Monday, July 28, 2008

Hillsong's "Shine" Class Drags The Woman's Movement Back To The 90's...The 1890's

Hillsong is an Australian Church Organization that has turned franchise and popped up all over the place. (You can check out their site here)

Mostly known for their praise music, they also have quite a bit going on in the schools as well.... PUBLIC schools. And what do they learn? Let's read a little from the article I found:

Every Tuesday afternoon during the first term at Matraville Sports High School, a group of young women take part in classes intended to boost their self-esteem. Some have personal problems, others have behavioural issues, while a few simply go because their friends do.

For the next two hours they learn a range of skills including how to put on make-up, do their hair and nails, and walk with books balanced on their heads.

Really?? That's supposed to boost self-esteem? Being a good little woman? How about TEACHING them something. Or... maybe try talking to them like human beings and not "training" them to be subservient. Didn't this shit die out right around the same time Polio did? (Ironic that religion tried to keep BOTH around, read some Hitchens to see what I mean)

Let's keep reading:

Hillsong describes Shine as a “practical, life-equipping, values-based course” and its website is awash with glowing testimonials from young women whose lives have been improved by learning about “being a good friend” and “learning about myself”.

Practical? Maybe, but don't girls learn ALL of this in everyday life? I mean, I never had to take a class on how to ride a bike or play man-hunt. (if you don't know what man-hunt is, its basically hide and seek but more... manly.... or something.... I don't know, it was what almost every guy has called it to make it seem a little less childish that they played hide and seek when they were 14... just drop it!)

Life-equipping? I don't even think that's a real word. Isn't that just a hot-button term that fills up space on a powerpoint presentation? Life-equipping. My Mom works with "Special Needs" and I think that's one of the things she has to do. Life-equipping. I had that lesson course; My Dad called me once and said, "Ray, don't grow up to be like me". Does that count?

Values-based? Okay, they like hyphens. By the way, from now on when you hear the term "Values-Based" just go ahead and use this equation:

Values Based = Christian Rules + Fear of Homosexuality - Tolerance

Let's keep reading:

“Through skin care, natural make-up, hair care, nail care girls discover their value and created uniqueness,” the material says.

Jesus Christ on a PogoStick, what the hell does that MEAN??? Oh, right. Let me translate that;

"Troubled girls often dress like Godless sluts and we want to change that. It's about time we had a return to good Christian Values."

See? That was easier to understand.

Thankfully, most people are aware of the blatant attempt to "infiltrate" the schools and the minds of young women:

“Over the last two or three years teachers have been coming to us with concerns about Shine,” said the president of the Hills Teachers Association, Sui-Linn White. “It is the gender stereotypes that they are imposing. The focus on skin care, nail care, hair care - it objectifies women … These are things women fought against for centuries - they’ve got no place in a public school.”

Parents groups from Queensland and the Northern Territory have complained that their schools have tried to sneak Shine in almost unnoticed.

“In our view, this is a way of getting religion into schools through subterranean means,” said one parent, Hugh Wilson. “The principal or the chaplain decides it’s a good idea and, next thing you know, your kids are being taught about make-up by the Hillsong Church.”

I love you, Hugh Wilson. Thankfully, parents like him are there to spot this. But why does it continue? Do some girls lack the older female role-model they need? Sure, so do some boys. But that is so far removed from the "teaching" that goes on in these classes that it just reinstates horrible stereotypes and societal controls that we have long since removed from our communities.... And I went to Home Ec!!

Oh, and for those of you that read the article and noticed the Anorexia Tag at the bottom, I'll be covering that VERY soon.


Anonymous said...

You are one very scared, nasty little man aren't you. What are you so scared of that you want to attack what Christians are trying to do or what we have that you don't, assurance that when we have eternal life it will be in heaven not hell. Look at society now, it is immoral, no, lets say ammoral, there are no moral boundaries, everything is acceptable, tolerated, celebrated. Society as a whole has fallen into such a pit that we have become numb to things the older generation would never have dreamed of doing.

Wake up. Do you know how many youth we have walking the streets at night becuase they don't want to be at home? how many children go to bed at night not knowing if they are loved or whether they have a purpose or self worth? All we as Christians want to do is show these children that they do have a purpose, that they were no accident, they have self worth etc etc. I see nothing wrong with girls being taught self grooming and personal hygiene, and how to have respect for themselves and that is is okay to say no to sex before marriage, not to conform to society.

Open your eyes mate, our children are lost, suffering, hurting, I honestly can't see how this is going to cause ANY harm, at least for a brief moment they might actually feel like someone cares for them and that they are alright.

This is exactly my heart, my passion and I am working hard to achieve it and get around our next generation, to get in at the foundational years before they screw their life up shacking up with the first boy who tells them that they "love them" and then before you know it we (as tax payers) are paying for them to have their baby, oh thats right, and then he takes off and we are now paying for a single mum. Isn't it better to get in at the foundational years and not wait until we are fixing the problem, isn't it better to be proactive instead of reactive?

Ray said...

Hi "anonymous". Please see my response to your comment on the blog.

Anonymous said...

As a feminist educational researcher who is currently observing a Shine course, I'd like to say that although the program does include the body-focused activities mentioned, it is not meant to be taught (and is not in the course I'm observing) as an attempt to reinforce conventional notions of feminine beauty either from the 1890's or the 2010's. If done according to the program it is simply an acknowledgement that self-worth is not just in the mind, but embodied as well. The girls are actually told that they are valuable, one-of-a-kind beings who should be proud of their bodies even if they don't conform to the stereotypes of beauty put forward by the beauty industry. What some might see as 'beauty tips' are actually meant to be tips on taking care of your body because it is valuable. And some research indicates that things like posture affect the way you feel about yourself, not just the way others see you. And think about it, would you be less offended if the word Yoga had been used? Lots of people find that improving their posture has extremely positive results on their outlook on life.

Yes, there are things to be skeptical of here, and yes, in the wrong hands it could be awful. But I wouldn't blast the whole program based on this review from someone who has no experience with it. Many women seem to find the course extremely empowering. Maybe Ray should stick to blogging about something he actually knows about, like hide-and-go-seek.