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Mainstreaming the gender perspective

July 9, 2011

“Mainstreaming a gender perspective” sounds may innocent, even pro-woman, but in fact it is a cover for the radical agenda of the Sexual Left. There are three aspects to the Gender Perspective:

First, the demand for statistical equality between men and women.

Second, the demand for absolute sexual freedom.

Third, the demand to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories.

Statistical Equality

Men and women are different, in myriad ways. At the most basic level women can become pregnant and men cannot. How should society deal with this fundamental difference? Advocates for a Gender Perspective argue that the differences between men and women and particularly the fact that women become pregnant and are the primary caregivers for small children is the cause of oppression and the only way to free women is to eliminate, in so far as possible, every difference so that men and women participate in every activity of society in statistically equal numbers — from high elective office to care for infant children — 50/50. The problem with this is that a significant percentage of women, the supposed to be the beneficiaries of mainstreaming a gender perspective, want to make motherhood their primary vocation, and a very few men have the same ambition. This means that in order to achieve 50/50, women must be forced out of the home and into the workforce, children placed in daycare, and quotas must be imposed on hiring and promotion.

It is easy to look at statistics, notice differences, and, based solely on the numbers, cry discrimination. But justice requires us to look at the actual choices made by women, and make sure that they are not victims of hidden discrimination or stereotypes, but also that they are free to choose their own paths. The differences between the participation rates or rate of rewards for men and women are not prima facie evidence of unjust discrimination against women. Although unjust discrimination still exists, the fact is that in many areas women are free to receive education, enter professions, and choose careers without being restricted by stereotypes and discrimination. The challenge in the developed world is to defend the right of women to choose motherhood as their primary vocation — whether they drop out of the workforce for a significant period to care for their children, choose work which allows them more time for family, or choose never to work outside the home. No single solution fits all situations all women. Each country, based on its own culture and economic situation, needs to decide for itself how to support motherhood, but as long as some women choose motherhood as their primary vocation, and virtually no men do, society will never be able to achieve 50/50, without draconian measures designed to limit the freedom of women and impose restrictions on men. Those supporting Gender Mainstreaming call for positive discrimination to increase the workforce participation of women through the use of affirmative-action or quotas.[1] They are concerned that policies on leave and family support may “facilitate rather than challenge women’s caring role.”[2]

New studies on how a baby’s brain develops points to attachment as essential to psychological health. Babies’ brains do not come pre-programmed, but rather babies are born seeking certain experiences. These experiences are supplied by interaction with the mother. Through the attachment process the baby’s brain is connected and the foundation for psychological health is laid. Women’s desire to mother is not irrational or an oppressive social construct, but a wise realization that making people is the most important work in society and that mothers are uniquely able to supply the attachment that babies need.

Sexual and Reproductive Rights

A second aspect of the Gender Perspective is its advocacy for absolute sexual and reproductive rights, defined as the right to engage in sexual activity with anyone regardless of sex, number, age, relationship, or marital status, which in turn requires easy access to the means to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. According to this view, if women are going to be absolutely equal, then they must be as free as a man is to engage in sex without becoming pregnant. For those who believe motherhood is the cause of the oppression of women, contraception and abortion on demand are essential for women’s liberation.

The defenders of the truth about woman believe that sexual license is not liberating, but a form of bondage. Sexual promiscuity spreads sexually transmitted diseases, which threaten a woman’s fertility. Condoms provide only minimal protection. Each form of contraception presents problems for the women and when contraception fails, it is the woman who bares the burden.

It is interesting note that the agenda of the radical feminists has lost its appeal among many of the women who were the beneficiaries of the first wave of the feminist movement. Sylvia Hewlett, author of “Baby Hunger” and “ Creating a Life”[3] and advocate for women in the workplace found that women who had put career first and postponed having children and were often unable to become pregnant. They may have achieved success, but bitterly regretted the price they had paid.

Every year a woman waits to have a baby reduces her chance of pregnancy, and reproductive technologies do not always work as Anne Taylor Fleming, author of “Motherhood Deferred: A Woman’s Journey” discovered, when her attempt to have a child through IVF failed.

Dr. Miriam Grossman a campus psychiatrist and author of Unprotected expressed concern that college women are not being informed about to the consequences — psychologically and biologically — of uncommitted sexual activity.[4]

These women and other like them are fully committed to the rights of women, yet feel betrayed by the radical feminist agenda. The new generation of women has discovered that the gender perspective is not their perspective and that the freedom promised by the Sexual Left is paid for in the tears of women.

In spite of this the advocates for the gender perspective continue demanding that governments enforce their agenda not only in their own countries, but in the developing world.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The third demand of those mainstreaming a gender perspective is for total acceptance of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (GLBTQ) agenda. In public the mainstreamers argue that those who self-identify as GLBTQ are simply a natural part of human diversity, born different, can’t change, and therefore should not be discriminated against for who they are or whom they love. The problem with this is that there is no evidence they were born that way and change is a real possibility (either spontaneous or through therapy). There is substantial evidence that many of those who self-identify as GLTQ suffer from attachment disorders and other psychological problems, including narcissism. The question should be: How does society deal with people with psychological disorders who want society to normalize disorder?

This post is part two of the original draft of a speech entitled “A Woman’s Perspective on Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective,” delivered in May, 2011in Hungary

[1] Mark Pollack, Emilie Hafner-Burton “Mainstreaming Gender in the European Union” 7:3, 432-456)

[2] Jill Rubery, “Gender mainstreaming and gender equality in the EU: the impact of the EU employment strategy,” Industrial Relations Journal, 33 (5): pp. 502.

[3] Sylvia Hewlett, Creating a Life,  (N Y: Miramax Books, 2003

[4] Miriam Grossman, Unprotected (NY: Sentinel, 2006)

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