Wednesday

June 28th, 2017

Insight

Let no child be left unconfused

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published Feb. 9, 2016

Mae West, the famous philosopher of the boudoir, would hardly believe her fortune today. "So many men," she once exclaimed, "so little time." She was the kind of girl who set out to "climb the ladder of success, wrong by wrong."

Now there's such an abundance of choices in that even Mae would be overwhelmed. The educationists are forever taking inventory of what's available and finding a sexual proclivity to suit every taste. They're encouraging children to take stock and if they don't like what they've got, don't despair. Sex, like global warming, is always changing.

Typical of the search is a school in the English seaside resort of Brighton, a favorite of the politicians, leading the way. The kids at Blatchington Mill School were assigned, as part of their homework, to choose from a list of 23 terms to describe their "gender." (Even the English, like their American cousins, no longer understand that "gender" is none of your business unless you're a noun in pursuit of a hot pronoun.)

If you're a 10 o'clock scholar at Blatchington Mill School, you can choose to be a boy or a girl (if you insist), and even better, to be a gender queer, a gender noncomformist, a tomboy, a transboy, a demi-boy, a demi-girl, or even something called "gender-fluid" (best not to ask) and 14 other things. This sounds like a search for too much information, but Ashley Harrold, the head teacher who demurely doesn't say who or what she is, says "we're incredibly passionate about ensuring that every student feel safe and welcome at our school. When it comes to gender identity it is a real and valid concern for a number of students.

"For us, anything that prevents students feeling happy, from feeling confident in themselves and from feeling accepted by their peers, is something we feel the curriculum should address. Raising student awareness of the wider spectrum of gender identity is important in building an inclusive and tolerant society."

Since every child is entitled to equality, Mzz Harrold and her colleagues are determined that no child be left unconfused. Sexual identity doesn't have to be a mystery. You might think the school nurse would help by looking into the pants of the child who can't figure it out.)

Naturally, the parents at Blatchington Mill School, who can't understand why their children must be confused about who and what they are, are not at all confused themselves. They think the survey is unnecessary and confusing to teenagers struggling through some of the most difficult years of their lives, when a zit or a snub in the cafeteria is a tragedy of doomsday proportions.

Well-meaning as parents may be, they obviously don't have the insight, discernment and perceptiveness of someone called a "trans campaigner" who can "help" a child struggling through the miserable years to put a name on their feelings. One solution might be to change their sex, or at least change what they think their sex ought to be.

The educationists in Britain can't believe their good fortune in having so many guinea pigs at hand. Anne Langfield, the "Children's Commissioner for England," says the government only "wants to know how gender matters to young people, what it means to them, how does it affect their lives, what do they want to change? To explore these important questions, we have constructed a survey and hope to hear from as many young people 13 to 18 years old as possible."

What most of the kids probably want to change is to eliminate the nosey-parkers in their lives. They have yet to learn a lot of useful things, even something as fundamental as how to write a coherent sentence, and interference from survey-takers is no help. The survey-takers concede that the children's answers "may be used in government reports, presentations and publications" (and no doubt appeals for more money to pay for more surveys). Children under 16 are told they can ask their parents whether to participate in the survey. But Blatchington Mill parents said the school never said anything about a survey until the results were announced.

National obsessions wouldn't be so corrosive but for the pinheads in the media, here and there, who can't get enough when an opportunity for obsession strikes. Paying attention to children with needs, physical and psychological, is the first responsibility of a decent society, but a visitor from Saturn or Pluto would think everyone on this planet is nuts, when everyone swimming in the LGBTQQ alphabet soup makes up less than 1 percent of the population.

The rest of us are entitled to some relief.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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