A queer take on Safe Schools and identity politics

Copland, Simon; Riley, Benjamin
http://overland.org.au/2016/06/a-queer-take-on-safe-schools-and-identity-politics/

Publisher:  Overland
Date Written:  16/06/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX19587

In recent weeks, the debate over the Safe Schools Coalition anti-bullying program has intensified, taking what is in many ways a bizarre turn. The brief suspension of program architect Roz Ward from her position at La Trobe University has reopened the debate about whether Safe Schools is 'cultural Marxism' by stealth, the program once again coming under fire from conservatives across the country. Even trans advocate and member of the ADF Catherine McGregor has weighed in. One of the more interesting elements of this, however, has been the debate it has created about the role gender and sexual politics can and should play within Marxism. Here enters Guy Rundle. In the pages of Crikey, Rundle penned a treatise on the program and what he considers the failures of 'queer theory'. Rundle believes Safe Schools (via queer theory) presents the view that 'gender and sexuality are infinitely fluid'. He argues, however, that such a view denies the material realities of sexuality and gender, not to mention his view that 'almost no-one really believes it -- and they certainly do not let it shape their lives'.

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