It is still warm. I still have lots of work to do. But there is cricket (albeit with a lot of rain delays).
The big news item is to do with exams. Today high school students across the country got the results of their final exams, known as A Levels. Because of the pandemic, no one could actually sit exams this year, so the government said that grades would be based on teacher reports instead. Now, however, they have decided that teacher reports are unreliable, and they have concocted a secret algorithm to “correct” the grades. To no one’s surprise, the result of this is that pupils at fee-paying schools have had their grades raised on average, while pupils at state schools, especially those in poorer areas, have had their grades reduced on average, sometimes drastically. This is what happens when the Cabinet is made up of upper class snobs.
Needless to say, this is a disaster for universities who are having to cope with large numbers of promising students failing to make the grades they needed for admission, and a bunch of posh twits whose parents can afford expensive lawyers demanding those places instead.
Meanwhile there has been an announcement that a number of classic works of fiction by women writers are to be re-issued under those women’s “real names”. While it is likely that some of the women concerned adopted male pen names in order to help their careers, some of them very obviously used their male names in everyday life, dressed in masculine clothing and generally behaved in a gender-variant way.
For a long time the anti-trans movement in the UK has solely targeted trans women. They seem to think that war has been won with the scrapping of reforms to the Gender Recognition Act and leaked promises by Liz Truss that existing trans rights will be repealed. Trans men, and butch lesbians, mostly flew under the radar, until recently when there has been a spate of attacks. We’ve had butch lesbians who are assaulted in toilets after being mistaken for trans women decribed as unavoidable collateral damage. We’ve had a Labour MP say that only people who identify as women should be allowed healthcare such as cervical screening, even though many trans men still need it. This new set of books is very clearly in the same vein. I don’t think that the people behind it care two hoots about women who genuinely adopted a male pen name just for the money. What they want to do is come down hard on anyone who dared display any degree of gender variance. The only thing they forgot was to make all of the covers pink.