Gender Ideology by Sonia Correa

Gender Ideology by Sonia Correa

Hi. It is a pleasure to be with you remotely, though I really regret not being able to be in Nepal. It would be great to be there. This would be my first visit. This video intervention aims at sharing with you a bird's eye view on anti-gender politics worldwide. The topic is vast and very complex and it's not my ambition to exhaust it in a few minutes. Today a voluminous literature exists that analyzes this hydra, which is how I am naming these waves. I expect the graphic descriptions and elaborations that follow to stimulate you to read this literature. I want to begin my narrative in the global north. In 2013 when same sex marriage legislation was adopted in France and the very first massive anti-gender demonstration was held in Paris. La manif pour tous. This is the "Rally for all"! Tonight, there's no right or left! We don't want them to sacrifice our identity for the trend of the moment. That involved conservative Catholics, members of the Front National, The right wing party, and a whole set of other very unusual secular actors. Subsequently similar events have erupted across Europe, particularly in Catholic countries such as Spain and Italy, but also in Germany and Austria and more pronouncedly in Eastern Europe: Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia. Significantly enough, That same year 2013, the ex-President Rafael Correa from Ecuador, a left wing Idol, dedicated one of his weekly TV programs to abominate "gender ideology". Concurrently in Brazil, conservative Catholics, Evangelicals and secular forces were viciously attacking gender and ideology in the national educational plan. By 2016 in Colombia, during the campaign preceding the referendum on the peace agreement between the state and the FARCS – the left wing guerrilla, as you may know Colombia has experienced 40 years of terrible civil conflict. The agreement during the campaign was attacked by those against it, some of them using anti-gender arguments and this is interpreted by many authors as one factor explaining why the referendum was… The peace agreement was defeated. In early 2017 the Spanish Catholic organization "Haz-te oir", whose international arm is Citizen Go invented an orange anti-gender bus that after traveling in Spain began a global tour. In March it was parked on 1st Avenue in New York to send a message to the Commission on the Status of Women before going to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C.. Then it moved to Mexico where the Constitution of the federal district was being debated. And an assembly of the Organization of American States was to be held. Three months later after crossing Andean countries, it reached Chile right before the final voting of an abortion law reform. A progressive abortion law reform. Subsequently a campaign against "gender ideology" in public education erupted in Uruguay and a bit later in Ecuador, the gender language of a gender-based violence law provision that was being discussed was viciously attacked. Then in November Judith Butler, who was visiting Brazil, was targeted by a massive Internet campaign also propelled by Citizen Go. This was followed by street protest gathering a highly heterogeneous religious and non-religious crowd, including the supporters of Bolsonaro who would be elected president in 2018. Right after the Bolivian constitutional court struck down articles on their recently adopted gender identity law arguing that the dignity of the person is rooted in the natural sexual binary of the human. In early 2018 in Costa Rica an anti-gender crusade propelled by an opinion of the Inter-American Court on sexual orientation and gender identity contaminated the presidential election leading to the near victory of an evangelical pastor. Today Costa Rica made one thing clear to traditional politicians: never again mess with family, never again interfere with life! Never again mess with our children. Then came what I name as the Brazilian perfect catastrophe: in between Costa Rica and Brazil the anti-gender bus disembarked in Nairobi and for the first time blunt anti-gender speech acts, intellectual mobilising and regressive normative measures became visible in the U.S. The most glaring illustration at that point was found in a series of measures against trans rights adopted by the Trump administration. In concise nut shells, what can we extract from this bird's eye view? First: this trail can never be fully apprehended through national framed lenses. Though context always matters, matters a lot, and the Hydra is not exactly the same everywhere, this Hydra is a transnational animal, although it constantly spitfires against globalization. It comprises intense and organic exchanges and coalitions amongst a very diverse gamut of religious and secular actors across the globe. It deploys anti-gender ideology as a basket, as an open metamorphic signifier in which anything can fit, from sex education and same sex marriage to the abomination of gender as a colonial and totalitarian ideological instrument that goes against the laws of nature, now elevated to the status of divine law. Though spreading a common repertoire of social mobilizing strategies and images, such as the now universally known images of girls in pink and boys in blue, the Hydra is highly adaptable to contextual conditions. It moves swiftly in civil society and institutional channels, parliaments judicial litigation, public policy formation, private educational structures. Its main targets are gender language itself, gender and sexuality educational curricula, academic intellectual production on gender and sexuality. LGBT rights broadly speaking, with the particular emphasis on trans rights. The Hydra has negatively impacted the rights and related democratic processes in these various areas. For example: the non ratification of the Istanbul protocol in Bulgaria – This is a protocol against gender-based violence; Discrimination laws that have been attacked across Eastern Europe; University gender programs just recently closed in Hungary; Gender perspective and education either demoted of or heavily eroded across Latin America or my president, or the president of Brazil. It's not my president. The president of Brazil calling on TV for HIV prevention materials to be torned. Then there is the complicated articulation with anti-abortion politics. Abortion described as the culture of death, that is also against nature is sometimes within the basket sometimes outside. In various Latin American countries but also in Italy, Spain and across Eastern Europe long existing anti-abortion organizations provide for the infrastructure of the current anti-gender cruzades. In the Brazilian electoral and post electoral context, anti-abortion and anti-gender views and measures are deeply intertwined. In Argentina in contrast, the anti-gender flares have just erupted after the abortion legal reform failed in 2018. In Costa Rica the attacks on therapeutic abortion came after the gender battles of the election. Most principally we need to acknowledge that the anti-gender Hydra is at the core of de-democratizing processes under way in the in the Americas and Europe these days. It strikingly reviews how gender and sexuality orders are totally functional to anti-democratic authoritarian and disciplinary political orders. It has impacted on the Colombian referendum, the Costa Rican and most principally the Brazilian elections. It has been a central piece in the rightward shift in Italy and it's now deeply impacted on Spanish politics. Anti-gender politics is micro politics, is macro politics, and it's geopolitics: All at once. While this de-democratizing waves may not manifest the same way in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, anti-gender politics is impacting international gender and human rights normative frames institutions and debates. Surfice to critically revise what happened in the last session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2019. We need more research to get a better picture of the landscapes the Hydra is creating in the world at large. Having these capsules in mind let me give you a snapshot of the creature's genealogy. These crusades have originated in the 1990s United Nations debate. In 1994 as many of you know, in the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, the term gender was adopted for the first time in a U.N. official document. This happened without any contestation. Six months later however, at the preparatory committee meeting for Beijing 1995 the term was openly attacked by a US-based right wing Catholic group and by country delegations aligned with the Holy See. It remained under suspicion until right before the conference. In Beijing itself the term was not openly contested, though the Vatican and a handful of countries have reserved on the term. But a half decade later in the Cairo and Beijing Plus Five reviews gender was indeed virulently attacked. In between these two points a vast anti-gender production has proliferated in Catholic circles outside the Vatican, though it included elaborations by the Cardinal Ratzinger himself. By their early 2000 this prediction had shifted to the Vatican and was beginning to be inscribed in that gigantic theological portfolio. This portfolio was already available when Ratzinger became the pope in 2005. It is not clear for us why it has taken so long, roughly 8 years for anti-gender politics to be fully deployed as a ecumenic and very effective political strategy. Those gestated in a Catholic craddle, this animal is now ridden and fed by many other Christian religious forces and a plethora of secular actors – some of them very powerful, such as Steve Bannon. Very differently from what is preached by their heralds, anti-gender campaigns have not emerged from the grassroots, rather took form in the high spheres of international negotiations and theological lucubrations. Anti-gender politics is today the main face of the political economy of sexual and gender conservatism. It's deeply anti-feminist and anti-queer politics, but it's also a response to the achievements and gains of feminism and queer politics. It may not be the only challenge faced by feminism and queer movements across the world, but at least in Europe and Latin America it cannot be circumvented. As I am speaking to you now I have just learned that the Brazilian president was speaking against "gender ideology in the Oval Room of the White House. When meeting Trump today.

One thought on “Gender Ideology by Sonia Correa

  1. Num mundo onde os homens sempre morreram nas guerras protegendo suas esposas, maes e filhas(os), num mundo onde todos trabalhos de risco sao e sempre foram feitos por homens que trabalham para buscar o melhor para suas familias, adentram-se em minas para talvez nunca mais verem a luz do sol, trocam tiros com delinquentes e muitas vezes perdem suas vidas defendendos inocentes, sejam eles homens ou mulheres. Sinceramente, use sua vida para fazer algo digno. A vitima da sociedade sao e sempre foram os homens, aprenda que essa ideologia distorcida foi somente mais uma frase de Maquiavel, se ainda nao leu aconselho que leia pelo menos 5 vezes na sua vida.

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