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Get ‘Em While They’re Young: Radical Feminism for 4th Graders

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Posted on February 11 2010 8:05 am
Jenn escaped blue state academia for redder pastures in the South. Follow her on Twitter and read more of her work at JennQPublic.com.

In 2009, Ileana Jiménez asked her class of high school juniors and seniors to write letters to President Obama about “the ways in which feminism might be addressed in the curriculum.”  Earlier this week she shared one letter on her blog, Feminist Teacher.

It is understandable that teachers cannot be expected to cram decades of struggles into 12 years of study. I just feel that there should be more time in the curriculum starting in the lower grades (if they can learn about the slave trade, they can learn about feminism) dedicated to learning about feminism and the goals behind it.

To do that, I propose that by fourth grade, students be exposed to basic feminist ideas.

Note that the student’s interest isn’t in ensuring that women’s experiences are adequately represented in history texts.  She’s proposing the indoctrination of nine-year-old children into a political movement.

She doesn’t define “basic feminist ideas,” but here’s a list of the top priorities of a representative feminist group, the National Organization for Women:

  1. abortion rights/reproductive issues
  2. violence against women
  3. constitutional equality
  4. promoting diversity/ending racism
  5. lesbian rights
  6. economic justice

How many of those “basic feminist ideas” would you teach to a fourth grader?

The letter continues:

Then in middle school, there should be a month in each grade dedicated to learning about basic feminist vocabulary and grasping the ideas and goals of the first, second, and third waves of feminism.

What would the leftist feminist vocabulary for seventh graders look like? Oppression, patriarchy, victim, victimhood, victimize, victimizer, victimization …

After sixth and seventh grade, students should begin learning about how to cultivate their views, feminist or not, and learning about the great many intersections that exist within feminism.

This kid regurgitates Marxist feminist theory like a pro.  For the uninitiated, the theory of intersectionality has to do with the interaction between sexism, racism, classism, and all the other -isms.  It’s basically a game of victimhood bingo where players check their cards to see how many different types of oppression and inequality they experience simultaneously.

By the time students are in high school, they are armed with the basic tools to begin tackling social injustice. In high school, students would examine global feminism and then they can start to connect it to US feminism and other forms of activism. This will take feminist education up to tenth grade. By this time, students should be able to choose feminist electives in their junior and senior year.

I honestly feel that feminism and gender justice education must be incorporated into education. Every social justice movement deserves to be represented.

Does this young woman understand that there’s a difference between social science and ideology? The distinction between academic inquiry and political activism is almost completely absent from her letter.

This is not surprising, considering she’s a student at the Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York.  For about $30,000 a year, the K-12 school delivers a social justice curriculum designed to teach the next generation of leftists how to balance race, class, and gender privilege with the socially appropriate amount of guilt. Initiation into the cult of race, class, and gender warfare is included at no additional charge.

Ms. Jiménez was thrilled with her success in passing on such an enlightened perspective to her impressionable young student:

Brava to my student for writing with a vision for how we must change our classroom content for greater attention to gender justice and feminism. Her vision and that of her peers in the class are what we should all aspire to achieve in making not only equitable classrooms but inclusive ones as well.

Mission accomplished: there’s no need to learn how to think when you’re taught what to think.

The reaction to this student’s letter in the “progressive” feminist blogosphere was predictably gushy.  But in a rare moment of intellectual honesty,  Jezebel blogger Anna North warned that while imposing feminism on young students was certainly desirable, it might not work because “[c]hildren are often resistant to adult indoctrination.”

Let’s hope.

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Follow Jenn Q. Public on Twitter and read more of her work at JennQPublic.com.

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