A talk by Jonas Trochemowitz and Hagen Steinhauer at the International Conference “Tracing Forms of De/Marginalization”
Anti-genderism denotes discourses and movements that present gender and sexuality within feminist and lgbtqia+ contexts as dangerous ideologies (see Hark and Villa 2017). In France, one of the main political actors that tries to implement an anti-genderist agenda is the Manif pour Tous. Established in 2013, this movement aims at preventing the legalization of same-sex marriage and adoption rights. They also oppose what they call ‘gender ideology’. In 2014, the German equivalent Demo für Alle came into existence, adopting the political practices of Manif pour Tous.
Examining these two case studies from France and Germany, we present a comparative discourse analysis of both movements. More specifically, we highlight the differences and similarities in their self-positioning with respect to sexuality and gender. To this end, we use corpus analytic methods to analyze the organizations’ topoi and argumentative strategies (see Wengeler 2003). We argue that both movements instrumentalize the natural and social sciences (especially biology) to disqualify gender studies as a threat to traditional family values and the integrity of the nation. In this respect, they conflate illiberal reproductive politics and anti-intellectualism with racist stances on issues of migration (see Fassin 2020).
This collusion is a key characteristic of current soft authoritarian attacks on liberal democracy. For instance, the illiberal transformation of several European states is marked by an inherently gendered modus operandi where anti-genderism plays a vital role in uniting far-right, conservative and clerical actors behind one umbrella term (Grzebalska & Pető 2018).