It is the best of times and the worst of times for women going through Britain’s education system. On the one hand, they’ve never had it so good. One third more women than men go to university, for example.
Yet, women are also suffering in many ways because of the decline of men. Perhaps none is so disturbing as the rise in sexual violence.
The issue has recently hit the headlines with several cases of sexual bullying being reported in British universities. But statistics from 2010 paint a terrible picture of an endemic problem. A study by the National Union of Students found that one in four female university students had been subject to sexual assault. One in three said they had experienced physical harassment.
These statistics aren’t referring to feminists upset that a man had held the door open for them. They show a serious problem. Sexual assault means rape, attempted rape and other forms of forced “sexual contact.” Physical harassment refers to women being grabbed, their skirts being lifted up and similar lewd behavior. Even these descriptions have been toned down to suit the Trumpet’s family audience. And this doesn’t include the countless women subject to taunts that no one would want their wives, sisters or daughters to hear.
After the recent headlines, the Times’ Catherine Nixey investigated the problem. “‘Laddism’—if you want to give this jolly term to what is sexual harassment—towards female students seems to have got even worse in the decade since I left,” she concluded.
“Ten years ago, no female students posed for ‘Page 3′ pictures,” she wrote, referring to the pictures of topless girls shown on page 3 of The Sun newspaper. “None felt the need to jelly-wrestle in their bikinis,” she continued. “And the sharking [trying to find the good-looking girls before they arrive at university] of my day seems positively homely and amateur compared with how it is done today.”
There were no halcyon days where every male behaved like a perfect gentleman, and Nixey makes this clear in her article. But today the problem is the worst it’s been.
In fact, the problem is so bad that the National Union of Teachers (nut) has gotten involved. As the largest teachers organization in Europe, its views carry some weight and it could make a real difference. So what’s its solution? Teach boys to stand up for and protect women? Restore a sense of chivalry in the younger generation?
No. Instead, it’s going in the opposite direction. Last month, at its annual conference, the nut put forward its big idea: feminizing boys. At the conference, speakers encouraged teachers to teach students that there are no differences between boys and girls, in an effort to combat “raunch culture.”
The union is running a project called “Breaking the Mold,” where it encourages teachers to promote books like William’s Doll, The Sissy Duckling, Bill’s New Frock and The Different Dragon. The conference encouraged teachers to use books that reversed the traditional roles of boys and girls.
It also encouraged teachers to find ways to teach children that “we can all do anything and that we need never feel constrained by our gender.” And it promotes a checklist that asks, “Is there anything about your classroom organization that might reinforce gender stereotypes—e.g. are there ‘boys’ toys’ or ‘girls’ books’?”
One of the teachers told the conference that this program would be “of huge benefit to both boys and girls.”
The crazy thing is, this is exactly the agenda that has caused the explosion of “raunch culture” in the first place. Schools have been trying to feminize boys for years, and today’s university students are the result.
The truth is that women are more vulnerable than men. Instead of denying this, schools should teach boys that their role is to protect women. Really, parents, not schools, should be teaching this, but too many parents have also signed up to this “gender neutral” agenda.
“Insanity,” as the proverb goes, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The fruits of gender-neutral schooling are not good, yet the nut wants to push on with more of the same thing that caused the problem.
In one of the recent incidents to hit the press, women were subject to horrible sexual comments at a debating society tournament. The only ones who stood up for them were other women. Not a single man intervened to say this behavior was unacceptable.
If Britain’s educational establishment really wants to solve the “raunch culture,” it needs to make some big changes. It’s right to complain about the objectification of women and to try to fight it in schools. But it also needs to focus on raising boys’ self-discipline and giving them the courage to stand up for their more vulnerable classmates. If every man saw himself as the protector of women, how many assaults would there be? Anyone that chose to attack a woman, physically or verbally, would quickly be stopped.
The solution to Britain’s “raunch culture” is in fact the exact opposite of what the nut proposes. It is to teach boys and girls their proper roles as men and women. That will give women the self-respect to not engage in bikini-jelly wrestling, and will stop men from coercing them into giving it a try.
This is just one example of how women suffer from the West’s assault on masculinity. For more on this trend, see our resent special feature “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” ▪