The Welsh War on Boys (2)

In a previous post, I highlighted the problems with the Welsh RSE curriculum (The Welsh War on Boys) which has an overtly political and feminist content that is little short of indoctrination. I do not believe these problems are specific to the Welsh curriculum and similar reports are coming from Scotland and England.

Some of the objections raised by parents about the Welsh RSE curriculum have been lurid and over the top. For example, I don’t believe 3 years olds are being taught about 72 genders. Nonetheless, there are real causes for concern. In particular, the treatment of masculinity and the marginalisation of boys. It is not really an RSE curriculum, which should be based on mutual respect and curiosity, but a radical feminist curriculum.

I do not believe the purpose of the RSE curriculum should be to fuel feminist fires

It came as a pleasant surprise to discover a report commissioned by Member of Parliament, Miriam Cates, published by the New Social Covenant – What is being Taught in Relationships and Sex Education in our Schools?

Miriam is a Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge and a Christian; she has been unfairly demonised in parts of the media for that faith. However, it seems to me that many Christians have been having a good (culture) war. My view may be simplistic because I do not have a religious faith myself, but a belief that we are all equal in the eyes of god may be a good vaccine against the excesses of identity group politics, that pits identity groups against each other in a zero sum game or, worse still, believes in forms of retributive justice for supposed historical sins.

Most of the New Social Covenant report is concerned with the alarming rise in gender dysphoria among young children and asks whether this could be driven by activist teaching. This is an important matter, but outside the core area of this blog. Suffice it to say, sex is binary not a continuum and it is not assigned at birth rather it is identified and recorded. Gender too is not a continuum, it is bimodal.

Other parts of the report are directly relevant to this blog, however. For example, on page 6 it reads,

Some of the teaching practice relating to novel RSE provision is based upon ethically questionable research projects that have taken place with children in school settings, conducted by university academics and charities. This research has, in turn, gained central government support and funding for controversial RSE schemes (especially relating to ‘gender identity’ and the management of online harms), leading to their widespread influence in schools

This description would certainly fit the bizarre ‘research’ conducted by Professor Emma Renold of Cardiff University. For example, in my blogpost of Dec 4th 2021 I outlined a study conducted in a South Wales school where Professor Renold and colleagues claimed they could disclose the inner thoughts of the girls by analysing their dance moves. Ir was claimed that unintentional movements might have been the remnants of unconscious routines …. to escape boys sexual banter in school corridors. In similar a vein, the authors speculated that the lack of intentionality in the girls dance moves might have reflected the molar forces or patriarchy in the valleys. This is academic BS and nothing more than Emma Renold projecting her prejudices onto the girls she studied. This agenda driven ‘shesearch’ typifies the sort of ethically questionable project referred to in the New Social Covenant document.

On page 22 of the report, referring to research on young children carried out by Jessica Ringrose and Emma Renold (both of whom have featured in this blog here), the report says,

The matters highlighted above should perhaps be addressed by the ethics committees of the renowned universities that have given their names to the research and any Government departments that might be relying on it.

This was exactly my concern with their work. Most scientific papers contain a declaration that ethical committee approval has been obtained whereas their papers make no mention of ethical committee approval. I find it hard believe they could have obtained approval if they had asked. The aim of research should be to observe children in their ‘natural state’ and not influence their behaviour or plant ideas in their heads. Emma Renold and Jessica Ringrose, it seems to me, departed from this ideal. This is a question for the journals that published their research, the host institutions of Jessica Ringrose and Emma Renold and the bodies that funded their work. Research that involved studying and possibly altering the opinions of impressionable young children and should have been subject to the same vetting procedures that apply to all research on human subjects.

The report moves on to the issue of partisan ideas such as radical feminism of the sort preached by Professor Emma Renold, who is specifically referenced in the document.

The Welsh Government sponsored resource AGENDA includes pages
titled “Fuelling Feminist Fires”133, which generally promote political activism and direct pupils to various websites with a strong political leaning, including UK Feminista and Feminist Teacher.

There are also signs of anti-male or anti-masculine bias in some of these materials, which advance the concept that ‘toxic masculinity’ should be perceived as a group failing of all men, rather than of individual behaviour, whilst also promoting contentious judgements about ‘patriarchy’ and ‘privilege’.

These materials do not seem to provide a suitably politically impartial offering and might be particularly unhelpful for the wellbeing of boys – including by causing teachers to overlook that boys can betreated unfairly too. With this in mind, it is worth considering that the RSE sector seems to be staffed by considerably more women than men and that the teaching profession in England is approximately 75% female.134

Other RSE material, this time from England is quoted in the report. For example, Positive and Toxic Masculinity: What does it mean to be Good Man? that unashamedly promotes the controversial and contestable views of Judith Butler and quotes them as fact. For example,

“Masculinity is a social construct, meaning that it isn’t derived directly from nature.”

“For a start, masculinity is a social construct, meaning that there is no firm biological or empirical basis for the idea.”

Mega challenge: Explain why the term ‘masculinity’ is problematic. Explain what we might mean when we talk about ‘toxic masculinity’.”

This is manifestly absurd, there is a biological basis for masculinity, and masculinity is not inherently toxic. Of course, masculinity can be toxic as can femininity. A useful discussion might have been to compare the different forms extreme behaviour can take in men and women.

I suspect the situation is not as bad as this material might suggest. Most teachers are hard-working and grounded people and they will see this for the nonsense it is. Also, young boys can be relied upon to rebel and there is evidence that they are not buying into this feminist BS. Unfortunately, that can mean they turn towards figures like Andrew Tate. Something needs to change and it looks as if the Government may be waking up to the problem.

By femgoggles

I was abandoned by my parents in the black mountains and raised by timberwolves. On my return to the 'civilised world' with questionable table manners, I became a detached observer of human behaviour in general and gender relations in particular. This blog is the product of those observations.


  1. Well said. I also share your concern about boys going to the other extreme (Tate, et c) in reaction to this.
    My son put it this way: “The Feminists argument seems to be that I’m just cr*p for being male; at least the right wing can make a vaguely logical argument and doesn’t demonise me”.
    I see this in my clients in social care as well: the men are told they are less deserving of assistance and can go to the back of the queue for the crime of having a ‘Y’ Chromosome. Unsurprisingly they are then vulnerable to right wing populists who play on their frustration.
    Incidentally, I was concerned that there would be a lot of trans activism in social care but it’s not turned out that way; we rarely hear anything. I realised that trans activists aren’t interested in people like our clients who are generally poor, powerless and simply looking to pay the rent; the activists, ironically, focus on more privileged people who can help their cause.


    1. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I am sorry to hear about the problems your son has experienced at school.
      I think the way intersectional feminism has been embedded into the RSE curriculum is a bigger worry than trans activism.
      A teacher friend of mine who works in a rural, predominantly agricultural area, tells an amusing story of how activists tried to tell children that the sex binary was a western social construct. They same children (boys and girls) who had watched animals on farms ‘perform’ new the truth was somewhat different and let the activists know using suitably ‘agricultural’ language.


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