A few people (from the UK actually) have recently sent me links to a story about an Australian schoolgirl who identifies as a cat. Yes, you read that correctly. Just read it back. A cat!
In this day and age it is hard to know if this is a real factual account but with all the other crap that is going on around us I am prepared to believe it. Not that I could ever let it bother me of course. Anyway, for what it’s worth, here are a couple of links to the same story if you haven’t already seen it:
How My Generation Would Have Dealt With It…
Now apparently this is in a private school and the girl is “phenomenally bright” (we are told). Who knows? Maybe she is. Maybe she is bright enough to just be ‘taking the piss’. And quite rightly. But this is one silly story about a much wider issue of course. It reminded me of a post I wrote back in May 2018. Here is a link to that full blog post but below I have taken out the main part about identifying as (whoever).
Apologies for the repetition but I must stress once again, that in my day, all this identity shit would have come to very brutal and very rapid end. We the kids in the school would have destroyed it. Within a week the schools and authorities would have learnt a quick but harsh lesson themselves. That such a load of shit policy is totally unworkable. Pupil power no less.
What I wrote over 4 years ago still applies today, and always will. Here is what I wrote related to this subject, back in May 2018:
What’s in a Name?
I often hear it said how children today grow up or mature faster than when we were in school. How much more aware they are at an earlier age etc… Well; if ever there was an example of how kids today are definitely slower than when I was in school it is this little tale…
I soon discovered that within the school database each child is registered not only with their given name but also with their preferred name. This means they can be called whatever they want. Incredible right? Even more incredible is that the school (i.e. the teachers) are obliged to call them by that name. Seriously! They have to use that ‘preferred’ name.
There were only a few examples of this that I came across. A few preferring to be called what seemed more like a nickname or alternative (real?) name. There was also one gender identity related name change – something like a boy called Robert preferring to be known as Natasha (not the real names).
I will not name the school but it hardly matters. It is my understanding that this is now official policy in all state run schools in the UK. I could not believe how this system has not been totally abused by the kids. Where were these smart-arse street-wise kids? Where are the jokers? The class clowns? Have they really become so dumbed down?
Oh what fun WE would have had….
If you are of a certain age then this will be easy to understand. Cast your mind back to school. Imagine the headmaster announcing in morning assembly (the usual start to every day back then) that pupils can now be referred to by their chosen and preferred names.
Myself and everyone I hung out with would have looked at each other with eyes widening. Grins growing into huge smiles until we could barely stifle the laughter. And then, after assembly, the fun would really begin….
“Right. I am going to be Ozzy Osborne”
“I will be Floyd. Pink Floyd”
“OK. I will be Johnny Rotten.”
“I ‘m Batman and you can be Robin.”
“I can’t decide if I want to be Bruce Lee or Jimi Hendrix.”
“Steve is already gonna be Hendrix so you will have to be Bruce Lee.”
“You can be Cassius Clay. But if you want to change your name again later to something like Muhammad Ali then that’s fine. And there will be nothing to stop you doing that cos it’s already been done.”
“Excuse me Sir. I am Darth Vader and this is my friend Chewbacca.” (Laughter)
The possibilities are endless. The scope for schoolboy pranks enormous. A school kid’s dream. We would have got it immediately. And yet, right here, right now, they just don’t seem to be able to see it. It’s right there in front of their noses. An ideal opportunity to completely take the piss and they are not doing it. “Why?” you may ask. Are they really that well behaved now? Clearly this is not the case from some of the other things I heard last week.
No: I honestly believe it is because they are so used to being pandered to like this. It is all part of the ‘new normal’ for these kids. They have come to expect this sort of thing too easily and in so doing they now more or less ignore it. It is as if they have been so over indulged that it has killed part of their sense of fun. That mischievous gene – once present in most school kids – is on the verge of extinction. That is only my take on it; but whatever the reason, it isn’t good.
A Typical Day in Class?
“Ziggy Stardust! What are you doing?”
“Sir. Bob Marley and Tina Turner are throwing things at me.”
Then – and this has to be the best one – a blonde girl (probably identifying as Marilyn Monroe) enters class with a message from the Head.
“Sir. The Headmaster wants to see Spartacus.”
Then, right on cue…
“No. I’m Spartacus.”
And so on…
That little social experiment would not have lasted a single day.