FODI: Jane Caro’s Dangerous Ideas

Jane Caro believes Public Education should be universal, compulsory and secular.

“Chaplins have no place in our public school,” She says, then expanding, “now this does not mean that people of faith have no place in our public schools… Secular doe not mean excluding religion, it means not of religion,” and eventually putting it to bed with the succinct statement, “the teaching of faith should happen at home, and at Sunday Schools, and in the Churches, not in secular public schools, that is not the right place for it to occur”

A ‘Dangerous Idea’ to open, or not? Caro continues for the remaining time with an engaging presentation of her ideas deemed most ‘dangerous’, each conviction argued with an amusing tact.

Jane Caro believes Private Schools, should not get public funding, and should be allowed to continue to discriminate, but be compelled to announce their policy of discrimination to parents and those applying for positions as staff.

She believes Standardized Testing should be abolished, that it makes our children anxious, and risk averse in the class room. She quotes Finnish educator and scholar Pasi Sahlberg, “true learning only takes place in a completely free of fear environment”

She wants investment in early childhood through public education.”Here’s another dangerous idea,” she continues thick and fast, “I believe in quotas for women in senior management and boards, on all decision making panels and tables, change will only happen when it gets too uncomfortable for people to stay the same, and as long as women are going ‘guys, guys, can we have some of what you got’, we’re not going to fucking get it”

People who say quotas are not based on merit, she says ignore the myriad of existing quota systems on boards and cabinets that are in place to ensure fair representation; the cabinet has to have a National Party member, has to have a number of members from different states, boards may have requirements for interstate members, staff representation, do they all feel they haven’t been chosen on merit? Does Barnaby Joyce feel belittled since he’s there to fill a quota?

On quotas, what about that pesky 100% one that operated for blokes for about 2000 years, do you think they felt they weren’t getting there on merit? So why do women have to prove their merit to get representation?

Caro says women are burdened by labels like being called “more nurturing” than men, she doesn’t call for quotas for women on boards out of any belief that women have any inherent superiority in any area, like being “more nurturing, or intuitive” these are sexist burden. Using Julia Gillard as a prime example Jane suggests women in power and public square are only allowed to have two equally stupid positions, either ‘unbelievably fantastic an inspiration to the entire world’, or, ‘they’re completely hopeless, never should have got the job in the first place, and a useless, hopeless, bitch”, but are neither and in reality just normal people like everyone else, with strengths and weaknesses.

We must stop making women either everybody’s hero or everyone’s hate object.

Meritocracy is a nice idea, but there’s no evidence to suggest we have ever had one.

As Jane’s mother always told her, “We will only have true equality when there are as many mediocre women in positions of power as there are mediocre men”

Caro believes men and women are more similar than different.

She believes to try to control women’s bodies and choices about their body is a form of colonising and slavery of the body, and equally that trying to control any individual’s choice to die, in the context of voluntary euthanasia, is to force them to suffer to the end.

She believes that self-righteousness is destroying the world, the pomposity of those who want to shut down anything they see as “offensive”

Ultimately, Caro has many “Dangerous Ideas” that in essence are simply the convictions of a liberal mind against all forms of authoritarianism, if you’re offended, Caro says, “I couldn’t care less if you’re offended by something I’ve said, because when I offend you it means I disturb the way you think about the world. Well, that’s my job.”

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