Tag Archive for: human rights

$30K a year, and my kid can’t tell the difference between a boy and a girl

Parents must hold their local school systems accountable for what is taught to their children.


Everything has a price.

Like every American family, our family runs a constant cost/benefit analysis on our lives. There are the small decisions: is it worth the time to drive to Target for the cheaper diapers? Or should I just get the pricier ones at the grocery store? And there are the bigger ones: like, should I live in the suburbs and pay lower taxes but more for car expenses and gas? Or flip that decision?

For our family, one of the toughest decisions was where to send our kids to school. We could send them across the street to the poorly performing public school for free. They’d meet a wide variety of kids and learn some valuable self-advocacy skills, but they would not be academically challenged. For $30k, I could send them to the nearby private school, where they’d benefit from engaged teachers, kids, and families. We’d have to drop the music lessons and fancy trips, but hey — I don’t like Disneyland anyway.

So, with some scholarships, sacrifices, and family assistance, we made the choice to send our kids to a fancy private school. The benefits have been great: warm, caring, patient teachers; outstanding academics; beautiful buildings; even a pretty good lunch. But there’s been a hidden cost, beyond the incredibly painful tuition bills: my kids can’t tell the difference between a boy and a girl.

This seems shocking, I know. How can a concept so obvious, so instinctual that nearly every 2-year-old on the planet can master it, be an idea that my very expensively-educated children don’t understand?

Simple-minded educators

Because some teachers don’t understand it. Because some administrators don’t understand it. And this is where I have to remind myself of something true: half the world is dumber than average.

I know this sounds incredibly snobby. I know this sounds judgmental and awful, but this is true. And this fact helps me take a breath, find some compassion, and slow down.

These teachers are good people. They are kind. They like kids, and want the best for children. They believe that education can make the world a better place. And additionally, they were hired for their people skills: they are empathetic, good communicators, patient, and open-minded. Those are exactly the skills my tuition dollars are paying for.

But these teachers are not well-trained critical thinkers. They were not hired for their ability to analyse complex research studies, nor to follow the various paths of different complex scenarios. They are not philosophers, ethicists, or religious scholars. They are not lawyers or developmental psychologists. They are not endocrinologists or pediatricians. They are experts at connecting to kids and explaining the types of K-12 content that kids should learn. Thank god for teachers and their talents and skills. Our society needs them. But they are not the experts here. They are just trying to do their jobs.

So when faced with the concept of “gender identity” — the idea that “people have an innate feeling of being female or male,” the typical teacher will say “Sure — that makes sense. I’m female, I know it. That’s not a controversial idea.”

When faced with the diagnostic definition of “gender dysphoria”, the idea that “some people have great distress with their biological sex, and wish they were the opposite sex,” these teachers say, “Sure — I know about Jazz Jennings and Caitlyn Jenner. That’s a real thing.”

When faced with the fact of “Disorders of Sexual Development” (formerly known as Intersex conditions), the scientifically observed and natural phenomena of various biological sexual characteristics and markers, teachers say, “Yep — I learned about that once.”

And when urged to consider the negative impacts of the difficulty of being an outlier, and the impacts of social isolation and/or ostracism, the teachers say, “Not on my watch. My cousin was gay and poorly treated. I won’t let any of my kids be bullied or left out.”

So when teachers combine all these ideas and impressions and blend them into their natural “be nice” personalities and “open-minded” natures, they are primed to become believers and advocates of transgender ideology. If Johnny likes skirts and thinks he’s really a girl inside, who are we to judge? We really can’t blame the teachers. They were born this way.

So our society has laid yet another burden of expectation on teachers. They must educate kids, they must socialise kids, they must address and resolve the emotional and behavioural dysfunctions of these kids. And now they must be responsible for nurturing, protecting, and advocating for the “internal feeling of being female or male” for a kid, otherwise they’ll be held responsible for the kid’s ostracism.

This is nuts. These teachers don’t stand a chance.

To the top

So we can’t fight the teachers. We’ve got to get the administrators and school boards to stop, listen, and think. These people were hired to be critical thinkers, to balance different opinions, to consider the different consequences of different choices. They still aren’t likely to read the studies or think through the ethical or philosophical consequences of different complex scenarios, but they are primed to consider one thing above all: legal threats.

Right now, principals and school boards are hiding behind the guidelines that WPATH (an activist-led organisation), the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals have created. These organisations have good intentions, but they are also human and flawed (and remember — half their members are below average). Even the ACLU seems to have lost its mind on this topic.

I suggest American parents adopt the “Maya Forstater Approach.” This strategy, based on the case in England, relies on fundamental and constitutional American legal rights: free speech and free religion. I don’t care if you haven’t been to church ever. This is what you say to your school board:

“For scientific, religious, and social reasons, I do not believe that you can change your sex, and I do not want my children to be taught “gender identity”, the belief that you have a gendered soul, and that your gender soul feelings trump your biology. How is your school protecting my family’s religious beliefs and our right to be free from compelled speech?”

Ask your school’s principal this question every Fall. Send it as a statement to your kids’ teachers every fall. Tell them to inform you of any lesson on gender identity before it happens so that your children can have a substitute lesson. Ask them what their policy on requesting pronouns is, so that your child does not feel compelled to use certain speech. Ask them how they balance different opinions on this topic in the community.

I can guarantee you they do not see this as a religious issue, but as a social justice issue. Say the magic words “freedom of religion/freedom from religion” and “freedom of speech” and see if that works. We’ve got a long history of protecting underdogs in this country, and right now the culture glorifies the status of victim. Use this knowledge wisely.

And here’s the thing: this is going to cost you. Be ready. Do the cost/benefit analysis. Whether your kids are getting a free public education or an expensive private one, when you ruffle the feathers of the principal, the winds blow. Then again, if you remain silent, your kid may not understand that sex never changes. Be prepared. Everything has a cost.

This article has been republished from Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (PITT).

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RELATED ARTICLE: “Without Logos, the West is lost”

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Analysis: Iranian human rights situation following Iran deal by Rachel Avraham

A recent report by the Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group has documented that in spite of Iranian promises in the wake of the Iran deal, the rate of executions remains high, the jailing of journalists and human rights activists continues unabated, and the lack of freedom of expression and discrimination against women continues to be widespread: “The five main reasons for death penalties in Iran are heresy, rape, murder, drug smuggling and armed struggle.  Capital punishment has spiked under Rouhani.   More than 2000 executions were carried in Iran during President Rouhani’s period since October 3, 2013.   The human rights situation has not improved since Rouhani became President two years ago.”

iran men hanged

Public execution in Iran. Photo Credit: Channel 2.

The Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group noted that the rate of executions in Iran has risen by 16% since the last year of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, despite the perception in the West that Rouhani is a moderate and Ahmadinejad was a hard core extremist: “Furthermore, Iran has the horrible status of being the world’s last official executioner of child offenders, people convicted of crimes when they were under the age of 18.”

The report noted that the UN confirmed that the Bahais are still persecuted in Iran despite claims by the Iranian government to the contrary: “Bahai citizens continue to face discrimination, arrest and arbitrary detention in connection with their religion.  Bahais have been systematically persecuted since 1979; extremist Islamic groups close to the regime have confiscated their property and assets.”   The report also noted that Bahais are not given work permits, are deprived of the right to attend university, and don’t have any representative in parliament, a privilege that is given to other religious groups within the country.   They stressed that Bahais aren’t even permitted to bury their loved ones in public cemeteries: “Since 2005, more than 800 Bahais have been arrested.   Over the years, thousands of pieces of anti-Bahai propaganda have been disseminated in the Iranian media.”

According to the report, Iran treats the Baloch nation living with her borders like second class citizens: “Balochistan has the lowest economic participation in the country, the highest illiteracy rate, the highest unemployment rate, the highest percentage of poverty, the highest rate of executions, the highest mortality rates for mothers and children, and the highest percentage of malnutrition.   Living in the poor region of Balochistan is a torture in itself but the people of this region go through different types of tortures and persecutions. The medieval tortures are a bitter memorial of what Iran’s officials have been using against Baloch dissidents in the regimes detention centers.”   According to the report, the methods of torture employed against Baloch dissidents include waterboarding, pulling out fingernails, cutting off fingers, hanging the dissidents from the ceiling, lashings, high voltage shocks, shoving sharp objects into sensitive organs, burning sensitive organs, rape, roast chicken torture, mock executions, sexual harassment, hanging objects from the testicles, and lethal injection.

Read more.

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Stop Sharia Law Before it is Too Late

The brutality of shari’ah law embraces quite a number of laws and punishments that are contrary to long-held western ideas of justice and dignity of the human person.  Nonetheless, the foundation for shari’ah in the west is already being laid and solidified.   The shari’ah concept is totally incompatible with the basic concept of the United States citizenship and national loyalty and is fundamentally inconsistent with United States laws and the constitutional guarantees inherent in them.

This can easily be seen in comparing the fundamental rights guaranteed to United States sovereign citizens with very limited human rights recognized by shari’ah states.  The United States and the west, at large, define human rights broadly and extend them to all human beings regardless of sex, religion, or creed.  In stark brutal contrast, shai’ah defines human rights narrowly and limits them to muslims and qualifies them to be in complete conformity with shari’ah.

Specifically, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution set forth a non-exhaustive list of rights and liberties that are guaranteed to all Americans in what is known as the Bill of Rights.  Among these are the freedoms of speech and religion, the right to due process of law, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

Similarly, the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations famous list of rights, exhibits a similar theme, beginning with an unequivocal acknowledgment of “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.  The declaration goes on to emulate, inter alia, the rights to “Life, Liberty, and Security, of person,” freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; and rights to effective remedies under the law, and equal treatment or punishment; and rights to effective remedies under the law, and equal protection under the law.

These rights, liberties, and freedoms are guaranteed to all persons of all races, ethnicities, religions, and sexes simply by virtue of a person’s status as a human being who is endowed with “inherent dignity” and “inalienable rights.”

All fifty seven member states of the organization of the Islamic conference (OIC), however, disregard the aforementioned definition of human rights, which does not declare human rights to be “inherent” or “inalienable.”  The Cairo declaration on human rights, which was submitted by the OIC on behalf of it’s member states to the world conference on human rights in 1993, affirms only some human rights, which are qualified both in scope and application.  The Cairo declaration declares that all… “rights and freedoms are subject to the Islamic shari’ah and that the “Islamic shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any [human rights].  As such, calling the Cairo declaration on human rights is a misnomer, for it does not declare the rights of humans at all, but rather sets forth the rights of only some humans or more specifically, humans who adhere to islam.  HMMPH!

This fundamental difference in understanding human rights manifests itself explicitly in the incompatibility of the civil and criminal laws of shari’ah with those of the United States.  Thus it is imperative that Americans are made abundantly clear about the crystal clear, fundamental differences between the Christian inspired Constitution along with the Bill of Rights and the dictates and the numerous bigoted aspects of shari’ah law.

America, time is fast running out for the possibility of restoring our great, but very troubled republic turned mob ruled democracy.  The problems are massive, to say the very least, but not insurmountable.  That is if only we are willing to once again adopt and adhere to the blessed principles that helped make America the one time envy of the world.

Many thanks to the American Center for Law and Justice for their assistance

Report: Muslim Woman Secretly Films Life in Raqqa, Syria under the Islamic State

A Syrian woman agreed to carry a hidden camera to film how life is like inside Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, which has been under the control of the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIL or ISIS).

The Clarion Project has published a report titled “Women’s Rights Under Sharia: An overview of the lack of equality and oppression of women under Sharia – the position of women in Muslim majority societies.” The Clarion Project reports:

Sharia law is an Islamic legal system which provides an Islamic alternative to secular models of governance. Women in societies governed by sharia have far fewer rights than women in the West.

Muslim-majority societies have varying degrees of sharia integrated into their law codes, but almost all use sharia to govern family affairs. Sharia courts also exist in a number of Western countries, particularly to adjudicate family law for Muslim citizens.

There is no one overarching authority which determines sharia, nor is there one conception of how women’s rights fit into sharia law.

Different interpretations and laws depending on which of the four schools of Islamic Jurisprudence is being used, and the customs of the sects and country in question.

The report was aired on France 2. It shows some French women who decided to move indefinitely to Syria while abandoning their previous lives in France.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from the Facebook page of a Muslim woman living under shariah law. Photo courtesy of  The Clarion Project.