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La guerre autour du concept de genre

Septembre 2015
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En France, on se déchire sur la question du genre, et sur sa présence dans les manuels scolaire. Pourquoi tant de haine ?


> English

declics-21_la-guerre-autour-du-concept-de-genre

The war around the concept of gender in France: why is there so much hate?

> Français

In France people are tearing each other apart over the question of gender, and over its inclusion in school textbooks…

  • Simone de Beauvoir said: « one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman ». In other words, the inequalities between women and men are culturally constructed, and not naturally occurring. An argument which gave birth to the concept of gender, and which has inspired hundreds of thousands of feminists in their fight.
  • And then there are the people who claim that differences between men and women are based on a natural order. And who call on biology to defend their point of view.
  • These people see great danger in the theory of gender, indeed even a conspiracy to destroy « the family ». They are afraid of seeing homosexuality become part of everyday life – and particularly homosexual marriage. Or afraid of a tendency to push girls to become more masculine and boys to become more feminine, erasing the so-called natural differences.
  • But what do scientists actually say about these differences? In the newspaper « Le Monde », teachers and biologists say that this view is « at best naive, at worst dishonest and calculated to appeal to public opinion. » And they drive the point home: « We are keen to assert with the greatest insistence that scientific knowledge based on current biology in no case allows us to derive the slightest « natural order » as far as male-female behaviours or sexual orientation is concerned. »
  • On the contrary, these biology researchers state that science reveals « a strong diversity of behaviour, be it sexual or otherwise: in nature, sexual orientations and practices, modes of reproduction and parental strategies are incredibly varied ».
  • For example, in midwife toads the male carries the eggs on his back and looks after them until they hatch, while grouper fish change sex in the course of their life.
  • But then, if nature is a shambles, why is there so much determination to make us believe the opposite? According to the article’s signatories, « the opponents to the concept of gender, in their insidious attempts to move the debate from the field of politics to the field of biology, are aiming to impose their representation system on us. However, this system has nothing natural or universal about it »
  • « Whatever the scientific conclusions relating to how the differences between men and women originated, these should not serve to legitimise inequality between the sexes in our societies, and inequalities should not be presented as facts of nature ».
  • And for those who still haven’t understood: « it is therefore inadmissible and futile to use biology as an instrument in the debate concerning social equality between individuals, whatever their sex, identity or sexual orientation. Equality can only be learnt through education, and in no case does what happens in nature give us information on which to base the political decisions that we should take. »
  • Phew, all that can seem obvious, but certain obvious facts are good to remember!

For further information see http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2014/03/10/il-est-inadmissible-et-vain-d-instrumentaliser-la-biologie_4380450_1650684.html

 

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