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Gender studies "has no business in universities," from Peter Myers

(1) Hungary withdraws accreditation: Gender studies "has no business in universities," because "an ideology not a science"

(2) Brazilian president Bolsonaro plans to get the Marxism out of Education

(3) EU promotes Gender-Neutral language

(4) Gender Neutrality harms Kids

(5) Rise of Populism: Global Attack on Gender Studies

(6) Asian Christian student senator at UC targeted by LGBT activists over beliefs on gender

(7) Christian student senator at UC Berkeley harassed for abstaining from pro-LGBTQ vote


(1) Hungary withdraws accreditation: Gender studies "has no business in universities," because "an ideology not a science"

Rising populism threatens LGBTQ in West and around the world



DECEMBER 28, 2018

In Poland two months ago, more than 200 schools planning to hold a “Rainbow Friday” to promote tolerance for sexual minorities had to cancel the event, under orders from the increasingly authoritarian government’s Minister of Education.

In the United States, as part of the Trump administration’s attack on transgender rights, the Department of Health and Human Services is circulating a proposal that would ban any definition of gender other than “the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate," according to a New York Times report.

On Jan. 1, Jair Bolsonaro, who has been called “the Trump of the Tropics,” becomes president of Brazil. The swaggering, far-right, populist leader once boasted: “Yes, I’m homophobic – and very proud of it.”

We know the rise of right-wing populism in Europe, the United States and now parts of the developing world has put racial and religious minorities at risk. But LGBTQ citizens also have reason to fear.

“Inevitably you have the narrative of us-versus-them," said André du Plessis, executive director of Geneva-based International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, which advocates for LGBTQ people globally. “Inevitably, it is minorities who get excluded. And LGBT people are part of that larger issue of persons being targeted. This is happening around the world."

In 2017, for the 12th consecutive year, the number of countries that became less free was greater than countries that became more free, according to the democracy watchdog Freedom House. And 2018 is not likely to be judged better.

“Democracy is in crisis,” the organization concluded in its latest report. “The values it embodies – particularly the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of the press, and the rule of law – are under assault and in retreat globally.”

From Washington to Warsaw, Bulgaria to Brazil, strongmen – they have all been men – have risen to power promising to become the voice of the forgotten majority. Once in power, they bolster support by demonizing opponents and persecuting some combination of racial, religious and sexual minorities.

Viktor Orban’s Hungary is a good example. His government, which exercises increasing control over the media and courts, has rejected European Union declarations of equality for LGBTQ citizens. While Hungary is prepared to tolerate the presence of sexual minorities, Mr. Orban told a reporter, if ”the community of homosexuals starts being more provocative, I think that the current peaceful, calm equilibrium will be no more.”

Populism and intolerance are on the rise throughout Eastern Europe. In Romania, where same-sex marriage is already illegal, the government tried to amend the constitution to specifically forbid it. The effort failed because too few people voted in the required referendum to make the result valid.

Security for LGBTQ citizens is deteriorating in Western Europe, too. At least some of the “yellow vest” protesters in France have shouted homophobic slurs. A local councillor and his same-sex partner were attacked by protesters in a village near Lyon.

In Britain, where rising intolerance of immigrants helped fuel the vote to leave the European Union, the number of LGBTQ people who were victims of a hate crime or incident rose to 16 per cent in 2017 from 9 per cent in 2013, according to a YouGov poll.

“Wherever populism is on the rise, anti-LGBTIQ violence is also on the rise," said Jessica Stern, executive director of the New York-based OutRight Action International, which advocates for sexual minorities globally. When people hear “the head of state, or people in positions of power criminalize, demonize, dehumanize the LGBTIQ population, they start to think that we’re less than human," she said. “And so of course there is a rise of violence at the community level.”

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has mostly targeted Muslims and immigrants, has also made sexual minorities more vulnerable. A 2018 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which monitors violence against sexual minorities, recorded an 86 per cent increase in the homicides of LGBTQ persons in 2017 over 2016. On average, one LGBTQ person was killed each week.

The attacks occurred, “during a time when our communities are witnessing the few civil rights protections and policies being rolled back and discrimination being instituted into law,” the report stated.

One uncertain question is whether the rise of illiberal governments in the Western world encourages authoritarian governments in developing countries to target their own LGBTQ populations with impunity.

A senior Tanzanian official, for example, recently announced a campaign against homosexuals in the country’s capital of Dar es Salaam, with appeals to the public to help turn them in.

“We’re never going to be able to have a direct trace to say ‘Because Trump tweets X, Y happens in Tanzania,’" said Mr. du Plessis. However, “in the last few months, it has not been just our North American queer activists who have been objecting to Trump, it has been our African activists who are saying ‘what he is doing is hurting us here.’ It resonates everywhere,” he said.

For as long as populism remains on the march, the rights of LGBTQ citizens will be more threatened, their safety more fragile. But that march may not be endless. The midterm elections of November, which handed the House of Representatives to the Democrats, suggests the time of Mr. Trump might be starting to ebb in the United States.

In Hungary, demonstrators have clogged the streets of Budapest in opposition to the government’s increasing control over the courts, the media and the economy.

In Tanzania, the government backtracked on its pogrom against homosexuals, after protests from countries such as Canada, which provides foreign aid.

Graeme Reid, director of the LGBTQ program at Human Rights Watch, said whatever Mr. Trump or his advisers might say or do or tweet, American embassies and departmental officials continue to press for human rights and the protection of sexual minorities overseas.

“It’s not as black and white as I might have envisaged,” he said.

The road to freedom and protection for minorities – racial, religious, sexual – is long and far from straight. We are in a bad stretch. But we can at least hope for better 'round the corner.


(2) Brazilian president Bolsonaro plans to get the Marxism out of Education

Education Is in the Crosshairs in Bolsonaro’s Brazil

The president-elect seeks to ban from the classroom political opinions, debates, and any issues that could be construed as leftist.

By Michael Fox

November 12, 2018

Ana Caroline Campagnolo is a 27-year-old high-school history teacher with thick-rimmed glasses and long, straight, dark hair, parted to one side. For several years she has waged a campaign to rid Brazil’s education system of what she believes to be deep-rooted “communist indoctrination.” This year, that activism won her a seat in the Santa Catarina statehouse representing the Social Liberal Party of far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Just hours after the presidential election results rolled in, Campagnolo posted a message on her Facebook page calling on students to film and report teachers who express negative views about Bolsonaro’s victory. She set up a hotline where students could send the videos and complaints.

“Monday, October 29, is the day that indoctrinated professors will be revolted. Many of them will not contain their rage and will make the classroom a captive auditorium for their political complaints as a result of Bolsonaro’s victory,” she wrote.

The message went viral. Bolsonaro shared his own video in support of the initiative and called for it to be duplicated around the country. Teachers called the move censorship. Federal prosecutors opened an investigation into the case.

At universities across Brazil, the atmosphere may appear normal on the surface, but many are worried. “There is a climate of tension and of fear,” said Adriana D’Agostini, an education professor at the Santa Catarina Federal University (UFSC). Current Issue View our current issue

Several teachers from different universities say they have changed the way they conduct their classes. “In the center where I teach, the rule is that we should now police ourselves a lot. We know that there are Bolsonaro supporters in the course, so we try to control what we say,” says Lais Donida, a young PhD student who teaches an undergraduate linguistics class at UFSC. “We are censored, even without there being censorship.”

According to Donida and professors, among the taboo subjects is anything related to inequality or the factors that cause it, because that can be seen as a critique of capitalism and misinterpreted as supporting so-called Marxist ideology. “We live in an era of a witch hunt,” said D’Agostini. “And Ana Caroline [Campagnolo] is one of the instigators of this witch hunt.”

There is no registry of the number of videos made or accusations by students against teachers, but some have gone viral online. In one prominent video from a public high school in the northeastern state of Bahia, a student defies a teacher’s order to turn off his cell phone.

“You want to film the whole school, and everything that happens in it,” says the teacher. “It’s not like that. We have freedoms. If you film and publish this there will be serious consequences.”

“I’m filming and I’m going to publish this,” the student responds, laughing into the camera. Under the video reads the caption, “Welcome to the new era of fear and persecution.”

Three days after Campagnolo posted her message on Facebook, a court in Florianópolis ordered the post to be taken down and threatened to fine her if it wasn’t. According to Judge Giuliano Ziembowicz, Campagnolo’s message intimidated professors, was a direct attack on students’ freedom of expression, and broke state laws that prohibit the use of cell phones in classrooms.

But many believe this is only the beginning. Teachers are concerned it will get much worse.

Under Brazil’s military dictatorship, which ruled from 1964 to 1985—when thousands were tortured and hundreds killed—education was strictly policed. Curriculums and materials were developed and approved by the regime. Students were encouraged to tell on their peers and their teachers. An official, known as an “inspector,” was responsible for discipline and moral conduct.

According to D’Agostini, Campagnolo’s post was a harsh reminder that a return to those days may not be far away. The country’s next president is a far-right former military captain who served under Brazil’s last dictatorship. For most of the past three decades, Bolsonaro has been known for his sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks as a congressional representative as well as for his harsh criticism of the country’s democracy. In 2016, he dedicated his vote to impeach then-president Dilma Rousseff in honor of the late Col. Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, one of the few Brazilian officials to be convicted of torture under the dictatorship (Rousseff, a leftist guerrilla during the dictatorship, was captured and tortured by the military regime).

Bolsonaro has promised to carry military doctrine to the presidency and appoint former army officials to top positions in his government. His vice-presidential running mate, Hamilton Mourão, is himself a retired military general. Bolsonaro has vowed to “end activism in Brazil” and attack crime, corruption, and his political opponents head-on.

“Either they go overseas or they go to jail,” Bolsonaro told boisterous supporters at a rally in São Paulo one week before the election. “These red outlaws will be banished from our homeland. It will be a cleanup the likes of which has never been seen in Brazilian history.”

Bolsonaro won the country’s October 28 election with over 55 percent of the vote, his victory aided by an intensive social-media campaign, complete with a fake-news machine—in part paid for by wealthy businessmen—and a declared commitment to using ruthless means to cleanse the country of its problems.

Chief among those “problems,” he and many of his supporters believe, is the left, in particular Brazil’s Workers’ Party, which the right, after a years-long propaganda campaign, has transformed into the country’s bogeyman, allegedly responsible for Brazil’s corruption and financial crisis and for brainwashing the nation.


(3) EU promotes Gender-Neutral language

EU parliament sends MPs new gender neutral guidebook, discouraging words like 'manpower,' 'layman' and 'man-made'

The parliament's secretariat described the aim as promoting non-sexist, inclusive and fair language

James Crisp

The Telegraph

December 27, 2018er neutral terms such as “humanity” and “staff.”

Officials and MEPs in the parliament, which has seats in Brussels and Strasbourg, have been sent a guidebook on using gender-n

The European Parliament is attempting to stamp out the use of words such as “mankind” and “manpower” and replace them with more gendeutral language in communications, EU legislation and interpretation. It calls on them to avoid the “generic use of man”.

“Gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language is more than a matter of political correctness”, the guidebook reads. “Language powerfully reflects and influences attitudes, behaviour and perceptions.” “Political leaders” should be preferred to “statesmen” and items should be called “artificial” or “synthetic” rather than “man-made”.

“Businessperson” should be chosen over “businessman or businesswoman, according to the guidelines, which were updated from the first edition in 2008. “Chair” should be used instead of Chairwoman. “Chairperson” is discouraged because “the tendency has been to use it only when referring to women.”

The guidebook is at pains to insist that its recommendations are not “binding rules” but encouragement.

“The use in many languages of the word ‘man’ in a wide range of idiomatic expressions which refer to both men and women, such as manpower, layman, man-made, statesmen, committee of wise men, should be discouraged,” the guidebook reads.

“With increased awareness, such expressions can usually be made gender-neutral.”

The parliament’s secretariat described the guidebook’s aim as promoting non-sexist, inclusive and fair language and “aims to avoid phrasings that could be seen as conveying prejudice, discrimination, degrading remarks or implying that a certain gender or social gender represents the norm”.

“We should expect as much from an organization that is so nervous about offending people it puts non-existent bridges on its bank notes,” said Dr. Lee Rotherham of the Red Cell think tank, referring to how euro notes boast invented architecture to avoid accusations of favouritism.


(4) Gender Neutrality harms Kids

How ‘Gender Neutrality’ Could Screw Up The Next Generation

There’s nothing progressive about asking kids to choose their gender.




At first sight, the call from Ann Millington, chief executive of Kent Fire and Rescue, to change the name of the children’s TV character Fireman Sam to Firefighter Sam seems trivial. But this is more than just a silly exercise in virtue-signalling. It also echoes and reinforces the growing subjugation of the conventional distinction between boys and girls, and men and women, to the ethos of ‘gender neutrality’.

In this case, gender-neutral vocabulary is being justified on the grounds that it challenges stereotyping. Millington claims that adopting ‘firefighter’ would help change the image of firefighting as a male or a manly occupation, therefore encouraging girls and women to think of it as a job they could do, too.

Yet calls to purge the English language of gender-specific words are not just made on the grounds of challenging gender stereotypes. The crusade for a gender-neutral vocabulary also argues that existing pronouns, such as she and he, as well as references to men and women, or ladies and gentlemen, excludes so-called non-binary people. As Dara Hoffman-Fox, a self-styled genderqueer mental-health counsellor,argues:herefore are uncomfortable with this type of language’

From this standpo

‘Using gendered terms – such as “ladies [and] gentlemen” – is highly presumptuous, especially in today’s society, in which many persons are aware that they don’t identify as male or female and tint, existing gender-specific vocabulary hurts and offends non-binary people and anyone else who feels that words like men and women do not describe them accurately.

Linguistic Policing

Advocates of gender-neutrality are not simply in the business of encouraging a more sensitive style of verbal communication between people. Most tolerant people have no problem agreeing to call someone by their preferred pronoun and name. If someone wants to be called, ze, hir, zir, xe, xem, xyr, they, them or it, I’ll do my best to comply. However, with the constant proliferation of pronouns, it becomes a bit of a struggle to keep up with the current obsession with identity and the reinvention of the self.

Unfortunately, the campaign to popularise gender-neutrality is not confined to promoting sensitivity to others. It is also fervently committed to linguistic policing and forcing people to adopt a language that is alien to their outlook and values.

In many parts of North America, the activities of the language police are backed up by formal and informal sanctions against individuals who refuse to alter their vocabulary. Directives issued in 2015 by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights state that employers andlandlords who intentionally use the wrong pronouns with their non-binary employees or tenants can face fines of up to $250,000. Last year, the governor of California endorsed a bill that threatens to reprimand health professionals who ‘wilfully and repeatedly’ decline to use a patient’s preferred pronouns.

In places of work and in institutions of higher education, people face strong pressure and informal sanctions if they refuse to embrace a gender-neutral vocabulary. And it is increasingly common formanagement teams to provide employees with lists of words it is okay and not okay for them to use at their workplace.

One of the most disturbing targets of linguistic policing are daycare centres and primary schools. The aim here is to socialise children into a gender-neutral culture, and to prevent them from adopting the language and values of preceding generations. As far back as 1995, a daycare centre at La Trobe University in Australia banned the use of around 20 words, including the gender-related terms ‘girl’ and ‘boy’, in order to further its mission of altering traditional sex roles. Those who violated the code were forced to pay a fine and treated as if they had used a dirty word.

Language warriors’ focus on altering the language of children is not accidental. Their principal objective is to change people’s behaviour. Language serves as a medium through which human relations are ordered and people’s reality is shaped and organised. Through language, humanbeings make their existence meaningful. Thus socialising children into a gender-neutral culture and vocabulary aims to alter the meaning thatyoungsters attach to their identity and existence.

Numerous educators and health professionals have adopted the agenda of gender neutrality. For example, Virginia’s Fairfax County public-school system has replaced the term ‘biological gender’, in its family-life curriculum, with the phrase ‘sex assigned at birth’.

The term ‘sex assigned at birth’ renders one’s biological sex arbitrary and irrelevant. It implies that the description of a baby as he or she is a provisional one that is likely to alter as a child grows up. The premise of the phrase ‘sex assigned at birth’ is that it is the developing child and teenager who will eventually choose an identity – preferably a gender-neutral one – for themselves.

Unfortunately, a significant minority of ‘up-to-date’ parents have embraced the ideology of gender-neutrality, and have adopted a style of child-rearing that avoids assigning a biological gender to their child. These parents assume they are providing their offspring with the freedom to decide for themselves who they want to be.

But in reality, the embrace of gender-neutral parenting constitutes an act of adult irresponsibility. Instead of helping their child to understand their biological attributes, and take responsibility for the development of their identity, parents are placing the burden ofcharacter-formation on the child. ‘Leaving it up to child’ may sound terribly open-minded, but what it does is allow the confusing influences and pressures of popular and peer culture to monopolise the identity-formation of young people. Instead of direction and guidance, children are left to deal with a chaotic world dominated by social media, consumer culture and identity politics.

The gender-neutrality crusade is not only illiberal and coercive – it is also disorienting, and it could well mess up young people.

Frank Furedi’s new book, How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the 21st Century, is published by Bloomsbury Press.


(5) Rise of Populism: Global Attack on Gender Studies

Global Attack on Gender Studies

Scholars say their field is coming under increasing pressures from forces outside the academy who want to delegitimize it.

By Elizabeth Redden December 5, 2018 125 COMMENTS

 NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP/ GETTY IMAGES Protest in Brazil against Judith Butler The decision by the Hungarian government earlier this fall to withdraw accreditation from gender studies programs -- a full-frontal governmental assault on an academic discipline -- sent shock waves through the field.

Gender studies "has no business [being taught] in universities," because it is "an ideology not a science," a deputy to Hungary's prime minister, Zsolt Semjen, told the international news agency Agence France-Presse.

Semjen also said labor market demand for the field was "close to zero."

"No one wants to employ a gender-ologist," Semjen said.

Yet even if the scale of the assault on gender studies in Hungary was shocking, the rhetoric was not. Gender studies scholars say what happened in Hungary is the most extreme manifestation of what seem to be growing attacks on the discipline as right-wing populist parties gain power or influence in many countries around the globe.

The attacks take many different forms, including blacklists and harassment of individual scholars, the proposal of legislative measures to police classroom speech, and attempts to censor academic events. In Brazil the pioneering gender studies scholar Judith Butler was burned in effigy and accosted by protestors at the airport last year after far-right Christian groups objected to her visit to the country for a conference she’d helped to organize. As Butler told Inside Higher Ed in an interview at the time, her sense was that the protesters "who engaged this frenzy of effigy burning, stalking and harassment want to defend 'Brazil' as a place where LGBTQ people are not welcome, where the family remains heterosexual (so no gay marriage), where abortion is illegal and reproductive freedom does not exist. They want boys to be boys, and girls to be girls, and for there to be no complexity in questions such as these."

David Paternotte, an associate professor in sociology at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and co-editor of the book Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), said less extreme attacks on gender studies often take the form of press articles criticizing the discipline. “People saying it’s ideological, it’s not scientific. This is what we hear the most -- that it’s a waste of public money, it shouldn’t be a part of what is taught at universities.”

“Most of the time the critics don’t have access to state power, like in Hungary, but it’s creating a climate that is becoming more hostile to gender studies in many countries,” Paternotte said. “German colleagues are extremely worried because of attacks in the media; there isn't a major threat from the government side, but the legitimacy of gender studies is constantly under attack in the press.”

“What’s happening with Hungary,” Paternotte said, “is now the people with these ideas get the power to impose their ideas.”

From Hungary to the U.S. to Brazil

The American Association of University Professors’ committees on academic freedom and women in the academic profession issued a joint statement in November responding both to Hungary’s move to ban gender studies and reports that the Trump administration had drafted policies that would rescind civil rights protections for transgender students and define sex according to “immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” The AAUP statement also references attempts in Brazil, Bulgaria and Poland “to refute the scholarly consensus that gender identity is variable and mutable.”

“The AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the Committee on Women in the Academic Profession strongly condemn these efforts to restrict the legal meaning of gender to what are said to be its natural, immutable forms,” the statement said. “Restrictions like those imposed in Hungary directly interfere with the academic freedom of researchers and teachers. Biologists, anthropologists, historians, and psychologists have repeatedly shown that definitions of sex and sexuality have varied over time and across cultures and political regimes. Some of their work suggests that state-enforced preservation of traditional gender roles is associated with authoritarian attempts to control social life and to promise security in troubled times by pledging to protect patriarchal family structures. Authoritarian efforts such as these can justify racial, class, and sexual policing that disciplines forms of kinship and homemaking -- including same-sex, multi-generational, or other nonnormative households -- that deviate from established nuclear family norms. Politicians and religious fundamentalists are neither scientists nor scholars. Their motives are ideological. It is they who are offering ‘gender ideology’ by attempting to override the insights of serious scholars. By substituting their ideology for years of assiduous research, they impose their will in the name of a ‘science’ that is without factual support. This is a cynical invocation of science for purely political ends.”

Roman Kuhar, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and a sociology professor at the University of Ljubljana, in Slovenia, and co-editor with Paternotte of the book on gender campaigns across Europe, described the term "gender ideology" as an "empty signifier": "Because gender ideology is such an empty signifier, it can be filled in with different things," he said. "Sometimes it can be filled in with the issue of marriage, sometimes LGBT rights; sometimes it refers to sex education in schools, sometimes it refers to gender studies as such. Nowadays we have, I would say, a movement which is comprised of different actors, not all of them related to religious institutions or religion as such, but they see this 'gender theory' or 'gender ideology' as a common enemy that they fight against."

Premilla Nadasen, a professor of history at Barnard College and president of the National Women’s Studies Association, said the term "gender ideology" has come to dominate how certain groups talk about gender. “I think what they suggest through this phrase ‘gender ideology’ that this is somehow contrary to family values,” Nadasen said. “But women and gender studies scholars are not rooted in a ‘gender ideology.’ They think about gender as a frame of analysis for understanding the way in which the world works. I think if there’s any ideology that has been manifest in this debate, it’s the right-wing ideology that is attempting to return to a heteronormative patriarchal society.”

Nadasen said there are different ways in which attacks on gender studies scholars manifest. “I think in some places the conversation often centers around abortion, and that has been the kind of launching pad for thinking about the crisis of quote, unquote gender ideology. In other places it’s about reproductive rights. In other places it’s about same-sex marriage. In other places it’s about the breakdown of the two-parent heterosexual family, or even childcare … In all of these cases the culprit becomes women and gender studies scholars. They become the reason for the supposed breakdown in family values.”

Nadasen described "a broader problem of intimidation and harassment, almost a kind of bullying" against gender studies scholars. "It hearkens back to the days of McCarthyism when individuals who attempted to speak out on particular issues were automatically identified as Communists, regardless of what their ideas were, regardless of whether they were actually Communist. We’re seeing something similar today where someone who is a dissenting voice is taking a risk, [who] is attempting to speak out on a particular issue is automatically tainted and is blacklisted and is then a potential target for harassment by a broader audience. I think this is facilitated by the internet by lists that are posted online. I think it’s very, very dangerous for academic freedom."

In Brazil, which recently elected a far-right candidate for president, Jair Bolsonaro, a bill pending in the National Congress would go so far as to bar the use of the term "gender" in teaching.

The bill purports to “respect the beliefs of students that come from their parents and other guardians, privileging family values in their school education related to moral, sexual and religious education,” the executive committee of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) said in a Nov. 15 statement about academic freedom in Brazil. “Our own analysis of the text of the bill, however, suggests that it could have devastating effects on teachers at all levels of education. Among other things, we are gravely concerned that educators will be bullied and dismissed as a form of persecution based on the way they approach issues in the classroom. There is already evidence that this is happening, with elected politicians encouraging students to denounce and slander educators through social networks, verbal aggression, and direct threats of violence.”

"We are also concerned about the application and effects of laws like these on marginalized communities," the BRASA statement says. "If enacted, it could very well prohibit teaching topics related to gender in schools and universities, thus disregarding much of the human knowledge produced in the last decades in many disciplines, which consider gender relations as an essential aspect of human experience at all times and in all societies."

James N. Green, the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Modern Latin American History at Brown University and the executive director of the Brazilian Studies Association, said with the election of Bolsonaro and a more conservative Congress, there is a possibility the bill might get traction.

Marlene de Fáveri, a professor of history at Brazil’s State University of Santa Caterina, said gender studies has been under "systematic pressure" in Brazil since the bill was first introduced in 2014. De Fáveri herself was sued for “ideological persecution” by a former student -- and a newly elected congresswoman from Bolsonaro's party -- who has called for filming or recording professors who make partisan or ideological statements in the classroom. The lawsuit was dismissed in September.

“The election of the right-wing and ultraconservative candidate drastically affects academic freedom and gender studies," de Fáveri said of the election of Bolsonaro. "His campaign was strongly based on speeches preaching the elimination of what he calls the 'gender ideology,' supported by conservative parties, especially the evangelical party. The proposed minister of education also agrees with his conservative ideology, which is rather alarming and will likely lead to eventual challenges when possible changes in educational laws come into force.”

“What they call ‘gender ideology’ is a fallacy; the introduction of such concept into a bill is, in reality, meant to propagate hatred towards feminists, is a political tool aimed to minimize the scientific character of gender studies and discredit the field. It takes a great deal of effort to deny the world-renowned research efforts and the vast body of knowledge regarding women, gender as a category of social analysis and gendered violence, as well as the hard and numerous battles women had to fight throughout history to be legally recognized,” she said.

‘A Spearhead of a Wider Attack’

Gender studies scholars see attacks on gender studies as part of a broader attack on universities and independent scholarship.

“Every undemocratic government wants to control the knowledge production and sexuality, which explains why gender studies become the target in the first place,” said Andrea Peto˝, a professor of gender studies at Central European University, which on Monday announced it had been forced out of Hungary and would be moving its main campus to Vienna. “Attacks on gender studies as a scientific discipline [have] become a central rhetorical tool of those efforts that try to determine for the wider audience what 'science' should mean, and thereby try to create a new consensus of what should be seen as normal, legitimate and scientific.”

“I see gender studies as a spearhead of a wider attack on free academic inquiry,” said Ov Cristian Norocel, a Marie Sk?odowska-Curie fellow at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), where he is studying right-wing populist parties in Europe. “It seems that gender studies seems to be one of the first kind of subjects of critical knowledge that are attacked, particularly in this kind of environment in which there seems to be an agenda for dismantling knowledge in general. What happened in Hungary is you have these very aggressive attacks against CEU. CEU is chased out of the country. CEU is also one of the few universities that actually had a gender studies program.”

"Gender studies and gender equality and equality for LGBT people are threatening for authoritarian regimes because authoritarian regimes require for somebody to have more power than somebody else; once you overthrow the idea that the patriarchy is something natural, for them that is the destruction of a kind of building block of culture," said Kevin Moss, the Jean Thomson Fulton Professor of Modern Languages & Literature at Middlebury College.

Moss has written about the role of Russia's academic establishment in producing and promoting "anti-gender discourse." Closer to home, he said that the gender studies program at Middlebury came under attack from pundits who characterized its courses as being "categorically insane" after the disruption of a March 2017 talk by Charles Murray, a writer best known for his controversial work linking intelligence and race. Though the talk wasn't about gender studies, Moss said supporters of Murray looked to the gender studies department “to discredit Middlebury and particularly to discredit the side that was against Murray.”

“I think every subject or field of research that has a critical view on society or that has some ideas about societal change will often be contested,” said Linda Marie Rustad, the director and editor of a news magazine on gender research, Kilden, which is part of the Research Council of Norway and which recently published an article on right-wing attacks on gender studies.

“Gender science studies has developed from a critical tradition in the social sciences and humanities,” Rustad said. “Hence it isn't necessarily bad or strange that gender science studies is being disputed. We have had the same debates in Norway on environmental studies not being scientific enough. And we also have in Europe now, also due to right-wing populism, a critique against research on migration. Looking at the right-wing populist winds, we see globally it is not accidental that gender studies is under attack. We need to understand that the attacks on gender are part of a bigger picture.”

At the same time, Rustad cautioned against drawing too dark a picture. “It’s very important to take this very seriously. But in Norway I’m not worried, and I think that would be the same for many countries.”


(6) Asian Christian student senator at UC targeted by LGBT activists over beliefs on gender

Student politician targeted over her traditional beliefs on gender

Nov 14, 2018

By Jonathon Van Maren

Sometimes stories can be simultaneously encouraging and depressing, and the story of a student politician at Berkeley, Isabella Chow, is one such story. An articulate, and compassionate young woman with a skill for speaking the truth in love, she has nevertheless become the latest target of the LGBT activists who claim that the slightest deviation from their fluid worldview constitutes hatred and bigotry. From the Family Research Council (which, I’m pleased to note, has been regularly disseminating columns from this blog):

The University of California at Berkeley isn’t exactly a destination for students who care about the free exchange of ideas. That’s what makes the story of Isabella Chow even more astounding. After a clash in the student senate over gender policy, the student senator is a profile of true courage at a school that could use more of it.

When Chow won her seat in leadership, she was very clear that she would “represent the Christian community.” But now that she’s actually tried, the campus is demanding her resignation. The flare-up started on Halloween, when the student government met to consider a resolution condemning the Trump administration for its mainstream (and biologically-based!) views on gender. Chow, who was elected as part of the U.C. party of Student Action, abstained from the vote. And for it, she could lose her seat.

Take note here of the fact that she didn’t even vote against the motion—she simply abstained from voting entirely. This alone was enough to make her a target of the LGBT activists, who apparently do not understand that enforced unanimity is not typically a feature of the democratic process, and that to demand this is creepy in a Soviet sort of way. Chow, who is surely no stranger to the fact that her campus is firmly entrenched in the intolerant side of the progressive spectrum, was genuinely shocked by the force of the reaction:

“I didn’t expect the backlash and misunderstanding to be so swift,” Chow told Campus Reform. “At the end of the day, it’s a belief in objective truth.” In the month since the vote, liberal students have protested across campus, posting hand-painted signs across the buildings that say, “Senator Chow Resign Now!” It’s been a difficult few weeks, to be sure, but Chow hasn’t wavered. “There’s a Christian community on campus that has been praying for me and encouraging me throughout all of this. And if I don’t represent their views, who else will?”

Isabella took a few minutes to explain her position. It was a powerful defense of faith, truth, and the free speech. “My God is one who assigns an immeasurable value to and desires to love each and every human being,” she started. “In God’s eyes and therefore my own, every one of you here today — and in the LGBTQ+ community as a whole — is significant, valid, wanted, and loved, even if and when our views differ.”

“I cannot,” she went on, “vote for this bill without compromising my values and my responsibility to the community that elected me to represent them. As a Christian, I personally do believe that certain acts and lifestyles conflict with what is good, right and true. I believe that God created male and female at the beginning of time, and designed sex for marriage between one man and one woman. For me, to love another person does not mean that I silently concur when, at the bottom of my heart, I do not believe that your choices are right or the best for you as an individual.”

After the vote, her party ousted her. The student author of the resolution openly attacked her, calling Chow’s stand “a harrowing reminder of the bigotry that persists in contemporary society.” And then, as if that weren’t enough, the student newspaper refused to print the op-ed she wrote in defense of her position, arguing that it didn’t “meet the newspaper’s editorial standards.”

Through it all, Chow hopes her stand will encourage others to stand up for truth. “As tumultuous as the past couple weeks have been for me, my deepest prayer is that the church in Berkeley and beyond would increase dialogue regarding the intersection of faith and the LGBTQ+ community,” she told the Daily Wire.

Can you imagine this sort of thing happening only a handful of years ago? I graduated from the history department of an extremely liberal campus in 2010, and back then the ideology of gender fluidity was certainly still up for debate (although I remember the trans activists beginning their protests in the courtyard between the library and the pub.) I also wrote op-eds for the campus newspaper regularly, despite the fact that I was generally voicing my opposition to abortion or weighing in on some other inflammatory topic. When displays set up by my pro-life club were attacked or torn down, I was always given the opportunity to explain myself in the newspaper—and the editor of the Opinion section was a pro-choice atheist.

So to think that Isabella Chow, who simply holds to the same beliefs that nearly everyone did only a decade ago—and that the inhabitants of Western civilization have considered obvious for thousands of years—is now considered so persona non grata by the pathetic progressive censors on a university campus that she is not even permitted to explain herself in the newspaper is rather chilling. When you cannot even have a loving disagreement with people without being smeared, silenced, and targeted by the irony-loving enforcers of tolerance and all dialogue dries up, society’s divisions have become too deep and too wide for social cohesion to last much longer.

On the other hand, Isabella Chow’s courageous stand is encouraging. I wish there were more people like her.


(7) Christian student senator at UC Berkeley harassed for abstaining from pro-LGBTQ vote

By Caleb Parke | Fox News

Christian student senator harassed for non pro-LGBTQ vote

University of California, Berkeley junior and student senator Isabella Chow was kicked out of her own party for abstaining on a pro-LGBT vote.

A student senator at the University of California, Berkeley, who was kicked out of her own party and is being pressured to resign or face a recall because of her religious views, says she won’t back down.

Isabella Chow, a daughter of Malaysian-Cambodian immigrants and a junior double majoring in business administration and music, told Fox News she abstained from a largely symbolic student vote Oct. 31 because she did not fully agree with certain clauses, not the majority of the pro-LGBTQ+ bills, which passed from the support of 18 of the 20 senators (another being absent). She was labeled “homophobic” and “transphobic” and within two days felt like the whole campus was against her.

Two weeks ago, the Queer Alliance Resource Center (QARC) reportedly asked the student body to condemn the Trump Administration’s “proposed definition of sex under Title IX” defining individuals as being male or female as fixed from birth. The student government bills argued the definition is “trans-exclusive,” rolling back the Obama Administration’s added protections for individuals who identify as transgender from “harassment, denial of access to the student’s preferred restroom, and requirements regarding medical documentation.”

Chow’s former party, Student Action, left her with the decision to fully support the bills and the LGBTQ lifestyle or get ousted.

“No matter how difficult this has been, if I don’t represent the Christian perspective – the minority perspective – there won’t be anyone to represent these views,” Chow said. “I’m doing this for the Christian community. I know that I was called for such a time as this…backing down is not an option, especially when backing down means giving in to political pressure and political correctness.”

In her statement, Chow said discrimination is “never, ever Ok” and condemned Christian bullies and bigots, calling the LGBTQ community valid and loved, even if their views were different.

“That said, I cannot vote for this bill without compromising my values and my responsibility to the community that elected me to represent them,” Chow said. “As a Christian, I personally do believe that certain acts and lifestyles conflict with that is good, right, and true. I believe that God created male and female at the beginning of time, and designed sex for marriage between one man and one woman. For me, to love another person does not mean that I silently concur when, at the bottom of my heart, I do not believe that your choices are right or the best for you as an individual.”

The bill crossed the line for Chow in promoting a choice of identities she doesn’t agree to be right or best for an individual in addition to promoting organizations contrary to those of her community.

She concluded by saying she affirms that each person in the room deserves respect, acknowledgment, legal protection, and love. She asked them to extend the same respect to her community but was quickly met with backlash.

Several groups on campus issued statements condemning her, demanding she resign or face a recall, and the groups she aligned with disassociated from her – all except the Christian groups.

Then at last Wednesday’s meeting, hundreds gathered in the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) chambers, the majority – one by one – telling Chow to resign with a large banner reading “Senator Chow resign now” taped to the back wall.

Leading up to the meeting, the Daily Californian ran an editorial criticizing her, but when Chow offered her defense and a statement, the student newspaper refused to run it, and instead condemned her in an editorial calling for her to resign and accusing her of creating a “toxic space for LGBTQ+ communities.”

Teddy Lake, the student senator who sponsored the bill, labeled her a bigot, claiming Chow’s comments were “disturbing and irreconcilable,” “hateful prejudices,” and ultimately deny Lake’s very existence as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Over a thousand student signed a petition from QARC accusing Chow of hatred and violating the ASUC constitution, being unfit for office, and called her comments “violent, hypocritical, and bigoted.”

“Tonight is not about dismissing Christianity as universally toxic, but about validating the experience of those at the hands of bigots who have cowardly hid behind religion to justify their actions,” QARC Director Regan Putnam said to a room full of finger snaps.

Former ASUC presidential candidate, Gia Cordova, said he hopes Chow asks for forgiveness, before warning he “won’t be f***d around with” and is “down to fight.”

Chow told Fox News she now has her friends walk with her to class for fear of safety amid the backlash, but she doesn’t plan on resigning.

“It was absolutely difficult to hear 'f*** you Isabella' and 'see you in Hell' and difficult words that I don’t want to relive, but beneath all the anger and hurt are wounded hearts and broken narratives that we as a church need to address with utmost love and utmost truth spoken in love,” Chow said.

During the three hour meeting that ended just before midnight, three students did voice support for Chow.

One of Chow’s supporters, Matt Ronnau, was laughed at after he commented that Christians and conservatives are “marginalized groups” on campus.

Another supporter, Daniel Frise, criticized the student senate of imposing a "religious litmus test" and said Chow never intended harm to the LGBT community.

Chow, who identifies as an independent moderate and has interned for Democratic representatives in Congress, said while it felt like everyone on campus was against her, she has received supportive messages from people across the country.

I’m reminded the rest of the world is not a bubble the way Berkeley is, and honestly that gives me hope,” she said.

-- Peter Myerswebsite: