Massachusetts State Education Board issues unprecedented Gender Guidelines : enforcing legal sex-stereotyping in all public schools across the state
February 19, 2013
The State of Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education released late Friday ( in a classic move used to avoid news cycle coverage) an 11 page document containing mandated guidelines on the implementation of legal “Gender Identity” which effective immediately- replaces legal sex of children with state-mandated sex “roles” based on outdated sex stereotypes, a practice which the Federal government has already rendered illegal and discriminatory(see Price Waterhouse).
It’s no wonder the Governor-appointed Board timed the release of this document to avoid media and public scrutiny: it contains possibly the most widespread state-sanctioned codification and enforcement of sex-role stereotyping enacted on the populace by a government body since the passage of Federal Title VII regulations which were specifically designed to prevent such a practice.
Specifically, as of Friday, legal sex of all primary and secondary students is eliminated and replaced with a legal category based on student adherence to sex-role stereotypical behaviors classified as feelings, thoughts, behaviors that the State of Massachusetts deems “male feelings” or “female feelings”. “Male behaviors” and “Female behaviors”, “Male thoughts” and “Female thoughts”. Truly remarkable.
“A gender marker is the designation on school and other records that indicates a student’s gender. For most students, records that include an indication of a student’s gender will reflect a student’s assigned birth sex. For transgender students, however, a documented gender marker (for example, “male” or “female” on a permanent record) should reflect the student’s gender identity, not the student’s assigned sex. This means that if a transgender student whose gender identity is male has a school record that reflects an assigned birth sex as female, then upon request by the student or, in the case of young students not yet able to advocate for themselves, by the parent or guardian, the school should change the gender marker on the record to male.”
The State of Massachusetts now officially subjects all students who fail to conform to sex-role stereotypical feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, to the state classification “transgender”.
“Transgender: an umbrella term used to describe a person whose gender identity or gender expression is different from that traditionally associated with the assigned sex at birth. “
Further, the guidelines eliminate all Federal sex-based protections for female students (example: Title IX which guarantees equal funding of educational programming based on sex; female rights to sex-segregated showers, locker rooms, toilets).
The guidelines mandate that female students must shower with and undress in the presence of male students during mandatory physical education programs. If the girls refuse, they are to receive state-mandated counseling sessions designed to overcome their resistance. Should the girls persist in refusal to shower and change clothing in the presence of male students or if they fail to pretend a male is female they will receive state-sanctioned disciplinary actions against them which will effect their participation in the public educational system.
“In all cases, the principal should be clear with the student (and parent) that the student may access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity. “
“Some students may feel uncomfortable with a transgender student using the same sex-segregated restroom, locker room or changing facility. This discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student. School administrators and counseling staff should work with students to address the discomfort and to foster understanding of gender identity, to create a school culture that respects and values all students. “
“The student John Smith wishes to be referred to by the name Jane Smith, a name that is consistent with the student’s female gender identity. Please be certain to use the student’s preferred name in all contexts, as well as the corresponding pronouns. It is my expectation that students will similarly refer to the student by her chosen name and preferred pronouns. Your role modeling will help make a smooth transition for all concerned. If students do not act accordingly, you may speak to them privately after class to request that they do. Continued, repeated, and intentional misuse of names and pronouns may erode the educational environment for Jane. It should not be tolerated and can be grounds for student discipline. “
All female sports teams in the State of Massachusetts will henceforth be open to male students, on the condition that the male student professes an “earnestly felt belief” that he conforms in some way to stereotypical sex-roles traditionally assigned to females (at least sometimes: his sex-role feelings may wax and wane throughout the day and the guidelines explicitly support this).
“Where there are sex-segregated classes or athletic activities, including intramural and interscholastic athletics, all students must be allowed to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity. “
“The statute does not require consistent and uniform assertion of gender identity as long as there is “other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of [the] person’s core identity.” “
“Confirmation of a student’s asserted gender identity may include a letter from a parent, health care provider, school staff member familiar with the student (a teacher, guidance counselor, or school psychologist, among others), or other family members or friends. A letter from a social worker, doctor, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider stating that a student is being provided medical care or treatment relating to her/his gender identity is one form of confirmation of an asserted gender identity. It is not, however, the exclusive form upon which the school or student may rely. A letter from a clergy member, coach, family friend, or relative stating that the student has asked to be treated consistent with her/his asserted gender identity, or photographs at public events or family gatherings, are other potential forms of confirmation. “ [Photographs illustrating what? One presumes illustrating the child engaged in some form of culturally sex-stereotypical dress or behavior-GM.]
The guidelines mandate and codify differential social role treatment of girl and boy students by all teachers and administrators based on sex and on student adherence to sex-role stereotypes.
“In most situations, determining a student’s gender identity is simple. A student who says she is a girl and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day and throughout every, or almost every, other area of her life, should be respected and treated like a girl. So too with a student who says he is a boy and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day and throughout every, or almost every, other area of his life. Such a student should be respected and treated like a boy. “
This government document explicitly equates legal protection from sex-based discrimination for women and girls as “discriminatory” to those who “profess a strongly held belief” in sex-role stereotyping and discrimination.
The government of Massachusetts, in accordance with the above premise, removes and eliminates all sex-based protections (both state and federal) for females against sex-discrimination. This policy is a stunning example of how the new legal category “Gender Identity” or “Sex-Role Identity” is directly in opposition to female legal protections and recourse against discrimination based on sex. It elevates discrimination against females to a protected category while eliminating all hard-won feminist gains against the practice of mandating legal status based on sex stereotypes.
These new guidelines, which apply to all public primary and secondary students in the public school system, are based on the Massachusetts State Legislature policy giving special legal status to individuals who profess a strongly held belief in stereotypical “Sex-Role Identifications” in its 2011: An Act Relative to Gender Identity (Chapter 199)
That law held that individuals should not be discriminated against based on their “consistent and uniform assertion” and “sincerely held belief” in sex-role stereotypes or “gender”. That is what the law states. But what it actually DOES, if one looks at the statute, is create a legal status based on stereotypical sex-based (and discriminatory!) social ROLES as a REPLACEMENT for legal sex. See the laws related to sex which were amended to replace biological sex with “sex-role” or “gender”:
SECTION 3. Section 89 of chapter 71 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “sex”, in lines 91 and 320, in each instance, the following words:- , gender identity.
SECTION 4. Section 5 of chapter 76 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “sex”, in line 10, the following words:- , gender identity.
SECTION 5. Section 12B of said chapter 76, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “sex”, in line 185, the following words:- , gender identity.
SECTION 6. Section 3 of chapter 151B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “sex”, in lines 17 and 61, in each instance, the following words:- , gender identity.
SECTION 7. Section 4 of said chapter 151B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “sex”, in lines 3, 69, 82, 87, 96, 103, 136, 163, 169, 179, 226, 233, 243, 339, 349, 353, 359, 485, 495, 505, 661 and 670, in each instance, the following words:- , gender identity.
The Massachusetts law does not explicitly define “Gender”. Here is the World Health Organization definition:
What do we mean by “sex” and “gender”?
Sometimes it is hard to understand exactly what is meant by the term “gender”, and how it differs from the closely related term “sex”.
“Sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.
“Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.
To put it another way:
“Male” and “female” are sex categories, while “masculine” and “feminine” are gender categories.
Aspects of sex will not vary substantially between different human societies, while aspects of gender may vary greatly.
Some examples of sex characteristics :
- Women menstruate while men do not
- Men have testicles while women do not
- Women have developed breasts that are usually capable of lactating, while men have not
- Men generally have more massive bones than women
Some examples of gender characteristics :
- In the United States (and most other countries), women earn significantly less money than men for similar work
- In Viet Nam, many more men than women smoke, as female smoking has not traditionally been considered appropriate
- In Saudi Arabia men are allowed to drive cars while women are not
- In most of the world, women do more housework than men
The definition of“Gender” is sex-role stereotyping. Gender is “the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women”.
“Gender Identity” is “Sex-Role Identity”.
While all Massachusetts citizens are entitled to their personal sex-role beliefs or identifications, the State has no business promoting sex-role beliefs, which are by their very nature stereotyping and inherently discriminatory against women.
Sex role stereotyping is bad for women and girls. Many of the legal protections for female students that are being eliminated state-wide by this document were designed to counter some of the negative effects of sex-role stereotyping, for example the lack of equal funding given to girl athletes based on the sex-role stereotype that females are not athletic, or that females should not exhibit behaviors that are competitive. Title IX was created to counter sex-based discrimination policies enacted for decades by public educational institutions.
Feminists support the abolition of sex-role stereotypes. Feminists do not support social policies which conflate sex-role stereotypes with reproductive sex.
When the state mandates that children should be treated differently based on arbitrary, sexist stereotypes, when the state educational system declares against all known science and fact, that those who do not abide sex-role stereotypes must not actually be male or female sexed, when the government disciplines children for acknowledging biological reality and scientific fact in an educational system, when the government mandates that girls – at least one quarter of which will be sexually assaulted by a male in her lifetime- receive state-mandated psychological counseling to impress upon her that her discomfort showering with male high school students is evidence that she has a psychological dysfunction (!) and that the state will discipline her if she continues to express fear (!!) FEMINISTS DO NOT SUPPORT THIS.
Women, Women’s Rights Activists, Concerned Parents, Feminists call on the State of Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick to:
- Compel the State Board to develop guidelines that protect the rights of students and parents to hold strongly held sex-role beliefs
- WITHOUT codifying those personal, private sex-role beliefs into state law,
- WITHOUT eliminating sex-based protections and rights of female students (Title IX protections, right to sex-based changing rooms, restrooms and other spaces sex-segregated for female safety)
- WITHOUT inflicting state-sponsored discipline or punitive psychological “counseling” treatments on children who do NOT share the strongly held sex-role beliefs of others, and who do NOT believe that biological sex is maleable,
- WITHOUT forcing children through power of the state to comply with sex-role stereotypes,
- WITHOUT mandating that teachers, administrators, and others acting under authority of the state treat male and female students differently according to “the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women”, many of which are designed to restrict female equality.
You may contact Governor Patrick here:
Massachusetts State House
Western Massachusetts Office of the Governor
Office of the Governor
Read the full 11 page PDF by clicking here: