Saturday, 29 January 2011

Johann Hari: Champion Of Divisive Identity Politics Speaks...

I am exhausted. I have spent all week trying to brainwash small children into being gay, by relentlessly inserting
Woah, Nelly!
homosexuality into their maths, geography and science lessons.
Whew!

This is, of course, Hari’s fightback against the news that we desperately need to include ‘gay examples’ in maths, science etc to prevent this sort of thing happening:
Every week, I get emails from despairing gay kids who describe being thrown against lockers, scorned by their teachers if they complain, and – in some faith schools – told they will burn in Hell.
And this will be helped by having examples of gay couples in algebra questions how, exactly?
Is it “political correctness” and “McCarthyism” to try to ensure these kids can feel safe in their own schools – or is it basic decency?
No, it’s basic decency – so deal with the issue (which is bullying and assault) with the tools already there for it.

Or is that too difficult?
A few very mild proposals were made this week for how to change the attitudes behind this. They came from an excellent organization called Schools Out, which is run with a small grant from the tax-payer. They gave out a voluntary information pack in which they suggested that, to mark LGBT History Month, teachers acknowledge the existence of gay people in their lessons.
If you are having specific lessons about how everyone, no matter what their lifestyle or beliefs, should be treated with respect, fair enough.

But needlessly incorporating it into unrelated lessons risks calling attention to it, surely?
The Schools Health Education Unit found that homophobic violence was dramatically lower in schools that taught about homosexuality. Good schools like Stoke Newington Secondary that followed this program were assessed to have “virtually eliminated homophobic bullying.”
Oh, really? Pardon me if I find that rather hard to believe. Like Quiet Riot Girl at 'Guardian Watch', I'm a little suspicious of the grandiose claims made by groups like Stonewall.

And I note it states they've virtually eliminated homophobic bullying, not that they've virtually eliminated bullying. Are they simply blurring the definition to meet the target?
In order to justify their desire to discriminate against gay people, the few remaining homophobes have concocted a scenario where they are The Real Victims. They can say what they want, set up churches or mosques that preach what they want
Whoops! It seems Johann Hari doesn’t even read his own newspaper….

Great timing, Johann!

But, easy as it is to rip Hari to shreds, his message is still disseminated throughout the schools and the 'right-on' teachers are still likely to pick up on it and decide that it's better to go along than risk being thought a 'homophobe' (of which Hari seems to think the UK has many or few, depending on the way the wind blows).

And despite Hari's claims of success for this scheme, I've got my doubts it's as effective as he wants it to be. For one thing, changing attitudes is all well and good, but it takes time. Therefore, it's not a lot of use to the kid getting his head kicked in now.

And this inclusion of gay themes is targeted at LGBT History month, not all year round, thus making it stand out even more.

It's not a difficult thing to get anyone's head round, really:

Is it bad that kids are being bullied because they are gay? Yes.

Is it bad that kids are being bullied because they are fat? Yes.

Is it bad that kids are being bullied because they are nerdy? Yes.

Is it bad that kids are being bullied because they are ginger? Oh, well, maybe... Sorry, no, of course the answer's 'Yes'.

So the inescapable conclusion is that schools need to do more to halt bullying. Not to target one specific identity group.

But that doesn't keep the High Priest of Gayness in a well-paid job, does it?

12 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Mark my words, one day ginger people will organise themselves and the rest of you are screwed.

Problem is that so many gingers are in denial about being ginger - especially women but even some men.

Edwin Greenwood said...

Now I stop to think about it, most gingers I have encountered over the years have been (a) ostentatiously Scottish and (b) obnoxiously self-righteous. A badly skewed sample, no doubt.

When I was at primary school, I was bullied for a couple of years because (a) I wore glasses and (b) I wore a green blazer which may made me easily spottable in the playground. What about a Four-Eyed Gits History Month and and Government funding for an antidioptrophobia initiative in education?

Longrider said...

Have you seen bidisha's latest piece in the Groan? Mothers are treated like dirt apparently. Add them to the list of the bullied...

Lynne said...

Adds a whole new meaning to school camping trips...

dr cromarty said...

Hari - a big fat speccy ****

staybryte said...

If the Righteous decided that there was institutional discrimination against those born on a Wednesday, it would take five seconds for the likes of Hari to lend their (considerable excess) weight behind the newly formed pressure group: "Children of Woe."

Anonymous said...

Ed Greenwood said.
"Now I stop to think about it, most gingers I have encountered over the years have been (a) ostentatiously Scottish and (b) obnoxiously self-righteous. A badly skewed sample, no doubt."

HOW DARE YOU CALL ME SCOTTISH. I AM GINGER AND A YORKSHIREMAN. GET THAT YOU MORONIC CRETINOUS, BIASSED INTOLERANT IDIOT. CAN'T YOU TELL A GINGER YORKSHIRE MAN WHEN YOU SEE ONE!.
I HAVE LIVED MY WHOLE LIFE BEING ABUSED BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU. I DO MY BEST TO MELT INTO THE BACKGROUND AND IT DOESN'T WORK. EVERYONE IS STILL ALWAYS OUT TO GET ME.

I, above all others, deserve government help and loads of money to help me get over such chronic difficulties caused by insensitive society.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Hari is one of the funniest columnists around. When he's not making things up, he's being hilariously ridiculed by Private Eye (1280 p6) for falling for spoof articles written in the same newspaper he works for.

Lefties must cringe whenever they see he's posted something new. :)

Ross said...

"Every week, I get emails from despairing gay kids "

All saying "leave me alone you sweaty creep".

David Gillies said...

I yield to no-one in my condemnation of irrational prejudice. But Gingers? That's rational prejudice. Everyone knows that Gingers have no souls, even daywalkers. If there were a Blade-like superhero (possibly half-Ginger, i.e. auburn haired) who combated the Ginger menace I think he would be very popular. Bloody Duracells.

Nightwatchstate said...

As a gay guy this makes me sick.

I'm tired of pudgy crusaders like him painting me into a corner as some sort of special needs group. His divide and conquer poison only serves to teach kids that anyone different is a social pariah with a special wing of rabid socialist guardian angels.

JuliaM said...

"Mark my words, one day ginger people will organise themselves.."

Never happen.. ;)

"What about a Four-Eyed Gits History Month and and Government funding for an antidioptrophobia initiative in education?"

It might just come to that...

"Have you seen bidisha's latest piece in the Groan? "

Good lord! Why does CiF keep letting that woman write columns? It must give their mods RSI.

"...it would take five seconds for the likes of Hari to lend their (considerable excess) weight behind the newly formed pressure group: "Children of Woe.""

Especially if there was money attached.

"Lefties must cringe whenever they see he's posted something new. :)"

Perhaps, like Penny Red, he's a right wing plant?

"I'm tired of pudgy crusaders like him painting me into a corner as some sort of special needs group."

Indeed. Why can't everyone just live their lives as they wish?