Forget all that sugar-and-spice vs. snails-and-puppy-dog-tails rigmarole. Calling male children of the species boys and females girls is just so — well — so yesterday. We have entered the age of gender inclusiveness.
So says a staffer at a Lincoln, Nebr., middle school who distributed training materials to teachers advising that they desist using old-fangled “gendered” terminology, including “boys and girls” and “ladies and gentlemen” in favor of more generic expressions.
Notes Deena Winter of Watchdog.org:
A handout called “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” advised teachers to avoid separating students by gender, but instead by birth dates or preferences. For example, they could ask students whether they prefer skateboards or bikes, milk or juice, dogs or cats, summer or winter.
Another playful handout called “The Genderbread Person” said gender isn’t binary, it isn’t either/or and 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. The handout was written by “social justice comedian” Sam Killermann.
Winter reports that Lincoln School Superintendent Steve Joel says he is “happy” and “pleased” with the training materials, emphasizing:
We don’t get involved with politics. We don’t get involved with gender preferences. We’re educating all kids … and we can’t be judgmental.
They don’t get involved with politics? What could be more political than mandating inclusiveness? Actually, the answer to that question is mandating inclusiveness while behaving in a wholly exclusionary manner. Take, for example, a survey at the Obama campaign website after his 2012 re-election that provided checkboxes for every conceivable ethnicity save one: Caucasians. There were boxes for African Americans, Arab-Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Jewish Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. There was also one for Women.
Returning to the main theme, not everyone in Lincoln is delighted by the school district’s “outreach.” Winter writes:
Al Riskowski, executive director of the conservative Nebraska Family Alliance, said … the training materials go “way beyond trying to teach someone how to respect another individual” or understand gender identification or sexual orientation to a “whole new idea of boy-girl.”
It was a reteaching of “gender spectrum philosophy,” he said. While he knows it’s hard to be a teacher and school administrator these days and important to address issues, Riskowski said the idea “your biology at birth doesn’t designate who you are,” but instead you’re on a “gender spectrum” is at odds with the beliefs of “almost everyone in the community.”
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