Friday, October 3, 2014

Gender Madness

A decade or so ago, when I translated L'Histoire des femmes, the French weren't sure they had a word for "gender" in their language. Genre now fills the role well enough that Le Monde can refer to "les 'antigenre"'in a headline without risk of being misunderstood. Among "les antigenre" we find such groups as "Vigi-Gender" and the Fédération des Parents Engagés et Courageux. Courageux enough to invent an imaginary enemy of homosexuals and feminists allegedly bent on "destroying the family" and "effacing traditional gender roles." A sinister feature of this movement is the way it has brought together elements of the extreme right with representatives of the immigrant community (consider the strange alliance between Alain Soral and Farida Belghoul, for example). The movement seems to be gaining steam, drawing on hidden networks flourishing on social media, and is now ready, it seems, to move into the schoolhouse and demand direct action.

5 comments:

Francofou said...

It all throws new light on Proust's "une femme qui ne me plaisait pas, qui n'était pas mon genre !"

Siegfried said...

To be really honest, I think that some of the "antigenres" might get a bit paranoiac, but I am still astonished to see how people like left-wing LGBT associatives are convinced to know detain the Truth. There's something a bit totalitarian with most of them actually, and I understand that some parents fear they children could get brainwashed by some teachers or associations at school.

In an other domain, I experienced it with some history teachers who could spend ten minutes during their class about WWII to explain us why Le Pen père was so dangerous...

Anonymous said...

Art, it has been astonishing how a movement to insure boys and girls know they have the same rights and opportunities, and that girls should be belittled for being girls, now appears to some as a controversial, left-wing movement. Note that, at first, the program was aimed at fundamentalists... Some of the things that were propagated (teachers are going to teach kindergartners how to masturbate! they're going to cut boys' penis!) were completely ludicrous and teachers were very hurt that families could believe such hogwash when they've been taking care of their children.
As for LGBT "totalitarianism", well... most French literature classes still won't mention that Proust, or Rimbault, were gay. Because, presumably, that has nothing to do with anything they wrote, and it's not important to anyone. (Nor are women's history. A historian explained that if women had done anything worthwhile, they'd be included in school history, but since they were treated as inferior, it's not historians' fault that no power role was given to them, exept as King mistresses and Joan of Ark.) So, I'd say, France has a good 25 years to go...

Anonymous said...

* girls should NOT be belittled for being girls.... typo!!!!!

Siegfried said...

@Anonymous : I repeat that the global corpus of left-wing associatives are dangerous and they tend to be totalitarian, precisely because most of them just can't concede that they might be wrong on some points, neither they can accept that a part of the society wants to resist them, which is the founding principle of totalitarian spirit.

Totalitarism doesn't mean barbeled wires and sovietic boots, it's just a kind of necrosis of public debate. It's not because it's not mentionned in high schools that Proust or Gide were homosexual (and not gay...), in the last French classes where we still speak about them, that there is no tendancy to totalitarism in the left-wing associatives and cultural elites. Actually, Orwell did say those kind of things about the socialists of his country in the 50's, so what I say may not be completely absurd...