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Rye’s classroom rebels

Gender critical memes for transphobic teens

Artillery Row

For anyone following the gender lobby’s ongoing capture of the school curriculum, there was a glorious moment this week. An audio recording emerged of Year 8 students at Rye College, challenging their teacher on gender identity ideology and rather getting the better of the argument.

Two things strike me about this surreptitiously-recorded schoolroom squabble. First, the kids are alright. Standing up to school staff takes guts, especially if it’s on an intellectual matter. What or who inspired these pupils to take on their teacher? Did their gender critical parents coach them on TERF debating points?

The recording suggests not. The children’s arguments aren’t sophisticated, and they’re all the better for it. There’s no evidence they’ve read Kathleen Stock or Helen Joyce; they simply want to make it clear to the teacher that they’re just not having it. No, miss, there are only two genders. But miss, if you identify as something you’re not, you’re not well and you need help. Miss, if I have to respect their opinion, why can’t they respect mine? Oof.

Gender identity theory is inherently vulnerable to reason

Perhaps this is where gender critical campaigners have gone wrong all these years. Instead of spending our time picking apart the asinine claims of gender identity theory, we should just have folded our arms and said “No” when the TQ+ latched itself onto the LGB.

Except that’s not how the TQ+ side of things works. Lobbyists like Stonewall, Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence have enjoyed tremendous success with their “mushroom strategy”: keeping us in the dark and feeding us shit. This strategy was revealed in the infamous Denton’s Report, a guide for infiltrating gender ideology into institutions and into law, which advised “tying campaigns for trans rights to more popular reforms”. The guidance explicitly states that gay rights causes like same-sex marriage provide “a veil of protection … [because] gender identity remains a more difficult issue to win public support for”.

It worked. There is no question TQ+ won the battle: they’ve captured schools and universities and written huge chunks of the RSHE curriculum. What’s worse, the veil of secrecy so central to this strategy is driving a wedge between parents and children.

For example, a recent survey by Policy Exchange found that two thirds of schools are failing to tell parents when a child discloses a change of gender. Schools are making it impossible for parents to pull their progeny out of RHSE indoctrination lessons, whilst last week a court ruled that parents have no right to see the content of these lessons. Childline caused uproar recently when they published guidance for gender-questioning youth advising them to “create distance” from friends and family who refuse to affirm their new identity. Breaking down familial bonds is not a bug of the TQ+ strategy; it’s a feature.

The secret recording of this hapless teacher highlights why they want to keep parents in the dark. It’s because gender identity theory is inherently vulnerable to reason. The magical thinking, the fantasy of changing sex — it all evaporates when subjected to rational questioning. Hence the Jesuitical impulse to get ‘em young: “Give me the boy until he is seven, and I will show you the woman.”

However, this approach is predicated on schoolchildren being uniformly compliant, incurious, incapable of intellectual engagement, and afraid to challenge their teachers. This is as insulting as it is untrue. The recording shows that pupils are more than capable of recognising reality, and that ideologically-driven lesson plans crumble under even the most basic questioning.

Not only do the nippers know it’s nonsense, but they’ve all got smartphones

It also places an impossible burden on teachers. It’s one thing to indoctrinate them, make them learn the lines, and give them an entire library of rainbow-and-glitter teaching resources. How do you prepare them for pushback when intelligent and informed students question your statement that “there are three sexes: male, female and intersex”? The short answer is you can’t, which is why trans activism continues, pitifully, to cleave to its #NoDebate message, even as the debate roars deafeningly around them. As a teacher forced to wrangle with sceptical students, all you can do is call your interlocutor a bigot or label their belief in biology “despicable”.

These factors — the feebleness of the ideology and the gumption of the students in challenging it — are the TQ+ movement’s Achilles’ heel, certainly in schools but maybe also more widely. Why? Because not only do the nippers know it’s nonsense, but they’ve all got smartphones.

For all the arguments about keeping personal devices out of the classroom, we should be urging our children to take their phones to school and record their RSHE lessons. Take pictures of the handouts and the PowerPoint; challenge your teachers when they’re talking bollocks — and make sure you get the audio on tape.

The kids will love it: the clandestine recording will make them feel like James Bond, whilst teasing teacher is a perennial favourite of schoolchildren (with the added piquancy of knowing you’re right and they’re wrong). More importantly, it will remind educators that accountability, transparency and debate matter just as much in school as they do in society — the very lesson TQ+ activists are working so hard to make us forget.

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