No father-daughter dances. No men's clubs. Boys and girls using the same locker rooms. Schools across the nation, from elementary to college, are dropping rules that used to distinguish male and female students in an alleged attempt to include all identities. In so doing, they deny biological differences.
"The seam that holds all this together is just an assault on the created order," Peter Sprigg, from the social conservative think tank Family Research Council, told The Christian Post. "The idea that somehow a subjective internal psychological state of being … should completely trump the objective physical reality of their bodies."
No Father-Daughter Dances
For example, Brockman Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina, canceled their father-daughter dance because it was not "inclusive" enough. Ten people had complained.
"Fathers and mothers contribute uniquely to the well-being of their children," Sprigg said, "It is the father who generally teaches his daughter about how she should be expected to be treated by men."
The school came under attack because of the possibility the name of the dance might offend someone. According to the local news source, WIS-TV, the flyer advertising was actually inclusive. The dance is not limited to just fathers and daughters, the flyer read, anyone would have been able to attend.
The father-daughter dance had made thousands for Brockman's parent-teacher organization in past years, wrote the National Review. Officials say they may still host a dance on the usual date, May 13, but they will call it the "Brockman Ball."
No Men's Clubs
Similarly, Harvard University is pressuring their historical all-male clubs to include all students.
Last week, Harvard President Drew Faust issued a statement announcing punishments for students who join single-gender groups. They will be barred from the dean's endorsement for scholarships or fellowships and cannot captain intercollegiate sports teams or lead other campus groups. The men's clubs are private and unaffiliated with the university.
Faust's statement said the new policy will create a campus with more equal opportunities.
Sprigg saw it as something different: "It is an assault on the idea that we are created male and female …. Those differences carry with them some differences in our social roles."
The new policy punishes clubs like the Porcellian, founded 225 years ago, with members that included Theodore Roosevelt and some of his relatives. Many of the members of these clubs are secret and the college is still deciding how to identify them for punishment. They will also target all-female clubs, fraternities and sororities.
"They do not serve our students well when they step outside our gates into a society where gender-based discrimination is understood as unwise, unenlightened and untenable," wrote Faust.
Harvard administration has argued the discouragement of single-gender clubs will help reduce sexual harassment in club meetings.
Sprigg does not see the reasoning behind that. Mixing the sexes seems to be an invitation for more sexual assault.
Boys and Girls in the Same Locker Room
And it is happening to Oregon's smallest students. In the state's K-12 schools all students can use whichever single-sex bathroom or locker room they feel they belong in and play on any sports team.
Sprigg expects parents will fight the new rule. He gave the example of the group of parents and students who have sued their school district in Illinois for a similar policy. The Alliance Defending Freedom and Thomas More Society are helping them bring it into the federal courts.
He expects the gender inclusivity issue might play out more in the favor of conservatives then the homosexual issue did: "We are talking by definition about what people do in public places. That is not something that is just personal."
The new rules are a response to President Obama's decision that the 1964 laws against sex discrimination include transgender students.
The rules establish a diversity of sexes between male and female that must be part of future sex-education classes. Those courses must now include "inclusive materials." Schools must affirm a student's gender identity in a private manner, even if the student wants to keep it from their parents.
This could actually harm the students, Sprigg said: "Teaching transgender issues in K-12 schools runs the risk of creating psychological and developmental issues for children … I think people are going to push back."