The latest move by “proud homophobe” Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new president as of Jan. 1, 2019, is an effort to remove references to feminism, homosexuality, violence against women and any other topic he deems “leftist ideology” from textbooks in the country. The efforts fall in line with a vow by Education Minister Ricardo Velez Rodriguez, who in his inauguration speech promised to end the “aggressive promotion of the gender ideology” in Brazil textbooks.
In January, following Bolsonaro’s inauguration, the country’s Education Ministry reportedly dismantled its diversity department and provided textbook publishers with new guidelines, eliminating any and all references to topics like sexism and gender-motivated violence.
According to the Associated Press, after Bolsonaro perused last year’s national high school exam and found a question concerning local LGBTQ history, he said he would review the exam’s content and ensure any questions about gender of LGBTQ movements would no longer exist therein.
“Don’t worry, there won’t be any more questions like this,” he said in a video.
The AP reports teachers and other education officials are upset by the newfound purge of topics from Brazil textbooks. “It does not make any sense,” a president of one of Brazil’s teachers’ unions, told the AP. “We are still waiting to see how, in practice, all this is going to turn out.”
Bolsonaro has also announced plans for the military to take over some public schools.
On the eve of his inauguration, Bolsonaro tweeted (in his native tongue, Portuguese) about his plans to “combat the Marxist rubbish that has spread in educational institutions.”