Sunday, 13 March 2016

Transforming cultural values in Australia

"The Safe Schools Coalition agenda taken up by about 500 schools in this country to promote understanding of gender and sexual diversity is a brilliant insight into the ideological campaigns now transforming cultural values in Australia through capture of institutions… "

"The Turnbull government’s lightning-fast review of the program was delivered to Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s department … It is guaranteed to become a test of Liberal Party values under Malcolm Turnbull. Tony Abbott, who did nothing about the program as PM, has called it `social engineering` and wants the funds scrapped.... "

"The Safe Schools program ... is funded by the Victorian government, and an $8 million contribution made by the former ALP federal government continued during the Abbott-Turnbull era. The aim is to combat homophobic and transphobic bullying… "

"Most people know an anti-bullying program when they see it. But this is something else a pervasive and radical ideological agenda… "

"A reading of the materials shows this ideology is relentless and explicit: gender is not a binary male-female stereotype but a process of self-expression and `how you feel inside` and `may change over time`. Gender should not be reduced to the question `is it a boy or a girl?` because `there are a whole range of human bodies that are somewhere between`. "

"The philosophy is that `it’s up to the individual to describe what gender identity fits them best`… "

"From this it follows that classes should not be divided into boy-girl groups for any activities… The program says that `phrases like ‘ladies and gentlemen’ or ‘boys and girls’ should be avoided`.... All students must use the pronoun that individuals prefer or use gender-neutral pronouns `such as ‘they’ (singular) or ‘ze’ … "

"Fluidity in gender matches fluidity in sexual identity, which means young people `can be attracted to a whole spectrum of masculinity, femininity, both or even none`… "

"Gender fluidity is promoted as a worthwhile and desirable choice for young students… "

"Lesson two involves sex role playing: students imagine they are 16 and going out with somebody, one half of the class with someone of the same sex and the other half with the opposite sex. "

"Class discussions are recommended to combat the malaise of `heteronormativity` a belief system based on heterosexuality. Students are urged to avoid reinforcing this mindset with questions such as whether a new baby is a boy or a girl… "

"The program advises that one in 10 people are same-sex attracted, up to one in 25 people are transgender or gender diverse, and about one in 60 are born with unisex bodies. These figures, used to justify the program, are high and heavily contested."

"It is hard not to conclude there is a sinister aspect to the program… The deliberate purpose is to weaken or break down or question the settled view of gender that many young people and students possess…"

"In the lesson on bisexual experiences students are asked to imagine a line running through the classroom. Each student must move to a position on this line according to whether they agree or disagree with a series of propositions on how to avoid stereotypes. `Ask students to explain why they have chosen their position on the line,` the manual says. At the same time `any offensive or hurtful comments` need to be addressed. "

"Just reflect on the opportunity for intimidation and pressure in this activity. "

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