The whole G-N policy being promoted needs further explanation to the wider public or it is in danger of being dismissed as a looney fad. Serious thought is required as to what G-N individuals/ body are expecting from society. Simply making demands immediately meets opposition. Therefore, any attempt to force an agenda on the public would be counterproductive.
I was taken by the decision making of school (s) on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Here twelve (12) elementary/primary schools have adopted a change to G-N washrooms (toilets). According to a news report by, cbc.ca/news quoting one principal that the move to G-N washrooms ‘reflects society’.
“A school is a reflection of society and in society you see gender-neutral washrooms”. Principal Norbet Carpenter – Montague elementary school.
We could spend ages deconstructing this statement but suffice to say that G-N does not reflect society otherwise there would not be a call to implement it. The introduction of G-N washrooms is a new development that stems from a political agenda.
Let’s be bolshie, the news report states that the trend was begun by “a” family that complained on behalf of their child. Of course this could be a typo error or woeful reporting. However, no mention was made of consultation with parents or seeking for consensus. That being the case we are left with two assumptions:
- The policy was forced on the majority without agreement. (who needs Stalin)
- The reporting was atrocious.
Further confusion was caused by Julia Gaudet, director of student services at the Public Schools Branch, “We are not getting huge amounts of requests, but we are getting requests,” Again there are several questions that could be asked about this statement. Does each request result in a school adopting a G-N washroom? The statement does convey the suggestion that there are few requests.
More general questions come to mind:
- What does a child understand by G-N?
- Is it based on feeling? Is it to do with embarrassment?
- Does the child/family realise that their request affects all in the school?
- If the child is female they already have cubicles; what is the problem.
- If the child is male then some coaxing and/or coaching to use available cubicles might prove appropriate.
- Should any anxiety experienced by the child not be dealt with by counselling in the first instance?
The child/family that raised the issue of G-N washrooms will not be alone in suffering degrees of anxiety. There are numerous issues that confront children of all ages; are these being dealt with on an individual basis? Mental health and abuse/mental trauma are but two. What are the schools doing about these issues? Or, if no complaint, is the physical/mental anxiety left in the unknown tray?
There seems to be a nucleus of schools in the area that have changed to G-N washrooms. Twelve out of sixty-four (64) not a conclusive number but sufficient to stimulate discussion. The population and school numbers are in decline, one reason being that teenagers who are of age are leaving for the big towns/cities elsewhere in Canada. What will they find in the metropolis?
In trying to understand the term G-N I looked it up in a dictionary; merriam-webster.com to find the following definition: ‘not referring to either sex but only to people in general’. I can foresee many problems arising from this and much embarrassment caused by numerous faux pas.
Is it therefore time to re-write our dictionaries to exclude such terms as: boy, girl, she, him, her, woman, male etc. etc. etc. I can hear screams of Noooo! coalescing in a suburban area just before the explosion.
It was my understanding that equal opportunity covered all the bases when it came to human rights. Why then has the G-N faction broken off to pursue their own agenda? Do they perceive their own predicament as of greater need than those of others? Or are they adopting the child philosophy of, scream loud until they pacify you? Note the conclusion of Ha-Joon Chang (213)*
“Equality of opportunity is something to be cherished”.
Kilts are Back!!!
A fashion breakthrough!
Sorry I couldn’t hear you. No, you’ll have to speak louder.
The boys won’t wear kilts!
Oh, so all the girls will wear trousers? I see, its equal opportunity at work. Hm.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an all-inclusive focus with the pursuit of a G-N agenda. There seems little or no consideration for the needs of others (touché). It smacks very much of we will get what we want and you lot will have to put up with it. Like arguments have been made on several occasions mainly by those on the left whom history has shown are just as prone to diktat as the right-wing whom they condemn as fascists.
Every faction is in a hurry and the only thing holding up ‘progress’ is the dullards’, otherwise known as the general population. This body may well be thinking of self-interest but so are the G-N lobby. The general population may be experiencing what Daniel Kahneman (305)* calls “loss aversion” e.g. they like things as they are; thank you very much. And, who might well prefer an approach similar to that proposed by Karl Popper:
That change requires “critical rationalism”,* (107) meaning it has to be thought out and be under constant review and to the benefit of society.
BIG Q: Why is G-N being pursued in primary schools? Is this because kids are more malleable, more open to suggestion? Are children therefore being used as political pawns?
“It is not possible, nor desirable, to try and be gender neutral all the time.” Most of us have a gender we identify with.
*Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About CAPITALISM
*Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
*Bryan Magee, Popper