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.

Alain Minc: Hollande's Bad Godesberg

Alain Minc congratulates François Hollande for ridding France of socialism:
Vous êtes-vous trompé sur François Hollande?
Comme tout le monde ! Je n'imaginais pas qu'il ferait un Bad Godesberg [commune où le SPD se rallia à l'économie de marché, en 1959], car c'est de cela qu'il s'agit. Les gens disent : Bad Godesberg, c'est un congrès des socialistes allemands. Certes, mais l'Allemagne est un pays parlementaire. Dans une monarchie comme la France, c'est le monarque qui impose Bad Godesberg à son camp. A mes yeux, quelle que soit l'intensité des mesures que Hollande va prendre, l'essentiel a été fait.