Exam board ‘forced’ to include female composers on A-level music syllabus by a whiny feminist schoolgirl’s petition

Our thanks to Mike for this. A whiny feminist schoolgirl has ‘forced’ one of the country’s leading exam boards to change its music syllabus. Thin end of the wedge, anyone? What could possibly go wrong?

The ‘journalist’ is Paul Gallagher who – to his eternal shame – expresses not a single word of criticism of what’s happened, not does he report the views of anyone else who might reasonably object to it. Excerpts from his dismal piece of feminist propaganda:

At a meeting this week the 17-year-old received a personal apology from Mark Anderson, Managing Director of Edexcel’s parent company Pearson, and an assurance that the course will change. She had written to him demanding change following her involvement in a ‘Fearless Futures’ programme exploring gender inequality, which she said enabled her to recognise “normalised sexism”.

Ms McCabe, who is currently studying maths, music and history at Twyford Church of England High School in London, told The Independent: “There’s been a lot of progress. I didn’t think it would be as easy [to change the syllabus] as it was, but Edexcel have been great – they automatically saw the need to rectify this and are making changes as soon as possible for the new course.

“They are also reviewing their other qualifications to ensure they are diverse and inclusive. They are speaking to lots of specialists in the industry and leading academics to see who they feel should be included – and to senior examiners because there are Ofqual guidelines which they have to set.”…

Ms McCabe is not resting on her laurels and has already written to Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, as she wants to “role (sic) this process out to other exam boards”.

The teenager said: “It’s not just Edexcel [where this problem exists], other exam boards are at fault too. Edexcel is the leader in A level music but there are other people studying music with different exam boards so they should have the opportunity to learn about women composers too.”

Mr Anderson said: “We are fully committed to ensuring diversity is better reflected through our revised music A-level, which will begin to be taught in Autumn 2016. We have met with Jessy, listened to her views and are taking her feedback on board, as well as the views of other musical experts in the UK.”

‘Other musical experts’? Give me strength. Jessy McCabe is 17 and studying music for her A Level. Does Mr Anderson not know that the first rule of dealing with difficult people, is not to reward them for being difficult? Even (or especially?) if they’re 17-year-old schoolgirls? He’s helped create a monster. Our considered opinions on this matter:

Mark Anderson needs to strap on a pair.

We hope Pearson’s share price crashes in response to his idiocy.

A tip of the hat to Steve Hill, who’s posted the only comment on the article so far:

OK chaps and chappesses. Without googling, write down a list of all the famous classical composers you know. Stop when you get to a woman.

11 thoughts on “Exam board ‘forced’ to include female composers on A-level music syllabus by a whiny feminist schoolgirl’s petition

  1. Including females just for parity in numbers sake is utter garbage, and is indicative of the now discredited ‘positive discrimination’ ethos. It completely and utterly removes any element of meritocracy and instead embroils any given subject matter in unpleasant aggressive gender wars. Its obvious given the complainants personal attitudes and perspective that merit will always come second to inclusion for inclusions sake, cheapening the contribution of females in any given field. Ironically, it will patronise females far more by including them just for show than for merit.

  2. Oh very lady like, I’m sure. Maybe the reason there aren’t any female composers of note on the syllabus is because there aren’t any female composers of note? Why don’t you engage the real issue instead of being so rude and ideological. Do you not have any ideas of your own?

  3. Female classical composers were excluded from the syllabus on the grounds of a lack of merit, along with large numbers of male classical composers, for the same reason. You’re arguing not for equality, but special treatment – “Let’s all pretend there were plenty of great female classical composers, so girls’ and women’s feelings aren’t hurt.” Because it’s subjective, you can deny the preferencing the Exam Board will take on. In the field of athletics, exactly the same preferencing would be starkly obvious, so you’re not calling for it there, though I imagine you’re OK with Wimbledon female champions earning the same as their male colleagues, whilst playing for half the time. Is THAT equality OK with you?

    The key reason women are ‘under-represented’ at the top of many fields today (e.g. politics, business, law) is simple – to gender-typical differences in work-centredness. Charlotte Proudman would seem to have a preference for feminist campaigning over the much tougher challenge of a long-term career as a barrister. Dr Catherine Hakim published a paper on ‘Preference Theory’ in 2000, showing four in seven British men are work centred, only one in seven British women is //j4mb.org.uk/2015/05/12/why-most-people-at-the-top-of-major-companies-are-men-dr-catherine-hakims-preference-theory-2000/

    I do not plan to spend much more time providing arguments and materials to you, when you can find them here and our other websites with a little effort.

  4. Wow. Women are under represented in many aspects in the world, both in history and today. Just because there aren’t any that you consider are at a high caliber, it’s doesn’t mean we should exclude women being represented in that field completely. Who decides who is inferior? Women have been deemed inferior for a long time and continuing to exclude them just results in an endless cycle of society thinking women aren’t as good as men.

  5. Thanks you for your valued comments. You appear to be unconcerned (or unaware) that the absence of female classical composers on Music A Level syllabuses is not a reflection that they don’t exist, but that none are among the truly great historical composers. So in ‘recognising’ them, you’re asking that inferior composers be put on the syllabus, solely because they’re women. And an exam board has bowed to that demand, shamefully.

    Following the same logic, let’s have unisex 100 metres Olympic sprint finals, give the female athletes a 30 metres start, then say women are objectively as fast as men, and should be ‘recognised’ as such, given medals etc.

    You’ll be saying Jane Austen is a great novelist next, to rival Dickens…

  6. Seriously. What is wrong with you? So women are not allowed to bring awareness to the lack of women in a music syllabus without a man like you WHINING about having women recognised??? Are you even living in 2015??? You know what, fuck you and your out dated, sexist and misogynist and irrelevant opinions.

  7. “She had written to him demanding change following her involvement in a ‘Fearless Futures’ programme exploring gender inequality, which she said enabled her to recognise “normalised sexism”.

    Really. Were that the case, she’d be an anti-feminist MRA.

  8. I see no problem with the inclusion on the syllabus of Mrs Mills and her fabulous suite of All Time Party Hits. That said though, I can’t for the life of me think of any other left-handed, red-haired, freckled lady composers working in holistic native Celtic peace-lullabies written for the Peruvian vegan free-bleeding non-aggressive nose-flute, which I suspect is more along the lines of what is actually wanted here. Perhaps it would be easier to simply “discover” “evidence” “proving” that Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven et al were in fact women, and to then have the textbooks books “corrected”?

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