Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gender Theory Has French Knickers in a Twist

The extreme right in France seems to have learned some lessons from Fox News. Alain Soral, a business partner of Dieudonné, the anti-Semitic "comedian" who invented the "quenelle," has been stirring up trouble. Yesterday, an associate of Soral's, Farida Belghoul, launched a rumor to the effect that the government had mandated the teaching of "gender theory" in French elementary schools. The lessons would include genital exploration, demonstrations of homosexual acts, explicit illustrations, etc. You can see some of their propaganda here:

The message was spread via texting aimed in particular at minority groups, especially Turks and North Africans, who were warned that "Jews" were going to come into the schools to inspect the children's genitals. Many parents pulled their kids out of school, especially after the warning was endorsed, who knows why, by Christine Boutin, a former minister under Sarkozy and honorary head of the Christian Democratic Party. The minister of education was forced to deny the rumor in the National Assembly:
video here:

Apparently, the extreme right has decided that it can mobilize groups that ought to detest its xenophobic politics by exploiting these issues of sexual politics, which have become explosive in France since Hollande's support for the gay marriage law provoked surprisingly vocal opposition. In any case, this ploy seems to have worked. When coupled with the Dieudonné affair, which has also aligned minority groups with the extreme right, this gender theory eruption has to be taken seriously

French politics has taken an ugly turn of late. Long-buried demons are rising to the surface. Walpurgisnacht in Paris.

Meanwhile, Mediapart investigates deputy Marion Maréchal Le Pen's ties to extreme right groups.


Passerby said...

To paraphrase a school teacher relative of mine:
That adults, who supposedly have the minimum of required neurons to ensure cognitive functions, could imagine for split second that their kids will be taught to masturbate in kindergarten, with illustrative videos, is beyond me.

My thoughts exactly. What has happened to critical thinking?

Steven Rendall said...

Part of what is disturbing about this absurd episode is that a government minister feels obliged to declare that he rejects "la théorie du genre," which could be taken to mean that he rejects any challenge to traditional gender roles. (For a brief summary of the recent use of this term by right-wingers, seeéorie_du_genre) Peillon leaves the confused impression that those who are not opposed to what we call gender studies are somehow in favor of gender inequality.

Chris said...

Words have "gender", people have "sex".