Recently, RTE’s Prime Time saw the programme tackle gender identity; an increasingly contentious issue in Irish society. Despite offering various perspectives, the show was attacked by transgender activists, who started the hashtag ‘TurnOffPrimeTime.’
Such hashtags should be viewed as an attack on free speech by radical left-wing ideologues. The pervasiveness of this shut-down ideology is evident in significant institutions and in Irish policy. The Union of Students Ireland, for example, came out with a statement that is antithetical to the mechanism of free speech.
“Transgender lives are not an issue up for debate nor a conversation with comedians for viewer entertainment. Only voices that matter are those who have the lived experience of being trans and those are the voices that should be respected and given a platform,” tweeted the USI.
This is of course a classic manifestation of identity politics; the idea that one’s identity is the only determinant of their ability to hold an opinion. This ideology has now spread into the Oireachtas, with two bills concerning gender currently passing through the chambers.
The Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017, if passed, will allow children under 16 to change their gender without the consent of their parents, if the State deems it acceptable.
While it is undeniable that some young people struggle with their gender identity; it is the exception, not the rule. Research shows that 84% of youths who experienced gender dysphoria grow out of it after puberty. Additionally, transgender individuals account for only a tiny fraction of the population. Given the recent hypothesis of ‘Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria,’ it should be obvious that children are incapable of determining whether their biological sex is discordant with their gender identity.
Furthermore, the one of the main biologically inbuilt psychological differences between men and women are their interests. Women tend to have a greater interest in people, while men tend to prefer ‘things.’ However, the difference is not great and difficult to quantify. Some boys may have generally feminine interests and some girls may have generally masculine interests – this does not make their biological sex independent of this gender identity.
The Seanad has debated and accepted the general principles of this bill. However, these principles are not predicated on science or reason, but on ideology. And if they are passed, they will directly impact our children and potentially their well-being.
The second bill, The Provision of Objective Sex Education Bill 2018, aims to overhaul the curriculum on such issues, ensuring that it is “factual and objective, age appropriate, and not gender normative.”
This bill is predicated on postmodern, Neo-Marxist ideologies. Postmodernism thinkers posit that each worldview is equally as valid while Neo-Marxism tends to claim that society is a conflict between the oppressed and the oppressors, typically based on gender or ethnicity.
‘Gender normative’ is a popular phrase with postmodern ideologues. It refers to those who recognise that gender is a biological and social, with innate differences existing between the genders. Therefore it is impossible to have a sex-education curriculum that is factual but not gender normative.
Research into personality psychology has proven that gender is not merely a social construct, but part social and part biological. In Scandinavia, where gender inequalities have been flattened with aggressive social policy-making, differences in personality and interests maximise. These differences result in further inequalities despite the legislation.
This has seen women occupying jobs that directly contribute to the wellbeing of others, while men occupy fields such as engineering and mathematics. Hence the STEM gender gap. So to remove education that is ‘gender normative’ is quite simply to deny scientific research. This denial fits the Neo-Marxist narrative, as it allows phenomena such as the STEM gender gap to be explained due to patriarchal oppression, as opposed to biological difference.
As this bill has passed the second stage of the Dáil, its general principles have been debated and accepted. Put simply the Dáil has accepted general principles that are fundamentally incorrect. If it passes, children will be taught ideology, not reality.
These ideologies do not account for psychology or biology, worse still, they are in opposition to these sciences. The Irish government has now allowed these ideologies to be integrated into policy. Irish society should not allow Leftist ideologues to tarnish our educational institutions. And quite frankly neither is it the place of the government to make decisions regarding people’s children.
These bills are Left-wing indoctrination masquerading as compassion. Compassion is not fundamentally virtuous. Children do not always know best, and sometimes to love someone is to be tough and disciplinary. If these bills are passed, parents will lose that right, and instead the government will know how best to treat our children.