Anti-Gen­derism in France and Ger­many - a Transna­tion­al Illib­er­al Practice?


Loca­tion: TU Dres­den

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). 


Neele Kuder