An Outrageous Apology from Canada’s “Conservative” Newspaper

Michael Brown
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Posted: Oct 13, 2011 12:01 AM

On September 24th, the National Post, considered to be one of the most conservative mainstream media outlets in Canada, ran a compelling ad featuring the face of a little girl (perhaps four or five years old) with this caption: “Please! Don’t confuse me.” Beneath her photo the text continued: “I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transsexual, transgendered, intersexed or two spirited.”

As reported by Thaddeus Balklinski of LifesiteNews.com, the ad, which was sponsored by The Institute for Canadian Values, argued “that the Toronto District School Board’s pro-homosexual curriculum [was] corrupting and confusing children.”

Balklinski reported that the ad pointed to the school board’s “Equity curriculum, called ‘Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism,’ [which] instructs teachers to encourage boys and girls ‘to play opposite roles.’”

“‘At times boys may play girls and rely on sexist stereotypical behaviour with which they are familiar,’ states the curriculum.”

“The curriculum also encourages teachers to ‘search Images of Pride Week’ and to make posters for the school board float in the Pride Parade. ‘Additionally, students could have their own Pride Parade in their school,’ it says.” Yes, this is part of the Ontario school curriculum. Six days later, on September 30th, to the shock of many of its readers, the Post apologized “unreservedly” for running the ad. The Post noted that the ad, which had “caused some controversy . . . argued against aspects of the Ontario school curriculum . . . . Specifically, it objected to teaching young children — those between junior kindergarten and Grade 3 — about transsexual/transgender/intersexed/two-spirited issues.”

Are you rubbing your eyes? Checking your glasses? Well, your eyes did not deceive you. These subjects are being taught to kids as young as four, and yet it is the ad, not the curriculum, that is controversial. What planet are we living on? (For those unfamiliar with the “two-spirit” concept, it is found among the native populations of North America, where a person is believed to be both male and female and is often highly venerated rather than rejected.)

Let’s put this in perspective. One father, outraged over the newspaper’s apology (which, you’ll see in a moment, gets much worse), posted this comment: “My daughter just started [Junior Kindergarten] this fall. She is the most beautiful and innocent child imaginable. Friends, parks, chocolate milk, forts, stickers and unicorns - these are the things that occupy her thoughts. She will not stay this way forever - nether should she - but the thought of anyone discussing this material with her at her age, literally rips me apart inside. It is mine and my wife's role to address these topics with her when the time is right and she has reached an appropriate level of maturity.”

What a picture: From “friends, parks, chocolate milk, forts, stickers and unicorns” to transexuality and gay pride parades. It’s easy to share the father’s indignation.

In its apology, the Post explained that it values free speech and open public debate, even if some readers find some of the points of view to be offensive. And it claimed that the curriculum highlighted in the ad should be part of a public debate. Yet, according to the Post, the ad violated some of its policies and should not have been run.

“Where the ad exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in its tone and manipulative use of a picture of a young girl; in the suggestion that such teaching ‘corrupts’ children, with everything that such a charge implies; and in its singling out of groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees.”

To be sure, the word “corrupts” could have seemed a bit inflammatory to some readers, but that’s not the first point made by the Post. Rather, it is the utterly outrageous reference to the “manipulative use of a picture of a young girl.” Has the Post lost its corporate mind? They are telling us that it is the ad, not the educational curriculum, that is manipulative. What? It is certainly not manipulative to show a picture of a little girl who is being taught these very things in school. (That is called truth, not manipulation.) But it is totally manipulative to teach these things to a little child, to forbid parents to take their kids out of these classes, and to require all instructors to teach this material.

That is where the problem lies, and that’s where the entire nation should stand up and apologize to these little ones for confusing them at such a tender age. Instead, the Post apologizes for being “manipulative” by showing a picture of a precious little child saying, “Please! Don’t confuse me. I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transsexual, transgendered, intersexed or two spirited.”

But there’s one last kick in the gut: “The Post will also be donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.”

Words fail.