This article written by Judith Gill and Karen Starr highlights the history of gender reform in the Australian education system and the backlashes associated with it. The main debate which is being discussed in this article is that of disadvantaged boys. After a long time of feminists fighting for equal rights of girls in Australian schools, the Boys in Education lobbyists are fighting for increased attention to be given to boys in schools. Gill and Starr don’t believe that the boys are disadvantaged and have written this paper to demonstrate the superfluousness of the Boys in Education lobby and the lack of necessity for their demands.
As an introduction the authors outline the causes feminists have been fighting for girls to gain equal rights in schools. These fights were necessary as in early feminists accounts the concepts of girls being the deficient gender were reinforced in schools. Since 1975 though, because of the feminists’ movements, girls in schools have been getting catered to almost as equally as the boys with inclusive curriculums and raised awareness of the problems of inequality in education. There are still more areas that need to be changed in the schooling system to ensure the highest amount of gender equality that are currently possible in this man’s world. For example; the study areas should be changed in that boys and girls can easily chose non-traditional subjects respectively. The backlash of striving for equality and making the schooling equally rewarding for girls, is that the boys (or at the least Boys in Education lobby men) are feeling forgotten. Gill and Starr use a sarcastic undertone whilst describing the goals, strategies and research of the lobby; Most notably the Boys in Education lobby’s stance on the Theory of Gender. The lobbyists describe the boys in their research in a very ‘boys will be boys’ manner. That is to say that all boys are the way they are because of biology and only biology itself is to blame for their...
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