Interview with Marguerite A. Peeters on the gender theory


This is an adapted translation of the interview published by ZENIT FR on September 28, 2011.

In a nutshell, what is the gender theory?

According to the social engineers who have been fabricating the gender theory since the 1950s, the feminine and masculine identity, the ontological structure of the woman as spouse, mother and educator, the anthropological complementarity of man and woman, fatherhood, heterosexuality (“heteronormativity”, dominant in all cultures), marriage and the traditional family would not exist per se, would not be good in themselves, but would be social constructs: sociological phenomena, social functions constructed over time, stereotypes to deconstruct by way of education and culture as they are deemed discriminatory and contrary to equality.

So described as it is, this « theory » shocks. How come we only seem to be waking up now?

Western culture over the last centuries went through a revolution that dramatically accelerated in the last fifty years and of which the gender proposal is the logical fruit. Gender is not an isolated phenomenon deprived of a history. It is the fruit of a long secularization process that has progressively led to the cultural death of the father, the mother, the spouse and has substituted the person made out of love and for love by the secular and “autonomous” “citizen-individual”. This process, led by the one who wants the death of man, goes always further in the pursuit of its objectives. Its advances are effective, but often silent, using soft social transformation techniques such as semantic manipulation, consensus-building, scientist arguments, education reform, “dialogue”. Western Christians too often have behaved as remote and passive observers, not to speak of the compromises many made for over forty years, seduced as they were by the dynamism of the revolution and by its “progressive” and “liberating” proposals.  A revolution is accomplished when a “critical mass” does not resist, or even fully adheres, to the ideological proposals of its spearheads. Gender falls off from this tree as a mature fruit. The fact it shocks demonstrates how inattentive we have been to evolutions. Let us not forget that almost 70 years separated the first publication of Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto in 1848 and the Bolshevik revolution.

What have been the main stages in the development of this agenda?

After its first apparition in the 1950s, the ideological gender project started shaping itself in French and American universities around May 68. Surfing on the wave of the western feminist and sexual revolution, it progressively acquired power of social transformation. As a consequence of the operational partnership between the western postmodern intelligentsia and international organizations since the 1960s, the gender perspective was adopted as a global political norm at the Beijing conference in 1995. Gender equality has become the effective transversal priority of international cooperation. It is imposed as a condition for development aid, including by a good number of Catholic charities to bishops and Christians in the developing world. Paradoxically, everywhere in the world, the majority has not taken the measure of the scope and depth of the challenges of a phenomenon that is henceforth unavoidable and of global scope.

Is gender equality always necessarily ideological?

Gender equality as a global cultural and political norm seduces the masses and leaders in countries where the equal dignity of women has not always been honored.  But gender equality is a holistic concept that offers a broad diversity of interpretations all inspired by the same source: a view of the woman as a pure citizen, autonomous from God and her family relations as daughter, spouse and mother, holder of rights including to contraception, abortion, in vitro fertilization, voluntary sterilization, and, as man, to sexual orientation. There are no clear borders between these diverse interpretations. The history of the West demonstrates that one passes over from one to the other once we have opened the door to secularism.

Everything started with the divorce operated in 18th century France between the individual and the person, citizen and father, secular and believing, rights and gratuitous love, reason and faith, state and Church. Didn’t Jean-Jacques Rousseau declare that to be a father was a social privilege contrary to equality? Circumstances invite us to recognize that in the name of equality and liberty, the French revolution promoted the citizen-individual in terms of dialectical opposition with the father, the mother, the spouse, the son, the daughter – in other words with the person.  The secular concept of equal citizenship is radically undifferentiated. It is asexual, “neutral”. It brushed aside the person, the disinterested gift of self, love from the culture and the social contract. Over the last centuries, the equal rights of the individual and his freedom to choose have socially, juridically, politically taken over from fatherhood, family and love. It finally became possible to reconstruct the human being on new foundations, purely secular: the gender theory. Non-western cultures, foreign to western “laïcité”, wouldn’t freely choose these proposals. They could help the West to recover its soul, to reconcile the citizen and the father, the citizen and the Christian, rights and gratuitous love, to give back to the family its rightly place as basic cell of the society. But it is necessary to this end to give them a voice.

One often hears that one must respond to the challenges of gender through rational arguments. What is your view?

Indeed the gender theory and its natural extension – the queer theory which goes as far as affirming that the male or female body is a social construct – put a great strain on reason. The gender theoreticians fight among themselves over the meaning of the expressions they themselves forged, such as sexual identity, gender identity, sexual norms, sexual orientation or preference, sexual role, gender role, sexual behavior, gender stereotype, sexual diversity and so on. The proliferation of lexicons attempting to clarify ad infinitum the specificities of the numerous expressions declining the gender concept only strengthen the Babel tower in which we live, as they often contradict themselves.

There is a continuum between postmodern irrationality, which proclaims the “end of philosophy”, and modern rationalism, which produced an uninterrupted series of ideologies. The divorce between faith and reason lies at the root of these two interrelated distortions of reason.

How can we recover the « sense of reason » when the culture in which we live has clearly lost it?

To rehabilitate reason, which the present situation does require of us, it appears today necessary to put into light the role of conscience and the heart in the process of the human act. The West, which rendered reason “autonomous” from faith, has for centuries given the absolute primacy to reason, to the detriment of the conscience and the heart. We know by experience that rational arguments are not heard by those who chose negation. The gender revolution is first and foremost, not a simple “theory”, but a process of negation of what is real, true and good for the human being, and a personal and cultural engagement in this negation.

This mystery of evil and of its free choice must be taken into account, including in our public engagements, where it appears urgent to reintroduce, especially in the field of education, the notion of conscience, of a sincere search for what is good, for truth and love. We have capitulated on this front for centuries. The gender crisis invites us to go deep: Duc in Altum.

We are not first and foremost in an intellectual debate but in a combat between light and darkness, life and death, love and hatred, truth and falsehood. We are not alone in this combat. As Christians, we are called to collaborate with the Holy Spirit when he awakens the reason, conscience and heart of the persons we meet to truth and love. We believe each human being is endowed not only with a reason, but with a conscience and a heart and that God wants to reveal himself to everyone. Doesn’t humanity aspire to the civilization of love? Man and woman are created in the image of God, who is Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: paternal love, filial and fraternal love, spousal communion. How wouldn’t our anthropology be Trinitarian?

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