Little Handmaids of the Academic Gilead: Lessons from Ladies’ College Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Updated: Feb 9
Little Handmaids of the Academic Gilead
Lessons from Ladies’ College Colombo
The episode of the unilateral and rigid decision of Aunt Farah Macan Markar to enforce “The Handmaid’s Tale” on her British Advanced Level (BAL) students at Ladies’ College Colombo Sri Lanka (Link: sri-lankan-ceylon-school-girl-forced-into-lewd-literature-against-her-will), the efforts of Commander Eesha Speldewinde and sub-Commander Deepika Dassenaike to bully a parent who objected (Link: sri-lanka-ladies-college-colombo-the-handmaid-s-tale-wiles-of-principals-whines-of-teachers) and the imposition of the mandate that an unwilling girl gets exposed to this highly objectionable – nay, this sick vile disgusting perverse obscene repugnant degrading lewd novel, is well known. The PTA representatives Shyam Fonseka, Sumudu Coilpillai and Kumi Shanmugalingam shamelessly declared that this exposure via compulsion to graphic pornography and other nauseating content is not harassment (Link: obscene-literature-forcible-exposure-at-ladies-college-colombo-in-ceylon-sri-lanka).
Farah Macan Markar told the student that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is excellent, Deepika Dassenaike claimed that “Othello” surpasses it in lewdness and Eesha Speldewinde declared to the student’s father that it is better for the girl to be exposed to penis sucking while at school as a means of preparation for the demands of university (Link: deepika-s-lies-farah-s-motivations-the-handmaid-s-tale-at-ladies-college-colombo). Farah Macan Markar also repeatedly suggested that the student stops studying English Literature if she would be uncomfortable with the contents of “The Handmaid’s Tale” (https://www.extremelyamerican.com/post/ea-exclusive-ceylon-sri-lanka-obscene-literature-forcible-exposure-at-ladies-college-colombo)
What are parents or any responsible adult to do when faced with similar situations in the school life of their children? Would their children become Offarahs, Ofeeshas and Ofdeepikas in the regime of academic Gilead? Would their purpose in life having undergone this training, be to spew the offspring of ideological filth consequent to deviant ceremonies with the spiritually sterile commanders? There are steps to be taken, and indeed steps must be taken.
1) Be Alert
You need to know what the children are being taught and exposed to. Speak to your children, look at their books and be involved in their homework. Be alert to woke words spoken and expressions of opinion that appear to have originated in the psyche of ideologues. Be attentive towards silent pleas from their unsullied conscience, and know that truth, beauty and excellence are good and should be energetically pursued like seeking a treasure, and not considered a bonus to be occasionally surprised with.
2) Find Out
When you discern of what appears objectionable, dive in and read it or about it so you know firsthand and can compile objective facts. Be wary of searching on skewed engines such as Google because it screens out the points of view that you need to be aware of. Reach out to genuine experts – qualified with common sense, in the subject of concern. Discern the distinction between wholesome education and child abuse. Will what the teacher promotes benefit, edify, strengthen the student or will it degrade, tarnish and depress? Is what the school wants to feed the mind good, useful or appropriate at the age of the child and level of psychosocial and spiritual maturity or will it maim and harm now and for years to come? What might be more wholesome means of achieving the given educational objective? The answers may not be easy to arrive at but some teaching material clearly stand out as extreme and indubitably worthy of rejection.
It could be that some other parents will also be concerned, if they were aware. Many are craven, some are arrogant and find it more important to be seen as modern, liberal and aligned to the mainstream and will distance themselves from family values, noble traditions and the pursuit of good. Others may express sympathy but do nothing, and others still will be blind or at best apathetic. Yet every single one who joins or supports will strengthen you. Communicate with peers and parents the facts regarding the teaching matter and their implications and encourage others to stand up with you. They may have ideas, contacts and access to resources you were not aware of. A group will be more influential than an individual.
4) Speak Out
Discussion is important in order to understand the reasons, rationalisations and points of view – good or evil, of the teacher and school authorities who wish to expose children to filth such as is contained in novels such as “The Handmaid’s Tale”. For what is worth, parents need to make them aware of the contents, why they are objectionable, and how young people may be harmed, soiled and degraded by it.
Voice your concerns initially with the immediate perpetrators such as the teacher. Thereafter reach out laterally to school support systems such as the alumni, parent-teacher associations, and counsellors or chaplains if such are available. Then approach authorities such as sectional or departmental heads, headmasters and principals. Governing bodies, trustees or boards of directors, and funding bodies may be applicable when the executive authorities attempt to deceive, bully or ignore your objective and polite objections and pleas.
Also alert them of the need for informed consent, since where there is risk, there should be sharing of information, and students and parents need to have the choice to decide whether or not to get engaged to this risk. Schools cannot impose obscenity, graphic pornography, and nauseating degradation on your children, how ever dystopic their constitution may be.
5) Reach beyond
If the issue cannot be resolved internally, external resources need to be sought. Having identified and approached the perpetrators of destruction, their peers and their figures of authority within the educational system and having received nothing but lies, deception, distraction and unrelenting obduracy, other legitimate means have to be resorted to. Legal counsels could help where there is a case in law, perhaps in the areas of child rights, human rights, privacy, coercion, exposure to indecency, indoctrination, compulsion. There could be child protection authorities or religious or human rights organisations who may support. The police may support in the case of coercion. The ministry of education might be reasonable. Friends and family members of the perpetrators may be able to speak to them on your behalf – of course if they have their heads screwed on right and if they are brave enough to take it on.
The media whether digital and social, or whether printed or broadcast may help to garner broader support, get the issues to the attention of those willing to help, and also prompt the schools to respond if they wish to save face and maintain a benevolent reputation.
There may be bodies or associations who could help to organise protests, particularly in locations where there will be exposure of the issue to the stakeholders of the school and the general public. Legal action where applicable to protect your child may need to be resorted to if other means are not effective.
Persist and persevere, amid embarrassment, shame, guilt, persecution, misinterpretation or anything else that toxic educators will throw at you. You know your children deserve a wholesome edifying, serene and joyful education and school life. Remember to keep the children sufficiently informed of your efforts and the reasons for the actions being taken and what teaching alternatives exist and why such would be wiser choices. It will not be easy to balance the defence of a child’s purity and protect them psychologically and even physically during the period of the challenge. While the struggle is on-going it is best to address the issues directly and ensure where applicable that the names of children victimised are not exposed in order to protect them from harassment by those who support the position of the teacher and school. It is important to stick objectively to the issue at hand and not attack the perpetrators personally. When in their cowardliness or employing strategies of the weak they create themselves deceptively as poor victims, it needs to be faced and again addressed objectively if necessary, sometimes getting teachers of English Literature to read English and understand what has been explicitly stated and to realise that their emotional interpretations are implausible and does not stand up to scrutiny.
Keep in mind also that sometimes the issue will not be the issue. Eesha Speldewinde and Deepika Dassenaike are hell-bent on exposing their students to “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Their blind objective could have been to defeat the father who raised up objections with the teacher. They had not read the novel, and it is questionable whether they read anything other than the extracts and commentary provided by the father. What was important was to have it their way. What was myopically the priority was to defend the ”impeccable” character of Farah Macan Markar (Reference to signatory number 55: https://srilankabrief.org/sri-lankan-lgbtqi-community-and-allies-condemn-president-sirisenas-homophobic-comments/) and the novel and its degradation faded into the background. What better way to punish the father than to persecute the daughter?
The battle well fought will also set precedent and encourage other parents who are bullied also to raise up their objections, and students will get to know that there are those concerned about their well being. They will realise that one does not have to accept what teachers today give them but could object politely and objectively when objection is due. Commanders and aunts will also be wary of violating the trust placed in them by parents, and of abusing their power in other areas as well when they know that their exertion of power may be challenged by parents no longer docile towards injustice and toxicity.
The father of the child told by Eesha Speldewinde and Deepika Dassenaike of Ladies’ College Colombo that she has no option but to sit in class while Farah Macan Markar (https://www.extremelyamerican.com/post/deepika-s-lies-farah-s-motivations-the-handmaid-s-tale-at-ladies-college-colombo) does “The Handmaid’s Tale” wrote to the Chairman of the Governing Body of the Anglican Church Missionary Society schools as follows:
“Farah and her psyche will be unleashed on the young girls via 'The Handmaid’s Tale' when the new term begins in January, and you Madam Chairman of Governors, can stand up on behalf of the vulnerable students about to be sullied with it, and change the course of their school experience and perhaps of the very ethos of this school that you are no doubt proud of."
I would like to call to your mind Mark 9: 42 – ‘Whosoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to be scandalised, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.’
I am sure this is applicable not only to the perpetrators, but also to those who could stand up step out and use their authority or influence to bring about a change for the better, and yet do nothing. Whether the vile obscene obnoxious and degrading Handmaid’s Tale proceeds into the lives of these students or whether a more wholesome and enriching text is taught to them - is in your good hands.” The addressee Thanja Peiris did not acknowledge receipt nor reply at all to the father, and the formation of little handmaids proceed smoothly in the unhallowed halls of Ladies’ College founded by Lilian Nixon - and young girls thousands of miles away from the land of Norma McCorvey express hatred toward Amy Coney Barrett because she allegedly may contribute to the creation of a new Gilead, and these same girls privileged with access to education and even to vote for politicians whose agendas they do not understand look with distrust on their fathers because Farah Macan Markar indicates even by the use of Shakespeare that the whole of human history and experience has been a tragedy for women downtrodden under the yoke of a tyrannical patriarchy. And yet the scandal quoted applies to each one of us whether faced with “The Handmaid’s Tale” or any other aspect of toxic education that enslaves our children in the claws of the evil educators. Indeed, it is you and I who are called to be the balm of Gilead.
By: An Anonymous Extremely American Guest Contributor