Govt U-turn on sex ed shows suffragette praise was just lip service

Politics.co.uk reports that appointing Damian Hinds as education secretary all makes sense now. He’s a great teacher.

At the weekend Hinds brought history to life and at a stroke did more than any of the recent Vote100 celebrations to show why it really matters that women got the vote a century ago. He demonstrated that when men are in power they don’t give a fig about women.

Hinds barely got his feet under his desk at the Department for Education before announcing that he was scrapping plans for compulsory sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools.

His predecessor, Justine Greening, had heard cross party calls to firm up SRE provision and remove the right of parents to pull their children out of the classes. But Hinds won’t be following through, because he’s a man.

Does he think the women at the Baftas were wearing black just because the men have been doing it for years? How nice it would be to see all those celebrities backing #MeToo at the weekend marching on the Department for Education to persuade Hinds to change his mind.

Starting young is the key to changing the sort of attitudes that lead to recent scandals, whether that be in Hollywood or Haiti.

While girls can ‘trade up’  and take on traditionally male roles with relatively little comment – playing football, embracing engineering, punching their siblings – the same is not true for boys. They are trained to dismiss all that is pink, to have disdain for caring professions.

SRE is an opportunity to change that. The state can intervene to improve things.

And, yes, the state has a right to get involved. The state teaches about the ill effects of smoking because it’s the NHS that has to clear up the cancer that results. The state can also set out what a healthy relationship looks like, how sex should be and what consent is because all the folk broken by bad relationships, abuse, sexual assault and rape are a part of that state and the equal of the men who also live within it and too often make the rules to suit themselves.

Read the full article Govt U-turn on sex ed shows suffragette praise was just lip service

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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