Drinking the Kool-Aid at the DfE

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

An example of DfE civil servants drinking the Kool-Aid was reported the other day.  It seems that rather than referring to girls or female students, DfE advice on free sanitary products in schools referred to "pupils who menstruate", "young people menstruating” and “learners who menstruate”.

The Times reported that in the seven-page memo published in 2020 there was one mention of “girls” and one of “women”, both in the footnotes, and two of “female”.  The wording has now been changed after The Times brought it to the attention of the Department.  Ministers, we're reassured, had not been involved in writing it.  Nor checking it either of course.  But you wouldn't expect them to; that's what middle-ranking civil servants are for.

It was all done, it seems, in the name of "equality".  But it's an odd equality which necessitates the removal of reference to women and girls.  Good old-fashioned misogyny, more like.  Or something much darker perhaps, as once the men behind all this successfully excise reference to women they can get on with the real task: getting rid of women themselves from the public square.

All this brought Wiltshire Council to mind.  Last year I noticed that a document on its website had replaced "sex" as a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act with "gender".  When I complained about this and enquired about how this happened, I was told that "this was a genuine misunderstanding of the terminology on the part of the officer and not a deliberate decision of theirs to misrepresent the [Equality] Act".  That was quite a relief.  But it's more evidence of Kool-Aid.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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