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Chris McGovern: Angry boys switch off as schools become a man-free zone


(Chris McGovern writes on how feminism has affected our schools in the latest of our series of articles to ‘celebrate’ International Women’s Day on Wednesday.)

In terms of academic achievement there has never been a better time to be born a girl and never a worse time to be born a boy. Last year a Bristol University report for Save the Children showed that by the age of 5 girls are ahead of boys in all 152 local council areas across England. They are, indeed, twice as likely as boys to have the basic literacy and communication skills to cope with the start of formal schooling.

We have known for a while that girls are beating boys at GCSE, at A-Level and at university. Among the under-performing male half of the school population, it is white working class boys who do worst of all. They are at the bottom of the pit even before they start school.

For boys, then, the rot sets in early and many never recover. Our prisons are over-loaded with disaffected and disengaged young men who lack the literacy and numeracy skills to ever break a vicious circle of unemployment and crime. And things are not a lot brighter for that vast majority of male school leavers who stay out of prison.

In a modern Britain whose direction of travel is increasingly determined by feminism and other forms of political correctness, it is boys, most of all, who are being cast adrift. Even the term, let alone the concept, of ‘masculinity’ is disappearing under the weight of the new language constructed around feminism – “andocenticism”, “intersectionality”, “patriarchial binary thought”, “phallogocentric”, “TERF” (trans exclusionary radical feminists), transmisogyny, and “SWERF” (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists) and so on.

In Britain the teaching profession has become very heavily feminised with a lack of male role models. Eighty five per cent of primary school teachers are women and so are 74 per cent of secondary school teachers. To this can be added the host of overwhelmingly female classroom assistants and ancillary staff. A consequence of schools being run largely by women is that they provide fertile territory for promoting the feminist agenda.

This has included a public examination system that for years has been built around coursework that mostly suits girls far more than it does boys. Such has been the advantage provided for girls, reflected in their results, that the government has finally been forced to make changes. A new generation of exams will do away with much of the coursework.

Too little, too late, alas! The Save the Children report should be re-named, “Save the Boys”. It makes clear that, in general, schools aggravate the problem of male underachievement. Reducing coursework in public exams at 16+ is a belated move in the right direction but it will no longer do much to solve the problem. Those boys who were behind at the age of 5 are four times more likely to be behind by the age of 11. Primary schools are unable to plug the learning deficit and matters get worse at secondary school.

‘Educated’ within an overwhelmingly female environment and subjected to an increasingly feminist ethos, many boys are failing because they are switching off. It is small wonder that male pupils are under-achieving and becoming alienated.  This is dangerous for society.

Every action produces a reaction. The feminisation of our school system is turning the amenable male Dr Jekyll into the less amenable Mr Hyde. Discipline in too many schools is poor. This is partly because disengaged boys are lashing out as they become increasingly marginalised by feminist ideology.

A few days ago I saw a play, “Snow in Midsummer”, at the Royal Shakespeare Company Swan Theatre in Stratford-on Avon.  It was a clever feminist re-working of a famous medieval Chinese drama about injustice. In one key scene the central female character, the ghost of Dou E’, tears the living heart out of a male counterpart and parades it to the audience.

Needless to say, this was not a part of the original Chinese version. It is, nevertheless, a powerful and compelling play. It does for feminism what the talented Leni Riefensthal did for Nazism. It seduces and it persuades. The “Triumph of the Will” has become the Triumph of Feminism.

Performed by one of the greatest theatre companies in the world, it confirmed the extent to which feminism has entered the lifeblood of our society. The tearing out of the heart from a male breast was an apt metaphor for the feminist take-over – in our schools and beyond.

(Image: Luminici)

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Chris McGovern
Chris McGovern
Chris McGovern is the Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education. A retired head teacher with 35 years’ teaching experience, Chris is a former advisor to the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street under two Prime Ministers.

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