Glyph got another exciting school assignment this week: Write a persuasive essay. She wrote a thrilling piece about dogs vs cats. Since we can’t afford to alienate half our audience, I’ll skip that topic. I have something much more entertaining.
I read UK Schools to Appoint ‘Gender Champions’ to Police ‘Sexist Language’. According to the article, children as young as five will be tasked with monitoring the language of their classmates in order to stamp out sexist terms such as sissy and cupcake.
Kindergartners as speech police? I’ll challenge myself, and take the ‘pro’ side of the argument.
Newly-minted grade schoolers have an innate sense of hurtful language. As entertaining as it is to watch them steal toys from one another, you should take the opportunity to listen to them speak. They are very attuned to fairness and justice, even if it runs one-way. That toy is mine! You aren’t being fair! I’m telling the teacher!
Empowering them to be Gender Champions is an ingenious way to utilize this trait. After hearing problematic terms, the average student will run to their teacher for JUSTICE. Said teacher has to step in and discipline the offender, taking away valuable time they would otherwise use to plan lessons and drink. It seems a natural progression to cut out the middleman.
Nothing engenders a love of authority like being able to exercise it arbitrarily. Petty government bureaucrats don’t invent themselves. We should be training them as early as possible. In fact, making them Gender Champions doesn’t go nearly far enough. They should be armed (no, not with guns, I’m not crazy: billy clubs bedazzled with stainless steel jewels will do) and wear safety helmets. Should there be any kind of debate over whether a word is toxic the empowered students can settle it themselves. If a fellow student uses a banned word, justice should be swift and knobby.
Yes, we’ll lose some future totalitarians at this stage, but the ones who graduate will be even more formidable when they eventually attain real power. Keep looking at the long-term picture and don’t get lost in all the details. Let’s face it, gladiatorial fights to determine how future citizens will speak to one another is a natural progression from the feral environment of day care. You don’t want to fight nature, do you?
Every five-year-old can police the speech in their own homes. We should only promote the ones who report multiple violations to Gender Champion. This way, we’ll know they take their responsibilities seriously. They should get their club and helmet in a cautionary ceremony from a former Gender Champion who either graduated, or made their mark trying.
Of course, there are a lot of years between kindergarten and the freshly-indoctrinated college student ready to enter the exciting world of bureaucracy. The Khmer Rouge trained kids as young as eight to be councilors in their Critical Awareness Mentoring Programs. The Islamic State is doing the same thing. Such experience will be necessary for our leaders in the coming decade. Those leaders are already in grade school. Are they really prepared?
Finally, the name for the program is already being ridiculed online. This is a problem for such an innovative and necessary training technique. I propose a much better name that should put a halt to this: Stop Toxic And Sexist Intolerance.