How the Concepts of "Gender Identity" and "Gender Expression" Are Being Created by Canadian Schools
Why are we running a massive social experiment on kids?
Everyone who is involved in the fight against gender ideology knows that schools have been a major vehicle for proliferating its ideas. But in Canada, and I am betting in most other places affected by this, schools have actually been the place where gender ideology is created—which makes the whole thing even more malevolent.
I recently came across an interesting paper published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society in 2020 titled “The Aftermath of Human Rights Protections: Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and the Socio-Legal Regulation of School Boards.”
The authors are completely pro-gender ideology and think it’s all just a wonderful example of human rights marching forward. But their analysis of the Canadian situation, particularly as it relates to schools, was very revealing.
They begin with an informative historical overview that traces how the terms “gender identity” and/or “gender expression” were added to federal, provincial, and territorial human rights instruments from 2002 to 2017. However, they note that these terms have never been legally defined.
Yes, this is what Canada did. All throughout our country we have created two new categories of human rights and never even bothered to define them. This is, of course, because these terms cannot be defined as they do not refer to anything real. Even those who use them in earnest have widely varying definitions from their fellow believers.
Nevertheless, because these terms were now in play, human rights commissions and tribunals had to provide interpretive guidance on their meanings. The paper proceeds to track how “gender identity” and “gender expression” have been legislatively created through “a series of statements from human rights commissions, tribunal decisions, and legislative debates.”
It highlights how there has been a tension between “expansive definitions” that apply to everyone (for example, the idea that we all have a “gender identity”) and efforts to apply the terms only to “transgender and/or non-binary people.”
To illustrate this, the paper reviews two decisions by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. In one case, a man had alleged that clean-shaven policies at his workplace constituted discrimination against his gender expression. In another, a man argued that he had experienced “gender expression discrimination” for his “stereotypically male” demeanor in a medical clinic.
In both cases, the tribunal decided that protections for “gender identity” and “gender expression” were not meant to apply to “cisgender” people or to protect “gender conforming expression.”
Let me pause here and note how ridiculous it is that these conversations even need to take place. These nonsense terms need to be removed from human rights codes (and human rights tribunals should likely be abolished, but that’s another story), so we can stop getting mired down in and wasting time, energy, and resources on these issues.
But if there was one small comfort in these decisions it was that the tribunals were trying to restrict these protections to a specific group of people—people who deviated from sex expectations enough that you could say they did face real discrimination in housing, education, and employment. Previously, such people were covered under the grounds of “sex” and “disability.”
In my view, keeping these restrictions firmly in mind and grounding them in reality rather than in an internal sense of one’s “gender” would have stopped just short of foisting gender ideology on all of society.
But Canadian schools have taken the opposite, “expansive” approach, and this is the approach that has filtered through society and been pushed onto children. Note, I am not arguing that either approach is good (they should both be binned), but it is this second one that really contains the “ideology” of gender ideology and that proliferates its metaphysical beliefs about sex and gender.
This is concerning because, as the authors of the paper write, “human rights protections affect, and are shaped by, the everyday work of actors in schools.” They provide an analysis of “how ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ have been constructed by Ontario’s English-language public secular school boards.”
The fact that schools are where these ideas are being constructed and shaped should be of concern to everyone.
To carry out their analysis, the authors did a systematic review of the school boards for the definitions of “gender identity” and “gender expression” they were using. Their findings indicated that:
such policies are doing more than simply attempting to comply with the law. Rather, these policies are shaping “gender identity” and “gender expression” in ways that alter their meaning and, potentially, how they are preventatively or reactively applied in school settings. Furthermore, we suggest that such policies have the power to shape our collective understanding of what these human rights categories mean.
They noted that, in particular, school policies often approached the idea of “gender expression” in “universalizing terms,” meaning that it applies to all people, not just those considered “trans.”
For example, the 2017 guidelines of the Peel District School Board stated that “all people, regardless of their gender identity, have a gender expression.” The Greater Essex County District School Board’s 2016 policy likewise defined “gender expression” as:
The various ways that we communicate our gender identity to others, for example, social roles, clothing, body language, hair styles, speech patterns, and voice pitch, given name, etcetera. Often this communication is ascribed to us at a young age and imposed on us through social norms and values.
These definitions are in contrast to tribunal rulings that the ground of “gender expression” was meant to be a restricted one.
The paper also provides some examples of the kinds of materials that are being used in schools to teach children about “gender identity,” “gender expression,” “sexual orientation,” and “sex.”
The authors conclude that while tribunal decisions have attempted to define “gender identity” and “gender expression” in more narrow terms, their analysis shows that Ontario schools were taking the opposite approach and that there was no suggestion in any of their explicit definitions of “gender identity” or “gender expression” that “these terms ought to be construed in such a limited fashion.”
Nowhere do the authors question whether this is actually a good thing. While they do critique some of the teaching materials used in schools, they seem to implicitly approve of the fact that such conversations are going on and such policies are being created in schools in the first place. This is merely taken as a given and as a positive state of affairs.
There is no questioning the fact that a very new social ideology based on postmodern ideas is being created and constructed within our country’s school systems. Because this has been painted as a human rights issue, it would be verboten to question it or to call for a stop to it.
But this unwillingness to look at the situation with a critical eye is leading us toward catastrophe. Children are being actively confused about their identities and being asked about their “gender” and sexualities at ridiculously young ages.
It is social engineering, pure and simple, and our spineless society is allowing it under a facade of kindness. But this is not kindness, it is resignation. People don’t want to rock the boat and draw the ire of militant activists, and they’ll sacrifice children to remain under the radar.
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