for women throughout Britain.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world on the 8th March and is a day to reflect on the sacrifices women, and men alike, have made to enfranchise women. Our Year 12 students will also take time this week to reflect on the women’s movement and how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality.”
Are you serious? A whole term of senior high school history education dedicated to feminism? How is that not just a single hour as part of a broad survey of significant political developments over recent centuries? Sure, women’s suffrage is an objectively important milestone in the pursuit of equality for all, but why the enormous leap from observation of historical movements to participation in contemporary contentions?
I emailed back to the school, copying in my local Liberal Party federal MP and the Liberal federal Minister for Education.
“Thank you for your newsletter, including the notice of the political propaganda you’re teaching in a publicly funded school. I’m sure in the minds of many this is not controversial and may have slipped by unnoticed, but that may be evidence more of groupthink than academic rigour.
I quote, “Our Year 12 students will also take time this week to reflect on the women’s movement and how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality.“
In subscribing to the ‘progressive’ narratives of “gender equality”, I wonder how sincerely those teaching this political opinion have considered the criticism of their position. For example, can you cite any Australian law or public policy which unjustly treats either gender as ‘less than’ the other? I will fight beside you to change that.
Do you advocate for equality of outcomes in combat deaths, workplace deaths, homicides, suicides, homelessness or incarceration? Is invariable, universal equality of outcomes really what you’re wanting to teach impressionable minds to promote?
Are you equally celebrating men in any way? Is your presumed public indifference on equality for men conspicuous by its absence? What message does that send to the young men & women you’re charged with educating?
I suggest you stick to the facts of history and not the subjective ideologies you prefer which may or may not have the intellectually honest foundations every sincere educator should value above all. After all, we are teaching our children how to think, not what to think… aren’t we?
For the record, my philosophy is to oppose all injustice where I encounter it, not just favouring one gender or ethnicity, or excluding any. I celebrate equality under the law for both genders and all ethnicities. I am, however, concerned by the school’s public and transparent subscription to a partisan narrative as a government funded school. If you can’t see the inherent problems and potential for abuse of power in this scenario, then further study of history may be required.
I look forward to the Principal’s response and assurances that ‘progressive’, feminist narratives will no longer be taught as unquestionable fact any more, or reasoned explanation why they should continue to be indoctrinated.”
Feminism hasn’t been relevant since women got the vote and equal pay under law. It has struggled for purpose and relevance ever since, and morphed into a toxic struggle not for justice, but power. It’s willfully ignorant & dismissive, if not derisive, of the injustices suffered by men, especially when women are the powerful perpetrators.
While 82% to 85% of Americans believe in social, political and economic equality of the sexes only 18% to 20% are willing to call themselves feminists. You can define feminism however you want in theory, but the evidence is nobody believes it’s only about the struggle for “equality” any more. Equality before the law has been achieved, and now those desperate for something to be angry about demand more. They make unreasonable demands seeking equality of outcomes.
It is materially relevant that the actor’s worth isn’t just their acting performance, but attracting ticket sales. As an actor, movies with Wahlberg have grossed a total of $6.44 billion while movies with Williams have grossed a total of $2.74 billion. Wahlberg ranked 7 amongst the highest grossing domestic box office stars in 2014, 5 in 2015, 13 in 2016 and 4 in 2017 when this film was made. Williams wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 until 2017 when she debuted at 98. To say both actors were worth the same pay to the studio is just plain ignorance.
This ignorance is what the public education system is now peddling as indisputable. This failure is impossible to escape though, because there is no competition between the states to see who can produce the best education outcomes. All that matters, apparently, is that the outcomes are seen to be equal, not matter how miserable they may be.
UPDATE: The principal’s response was to explain that this is all part of the nationalised curriculum.
Thank you for your email of 4 April and taking the time to read our school newsletter.
In terms of your question, I can assure you that we work professionally and diligently to teach students the thinking skills required for them to examine, assess and evaluate different points of view which is a corner stone of the Australian Curriculum. All junior and senior subject topics at our school are aligned to the requirements of the Australian Curriculum and/or the syllabus expectations of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA).
In the 21st century, students are subjected to an avalanche of information from numerous groups from around the world as you yourself have highlighted. It is critical for students to make evaluations of this with effective analytical skills making use of their family’s values as their moral compass.
We endeavour to achieve this at [your local] State High School.”