It would seem that the only relationship that isn’t respected by those rolling out the Trojan horse program Respectful Relationships into our schools, is the relationship between parents and their own children.
Once Christmas ends, the first billboards from Officeworks are up, reminding parents that it’s back to school in only four weeks time! Four weeks? Seems like four months!
And parents are responsible for everything when the lists come out. Uniforms, shoes, books, iPads. Helping their older children determine what courses they should do. Parents need to be informed about everything if they’re going to help their children.
Everything except when it comes to sex in the classroom, or the teaching of it, it would appear.
For the State Government of Western Australia, led by Premier Mark McGowan, has given the green light for nineteen schools to utilise various aspects of the Respectful Relationships program, all without any parental consultation.
It’s the same program that the far more (self-declared) progressive Victorian Andrews Government has been promoting in that state’s schools already. And more schools are to follow in Western Australia in semester two of 2019.
Yet all of this has begun without the involvement of the most crucial relationship in the mix, in terms of schooling, the one between parents and children.
McGowan is staying mum (can I even say that?) on which schools, and which aspects of the program are being rolled out. Which seems curious when there have been such controversies around the blatantly sexualised nature of the content being delivered through such programs, all in the name of respect, I might add (whatever that term means these days).
You would think the Premier, who, I’m led to believe, does not send his own children to a government school, much less one where this program is going to be taught, would seek to include all stakeholders when it comes to material that has such blatant sexual and gender ideologies inbuilt, if not simply to allay any fears.
After all, such lack of foresight has blown up in the faces of other state governments in the past couple of years, with dubious links to dodgy sites being discovered, and a clear hard Sexular Culture agenda attached to seemingly innocent material being shown up for what it is.
But the quieter the government is about it, the more questions, and concerns it will raise. So how about it Premier McGowan? How about some conversations with all stakeholders when it comes to education?.
The stated aim of the Respectful Relationships program is lofty of course. The stated aims of such programs always are. It’s about breaking the pattern of domestic violence, and who could be against that after all?
Yet what does the Respectful Relationships program focus on? Here’s how local media in Perth reported the move to challenge “gender inequality”:
A business case for the program states that violence against women was partly driven by “beliefs and behaviours that reflect disrespect for women, low support for gender equality and adherence to rigid or stereotypical gender roles”.
The Education Department memo on the program stated:
“By challenging these drivers, we can break the cycle of violence,”
“Partly” is an interesting word isn’t it? Does “partly” mean 10 percent of violence towards women is attributable to stereotypical gender roles? 15 percent? 80 percent? And what are the other drivers? What percentage do they make up? We shall never know. When you’ve got an agenda, actual stats are not always that helpful.
And it’s completely ideological agenda purporting, much in the way the discredited Safe Schools program did, to be about safety first and foremost. And in this culture of all things safe, and bulldozer parenting, what’s not to like about safe?
Unfortunately domestic violence comes in all shapes and sizes and affects all sorts of families. My wife, with twenty years clinical psychological experience, has seen more than her fair share of cases. It’s traumatic, tragic and crosses all social boundaries.
And all sexual boundaries. For the sneaky, unreported, and underreported, truth, though reported to me by a former gay activist is that domestic violence among male gay partners is off the charts. In fact statistically, the percentage of domestic violence among gay couples has been higher in homosexual relationships than in heterosexual ones, as this 2014 BBC report reveals.
Nothing particularly stereotypical about that.
Now it’s got to be said that the government has not yet decided which parts of the program are going to be utilised. Indeed the details are buried within a state government report. But the Year 3 material includes the following:
Provide a range of dress ups and toys to allow children to explore different roles and ethnic dress; put up pictures of women and men taking on different household tasks and gender roles in a range of ethnic groups. Read books that open up the possibilities about what girls and boys can be or do.
You can read the full report by Joshua Zimmerman here.
Let’s get it straight. A man doesn’t beat a woman – the women he lives with – because he is the primary bread winner in a traditional family who likes manly pursuits, wears checked shirts and jeans and boots, and doesn’t do enough work around the house, but will, after enough whinging, at least put the bins out on Wednesday night.
A man beats a woman because he’s a bully who likes power and desires to dominate someone, and he gets some sort of emotional release from his own fractured psyche through using his unrestrained anger to crush a readily available person within arm – and fist’s – reach.
And quite frankly it’s an insult to the thousands of working dads (and mums) who, in Perth, do live traditional roles in their marriages, yet who never lift a finger to their spouses, gay, straight or other.
And on the flipside. My wife went to work today, to a meaningful, fairly well paid job that has a high level of job satisfaction.
And me? I cooked the breakfast (it was a cooked breakfast), vacuumed the house, put out the rubbish, did the washing, went and did some of the grocery shopping. Perhaps that’s grandstanding, but here’s the point:
In an irony of cruel ironies, there are many celebrated cases coming to the surface of domestic violence and sexual abuse among the most “woke” of our day who champion the breaking of those so called stereotypes. And that’s happened both within the church and without.
I could provide a long list, but let’s start with the Bill Hybels case from Willow Creek – a church at the forefront of breaking down gender barriers -, yet sexual control was at its epicentre.
And then there’s the even more dismal case, reported in that most liberal of organs, The New Yorker, of New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, who proved, despite being a long term voice against sexual misconduct, not to be your friendly neighbourhood Schneiderman at all.
Schneiderman, a vocal opponent against Harvey Weinstein, was outed himself as an abusive sexual bully who pre-determined that his string of girlfriends liked to be punched and slapped, without him being polite enough to ask their permission to bruise their faces prior to indulging himself.
Which is not to say violence against women is not happening in traditional settings, for it surely is. But it is to say that is is completely simplistic, and insulting, to equate domestic violence with traditional gender roles.
Perhaps the WA Government, indeed perhaps the Premier himself, would like to address this matter across the more traditional migrant communities – and religious communities – in Perth and admit it is far more complex than the material purports.
But let me go on. The Year 9 material includes the following:
Write a range of the following words on the whiteboard: Massage; Cuddling; Kissing; Sexting; Holding hands; Vaginal intercourse; Oral sex; Masturbation; Touching genitals; Rubbing nipples; Anal sex; Pornography. Have students form small groups and categorise each into either “sex” or “not sex”.
“Excuse me miss, will this be in the exam?”
For a start, this completely misreads how conversations around these topics operate in a less than safe setting such as a school. For whoever determined that schools were safe? Such material completely negates the reality of the classroom, in which many students do not trust those within their own peer group with that sort of conversation, never mind their teachers.
So the young, late developing fifteen year old boy, who is shy and reserved, has to determine with the class jock, who already boasts about the blow jobs he’s had from girls in the school, whether or not oral sex is actually sex? Where’s the safety or respect in any of that?
And then it goes on:
Discuss with students the different types of sexual relationships, such as “going out together”, “hooking up”, “bootie call”, “friends with benefits” and “one night stand”. Have students write down an estimate of what percentage of their peer group they think have experienced some form of sex.
That’s a seriously impressive list of sexual relationships right there, although it admittedly does miss out on that rather minor sexual relationship that’s been doing the rounds in our culture for some time; marriage.
But I guess if you’re the stats girl in the class you might enjoy compiling that information as a percentage list, if you can brush off the catcalls from the class tool to put actual names beside each of them.
All this is to say two things: On what planet are teachers, who are not trained sex counsellors or psychologists, any better placed to led these conversations than parents? Not saying those are easy conversations to have as parents, but at which point do teachers assume the role of primary sexual overseer of students?
There’s something “woke” about our Education Departments these days, filled as they are with high level Boomers whose own sexual freedoms back in the sixties and seventies led us to exactly the toxic place we are today. They seem almost grimly determined to ensure that the next couple of generations are as screwed up as they were.
Once again it simply proves that progressive ideologies and governments either despise – or ignore – mediating institutions such as families. Rusty Reno, in his book Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, points out that progressive statism constantly seeks ways to infiltrate and subvert the “mini-governments” in our culture that keep statism at bay; “mini-governments” such as family units and religious communities.
And in a year in which we’re going to see a double pressure on such mini-governments by the overreaching statist big-government. First there is the pressure of such programs being rolled out at a state level that will circumvent parental acquiescence, and secondly, there is the pressure of a likely incoming federal Labor government in Australia that is almost gleeful in its desire clamp down on religious educational institutions in terms what sexual ethics are permissible among their faith communities.
Above all else, statism reverses the relationship between governments and their people. The government is to be held accountable to the people, not the other way around. Big government loves to first loosen, and then reverse, the accountability structure.
Big government determines that stakeholders – such as parents or other groups of voters – would, if let loose, be uncontrollable, violence-inducing, uneducated types who don’t know better, and who need to be circumvented if any progress is to be made. Yet the sad fact is, in this country and throughout the West at the moment, the reality is the other way around.
It’s time for our governments to start showing some respect themselves.