TERFs, gender, sex, etc.

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  • asherasher Shipmate
    18mths ago there was a not dissimilar story in Norfolk

    Link

    The head teacher had a second job as a drag artist.

    The story was reported in the usual range of ways by the usual range of suspects.

    The school backed the head, no parents complained, the story went away.

    ...still taking bookings....

    Asher
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    The Daily Record which is a hostile source which would be really interested if this was not the case, quotes Flow as having done the 'full disclosure' checks which schools require- that would be with Disclosure Scotland. This wasn't hard to find either.
  • In which case, the parents can do one.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    edited March 4
    Also isn't it interesting how LGBT people are accused of 'shouting down' when they are the ones being outnumbered and mobbed online? That's a bit distorted, isn't it?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    To conduct any session at a school here was would require a safety with children check and an appropriate certificate. And not just at a school - St Sanity had to send the caretaker off to get on.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Straight people post sexually suggestive images of themselves all the time.

    Some do, yes - and those that do so publicly are not in my view appropriate speakers for a primary school.

    This has nothing to do with disclosure checks or safeguarding, it has to do with the appropriateness of someone's public presentation. It falls into the same category as firing a teacher who features in a porn film that has done the rounds of the school.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Straight people post sexually suggestive images of themselves all the time.

    Some do, yes - and those that do so publicly are not in my view appropriate speakers for a primary school.

    This has nothing to do with disclosure checks or safeguarding, it has to do with the appropriateness of someone's public presentation. It falls into the same category as firing a teacher who features in a porn film that has done the rounds of the school.
    The point was that the reporting focused on the performer being trans, implying that this was a factor. It is irrelevant, that is my point.

  • My understanding in our local schools is that there is supposed to be an education purpose to guest speakers, which falls into line with the school board (which manages some large number of schools) and the provincial government's approved curriculum. You cannot obtain permission for religious presentations, politics or corporative advertising initiatives for example. The military shall not recruit either.

    Do schools have to have educational goals for external presentations in the UK?
  • Yes. LGBT issues come under PHSE, and reading to children is literacy. But we also have religious education and the armed forces can run cadets groups in schools. The latter, I'm far more concerned about than a drag queen reading hour.
  • Do schools have to have educational goals for external presentations in the UK?

    Someone in UK education would have to comment - but in this particular case, there was an educational goal. Anti-discrimination / equality / civil rights is an educational goal. It's not the goal that I am (personally) quibbling with - I support their goal. I'm skeptical that inviting a drag act helps to normalize trans people, but YMMV. I am opposed to inviting someone with a sexually explicit public persona to be a guest speaker in a primary school.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    A drag act was not invited. A trans person who does a drag act was. There is a difference.
    Our uptight attitudes towards sex are another topic.
  • That's an opinion @lilbuddha, it is not a statement of fact. The 2 posters who answered my question have given quite satisfactory answers which would justify the person coming to a school, and the purpose would also be part of the education plan, just like it would here. I'd support the activity given these answers. Very sensible.

    I don't think doing anything overtly sexual would be welcome in schools here, just like there as well. I recall the edits to a musical which a high school music and voice program put one had the overtly sexual and suggestive bits editted for example. It isn't anti-anything to want things within some bounds of educational purpose and at the age level of those involved.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    A drag act was not invited. A trans person who does a drag act was. There is a difference.

    When the drag act is the trans person's public online presentation, there isn't much difference. From Renfrewshire council:

    "All school visits are arranged and managed with the wellbeing of pupils first and foremost however it is clear in this case, the social media content associated with the speaker's stage persona is not appropriate for children and had we been aware of this, the visit would not have been arranged."



  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Actually, out of random curiosity, do we know for a fact that the individual in question identifies as trans? I did a bit of Googling on this and it didn’t jump out at me.
  • From Renfrewshire council:

    "All school visits are arranged and managed with the wellbeing of pupils first and foremost however it is clear in this case, the social media content associated with the speaker's stage persona is not appropriate for children and had we been aware of this, the visit would not have been arranged."

    "We are hanging the school out to dry because while our due diligence protocols were adhered to, they are suddenly insufficient."
  • So social media now has to be checked for drag acts? I don't believe it.
  • Marsupial wrote: »
    Actually, out of random curiosity, do we know for a fact that the individual in question identifies as trans? I did a bit of Googling on this and it didn’t jump out at me.

    PinkNews describes her as a transwoman.
  • So social media now has to be checked for drag acts? I don't believe it.

    tbf, I'd expect a 30-second google of anyone/any organisation as part of due diligence these days.
  • Rex MondayRex Monday Shipmate Posts: 3
    I don't know how many shipmates on this thread have been around Scottish schools of late. I have, and I was shocked - in a very good way - how much things have changed not just since my schooldays but since those of my offspring. LGBTQ awareness is completely integrated; there are rainbow posters, after-school clubs and among the kids I talked to there is what looks like near-complete acceptance of gender equality. I've heard two 11 year old boys discussing whether they should marry each other; I didn't get the sense that they particularly thought themselves gay or 'different', and it was entirely in public among their peers. I couldn't begin to imagine that conversation happening in my world back then.

    I suspect that many people don't get the generational changes that have taken place. I didn't, and I like to think of myself as a hip frood.

    There is more love and less hate, and I recommend that in general, and especially here.

    If you think having a school visit by a drag queen - and I agree, don't assume anything about whether they call themselves trans, itself not wihtout ambiguity - will harm the children, you have to say why. The arguments I've seen outwith the Ship are very heavy on the 'if you don't understand why this is terrible, you're either not a parent or worse you have no moral compass' line, which is plain phobic.

    What harm could be done to the students?

    If they're capable of searching Instagram, then they'll have seen all sorts.
    If they're aware of gender/sexuality variance, they're aware of it as a normal and non-harmful part of life.
    If they are going to be harmed by a physical man in a dress, don't take them to panto.

    And if there is harm, balance it against the harm in encouraging otherphobia - a state of mind which has done so much damage to so many vulnerable people over the centuries, and which we are seeing a miraculous reduction among our young people.
  • I thought the kids had asked for somebody cross-dressing. It's not surprising, it relates to play and self-exploration, and obviously panto.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    tbf, I'd expect a 30-second google of anyone/any organisation as part of due diligence these days.

    I don't agree with the social media checking, but I understand it.

    @quetzalcoatl I don't think it is about the children's wishes for something. I think it goes back again to the educational purposes, the learning goals, and probably policies. I live across the ocean in another country, but I suspect the sensitivity of everyone is heightened a lot these days to everything by the roll-out of the social and other media without any forethought and controls. This frightens the lawnmower, helicopter and curling parents, and the schools are very sensitive to complaints to directors of education (or whatever you call them equivalently). It is common when you feel outraged about something that anger and acting out of that emotion is what happens. Having done much public policy work, that is generally the first error.

    @Rex Monday We have no idea what harm and benefits comes from much of what goes on today. We go with argument, testimonials like yours, and generally have no data to bring to bear on it. Schools and other institutions are naturally conservative in the sense that the onus is usually put on those who want to introduce something.

    This is from completely different areas, but we had here the oil and gas industry wishing to provide educational material about what they do, how they are very environmentally responsible and connected to good jobs, donating to the communities they operate within. We also had an organization which sponsors education about sexual abstinence as the goal for young people. As a third example, we have an organization which wants to provide business education and educate about the benefits of small government, private companies running things and capitalism. -- I suspect that anything that is proposed is looked at under the same criteria.

    I personally was unhappy some decades ago when our schools decided to do a drugs and alcohol program without telling us based on "just say no" which we thought was a stupid approach.

    There has been an emerging social purpose from schools, which is relatively new. In the past it was all academic and learning subject matter. There's also no real data about that.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    There has been an emerging social purpose from schools, which is relatively new. In the past it was all academic and learning subject matter. There's also no real data about that.

    I don't think that's true. There has always been a social purpose from schools, far from being just about academic and learning subject matter.

    Do you remember being in school and singing "O Canada" and "God Save the Queen" and praying the Lord's Prayer aloud under a picture of the queen? The immigrant and indigenous children were expected to become good Christian citizens of the British empire, and to become as British as possible under the circumstances. Their own cultures were ignored or actively discouraged. That certainly seems to me like a social project.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    It is not just the explicit social lessons, school has always been used to enforce social lessons. Both formally in the administration and informally amongst the students. School has never been just academic. Everywhere and everywhen.
  • ryandaviesryandavies Shipmate
    edited March 5
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    quantpole wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Whether an adult entertainer is appropriate for that school age is a secondary issue to how the event is being reported.

    I think an MP inviting someone without them or the school doing basic checks on whether it is appropriate, and then shouting down anyone objecting is the primary issue.
    The trans and cross dressing aspects of the person are not relevant to the discussion of appropriateness of their behaviour.
    If a white, cis-person does something, the reportage is: Person did something. Irrelevant descriptors are rarely included. If anyone else does, the reportage often is: (Adjective) Person did something even if that adjective is irrelevant to the something. That places an emphasis on the adjective and implies it is relevant. The genesis of which is very likely prejudice.

    A lot of the behaviour that people are concerned about seems pretty intrinsic to their drag persona. The whole point of them being invited was because they are a drag act and to raise awareness of LGBT issues. Not sure how you can then say it is irrelevant.
    Straight people post sexually suggestive images of themselves all the time. Sex is an intrinsic part of the identity of most people, regardless of orientation/gender/etc. Straight cis-people behave "inappropriately" with children all the time. More by number than LGBT of any sort.

    I think the suggestion is that you don't then invite them into school.

    ISTM that a lot of the nastiness in terms of "trans" in this this case was the idea that if the person in question was a straight cis not-quite-Full-Monty-esq dancer who's main occupation actually was Full Monty then they would never have been allowed near the school in the first place to discuss their "work" with primary age children.

    There's a danger of a backlash against trans acceptance because of the perception that authorities, especially in regards to children, think that trans = sainthood in a way that used to be offered to vicars. So no matter how inappropriate something is, if a trans person is doing it then it becomes ok.

    That faulty perception isn't helped when people argue that of course it's ok for a trans sexualised drag queen to come into a primary school because straight cis people behave inappropriately with children all the time too!

  • I have a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) certificate - I need it to take Sunday School classes. Flow wouldn't have needed a full PVG because she was under the supervision of the teacher at all times.

    But even a full PVG certificate doesn't involve disclosure of what I post on social media. IIRC, I had to supply all addresses for the past x years (20?) all names I've been known as, and my passport. Enough to verify that I am who I say I am, and that the police can confirm I have no relevant convictions.
  • Would I have to submit all the names I've used on the Ship? I've been fickle (and paranoid).
  • No, just any name you might have been convicted, or cautioned under.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    ryandavies wrote: »
    ISTM that a lot of the nastiness in terms of "trans" in this this case was the idea that if the person in question was a straight cis not-quite-Full-Monty-esq dancer who's main occupation actually was Full Monty then they would never have been allowed near the school in the first place to discuss their "work" with primary age children.
    If the person was straight cis- the likelihood that someone would have searched out their social media is much less.
    ryandavies wrote: »
    There's a danger of a backlash against trans acceptance because of the perception that authorities, especially in regards to children, think that trans = sainthood in a way that used to be offered to vicars. So no matter how inappropriate something is, if a trans person is doing it then it becomes ok.

    That faulty perception isn't helped when people argue that of course it's ok for a trans sexualised drag queen to come into a primary school because straight cis people behave inappropriately with children all the time too!
    WTF?! No one is implying that trans people are any different morally than norms. The appropriateness of an adult entertainer being in a school is a separate one from the framing of the reactions.

  • I have a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) certificate - I need it to take Sunday School classes. Flow wouldn't have needed a full PVG because she was under the supervision of the teacher at all times.

    But even a full PVG certificate doesn't involve disclosure of what I post on social media.

    These are completely different things.

    Your PVG certificate is basically a check to see if you have a history of being dangerous to vulnerable people. Nobody is suggesting that Flow was a danger to children - just that she wasn't appropriate as an invited speaker.
  • Leaf wrote: »
    There has been an emerging social purpose from schools, which is relatively new. In the past it was all academic and learning subject matter. There's also no real data about that.

    I don't think that's true. There has always been a social purpose from schools, far from being just about academic and learning subject matter.

    Do you remember being in school and singing "O Canada" and "God Save the Queen" and praying the Lord's Prayer aloud under a picture of the queen? The immigrant and indigenous children were expected to become good Christian citizens of the British empire, and to become as British as possible under the circumstances. Their own cultures were ignored or actively discouraged. That certainly seems to me like a social project.

    It's not at the same level as an explicit educational lesson however. We did not have someone coming in and telling us about Canada, and how we were to comport ourselves around nationalism and patriotism. These were pro forma things (done as a matter of form, because they had been always done), not explicitly taught, nor supported with other structures and teaching within schools. This is a significant change to have explicit ideology and formally state as a mission of schools and education.

    You may argue that the potency of teaching whether explicitly taught or as part of the unquestioned unconscious assumptions are equally strong, and I will suggest they are not equal.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    If the person was straight cis- the likelihood that someone would have searched out their social media is much less.

    Disagree - plenty of drag queens are cis men, and I think the likelihood of them having their social media "searched out" is the same.

    Flow was invited because she has a drag act. She wasn't invited as "here's my friend who is a librarian / works in a shop / is an engineer, and is a trans woman" - she was invited because she is a drag queen. Inviting someone to speak in your school who is some kind of entertainer, and expecting people not to look up their act seems rather odd.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I have a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) certificate - I need it to take Sunday School classes. Flow wouldn't have needed a full PVG because she was under the supervision of the teacher at all times.

    But even a full PVG certificate doesn't involve disclosure of what I post on social media.

    These are completely different things.

    Your PVG certificate is basically a check to see if you have a history of being dangerous to vulnerable people. Nobody is suggesting that Flow was a danger to children - just that she wasn't appropriate as an invited speaker.

    AIUI, she would still have required a working with children check and clear certificate here before she set foot on the school grounds. Mothers working on tuck-shops do also.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If the person was straight cis- the likelihood that someone would have searched out their social media is much less.

    Disagree - plenty of drag queens are cis men, and I think the likelihood of them having their social media "searched out" is the same.

    Flow was invited because she has a drag act. She wasn't invited as "here's my friend who is a librarian / works in a shop / is an engineer, and is a trans woman" - she was invited because she is a drag queen. Inviting someone to speak in your school who is some kind of entertainer, and expecting people not to look up their act seems rather odd.
    That straight cis men be drag queens does not mean that is how the general public see them.
    Drag act ≠ sexual, but that is also something the general public do not general know.


  • I have a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) certificate - I need it to take Sunday School classes. Flow wouldn't have needed a full PVG because she was under the supervision of the teacher at all times.

    But even a full PVG certificate doesn't involve disclosure of what I post on social media.

    These are completely different things.

    Your PVG certificate is basically a check to see if you have a history of being dangerous to vulnerable people. Nobody is suggesting that Flow was a danger to children - just that she wasn't appropriate as an invited speaker.

    Sorry, that appeared way out of sequence. It was in response to a question yesterday about Scottish school checks, but somehow it stayed as a draft and got posted hours later.
  • PendragonPendragon Shipmate
    When the original Criminal Records Bureau checks morphed into the Disclosure and Barring System (The English equivalent to NEQ's PVG certificate), the rules about who to check were tightened up so that checking wasn't such a blanket thing, both in terms of checking Everyone and who could be asked to have enhanced checks. (Although the legal system in different parts of the UK is different, on issues such as this the legislation is fairly consistent across the board).

    Anyone in a position of authority or regular contact with children, such as activity leaders, medical professionals, teachers, and any members of the clergy, has to have an Enhanced DBS, which also can also check certain other sources for concerns about working with children or vulnerable adults. People working regularly in relevant settings also need one. I have 2, as I have one for church and one for Guides.

    Someone who will be entirely supervised, such as a performer going to do the odd assembly or workshop, although if that was their normal job they would be expected to get one on a frequency basis, or a parent on an occasional helper rota at a club doesn't need a DBS.
  • Quite a row going on at the Guardian over one of Suzanne Moore's regular anti-trans articles. (No link, but title is "women must have the right to organize"). This led to various replies, including from some Guardian staff, and others arguing that it is systematically anti-trans.

    In one way, this is tedious, and the arguments are well-worn. I am trying to work through Moore's piece, which in part repeats the argument that gender is socially constructed, and sex is material. There are also the points about women needing protection from trans women. An interesting point, "we seek liberation from gender". It sounds old-fashioned to me, I am defined by my womb. Hope to come back to it.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/commentisfree/2020/mar/02/women-must-have-the-right-to-organise-we-will-not-be-silenced
    I don't believe Suzanne Moore is anti-trans. I believe she is pro-women. The article itself was triggered by the banning of a speaker commemorating Ruskin College’s inaugural National Women’s Liberation Conference, for her association with a group accused of being trans-phobic, which it denies.
    Some references from the article.
    Quote:
    I know from personal experience the consequences of being deemed transphobic by an invisible committee on social media. It has meant death and rape threats for me and my children, and police involvement. I also know that the most vicious stuff takes place online and not in real life.
    Quote:
    Most people want the tiny percentage of the population who are trans to have the best lives they can. Living your best life would be one free of male violence. It is not feminists who murder trans people,
    Quote:
    You can tell me to “die in a ditch, terf” all you like, as many have for years, but I self-identify as a woman who won’t go down quietly.
  • I thought she says that women must be protected from trans women. That sounds anti-trans to me.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Penny S wrote: »

    Though the issue seems to be, from my reading of the article, that she is denying that trans women are women. Which is anti-trans. The fact that she isn't murdering trans women isn't really the point. Discrimination can be psychological as well as physical.

    It's kind of like the argument of 'Oh, I love gay people, because we are called to love everyone, and violence towards gay people is very wrong, but they shouldn't be allowed to marry or have kids, because they're not the same as us - their type of loving doesn't count. But I'm not anti-gay, and my church isn't anti-gay, as we've never murdered a gay person.'
  • CameronCameron Shipmate
    Penny S wrote: »
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/commentisfree/2020/mar/02/women-must-have-the-right-to-organise-we-will-not-be-silenced
    I don't believe Suzanne Moore is anti-trans. I believe she is pro-women. [...]
    Quote:
    Most people want the tiny percentage of the population who are trans to have the best lives they can. Living your best life would be one free of male violence. It is not feminists who murder trans people,

    Indeed, it’s not feminists who murder trans people, although 331 were killed in the last year. However, it’s the 30% of young trans people who try to take their own lives that’s the even more horrific problem, and transphobic discourse (including Suzanne Moore’s) arguably has some impact on that.

  • I think Moore has a track record. I remember her remark about not wanting to look like a Brazilian transsexual, which angered people.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Penny S wrote: »
    Moore is anti-trans. She is pro-her definition of women. The biological essentialism she promotes is one feminism has been fighting against for decades.
    As Cameron mentions, it is not only hate that fuels violence. Any othering contributes.
  • Moore emphasizes biological sex, and attacks the view that sex is a social construct. However, I thought that this is a radical view, linked to Judith Butler. Some trans people do argue for it, however saying that sex is a material fact as Moore does, begs some questions. What is a material fact?

    Moore then links trans identities to patriarchy, but I thought that seeing women as womb-bearers is a hallmark of patriarchy. Also Moore doesn't say explicitly, but implies that trans women are a danger to (natal) women, because they are male. In other words, a trans woman is not a woman, because biology determines our identity. Does it?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Penny S wrote: »

    So why equate Todd with the protestors against Polanski?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    I think she is saying that they are both horrible man things infringing on women's rights.
  • quantpolequantpole Shipmate
    It sounds old-fashioned to me, I am defined by my womb.

    What do you think is old fashioned? The feminist argument is that women have suffered and continue to suffer inequality with men. And that inequality is not based on the concept of inner gender, which may or may not be reflected in how you present yourself, but in the down to earth matter of biology. Career progression after having kids, bodily autonomy (e.g. Alabama), sexual violence etc, all rooted in sex. And if people can't name this for what it is, e.g. being shouted down for referring to pregnancy as a women's issue because 'men can get pregnant too', it is taking away the common language used.

    And in some case it is dangerous: when health information is referring to 'cervix havers' there will be a large number of women who won't recognise who that is referring to. Or downright wrong.
  • Biological essentialism is a reactionary way to treat people.
  • quantpolequantpole Shipmate
    edited March 9
    You're saying it's reactionary to dislike phrases such as 'cervix haver'?

    On further reflection, I don't even know what you are trying to say. Other than you seem to have either deliberately ignored what I was saying or are being glib.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    quantpole wrote: »
    It sounds old-fashioned to me, I am defined by my womb.

    What do you think is old fashioned? The feminist argument is that women have suffered and continue to suffer inequality with men.
    How does recognising transwomen as women change that? Transwomen are treated worse than assigned at birth women.

    And if a person doesn't know what a cervix is and who has one, then the problem is not the terminology, but the basic sex education.

  • quantpolequantpole Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    quantpole wrote: »
    It sounds old-fashioned to me, I am defined by my womb.

    What do you think is old fashioned? The feminist argument is that women have suffered and continue to suffer inequality with men.
    How does recognising transwomen as women change that? Transwomen are treated worse than assigned at birth women.

    And if a person doesn't know what a cervix is and who has one, then the problem is not the terminology, but the basic sex education.

    I didn't say they weren't treated worse. It's not a competition as to who is most oppressed.

    And yes, plenty of women will not have had great sex education, or due to religious reasons are not allowed it. But it's ok to throw them under the bus?
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