As we work our way through the contents of the special issue of the academic journal, Educational Researcher entitled, Trans Studies in K-12 Education it becomes all the clearer that parents worried about the increasingly aggressive campaign of the transgenderist movement to insert its radical tenets into curricula should read through some of the articles in that issue.
As we saw in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, the writers (I am not going to use the words “researchers” or “scholars” to describe the authors—they are activists as far as the contents of the special issue are concerned) of the articles we are examining want to overthrow “the hegemony of the gender binary” and to transform K-12 education along transgenderist lines.
If you think that I am being alarmist, I invite you to come along with me on an eye-opening exploration of the second of the four feature articles in the special issue.
In Part 1, we examined the introduction to the issue. In Part 2, we examined the first of the four feature articles. In part 3, we will dissect the second feature article, which is entitled, Sex, Gender, and Education Research: The Case for Transgender Studies in Education.
Let’s get started.
The writer tells us:
The purpose of this article is to clearly identify the history of harmful gender ideologies and practices embedded in everyday structures and practices of K–12 schools that have been documented and amplified in education research. I argue that by drawing from transgender studies and epistemologies, education researchers can move toward more liberatory scholarship and educational practices.
By “harmful gender ideologies and practices” she means adherence to basic biological truth. To wit, there only two genders: male and female. She also refers to an ideological crusade called “liberatory scholarship”—which, obviously, isn’t scholarship at all. Scholarship is the unbiased search for truth. It is not designed to “liberate.”
She goes on to make clear her disdain for anything that is not transgender-friendly—and note that she refers not just to K-12 education, but even Pre-K—that means she wants to include children younger than five in her campaign:
Gender is taught in explicit and implicit ways from preschool through postsecondary education, and transgender studies provides rich frameworks for analyzing how gender and cisnormativity, practices that reinforce the hegemony of the gender binary, are embedded throughout the PK–12 education system.
Why should non-transgenderist, non-scholars care about the left-wing rhetoric peppering the pages of academic journals in the field of education research? Because such these ideologies makes their way into teacher training programs and from there to the classroom your child will be educated in. Frameworks have consequences.
The writer makes explicit her goal of overturning everything that stands in the way of the transgenderist juggernaut:
While children learn about gender through many institutions, including family, religion, language, and culture, schools are places where this gender socialization can be interrogated and transformed. Procedures, routines, curriculum, and pedagogy often teach and reinforce narrow gender norms unless educators and institutions carefully work to question and disrupt the binaries and hierarchies embedded in dominant culture.
This is not research. This is a revolution from within. And women and girls have the most to lose given that so much of the transgenderist movement works to undermine spaces where biological women (as opposed to the pseudo-women called “trans women” who are actually men) used to be able to excel (such as in women’s athletics) or simply have private spaces (such as female-only bathrooms).
What makes this so-called “scholarship” fail the test of true research is its reliance on dated stereotypes and ignorance about what is actually happening in the broader culture and how various social groups actually operate.
Take this passage, for example:
In the case of U.S. schools, this socialization centers White, Christian, settler, cisheteronormative, patriarchal worldviews as natural, normal, and the most valued
What planet is this writer living on? That has not been true for 40 years. The norm for public education these days is bland liberalism tinged with an anti-Christian bias shading in many metropolitan areas into an aggressive form of pro-transgenderism and outright animus towards Christianity—and religion in general.
And guess what—plenty of groups (Latinos, Asian-Americans, South Asians, African-Americans) adhere to the dreaded “cisheteronormative, patriarchal worldview.”
And note that transgenderists, who spend so much fulminating about the labeling of people, have decided to label those of us who are not transgenderist as “cisgender”:
The prefix “cis” comes from Latin and means “on this side” and is used to describe people who do not identify as transgender.
In order to combat the “hegemony” of those who are not confused as to what sex they are (you know, normal men and women), the writer says:
It is important to understand and engage with transgender epistemologies in order to add strength, nuance, and criticality to research that centers gender and liberatory learning environments as priorities.
Note that the quality of education or the pursuit of academic excellence do not come into this. It is all about gender “identity” and liberation.
Like most transgenderists, the writer is fond of acronyms and initialisms:
This “for us by us,” or FUBU, perspective calls on researchers to center trans experiential knowledge
I aim to offer evidence and frameworks to continue building and amplifying the knowledge generated by and for trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary (TGNCNB) youth and educators to help other education researchers learn from and expand on the concepts and research developed in the area we are calling “transgender studies in education.”
and explaining to readers who the people are who are supposedly being oppressed:
I include gender nonconforming and nonbinary individuals explicitly here to attend to all the forms of gender diversity that are often excluded, surveilled, and affected by the cisheteronormative cultures of K–12 schools. Nonbinary is a term used to refer to individuals whose gender identity goes beyond the binary categories of man and woman. While some trans people identify within the gender binary and use he or she pronouns, some do not. Nonbinary individuals often use gender neutral pronouns such as they, ze, or xim.
And bear in mind that teachers right through graduate schools are under increasing pressure to use the pronouns that students demand—thereby wreaking havoc with the very language we speak and referring nonsensically and ungrammatically to an individual as “they” as in, “John is a chemistry major. They enjoy science.”
The writer makes clear that she is engaged in a personal, highly politicized project under the guise of research:
As a White, settler, cisgender, queer woman, I engage in this work as part of the greater project of liberation and radical transformation of learning environments.
(The term “settler” in leftist lexicons, means a non-indigenous person and connotes oppression.)
So, here we have a “researcher” proclaiming her commitment to a radical transformation of learning for the sake of radicalism, not for the good of the education of children.
As mentioned in previous entries in this series, in their quest to deny basic facts of biology transgenderists use the word “assigned” to suggest that simply identifying correctly the sex of a newborn infant is an act of oppression:
I use the term sex to refer to a medico-legal category that is assigned at birth and has been socially constructed using the binary concepts of male and female… and “gender” as both an identity and a set of social relations that interact to produce a set of expectations and behaviors that are linked to the sex category assigned at birth
The writer epitomizes the weird combination of fantastical thinking, grandiosity, and hardcore ideology of many in the transgenderist movement:
Gender can be expansive and empowering when viewed as an identity constructed by the individual to express who they are and how they want to be seen in the world.
That is, the rest of the world is supposed to cater to those who wish to be empowered by, say, pretending to be a member of the opposite sex. Those of us who do not see them that way are “transphobic.” If the transgenderists have their way, “transphobic” people would not be allowed to be teachers. If a compassionate teacher were to try to ensure that say, a tomboy is not pressured by a transgenderist teacher to declare herself a boy, the compassionate teacher would be accused of not being “affirming.” The dangers to children and staff alike of the “transpedagogies” advocated by the writer of this article and of her fellow authors in the special issue are obvious.
As mentioned in previous entries of this series, the transgenderist movement tries to piggyback on movements with greater public appeal and larger constituencies such as the so-called anti-racism movement and the women’s movement and to hitch its wagon to the catch-all phrase for the victimhood mentality, intersectionality, which holds that:
all oppressions are interconnected and, therefore, must be studied and addressed simultaneously
This is a clever move because if you are oppose transgenderism, you become an enemy of all that is progressive and, therefore, of all that is fine and noble.
This is galling to many feminists, in particular, given the transgenderist tendency to gut things feminists hold dear, such as women’s sports and, indeed the very word “women.”
The transgenderists have also set feminists against one another—those (labeled by their foes "transgender-exclusionary radical feminists," or TERFs) who maintain that there is more to being a woman than a man suddenly claiming that he feels like one and those who are so terrified of being labeled transphobic that they have surrendered to the “trans women” (who are men) and trans men (women who wish to be treated as if they are men).
Of course, none of this has the slightest bit to do with your son in second grade or daughter in third grade. It is all about the self-involvement and revolutionary aspirations of the transgenderists.
Getting back to the specifics of the article…
Rather helpfully, the author makes clear that the field of queerness studies (a precursor of transgender studies) is not so much about defending those who claim that they are marginalized (male homosexuals and lesbians) as it is about undermining heterosexuality and normality generally:
Queer studies differ from gay and lesbian studies as it doesn’t focus solely on the experiences and identities of gays and lesbians; rather, it examines and critiques the structures of heteronormativity, and later cisnormativity, and how they affect everyone as they experience their culture’s sex/gender system.
One tactic of transgenderists employ in their quest to render the K-12 setting as pro-transgenderist as possible is to try to create a sense of urgency by using words like “harm” and “safe”—as if children who are not gender dysphoric are somehow a threat to the one classmate who is. We read in the article about
harmful gender binary discourses in schools
(Like Romeo and Juliet, I suppose.)
and the need:
to create schools and communities that are safer and more affirming for all
Get it? If a teacher does not “affirm” a little boy who is perhaps a bit effeminate as being a girl, the teacher is not maintaining a “safe” environment.
The author even admits that she allows her so-called research to be screened and okayed by a trans-friendly tribunal:
in my own work, I have prioritized working in collaboration with TGNCNB scholars, graduate assistants, and community advisory boards to ensure that the questions and methods I am employing minimize the “cisgender gaze” and are aimed at understanding issues and solutions that center trans experiential knowledge
So much for truth seeking and neutrality in the research enterprise.