Oh dear, St Paul’s Girls can’t hack the big bad world of work and it is all the fault of men. To be precise it is because private boys’ schools produce bigots. So says the High Mistress of St Paul’s Girls’ School, Clarissa Farr. According to her, the reason why some of her former gels are cutting and running from their high powered careers early on is they can’t cope with ‘the low level discrimination’ that defines ‘laddish culture’ at work and which is, we learn from her, a product of private boys’ school education.
How tragic. I am shedding tears for the poor dears. Not.
Silly Ms Farr, far from doing the brightest and the best of London’s schoolgirls a good turn, risks turning her girls, her school and herself into a laughing stock.
Her outburst rather reminded me of Gordon Brown’s equally crass ‘bigoted woman’ comment during the 2010 election. All too revealing of his own deep seated prejudice, arrogance and ignorance, his gaffe was the beginning of the end for him. Maybe it will so prove for this lady.
Inculcating her girls with a Charlotte Proudmanesque, feminazi victim culture mentality is not quite, I imagine, what St Paul’s parents expect in return for the hefty fees they pay. A top drawer classical education, yes; the confidence to match their results, yes; but lessons in Laura Bates’s asinine ‘everyday sexism project’? I think not.
What the city dads among her girls’ parents made of having themselves, their businesses or their former alma maters traduced like this I don’t know.
Will any of them dare to tick her off I wonder? Or tell her to stop warping their daughters’ young minds with her anti-male prejudice.
Some at least must know this is no way for their daughters to get on in the world. In their heart of hearts they must know that success won by positive discrimination and Big Sister monitoring men (rather than by merit and graft) is not worth having. They must at least suspect that it is attitudes like Ms Farr’s that are responsible for driving the very wedge between the sexes she complains of.
Whether, despite this, any father will be man enough to complain about the corrosive effect of her feminist demands is anybody’s guess. But if any are disturbed by her prejudice and pondering what to do, here is my suggestion: send her the link to Belinda Brown’s blog on TCW yesterday and ask for her considered comment.
Has it ever occurred to her that “…men have (already) changed, adapted and modified their selves, their behaviour, their jobs and their bodies, not out of wilfulness or self-interest, but in response to ‘society’s’ – read feminist – demands” and, if so, where does she think it has got anyone?
Does she not appreciate that men have already “bent over backwards to facilitate equality” yet continue to be blamed when women shun stressful or demanding positions, or when they prioritise childcare (their choice) or act predictably in terms of career choice …..”?
Ms Farr should certainly be made aware that boys already, as Belinda says, “grow up to know they are predatory and sexist, their values and sense of humour are in need of modification, and it is a risky, rebellious and potentially futile venture to simply be yourself.”
But the High Mistress of St Paul’s seems determined to rub their noses further in it. Boys in private schools should have lessons in how to take girls seriously she says, and, what’s more, their fathers must help stamp out sexism.
Is that the contract fathers signed up to for their daughters’ education I wonder?
If I was one such parent I’d be tempted to suggest that the sanctimonious Ms Farr start by considering the beam in her own eye before beholding the mote that is in her brother’s.
For if former St Paul’s girls can’t cope with their careers, it is a terrible indictment of her school and her tenure at it.
Her negative feminist indoctrination has clearly done nothing to imbue her girls with the self confidence, given their intelligence, they ought to have not to have to run away from difficulties.
Instead of breeding victimhood, mistrust and contempt of men in her girls, she should be teaching her girls the skills of humour, wit, grace and strength to deal with whatever life throws at them.
For that’s how they will win respect at work. If Ms Farr is not up to the task, she should step down.