After studying the 1960s, including themes of the sexual revolution and the women’s liberation movement, I gave follow-up lessons on legacies of those and other issues in American culture today. This is one.
“Feminists and homosexual activists use the words ‘genders’ and ‘sexes’ almost interchangeably. They’ve been pushing an idea that there are more than two genders since at least the 1990s,” I told them. “They’ve been trying to pass a United Nations resolution that instead of two genders, there are five.”
“What would those be?” asked a girl with an incredulous look.
“They claim that male and female are out on the edges of a spectrum,” I explained as I wrote on the board. “That inside the female on the extreme right are lesbians. That inside the male on the extreme left are homosexual men, and then in the middle are ‘transgender’ people who go either way.”
“That’s ridiculous,” she said. “A lesbian is still female. She’s not another gender.”
“That’s crazy,” said a boy.
“To them,” I explained, “it’s another battle in the Sexual Revolution.”
“Well I hope they lose,” another girl said.
“Remember last month when a speaker came in to discuss bullying at an assembly in the gym?” I asked.
There were nods all around. “Last year it was a football player,” said a boy.
“Yes,” I said. “What did you think of those lectures?”
“They were good,” he said.
“What do the rest of you think?”
Most indicated the lectures had been interesting.
“Well, in Oakland, California, students get different kinds of bullying lessons,” I said, wheeling the LCD projector into position and plugging in my laptop. “Watch this.”
It was a “bullying” lesson on “gender diversity” in which the lecturer told fourth grade students they could be a girl or a boy or both. Joel Baum told students: “They can feel like girls. They can feel like boys. They can feel like both, and they can feel like, as I said, kinda like neither.”
Baum is educational director for Gender Spectrum, an activist group pushing the idea that the two sexes – male and female – are too rigid. Students can move around on the “gender spectrum” depending on how they feel. They can change whenever they want.
“They’re way too young to be listening to that stuff in the fourth grade,” said another girl.
“They shouldn’t teach that stuff,” said a boy. “It’s crazy. Those kids are going to believe it now. They believe anything the teacher tells them.”
“Would you think it was all right to teach this,” I asked the girl, “if the students were older?”
“Yes,” she said.
“At what age then?”
“I don’t know – high school maybe.”
“It’s mandatory for all students in Oakland to take it from kindergarten to twelfth grade,” I said. “Mandatory means they have no choice.”
“That’s brainwashing,” said a the boy. “Those schools shouldn’t be doing that. It hasn’t got much to do with bullying.”
“What if it were taught only in high school and students could choose to take the ‘gender spectrum’ course or not to take it?”
“That would be okay,” he said.
“The California Teachers’ Association, the CTA, is paying for this. That’s the teachers’ union,” I explained.
“Why?” he asked.
“Teachers’ unions all over the country are very left-wing,” I said. “They think this stuff is wonderful, and teachers’ unions are the most powerful groups in the Democrat Party.”
“You’re not left-wing,” said a girl.
“I’m unusual,” I said. “There are very few conservatives in this profession.”
“And you’re retiring.”
“Yup. This kind of gender-bending stuff is happening all over the country,” I explained. “The Maine legislature, for example, is about to vote on a bill that would prevent males who claim to be females from suing when they’re not allowed to use the ladies’ room in middle school or in a restaurant. In two cases, a boy’s parents and a man have sued a school and a restaurant and the Maine Human Rights Commission has agreed with them. Now the Orono Middle School is being forced to allow a boy to use the girls’ bathroom. A Denny’s Restaurant was forced to allow a man dressed as a woman to use the ladies’ room there.”
“In both cases here, the newspaper article refers to the boy and the man with the personal pronouns of ‘she’ and ‘her’ as if they were indeed females,’” I explained. “I don’t do that.”
“If you were in the Maine Legislature, how would you vote?” I asked. “How many of you would vote ‘yes,’ which would allow schools and restaurants to prevent males from using female bathrooms or locker rooms?”
Five or six hands went up.
“Who would vote ‘no’?”
“Who isn’t sure?”
Another five or six hands went up.
“Okay,” I said. “We’ll see what the legislature does.”
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin. Tom is a history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam.