Too too too binary

Empowerment! Yet another institution for female people has found a new way to erase female people. Progress!

The alma mater of a long list of distinguished women, from Rosalind Franklin and Dame Kate Bingham to Emily Mortimer and Rachel Weisz, is to rename the role of head girl because it is too “binary”.

In other words a girls’ school finds the word “girl” too “binary.” So will it become a persons’ school now? If so it will wait a long long long time for Eton and Harrow to do the same.

The head girl of St Paul’s Girls’ School, one of the country’s leading private schools, will be known as head of school after calls from pupils to make the role more inclusive.

Inclusive of what? They’re at a girls’ school. I suppose they could make it more inclusive by turning it into a factory, but then it wouldn’t be a school any more.

A better way to make such schools more inclusive is to offer more and more full-ride scholarships.

The school confirmed that the change would take effect from the next academic year, prompting outrage from some staff who claimed that it sent a “damaging message that girls now have to be ashamed to be seen as girls”.

Oops! Those members of staff are even now on the train to re-education camp.

“Why do the girls have to change their name?” a source said. “They should be teaching young women to be proud of their sex, not ashamed of it. It’s very contradictory. How can you be a single-sex school that exists to empower girls to do well and at the same time support girls to identify out of being a girl?”

Easy question. You can’t.

About seven out of 778 pupils at the school identify as non-binary, requesting that the school refer to them as they or them. “It’s a damaging message for the majority in order to protect the minority” Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of the campaign group Transgender Trend, said. She claimed that the push for inclusivity had gone so far that “only male people can be girls or women without fear of offending anyone, apparently.”

Also the school had a gender training session in April.

The webinar — Beyond the Binary: Understanding How to Be Inclusive for All Gender Identities — was hosted in April by Helen Semple, the deputy head, in her capacity as founder of the Schools Inclusion Alliance, a group that aims to “put inclusion at the heart of every school”. It featured as guest speaker Emma Cusdin, founder of Global Butterflies, who spoke about her own transition from male to female. “The LGBTQI world is an amazing rainbow of positivity and labels. We love labels. We love terminology, we love flags, we love parties,” Cusdin told staff.

“Young people are finding amazing ways to self-identify. At the last count, we stopped counting at 150 gender identities that people are self-identifying. We did a little quiz in terms of what are the 150. I know about 30, in terms of what the definitions are. Don’t be afraid to ask, ‘That’s a new term to me. What does it mean to you?’ ”

Of course “young people are finding amazing ways to self-identify” – they’re self-obsessed. Adolescence does that to a person. But obsessing over one’s personality and idenniny and special specialness is not a reason for the world at large to change its understanding of sex every ten minutes.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 3,115 students in Britain identified as neither male nor female in 2019-2020, compared with 185 in 2013-2014.

But it’s not a fad. Not at all. No no.

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