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France honours gender studies


The 26th January 2015, the philosopher Judith Butler was decorated as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Consul Général de France in San Francisco, Pauline Carmona.

Judith Butler is the creator of gender studies, according to which sexual identities are not determined biologically, but developed socially. The ex-president of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission was strongly criticized by traditionalist movements for whom, on the contrary, Nature makes us men or women.

In 1992, the Ornicar Project, which was at that time presided by Thierry Meyssan, contested these two points of view, remarking that there are several ways of defining gender, which all give different results : by the presence of sexual organs, by the production of hormones or by genetics. Contrary to common belief, in one case in 700, people with female genital organs are not carriers of XX chromosomes, but XXY – and in one case in 20,000, they are carriers of XY chromosomes, which are generally considered masculine. Consequently, the notions about gender which are valid for the great majority of human beings can in fact only be applied to some.

In 1994, the conference convened by the United Nations in Cairo, « Population and Development », was the theatre of a confrontation between, on the one hand, the United States delegation, which defended gender studies, and on the other, the delegations from the Vatican and Iran, who defended the « naturalist » point of view - despite the fact that the latter does not take into account the numerous anomalies which exist in nature.

In 2013-14, the French government announced its intention to promote what it named the « gender theory »in schools, raising a tide of contestation. Finally, it withdrew its project, and affirmed that there is no « gender theory ».

The partisans of gender studies aim to create a society in which men and women will be absolutely interchangeable, which corresponds to their definition of « equality ». On the contrary, partisans of the « naturalist » point of view defend a division of societies in which each sex will have a particular function ; this point of view does not imply a hierarchy between the sexes, and is compatible with the theory of « legal rights ».

Pete Kimberley

Voltaire Network

Voltaire, international edition

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