Our societies are influenced by sexual confusion. The gender theory constitutes the ideological matrix from which come most of the questions on differences between sexes. During the Assembly of French bishops in Lourdes, in November 2006, the thought about the issue was introduced by a report from Jacques Arènes, psychoanalyst, who explains the gender theory and how to answer it1.
The gender theory is present in mass medias and in public debate because of its political vision of sexuality, and in relation with gay activism. It is widely spread by UN Commission on Population and by European Parliament, in order to force countries to modify their legislation and recognise, for instance, homosexual union or homoparentality by adopting children.
What is gender theory?
Born in the early 70’s in USA, gender studies denounce the social aspects of the sexual distinction, as forms of oppression and inequality. The key sentence is the one of Simone de Beauvoir: “One is not born a woman, but becomes one”, from which the statement that masculine-feminine difference does not coincide with male-female difference.
The notion of gender
Thinkers on gender distinguish sexual identity – referring to biological sex – from gender identity, which means the social side of sexual difference. For American feminism, the notion of gender means, over the psychological aspect of the sexuation approval, the fundamental social dimension of sexual distinctions.
Political vision of sexuality
The militant and political purpose is to reject biological determinism from the notion of “sex” or sexual difference. Current thinkers on gender insist on the violence of an ideology where biological basis would serve as a caution for an ideology of gender prioritisation, resulting from masculine oppression. Masculine-feminine differences are seen as detestable as racial differences.
The fact that a heterosexual person can be disturbed even shocked, by the idea of possible homosexual practice is assimilated to the anxiety of racial mix justifying apartheid. The definitive purpose of feminist revolution is not only to put an end to masculine privilege but also to sex distinction.
Reversing the ” heterocentrism “
The “heterocentrism” is denounced as a power system. Religions, as well as some anthropological approaches like psychoanalyse, are stigmatised by gender studies as supporting the old order of domination2.
Within the vision of gender theory, everything is power, test of strength. In response, it is useful to emphasize a speech on differences as place of humanisation and realisation of the subject, to think a difference which is not inequality. Thus, instead of opposing “biological fate” and “freedom”, maternity becomes a privileged experience of responsibility, a universal model of opening up to others.
1. La problématique du ” genre “, Documents Episcopat n°12/2006.
2. Voir par exemple, Au delà du PACS. L’expertise familiale à l’épreuve de l’homosexualité, sous la direction de Daniel Borillo, Eric Fassin, Marcela Iacub, PUF, 1999.