Following on from the topic headed ‘How many people still read this forum?’:
This is to update those interested that the gender issue I have been trying to address cannot be taken any further until the autumn term. I have been reassured in some areas of concern.
In the meantime I would just like to say that since I have read quite a few of the comments on this Forum they have influenced this issue a great deal. I have been trying to avoid separation between those that are members of the SES and those that have left. I mean that in the sense that I feel that the members of the SES need to really understand the past of the organisation in order to understand the present and therefore influence the direction for the future, which is actually in the hands of all the members, and everyone needs to take responsibility for the future of the organisation in which they invest so much time as well as voluntary effort.
Empathy is a quality that can bring people together and it is very upsetting reading the tragic stories of the treatment of little children and others, yet essential to gain an insight into the past and the motivations of the organisation. I am personally very grateful to all those that have contributed to this forum. I also feel the need to apologise to those harmed physically and psychologically, simply for being a member of an organisation with such a past. Your stories lend weight to the importance of all members taking responsibility for attitudes and ideas presented by the organisation in the future, both to students in the SES (especially in ‘philosophy’) and to children in the SES linked schools, where many of the teachers and governors are SES members, and reading schemes and other publications are produced by teachers who are (or were) members of the SES. Indeed I am not the first to note that the abuse of children in the SES linked schools in the past is in all probability related to the undermining of women in the past in the SES. It is therefore particularly important that the women take responsibility for ensuring their values & perspectives are respected within the organisation and the linked schools, at the same level as those of the men. This is important at the current time as the St James schools expand to take over St David’s school (Ashford), turning it from a predominately girls senior school into a boys senior school. This (St David’s) was a school with a long history, a magnificent building and 30 acre site, as well as the patronage of HM the Queen.
I hope the new term will bring with it a fresh impulse for the future of the SES, with women welcomed with open arms at the same level as men, and not discouraged or limited in any way.
Finally, I would just like to share with you this quote by Laurens van der Post: "The horizon behind us is littered with the rubble of civilizations which have failed to renew themselves, have failed a challenge somehow to transcend their opposites in something that will combine in balance both the masculine and the feminine and, in their union, create something greater than the sum of their parts.”
Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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