Australian Students to be Taught about 'Male Privilege'. 14/10/2016

Published by BCC

The "respectful relationship" curriculum will be mandatory in all schools in Victoria from next year.

Students will explore issues around social inequality, gender-based violence and male privilege.

However, a report on a 2015 pilot trial accused it of presenting all men as "bad" and all women as "victims".

Pay
inequality, anger management, sexual orientation and the dangers of
pornography will be among the topics explored by students in the
programme, costing A$21.8m (£13.5m; $16.5m).

Primary school
students will be exposed to images of both boys and girls doing
household chores, playing sport and working as firefighters and
receptionists.

The material includes statements including "girls
can play football, can be doctors and can be strong" and "boys can cry
when they are hurt, can be gentle, can be nurses and can mind babies".

In high school, students will be taught the meaning of terms
including pansexual, cisgender and transsexual and the concept of male
privilege.

A guide for the Year 7 and 8 curriculum states: "Being
born a male, you have advantages - such as being overly represented in
the public sphere - and this will be true whether you personally approve
or think you are entitled to this privilege."

It describes
privilege as "automatic, unearned benefits bestowed upon dominant
groups" based on "gender, sexuality, race or socio-economic class".

Year
11 and 12 students are introduced to the concept of "hegemonic
masculinity" which "requires boys and men to be heterosexual, tough,
athletic and emotionless, and encourages the control and dominance of
men over women".

Breaking the cycle

Some
critics have suggested that although more needs to be done to protect
the female victims of domestic violence, the programme lacks objectivity
and nuance.

Jeremy Sammut, a senior research fellow at the Centre
for Independent Studies, a libertarian think tank, told The Australian
newspaper that it amounted to "taxpayer-funded indoctrination" of
children.

"The idea behind this programme - that all men are
latent abusers by nature of the 'discourse' - is an idea that only
cloistered feminist academics could love," Dr Sammut said.

"A lot
of evidence suggests that like child abuse, domestic violence is a
by-product of social dysfunction: welfare, drugs, family breakdown."

The
royal commission that recommended education as the key measure for
preventing future family violence found that 25% of victims of family
violence are men. Critics argue that point is often overlooked.

Education Minister James Merlino has said education is the key to ending the "vicious cycle" of family violence.

"This
is about teaching our kids to treat everyone with respect and dignity
so we can start the cultural change we need in our society to end the
scourge of family violence," he said.