Christine Guevin and Kristen Stories are professors at the University of British Columbia who are writing about forced gender reassignment in Canadian schools.
Their new book, “Invisible Boys: The Hidden History of Forced Feminization in Canadian Schools” tells the story of an Ontario high school that was forced to move its girls’ gymnasium to a new location.
The gym had a gender neutral gymnasio that was built in the 1960s.
But the gym’s women’s locker room was constructed using male space and the men’s locker rooms had no gender spaces.
“We thought that was the norm and that the locker rooms were built for men, but the girls’ locker room, we thought that it was for girls,” Christine Guesvin told CBC News.
We were concerned about how girls were going to be treated and the consequences if we did not follow this policy,” she said.
We thought if we didn’t build this locker room in a gender-neutral way, the girls wouldn’t be able to access the facilities and that would affect their social lives and be detrimental to their health.
Kristen Story says this story is important because it illustrates how gender-based violence and oppression can be perpetuated.”
There are stories about what happens when there is not enough space for boys to be exposed to these kinds of environments, but these are things that happen in our schools, that have happened in our communities, and that are not being addressed,” she told CBC.
Invisible boys is based on the true story of two young men who experienced gender-bias in their schools in the early 1970s.
In the 1970s, a young woman who was a teacher at the school told CBC’s Lisa and Doug that she was told by another teacher that she had to remove her shoes if she were to be seen by boys, and she did.
The two boys who were at the gymnasial saw the teacher remove her footwear and asked her to leave.”
The next day, she was taken out of the gym and beaten in the face,” Christine says.
They later reported the assault to school officials, and Christine says they were forced to change the rules in the school, so that all the boys could see the female teacher.”
At that point, there was no place for girls to play with the boys,” Christine said.”
You would think that we could change our policies, but I think that’s really not possible,” she added.”
If we don’t make changes, there’s no way we can actually address this issue.
“She says they ultimately went to court to get a gender equal locker room.
The judge ruled that because the locker room’s gender was not specified, it was a matter of private choice.
The story continues on the CBC News website.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is a non-profit that provides independent research and advocacy for gender equality.
The centre was founded in 2014 to advance gender equality and empower Canadians to challenge the policies and practices of the Canadian government.