Far-right Brazil to remove LGBT+, feminism and violence against women from school exams
Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has pledged to remove all references to LGBT+ people, feminism and violence against women from school textbooks and exams.
His government also revealed plans to allow the military to take over some public schools.
The retired military officer, coined by some in the West as Brazil’s Trump, promised to “enter the Education Ministry with a flamethrower to remove Paulo Freire”, the liberal Brazilian educator and philosopher.
In a tweet on the eve of his inauguration, Bolsonaro tweeted: “One of the goals to take Brazil from the worst positions in the world’s education rankings is to combat the Marxist waste that has spread in educational institutions”
The removal of Freire’s legacy in schools fuels an ideological battle between the Marxist philosophy of the famed educator, and the far-right government led by Bolsonaro, who he and other conservatives say Freire’s school of thought turns students into “political militants”.
Freire, who died in 1997, was one of the founders of critical pedagogy, and believed politics could not be divorced from politics and teachers and students must be made aware of the politics that surround education: “education makes sense because women and men learn that through learning they can make and remake themselves”
Bolsonaro’s Education minister Ricardo Velez Rodriguez pledged in his inauguration speech he wished to end the “aggressive promotion of the gender ideology.
Once the new government has taken office, the Education Ministry dismantled its diversity department and published a new set of guidelines for textbook publishers that eliminated references to topics such as violence against women and sexism.
The Education minister defended defended what he called traditional values, such as family, church, school and the nation, which he said were threatened by a “crazy globalist wave.”
Bolsonaro: “Brazilian society doesn’t like homosexuals.”
The Brazilian president, who was sworn in office on January 1 after defeating his socialist opponent Fernando Haddad in October’s general election, is openly homophobic: “I’mhomophobic and very proud of it,” and in a 2011 interview with Playboy, Bolsonaro said he would, if he found his son to be gay, “prefer that he die in an accident,” saying he was “incapable” of loving a gay son.
In a 2013 interview with British actor Stephen Fry,the far-right populist claimed “homosexual fundamentalists” were brainwashing heterosexual children to “become gays and lesbians to satisfy them sexually in the future”. Bolsonaro declared: “Brazilian society doesn’t like homosexuals.”
During the campaign trail for the, then, upcoming general election, he told Time magazine that he stood by his claim that “he would punch gay people if he saw them kissing in public”.
He then equated homosexuality to paedophilia: “So let’s respect the paedophile’s right to have sex with a two-year-old? Would that unite [Brazil]?”