Imposing the Gender Agenda on the World
By the 1970’s, the gender agenda had firmly established itself in academia, but the public took little notice. In 1995, its advocates plotted to impose it on the world at the UN Conference on Women inBeijing. The stage had been set the year before in 1994 at the UN’s Cairo Conference on Population and Development, which pitted the well-organized forces of the Sexual Left against unorganized defenders of life and family. In Cairo, the Sexual Left led by International Planned Parenthood Federation and a coalition of radical feminists and lesbians who were determined to have abortion declared a universal human right. By the grace of God and the prayers of Blessed John Paul II, they failed. They were furious, but determined to prevail inBeijing.
In March of 1995, the delegates and those lobbying the delegates received the proposed platform of action forBeijing. The pro-family lobbyists were focused on the sections referring to sexual and reproductive rights. They weren’t particularly concerned that in virtually every section word ‘women’ as in ‘women’s rights’ and ‘women’s perspective’ had been replaced with the word ‘gender’ as in ‘gender perspective.’ A conference on women had become a conference on ‘mainstreaming a gender perspective’. Some assumed that since the English word for ‘sex’ had another meaning, perhaps ‘gender’ was just a more genteel was of saying ‘sex’. Others assumed that ‘gender’ referred to both men and women and its use was a sign of balance. Few knew that ‘gender’ had been redefined and sex and gender are not synonyms.
In 1995, Money’s theory that gender was a social construct had not yet been uncovered as a fraud. It continued to be a mainstay of feminist theory. One section of the platform read “differences between women’s and men’s achievements and activities are still not recognized as consequences of socially constructed gender roles rather than immutable biological differences.” I warned the pro-family delegates that its inclusion in the Platform was not innocent. I pointed out that the woman’s capacity for pregnancy and nursing were biological differences, and what was targeted by the gender perspective was women’s right to choose motherhood as her primary vocation. Why else would a document supposedly designed to benefit women contain no positive references to motherhood or marriage?
The pro-family delegates were not convinced. However, one of them was discussing the controversy with his wife, when the family’s baby sitter, a student at HunterCollege, mentioned that she was taking a course on gender. She gave the delegate copies of the course material. From these it was clear that concerns about gender were justified. Among the papers was an article by Adrienne Rich, entitled “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” which characterized motherhood as an oppressive institution. There was an article by Lucy Gilbert and Paula Webster on “The Danger of Femininity,” and excerpts from a book by a transsexual Kate Bornestein Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the rest of us. According to Bornestein:
“Gender fluidity is the ability to freely and knowingly become one or many of a limitless number of genders, for any length of time or rate of change.” 
There was also article by Anne Fausto Sterling, “The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female are not Enough,” This material convinced many that ‘gender’ was a code word for homosexuality or transgender rights or something worse and led to an acrimonious debate.
The result was a compromise. Gender was left in the document, but redefined again, this time to refer to ‘male and female’. It is interesting to note that in 2000 Sterlingadmitted that her original ‘five sexes” articles had been written as a joke.
The advocates for the gender perspective have continued to push their definition of gender as socially constructed roles that are not tied to the biological reality. The issue reemerged this spring at a meeting of the Council of Europe where gender was defined as “socially constructed roles.” This definition is at odds with the definition adopted in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which states:
“that the term ’gender’ refers to the two sexes, male and female within the context of society. The term ‘gender’ does not indicate any meaning different from the above.”
And so the battle goes on.
The Woman’s Perspective
Those pushing the gender ideology insist that those who oppose their paradigm want to send women back to some dark age where women are uneducated, powerless, oppressed, barefoot and pregnant. This is nonsense. The internet has allowed woman around the world to make their voices heard. We are not going back, we are not powerless, and we are all wearing shoes.
The gender ideology ignores the need of children for mothering and half of the children deprived of mothering will grow up to be women. They will come into adulthood with an empty space in their hearts, still looking for attachment — looking for love in all the wrong places. We can weep for women who are so alienated from their womanhood that they hire surgeons to cut off healthy breasts and remove fertile wombs, so they can pretend to be men. But we cannot applaud their choices.
And what about the unmothered boys, will they grow up to be considerate, responsible, loving husbands and fathers, or become self-centered, immature men looking to have their needs met? Good mothering isn’t a luxury, it is an essential. Nature requires nurturing. As I read the life histories of those promoting the gender ideology, I see the pain of unnurtured women and men, trying to pretend that their wounded state is just diversity and their disorders liberation.
We are the defenders of the truth about the human person – which is the truth about woman. Men and women are different and respect for the dignity and equality of women requires not only rejection of narrow, restricting stereotypes, but also honest recognition of the distinct, authentic vocation of women, the call to be who we are. We can find that vocation written in the theology of the body – women conceive and bare children, they have breasts to nurse. Each new person comes into being through the womb of a woman.
And even if a woman never has a child, the potential for motherhood lies within her heart, for each of us finds ourselves through a sincere gift of self and each woman senses that she is in some way entrusted with the human person. Motherhood alone does not define the totality of what it means to a woman, no more than fatherhood defines a man. Every woman is a complete human being with talents and aspirations, with rights and responsibilities, but motherhood does shape the way she lives out her vocation as a person. An attack on motherhood is therefore an attack on what it means to be a woman.
We must be very careful that in resisting the gender agenda we do not become defenders of stereotypes which have restricted women’s access to the workplace and the political sphere — stereotypes which divide the traits and talents, virtues and vices between the two sexes, like a zero sum game. Human beings are infinitely flexible. I never use the phase ‘opposite sex’ because men and women are not opposites. I think of them like two eyes. Because our eyes are slightly apart we are able to perceive depth. In the same way men and women are slightly different and their differences provide deeper perception of reality. A society deprived of women’s vision has only one eye.
The gender perspective is not a woman’s perspective, but blind to the truth about women and it must be defeated.
This post is part four of the original draft of a speech entitled “A Woman’s Perspective on Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective,” delivered in May, 2011in Hungary
For more information on the gender agenda, see The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality. For information of SSA, see One Man, One Woman.
 Beijing Platform of Action, paragraph 28.
 Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” Bloody Bread and Poetry, Selected Prose, 1979- 1985 (New York” WW Norton)
 Lucy Gilbert, Paula Webster on “The Dangers of Femininity,” Gender Difference: Sociology or Biology, p. 40
 Kate Bornestein Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the rest of us.(NY: Routledge, 1994) p. 52
 Anne Fausto Sterling, “The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female are not Enough” (Sciences, March/April 1993, p. 20-24).
 Anne Fausto Sterling “The Five Sexes, Revisited.” Sciences, (2000) 40 (4): 18.
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court