Don’t Miss Our Lead Article On This Issue: The Anti-Defamation League Plans To Indoctrinate Students With Anti-Gaming Propaganda
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recently added a new “educational resource” for their Current Events Classroom Lesson Plans. The class is entitled Is Gaming a Boy’s Club? Women, Video Games, and Sexism. Rather than write the word “NO” in big block letters under the title and publish it to their website, the ADL instead decided to lean heavily on Anita Sarkeesian’s demonstrably false videos and commentary to reinforce the idea that sexism is pervasive in video games.
In line with the ABC Nightline special, which included demonstrably false information within the first five seconds of broadcast, the ADL lesson plan does not get very far before it manages to assert something which could be refuted with basic research. I’ll start from the beginning, and we’ll stop at the first falsehood.
Marketed primarily to boys and men,
And we’re done. Anyone who thinks video games are primarily marketed toward men and boys has never heard of the mobile market. I guess I could finish the rest of the sentence and see where it goes…
…video games do not have a good track record when it comes to positively including girls and women.
Unless you include…
- Samus Aran, who single-handedly subjugates planets
- Lara Croft, a scholar who is also unafraid to pursue her life’s work in dangerous environments full of hardship
- Zelda, who could have stayed in the castle but has become a skilled warrior in her own right
- Ms. Pac-Man, whose game was arguably superior to Pac-Man
I could go on.
The lesson plan continues by having students read such scholarly works as “It’s Game Over for ‘Gamers’: Anita Sarkeesian On Video Games’ Great Future,” an op-ed published in the New York Times. This lesson plan is meant to be part of Common Core, an American educational standards initiative.
You may be thinking, ‘Only a fool would believe this tripe.’ But as it turns out, there is historical precedence for swaying politics with propagandized education for children, and it works.
“Scientific” Temperance Instruction
In the 1870’s, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was beginning to become influential. The Prohibition efforts started to become more and more successful, spurred on by stories like that of Carry A. Nation, an elderly woman whose hobby was smashing the local bar with her hatchet. Encouraged by their rapid growth in influence and popularity, the WCTU began exploring compulsory temperance instruction for children in an attempt to teach them the evils of alcohol.
Enter Mary Hunt.
Formerly a Massachusetts teacher who had already convinced her community to implement lesson plans she created on temperance, Mary Hunt addressed the WCTU national assembly in 1881 on the subject of “scientific temperance instruction.” In 1882, the WCTU formed the Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction and named Mary Hunt the National Superintendent.
After WCTU delegates organized in their home states and lobbied their state legislatures for mandated temperance instruction, Ms. Hunt became the approving authority on school textbooks. Ms. Hunt provided WCTU approval for the textbooks of her choice on the now-mandated temperance teaching, and went to great lengths to ensure that children nationwide were frightened of even sipping minor amounts of alcohol. An excerpt from one of Ms. Hunt’s approved textbooks provides insight:
It has often been observed that children of intemperate parents frequently fail to develop into manhood or womanhood. They may not be deformed, but their growth is arrested, and they remain small in body and infantile in character. . . . Such are examples of a species of degeneracy, and are evidences of the visiting of the sins of the fathers upon the children, which may extend even into the third and fourth generations.
Real academics weigh in
In fact, the textbooks which Ms. Hunt approved so grossly over-exaggerated the dangers of alcohol that real scholars took it upon themselves to conduct an investigation. In 1893, the Committee of Fifty was formed to review the WCTU-approved textbooks for accuracy. Among their number were Henry Pickering Bowditch, Dean of Harvard Medical School, and Seth Low, then-president of Columbia (he would later become the Mayor of New York City).
The Committee of Fifty, operating from the assumption that students should be taught facts from which they can make educated decisions (what a concept!), found the temperance instruction to be rife with inaccuracies. They asserted that children “should not be taught that the drinking of a glass or two of wine by a grown-up person is very dangerous.” They further concluded that the textbooks’ citations of real scientific studies were done in to lend credence to misinformation, stating “the manner in which scientific authorities are misquoted in order to appear to furnish support to ‘scientific temperance instruction.'”
Adding a play to the social justice playbook
In a move which should surprise no one familiar with social justice warrior tactics, Ms. Hunt in her reply to the committee’s findings charged the authors with being prejudiced against temperance instruction and stated the WCTU-approved texts were completely accurate. She also had her reply reproduced for the public and distributed over 100,000 copies, in a tactic that would later be referred to as “signal boosting.”
Unfortunately for the children of America, the damage of years of temperance instruction had already been done. Many of these miseducated children from the 1880s and 1890s would become the strong voting bloc that enacted National Prohibition under the 18th Amendment in 1920. But that’s no wonder—the Committee of Fifty noted one student at the time of their study recalled about alcohol that it “will gradually eat away the flesh. If anyone drinks it, it will pickle the inside of the body.”
There’s little doubt in my mind that lesson plans like the ADL’s concerning sexism in gaming can easily result in a changed nation within a decade. It’s an outrage that children are being manipulated into voting as adults for laws and politicians that will act counter to their best interests. Even gaming can be affected by this. If you think sexism or misogyny can’t be outlawed in a nation that believes in freedom of speech, do nothing. Wait for the social justice-minded thought police to start enacting their own legislation, and then stare in disbelief at how many young people support them. Sure, it runs counter to common sense. But since when has that been taught in the public school system?