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Church issues guidance on transphobic bullying

(20 Posts)
Ekphrasis Mon 13-Nov-17 06:44:07

I think this is quite sensible. Though why schools/ central govt Ed policy haven’t issued guidance already I do not know. After reading the Janice Turner article it seems that early secondary schools need clear guidance and active teaching on how both homophobic bullying and trans can merge to cause unimaginable damage.

Church of England issues transphobic bullying guidance

“The report, Valuing All God's Children, said children should be able to play with "the many cloaks of identity" without being labelled or bullied - "sometimes quite literally with the dressing-up box".

Nursery and primary school in particular is a time of "creative exploration", it said, where young people should be able to pick a tutu, tiara and heels - or a helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak - "without expectation or comment".”

Knusper Mon 13-Nov-17 08:06:41

The 'without expectation or comment' part is so important.

I've seen this guidance reported along the lines of 'Archbishop supports transgenderism', which doesn't seem to be the case. It's more 'leave kids to find out who they are'. I hope that this subtle difference won't be overlooked.

Knusper Mon 13-Nov-17 08:08:23

Should have said that it's being reported as 'Archbish supports current gender madness'. The church is supportive of transsexuals, I think.

SerendipityFelix Mon 13-Nov-17 08:17:06

Here's the guidance itself

It's 52 pages long, I havent read it all yet just skimmed through. It does seem to reinforce the girls clothes/boys clothes trope, though, even though saying we should refrain from treating children differently if they choose clothes 'meant' for the opposite gender, rather than just breaking down the barriers and saying all clothes are for everyone. But I'd be the first to admit I know very little about CofE doctrine

DJBaggySmalls Mon 13-Nov-17 08:25:46

The Church/Abrahamic religions are the bastion of gender roles and hierarchy and has been for centuries. Cross dressing is specifically banned in the Bible, so I'm pleased to see this message. Children cant cross dress, they just wear clothes they like, or they play. I really like the phrase ''without expectation or comment".

AuntieStella Mon 13-Nov-17 08:29:16

I think these are valuable guideline, and very much "let children be children" and to challenge gendered stereotypes in school.

Greater acceptance that children try out all sorts of stuff (I rather like the phrase about 'cloaks') and that childhood is the time to try things out is, I think, a good aim. Because thinking that a liking for tutus, tiaras and toolbelts should indicate anything more than a current liking is wrong.

Wombat44 Mon 13-Nov-17 08:40:58

From the report:

“For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the fireman’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment. “

That part was quoted on Radio 4 this morning and I was flabbergasted that - in a document supposedly about promoting inclusion and fighting discrimination- they refer to a fire*man*’s helmet, reinforcing the association of that role with men. Surely a helmet in a dressing up box is a fire*fighter*’s helmet, and if a girl puts it on that doesn’t mean she is identifying as a boy or a man.

Caulk Mon 13-Nov-17 08:44:40

The Got Questions site linked to about isn’t from the CofE, it’s from a conservative branch of the baptist church and so will have a more fundamentalist view than the Anglican Church.

Ekphrasis Mon 13-Nov-17 09:02:23

After posting I did worry that it could be being translated as the total opposite but I think the key message “without label” is so important.

I’m afraid the ‘fireman’ word is simply a very common unconsidered thing among School life so I think that’s cultural/ ignorance. There’s a common teacher’s website with a song called “ten little firemen” for example. But I also think the point that a girl wearing a stereotypical ‘male hat’ is to be seen as ok was trying to be made. (But yes, the stereotype in the real world isn’t / shouldn’t be true).

After having my own child, a boy, I believe the world of children’s ‘stuff’ is an extreme stereotypical (misogynistic, capitalist, materialistic) alternate universe.

A few attempts to lessen it, not enough in my opinion. I watched Lego friends for the first time recently and was quite horrified.

SerendipityFelix Mon 13-Nov-17 09:14:31

Surely a helmet in a dressing up box is a fire*fighter*’s helmet, and if a girl puts it on that doesn’t mean she is identifying as a boy or a man.

Exactly, this is what I noted, the whole report is predicated on a acceptance of rigid gender stereotypes. I guess not castigating children for non conforming is a step towards abolishing stereotypes entirely though. The 'without comment' bit is quite powerful, if you think about it. The news this morning does seem to be entirely focusing on countering anti-trans-bullying rather than discouraging transing of children, though.

The CofE head of education interviewed on BBC breakfast was called Nigel Genders, btw. Odd synchronicity!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 13-Nov-17 09:15:17

I think the "Without expectation or comment" is totally key to this - I almost forgive them their gendered views smile

sagamartha Mon 13-Nov-17 09:17:38

Yet the Daily Mail is having a go at the church. The same Daily Mail that complains about the rise in trans children.

Children that think that doing certain things and wearing certain things makes them a member of the opposite sex because that's what they've been told / see will start to believe that - and get labelled that. The Daily Mail is concerned about that.

The church issues guidelines that suggests that children should be able to do certain things in school without having to be labelled is also attacked by the Daily Mail.

SerendipityFelix Mon 13-Nov-17 09:21:22

The chief of the London Fire Brigade is a woman, btw, and launched the #FirefightingSexism campaign last month. Perhaps they could be asked to comment on the use of the term fireman.

3Gifts41 Mon 13-Nov-17 10:07:47

"Nursery and primary school in particular is a time of "creative exploration", it said, where young people should be able to pick a tutu, tiara and heels - or a helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak - "without expectation or comment".”

Any nursery worth their salt would not discourage or shame boys and girls dressing up in either tiaras or fireman helmets. If they did, I'd imagine it would be sex discrimination?

I detest the fact that this ideology is promoted under the umbrella of trans rights, what utter, utter bull shit. the stupid BBC article reads as if wearing a tiara / helmet is allowing children to explore their gender. What utter bull crap. Helmets and tiaras have nothing to do with being a girls or boy stating the bloody obvious. Trans has become an ideology and is 100% misogynist due to its insistence on rigid gender stereotypes.

I am quite hacked off about this.

3Gifts41 Mon 13-Nov-17 10:26:32

if a girl puts it on that doesn’t mean she is identifying as a boy or a man.

Exactly FFS.

Intercom Mon 13-Nov-17 15:12:08

How strange. So being against sex discrimination and stereotypes didn’t already send a message then? confused

3Gifts41 Mon 13-Nov-17 16:12:08

I think it's disgusting to infer that a girl trying on a fireman helmet and a boy trying on a princess costume are exploring their transient genders. Ridiculous and bigoted in equal measures.


newtlover Mon 13-Nov-17 17:15:38

but I really don't think that's what the Cof E intend, despite how it's being reported- surely they are saying that bullying for any reason is wrong and that children should be allowed to dress/play as they like without 'expectation or comment', in other words without idiots starting with the 'oh, he's always liking pink and playing with clearly he must be a girl'

Ekphrasis Mon 13-Nov-17 20:13:05

No I don’t think that’s what they’re saying. I’ve tried to read it as such and I simply think they’re spelling out the fact a princess costume is just a costume. And actually, beyond Nursery, some primary teachers can be a little stereotypical without realising it, or really quite overtly. I’ve seen it enough - there was a worry at my school that a child would be bullied further up the school for wanting to play with handbags (they were in foster care and so had some catching up to do) - it needed to be pointed out by an expert colleague that a) he needed to be allowed to do this and b) it was victim blaming if anyone did tease him and the teasing should be dealt with. So in my mind the c of e guidance is really helpful in such instances.

You only need to watch the bbc documentary from the summer “no boys and girls” to understand how there is unintentional stereotypical and borderline bigoted attitudes in teaching, mainly from ignorance.

Ekphrasis Mon 13-Nov-17 20:13:28

(Re 3gifts)

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