Girls’ Schools Association: Stop Saying “Girls”

This week newspapers published a report that “leading headmistresses” have suggested that teachers at girls’ schools should consider using gender neutral language such as “pupils” or “students” in place of “girls” in their assemblies. Their recommendation came after Gendered Intelligence, a transgender activist group which runs “trans awareness training” sessions in schools, was invited to address a Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) conference for head teachers.

Caroline Jordan, president of the GSA, said:

“In assemblies, instead of saying ‘Girls, go to lessons’, staff should consider saying ‘Pupils, go to lessons’ or ‘Students, go to lessons’. That is something our schools are thinking about and some are already doing. I feel that every year there are more and more young people posing questions around their gender identity. I do not want anyone to think that girls’ or boys’ schools are invested in one way of being a girl or one way of being a boy.”

That there is only one way of being a girl is exactly what you are invested in if you are suggesting that going too far outside that gender box makes you a boy. “Being a boy” is not one way of  being a girl as she suggests, it is the opposite sex category. By this statement she implies that the word “girl” itself is a personality type; that by saying “girls” everyone understands that you mean a certain type of person.

“Girl” is not a subjective idea, it is a fact and it means “young female.” To give girls the idea that it means anything else restricts ALL girls in their idea of themselves as people. Are there no adults left who are prepared to critically examine this new hypothesis of gender and realise how damaging it is for girls to be defined as a ‘gender identity’ rather than as a sex?

Who is going to defend the word “girl” in its true meaning if not the president of the Girls’ Schools Association? Who is going to have the courage to say “I will not reinforce to my girls the illusion that being a certain way makes you a boy”?  And who is going to refuse to give up the word that allows girls to name themselves? Taking away our language and its meaning is not a benign but a political act and no school should be inviting in political activist groups to advise them.

Anecdotally, there is a pattern emerging in girls’ schools where girls are ‘transitioning’ in clusters. Typically, one girl who decides she is a boy gets to be the only girl in the school who is allowed to wear trousers, after which two or three more girls follow suit. Faced with a child suffering genuine gender dysphoria, girls’ schools should be reviewing their uniform policy so that the girls who feel uncomfortable and restricted in skirts can choose the option of trousers. To reinforce the notion to all girls that wearing trousers is for boys (who get the special privilege of not only trouser-wearing but attending a school for girls) just reinforces the superficial gender stereotypes girls are expected to adhere to. It also makes the idea of transitioning a very attractive prospect: what girl wouldn’t consider it when they can see that it opens the door to special treatment which ordinary female trouser-enthusiasts don’t get?

The fact is that girls who don’t conform to the feminine gender stereotype can find life very difficult: they are not the most popular girls in the school and society views them with suspicion and disapproval. The GSA fails in its responsibility towards all girls by buying in to this new pressure on those who don’t conform to sex-role stereotypes to redefine themselves as boys, and teachers at girls’ schools, of all people, should be resisting the sexist assumptions behind it.

There are infinite ways of being a girl, none of which tip you over into being a boy. That is the message we expect the teachers at girls’ schools to give to their pupils: be proud of being a GIRL, be yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that means you’re a boy.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Una Hodgkins

    Why is the conference of the Girls Schools Association inviting an activist group to address them without also inviting a balancing speaker, a representative for questioning parents? These poor schools are in the firing line for the trans activists. Please, we must go on the offensive: we must prepare and print copies of a “fact pack” using the materials published on this website (2-3 pages). We must prepare these packs and give them to delegates at the NUT and other National Conferences, in the autumn etc… And give them out to NEXT year’s GSA conference, of course. If we don’t counter the rubbish from GI which is a campaigning organisation, we will only have ourselves to blame for the misinformation becoming gradually entrenched, not questioned, accepted. Aaaarrggghhh!

  2. naefearty

    This is actually heart breaking.

  3. Una Hodgkins

    I have written to the letters editor of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph as follows:

    Dear Sirs,

    The tail is wagging the dog: vanishingly few pupils truly suffer from gender dysphoria and end up wanting to change sex as adults. The proposal to rob young women of their correct designation, “girls”, used in the same way as “boys” for young men, will not reassure those few suffering from GD, and it will make teachers and parents hypersensitive to using the word girls. It will make our language in the classroom and in schools even more of a mine-field than it already is under equalities legislation.

    There seems to be a gradual encroachment of a new “gender police”, a “thought police”, to enforce a top-down politics of transgender identity in this country ( written by barrister Jon Holbrook).

    Trans activist groups like “Gendered Intelligence” display a deluded self-confidence which has confused the general public and caught us off-balance. They are funded by the taxpayer to spread their message of identity insecurity and body-hatred. Ordinary parents who question the “trans” narrative are not represented, and are self-funded, but they do exist: Trangendertrend ( The abandoned wives call themselves “transwidows”, and they are speaking up and telling their stories (

    Those who suffer from GD are not normal. They are desperate: they want something so badly that they will tear up their lives and the lives of their families for this delusion. After their change-over (hormones and surgery are far more life-threatening than a mere “transition”) they usually continue to suffer psychiatric problems as adults: self-induced isolation, long-term confusion and permanent dissatisfaction. Some belatedly realise, after they have had surgery and the “honeymoon period” is over, that they are socially still the same sex because that is the way they grew up. New medical research has found that the current medical treatment is far from satisfactory, as sex-change regretter Walt Heyer explains: He refers to 8 new studies. These include the fact that 45% of post-op GD sufferers attempt suicide.

    There is currently no proper treatment for gender dysphoria. A truly effective cure must tackle the underlying mental problem to calm the mind and bring it into harmony with an intact, natural body. It is time for some truth in this matter.

    I hope that you will publish my letter above. May I ask why you did not allow comments below the article on-line?

    I am a transwidow.

    Yours sincerely

    Una Hodgkins

    1. Petuniacat

      Una, your Telegraph letter is fantastic! ? And your take on DG is excellent. Very few people have it. It’s super severe for them. The current treatments don’t work. That alone should be a news story. No it should be THE news story.

      And your idea about an info pack to hand out to teachers, etc. is fantastic too. If anyone decides to do that I’d be happy to help with the graphics. ?✂️

  4. Carrie-Anne

    This is so beyond ridiculous! How dare these people try to take away our rights to name ourselves properly, all because they find it “triggering” to be reminded of biological facts! This is beyond out of control, and not enough people are making waves to question this overnight explosion.

  5. Sylvie

    “I feel that every year there are more and more young people posing questions around their gender identity.”

    Dear Caroline Jordan,
    Your endeavours are not helping.

  6. Skeptical Mom

    So teachers and employees at all-girls schools are being instructed not to refer to students as girls? I find this both ridiculous and infuriating. Isn’t the purpose of an all-girls school to provide girls with educational opportunities free of the pervasive bias which causes many teachers to favor boys and give boys more opportunities and more attention? To lift girls up while educating them, teaching girls that they are important and worthy in their own right?

    What sort of message are these girls being taught when the word “girl” is taboo, a word that’s not even worth saying out loud, a label to avoid, a word and a status that girls dare not claim? “Students! Shhhhhhh! Remember — we don’t speak the word ‘girls’ because men and boys don’t like being reminded that perhaps they are not the only and single most important inhabitants of the planet.”

    This ridiculous recommendation by Gendered Intelligence (and GSA’s willingness to go right along with it) also begs this question: if students who are not girls are present in in an all-girls school, what are they doing there? They’re either girls or they’re not. If they’re not girls, they should be enrolled elsewhere. If female students are doubting their “gender identity,” the school should be teaching them that they can do anything that boys can do, wear any clothes that boys wear, but it doesn’t change a girl’s sex from female to male. Instead, it seems that the schools are more than happy to feed the girls’ doubts and coddle them into believing they must be boys because of the clothes they are smart, athletic, resilient and adventurous. Heaven knows a “real” girl wouldn’t possess any of those qualities!

    Of all places, an all-girls school should be bringing their girls up and teaching them that they are strong, smart, capable and worthy — even better than boys. The teachers and headmistress should be showing the girls that being a girl is a powerful thing, and that these girls should be proud of their sex. Kowtowing to male-dominated groups like Gendered Intelligence and erasing language that identifies women and girls is quite the opposite.

    Or maybe we should just divide the sexes into the two groups: “male” and “non-male.” Perhaps the next step is to return girls schools (oops, non-male schools) back to the days of teaching cross stitch, table setting and flower arranging, and leave STEM, reading, writing, history, philosophy and athletics to the more worthy males.

  7. Jane

    This person should have been fired immediately. We all need to wake up and stop being ‘so nice’ to everyone who is bringing in their own agenda. In fact why does this person have this level of control anyway? If a child is having some issues with identity (we have all destroyed the word gender) then it should be dealt with on a one to one basis. Truth is that research before the contagion took place (oh yes – I said it) the percentage of transgender was less than 1%. But now the trans activists have taken root and they have managed to get into our mainstream under the guise of political correctness. Indeed it is so insane that parents will offer up their own children or allow their children to be taught doctrine that they may not believe in just to be polite. I won’t do it. In George Orwell’s novel 1984 the main character finally lies and says that 2+2=5 because the state had become that powerful. This is Orwellian and we are offering up our children at the alter of trans-activists. Please stop.

  8. Despairing Mum

    I have just stumbled across this article, almost 5 years after it was originally posted. My daughter is in GSA school and over this past year they have stopped using the words “girls” and “daughters” in favour of “pupils” and “children”, both in letters home and on their social media. It infuriates me every time I read the words “pupils” and “children”, and with an age rage up to 18yrs, “children” is extremely patronising. PSHE lessons are really pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda. Even school policies incorrectly list “gender” as a protected characteristic.

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