THE POLITICAL PAGE
December 2007 / January 2008
Gender Mainstreaming - What's that?
You don't know what ‘gender mainstreaming' is? Don't worry – nobody knows what it means for sure because it doesn't really have anything to do with the term ‘gender'; this is deliberate policy, a political method of introducing a desired agenda.
Although it isn't a term used in every day language, the matter of ‘GM' is of great importance since gender perspectives play a central role in European and national policy.
1. Term analysis
‘Gender' is the English word for the German word ‘Geschlecht', when using articles 'der-die-das'. Gender is however something abstract, in contrast 'sex' would be a more correct term.
When applied to humans however, the term is applied more and more to 'gender roles'.
‘Roles are trained and therefore changeable' - writes the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). Pay attention to the undertone of this statement: it is about change, about circumscribing a ‘role'.
‘Mainstream' in German means 'Hauptstrom', and mainstreaming means ‘to make something become a central issue'. In EU-texts‚ ‘gender mainstreaming' has therefore been translated with an ‘equality-orientated policy'.
2. Development and deployment
There are people – men and women – who feel they are not living in the right body; men who feel like women, and women who feel like men. In order to understand the term of ‘Transexuality' these individuals call the biological gender ‘sex' and the perceived gender ‘gender'.
A theory was developed which says that it's not the biological gender which decides the affiliation of a human to one or other gender, but the subjective perception of the person concerned; and society is forcing this opinion . This theory also talks about a ‘social gender', which means ‘gender' taken a further step, a fobbed gender role into ‘forced hetero-sexuality'. This theory has mainly been represented by radical feminists such as the American, Judith Butler and the German, Alice Schwarzer. They defend lesbian love as a ‘new kind of tenderness' and are against the ‘male monopoly' on female love and sexuality; they call housewives and mothers - ‘slaves' or ‘captives of a feudalistic system'.
The key phrase 'forced heterosexuality' as a socially-conditioned gender role was of course accepted immediately by homosexuals, who mainly propagate homosexuality as an alternative form of sexuality.
But this is constantly being attacked and questioned by heterosexuals.
This gender-term is quite ‘dazzling', and it has two sources:
The homosexual movement.
Radical feminism attacks the male ‘patriarch', and the homosexual movement attacks heterosexuality.
Feminism is concerned about the equality of women with men; the Homosexual movement about equal treatment (former emphasis anti-discrimination).
Both arguments are sociological, i.e. a social marking obtained from ‘others'; and they say that this marking is wrong. Biology is its starting point and the difference between boys and girls is a fact here, but only in an accidental way in the same way as classification is made according to birth weight; this is also a fact but meaningless one. ‘You are not born as a woman or man; you become a woman or man.'
Something which is important for the Gender lobby is how a human feels when they are more mature, and whether or not they want to live as a man or a woman? Lesbian and homosexual couples also have a 'he' and a ‘she' in their relationships. They say that the way somebody ‘feels' is due to their marking and not to due to their biological status.
Thus the whole debate regarding the ‘gender' - term is in fact comparable to a path
which starts with the justifiable concern of equality between woman and man, e.g. regarding work, positions of leadership etc.
and continues via special measures for women, as ‘working groups' within companies,
for example, it leads to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme of the Family Ministry; which has a ‘gender-sensitive point of view' which is to be ‘implemented', (and stored and controlled) into the work of all Federal Ministries;
up to Gender-perspective: that biological gender is something determined by chance, and is changeable dependant on social influence
and therefore finally as a target – they say that there is no basic difference between the sexes, as this can be changed.
The Gender-Debate is comparable to a ‘sloping slide' which targets the annulment of the biological differences between the sexes. But not everybody who mentions ‘gender' is mentioned here; many don't know anything about the ideological ‘hidden agenda', and the hidden targets of the gender ideologies. Therefore, we need to pay attention to this when dealing with another person or a particular organisation in order to find out where they stand ideologically. Therefore, we need to ask questions: “What exactly do you mean by 'gender'? What is your final target?” Because, lack of clarity is part of their method. The last target of the gender founders and supporters; people like Judith Butler or ‘Lissy' Gröner the European deputy, or Barbara Helferich in Brussels is: to create a new human being by destroying the traditional gender roles. Therefore the word ‘sex' has to be replaced by ‘gender', and the phrase ‘biological sex' by ‘sociological sex', which apparently can be changed as often as you wish.
3. Use and it's consequence
The method of the ‘gender-perspectives' lobby is not about convincing someone at the ‘grass roots level' and to finally work it's way to the top of society. This wouldn't work because the annulment of differences between man and woman is strongly opposed by the natural common sense of normal people, and a revolution from ‘lower to upper' would never take place.
Therefore, the gender strategy starts at the top of organisations and works according to the ‘top-down' principle. The key persons of the gender perspective are being educated to find loyal collaborators, and these are forming members of management within organisations, who are capable of challenging other opinions in their commitment to the gender lobby, and consequently mark and penetrate the organisation ideologically.
In hierarchical structures ‘top-down' can also be a shortcut through service rules and regulations.
The UN, the EU or a national government could be such an organisation; so could a company or a nursery school or even a church. This ‘top-down' method always applies.
How it works practically is shown in this statement, by the Berlin Senate:
How do they introduce Gender Mainstreaming (GM)?
The strategy of GM is mainly implemented through administration and is to be regarded as a long-term development and change process. The introduction takes place top-down, i.e. the political top of an organisation declares its support for the introduction of GM and decides how processes will be guided and evaluated. GM addresses first the leadership in policy, and then the system administration induces them to doubt their own traditional perceptions of ‘manliness' and ‘femininity' and to improve their own leadership qualities in the sense of Gender-competence.
This text shows how they work: the top decides, group leaders are trained, and then comes the introduction. No discussion, as ‘top-down' means a structure of control; the often-quoted democratic processes don't take place here. Whoever does not ‘bow to the new' will probably not stick to the organisation.
In terms of content they only mention: ‘their own, traditional perception of ‘manliness' and ‘femininity' are to be doubted', i.e. complete uncertainty. The ratio of ‘male to female' is seen as a ‘traditional' one, and thus blackened, considered negative. In terms of context it means: questioning ‘manliness' and a call to a ‘femininity' revolt. How could this be any different when coming from a movement which is bluntly derived directly from the most aggressive of female emancipationists? ‘Improved leadership qualities in the sense of gender-competence' will consist apparently of uncertain men and women, who will call for leaders and chiefs, who no longer know how they are allowed to react.
This scene reminds us of the tumultuous times in 1968, with the only difference being that the putsch came from the grass roots.
Since the beginning of 1990 the EU has been using Gender Mainstreaming as a criterion for the allocation of means for EU-Structure funds.
At the World Conference on Women in Peking in 1995, they passed an 'Action platform' including Gender Mainstreaming. This action platform was accepted by the general meeting of the UN on 8 th December 1995 (Resolution 50/42 – although as an uncommitted recommendation to the people, an active and visible policy of mainstreaming, a gender perspective in all policies and programmes – in the sense of equality between men and women).
The EU turned this general recommendation for equality into a binding commitment in the ‘Amsterdam Treaty' (1996) and combined ‘gender-perspective' with the fight against discrimination with regard to ‘sexual orientation' (Art.12) which also means - equal treatment.
The Federal Government under Gerhard Schröder substituted the valid ‘Common Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries' with a new one at the end of July 2000. In the 1st chapter it says, that ‘the equality of women and men is to be a continuous guiding principle' according to the method of ‘Gender Mainstreaming'. This should apply to all departments and government ministries.
The new Federal Government under Angela Merkel stipulated in the coalition treaty art.5: “We want to strengthen gender-competence, and will safeguard the availability of all necessary and adequate instruments available; for example, the Gender Competence Centre.
Thus the realization of gender policy in all ministries is now binding and also controlled by ‘The Family Ministry' in Germany . i.e. it is included in legislation, and it is present even if it isn't perceived everywhere.
Publicly, this programme is being presented as an equality policy, and who could be against that?
But the roots of the female emancipation movement are still noticeable if 1) child benefit is being paid in full, and 2) if the man can stop his job for two months (a thing which is often not possible and does not add anything to equal treatment of the sexes, because ‘equal' would mean halving the education time needed.)
Applause given to a recent speech by Minister Alice Schwarzer was not by chance. The same gender ‘picture was planned to be painted' in crèche and day nursery initiatives by this minister. In addition there were all the mothers who planned to raise their 0-3 year old children ‘traditionally' at home, who would have gone away empty handed. And if the CSU wouldn't have been strongly against it, the ‘stove bonus' amount (as Claudia Roth from the Green used to call it), would have been reserved not only for normal families with father, mother and children, but also to all the others who plan to keep their toddlers at home.
As welcome as the co-responsibility of young fathers in looking after their young children is, and as necessary as the expansion of the day nursery offer for employed and single parents is, clearly the left-wing tendency of the original shape of the draft legislation is noticeable, because it is fully compliant with the roots of feminist and socialist ideology -annulment of gender roles and thus, the annulment of family ties in favour of state-run care for their offspring.
All these are ‘wafting around' and moving under the new term ‘Gender Mainstreaming', which is mostly not clearly expressed, especially in political areas.
Remark: I want to ask the younger female readership not to ‘get nervous' at this point, but to stay calm and check through this article very soberly, to see whether the above analysis is really that weird after all. The above Minister's move towards left-wing policy has already been mentioned in the Media.
For illustration purposes, the statement of the Berlin Senate would be of some help; this was addressed to all those working in pedagogical institutions. Berlin is the Federal State that holds the vanguard role regarding GM among all Federal States.
Gender Mainstreaming is a stately strategy for the equality of sexes which is completing the women and girls policy. While the women and girls support and policy leans on definite discrimination, with the target of abolishing differences and thus, establishing equality, GM is a strategy which follows the top-down principle, which is developing stately actions and decisions in such a way that it will contribute always and everywhere to the equality of sexes. Gender Mainstreaming involves men and women as politically-equal actors and consequently, it is to be seen as the reshaping of gender ratio.
Administration departments are being qualified from the top. They are responsible for developing and using methods and instruments in order to constantly control all the processes and decisions in their area of responsibility.
All qualified employees in the area of educational assistance, public supporters (BA/ASD) as free supporters have a sharpened consciousness regarding the gender differentiating pedagogy as well as professional knowledge and skills which they use in dealing with and in counselling young people and their families.
To support differential life outlines of girls' and boys', requires questioning their social orientation towards ambisexuality and thus pointing towards open possibilities regarding the polarisation of sexes. They prefer ‘as well as…' instead of ‘either…or'. As a concept, a practice of 'pedagogical diversity' which is based on theory and seriousness, and acknowledges differences such as sex, ethnical origin or handicap is determined by action.
Female pedagogues use these statements to treat each other equally.
And now, practical application from lessons in Berlin :
This consequently requires the integration of the following aspects in lessons and cooperation by schools.
These pedagogical guidelines are to be applied in Berlin at day nursery level right up to university!
3.3. The Legal System
The German Legal System enables the state to stipulate the sex of a child at his/her birth; this happens due to biological sexual characteristics. This right starts axiomatically with the idea that society is ambisexual and that biological management will be permanent, i.e. from the beginning of life until death.
The criticism regarding gender perspectives is about the right to create social sexual differences. This right secures heterosexuality by the management of both sexes, and creates an injustice to ‘patriarchy' - man's dominion over woman. In order to change this, the legal system has to be changed first, and then changes to prohibit the right to stipulate one person's sex based on biology.
Two strategies have to be observed:
On one hand the statistics regarding the minority of trans-sexuals (2-3% per million), who feel they are in the wrong body and intersexuals, who's outward sexual characteristics weren't developed when they were born, are used in order to doubt whether biological differences are important i.e. that there are also other sexual forms beside male and female; and therefore, dichotomy has been arbitrary. The decisive thing is how people actually feel about themselves; this finally, means the end of traditionally-accepted gender roles. This is a categorised as a confusing strategy - related to the sexes, which has the target of destroying heterosexuality because this causes dominion and suppression in relationships. An undiscriminating society is a free society, a paradise like the classless society proposed by Karl Marx.
The other strategy is the ‘ setup of gender factors' .
Instead of gender assignment according to outward characteristics, GM supporters require sexing according to 8 factors:
Chromosomes, hormones, sex glands, inner and outward genitals, outward appearance, trained sex and subjectively perceived core-sexual identity.
But the ‘weight' of these factors is not mentioned, and not even which of them should finally be the decisive factor from a legal point of view. Also, it isn't mentioned that these factors have been developed from statistics of only 2-3 0/00! of children who have no clear outward physical characteristics; and that these 8 factors are completely useless for the remaining percentage.
Obviously, it is clear that this attack on the unambiguity of sexual assignment can also be used to attack marriage, as the connection between one man and one woman, as well as the legal layout of the Federal Constitutional Court under basic law (art.6,1); because marriage in the eyes of the GM lobby is hetero-patriarchal and an institution of suppression to society (praise God for that!).
In addition, we have to say that: ‘legally it is practically impossible to renounce the binary man-woman classification of the sexes. Factually, re-defining the sexes on the basis of a subjective sexual identity would destroy all principles of legal equality. “ A subjective norm of sexual identity is no norm“ (David Lee Mundy).
It would be worthwhile checking the effects of gender perspectives in the:
3.4. Economy - which is mainly concerned about integrating women into the work environment.
Or the effects on the:
3.5. Church - where the bible was produced ‘in a balanced and just way', describing everything about a woman and her femininity.
It is not easy to explain and assess a social phenomenon like ‘Gender Mainstreaming' satisfactorily.
On the one hand this is due to it's ‘dazzling' manifestation – we want to mention the picture with the slide again – and on the other hand due to the GM lobby's own reactions based on gender themes, theses and its supporting theories.
1. Wrong Alternatives
Since the promotion of sociology as science, a dispute has arisen about how much of gender affirmation is hereditary and how much is trained; this has been discussed in all areas of human behaviour and even in the area of human sexuality. To my knowledge a sociological theory has never become so controversial, saying that biological sex is accidental, an arbitrary stately stipulation, and that only an individuals social background will decide in the years to come of which sex that person ‘really' is.
The American psychiatrist John Money treated a boy for many years based on this ideological basis as ‘Brenda'; but Brenda did not want to become a girl until ‘she' came to realise when she became an adult, that she was actually a male. After a chirurgical sex reversal he got married – then as David Reimer – to a woman. The identity confusion of his life was so enormous, that David, at the age of approx. 30 years committed suicide.
It is against common sense, that a biologically-sexed boy is not allowed to be known as such; and why male sexuality is not allowed to appear as such when compared with female sexuality, which is biologically-sexed as female.
The rigorous sociological claim to the absolute truth of GM is absurd, because the life of every individual – just as the life of every living being – gets its shape from inner factors of genetic constitution and not by outward factors of influence caused by exterior environment. That's the way it is, and that's the way it will always be; and every side-track into one or other direction goes away from the reality of life.
2. Medical Science
Following ‘side-tracks' exclusively into sociological aspects in gender contemplation is even more incomprehensible, since in the last decades, medicine has come across new fields of biological differences between male and female: beginning with the different chromosome set-up, to different brain performances of man and woman. In addition, shouldn't the fact that a male human being is only able to activate one half of his brain, while a woman of the same age is able to activate both halves, have a grandiose effect on social behaviour?
Today it is regarded as outdated to compare biology simply with social environment concerning the individual; it is not about comparing, but about cooperation between these two factors.
Whoever then does not simply parrot gender mania, should not be considered as ‘irrational', ‘outdated' and not even a ‘homophobic', but simply scientifically well-informed and having opinions in conformity with the latest scientific findings.
Medical research today acts on the assumption of two genuses (sex and gender) however with a large variety; because it is also known that every human being has male and female hormones; and that the hormone mixture gives birth to clear ‘creatures', and that variety is a result of the chromosome set within a predetermined frame.
3. Inner Inconsistencies
A recurring inconsistence of the GM lobby is the statement concerning ‘inclusion of both sexes'. Where does this ‘inclusion' of man come from? Where does the ‘specific gender inclusion' of the male come from? Will he strengthen and build-up his own self-esteem as a man?
These texts are talking another language. Based on gender, the ‘Dissens e.V.' group in Berlin is even developing a pedagogical concept of ‘identity perturbation' for male minors – which leads to pathological conditions; experiences such as painful disorientation (see David Reimer).
The female movement criticises the fact that because of GM, the number of positions for the promotion of women are being reduced. Why? Because the authorities noticed that male gender staff was doing the same things as their female counterparts. It is also observed that men are seldom invited to participate in the GM discussion process.
Regarding the whole gender discussion and its measures, we have the impression that we are dealing with ‘grandiose eyewash', consisting of support for 'both sexes' outwardly, and inwardly the concealing of the purest and most aggressive form of female emancipation. This corresponds to that ‘diplomatic ability' of some women, to reach their target indirectly (by manipulation) and not in a direct form.
A further logical contradiction of GM becomes obvious; in discussion circles, much attention is paid to gender specific needs but at the end, the discussion is more about the annulment of sexes. What now?
Are there sexes, and differences between them? Where do they come from? If children/adolescents are conditioned biologically, why should they be included ‘specifically as one gender' and this theory be reinforced? It remains unclear to see what the undiscriminating finale of the state of sexes will look like.
4. The Philosophic Approach
At this point it becomes obvious how deeply GM is rooted in the classless society doctrine of Karl Marx, which has already left its mark on feminism. GM puts into practice what Marcuse, one of the leading ideologues of the 60's, thought - the confusion of sexes is the best means to bring down a corrupt society.
Therefore, it is incomprehensible how political circles and responsible governments such as ours can accept such gender insanity. The well-known English historian Toynbee once said that civilisations are not destroyed from the outside but from the inside i.e. they destroy themselves. GM is like ‘bacilli' which will cause the inner destruction of our culture, if we don't get rid of it in time.
5. Biblical and Theological Aspects
All people say we are living in a dangerous and acuminating time. It is the time that the Bible calls the ‘end time'. The ‘confusion' described in the gospels and letters as an indicator of time is part of this age. “Woe to the world because of offences”, Jesus quoted in Matt.18 v.7.
There have always been offences. The new thing among those predicted ‘signs of the times' is that they have appeared altogether at around about the same time on a worldwide basis - since the second half of the last century e.g. world famine, world wars etc., and ‘Global' has become the keyword of our time. The special thing about the gender perspective, is that it derives globally in a top-downwards fashion, i.e. it globally came to the EU and Germany via the UN and now it is being forced top-down into the Federal Family Ministry, and from here into other ministries and their work - including monitorisation of this.
Confusion comes when somebody acts legitimately, but that this action is perverted by absolutism and finally only enforceable through pressure and constraint. The same is true here, from the imposition of equal rights, right along to the monitorisation of the top-down structure.
Genderism will be as unable as Communism and Nationalism was, to establish its Utopia, its paradise in a permanent form.
PRAYER and DEEDS
1 . We are living in a godly concept of the creation order of man and woman.
This starts with praise to God for his wisdom, which he placed in both woman and man with the ‘polarity differences' between them.
Everybody should praise God for making them as they are, for being allowed to be a man, or respectively a woman.
Everybody should give thanks for his or her partner. And singles may also give thanks for friends of the opposite sex.
Whenever a father or mother prays, something like a natural manliness or femininity emanates from them, and children can follow this example.
And if there is an opportunity when a child asks, parents should find normal words for the differences and the necessity for difference between man and woman.
2. We need to give room to each other
The fruit of the representatives of female emancipation is the suppression of woman by man. The desire for the annulment of sexes comes from a deep hurt: Differentiating is classification, and classification is suppression.
There are situations in which it is right that men ‘bow down in repentance' as representatives before God and women, and ask for forgiveness for all the hurt caused by men; this may also imply a need for change in their own behaviour.
The annulment of sexes is the precise perversion of God's thoughts regarding differences between man and woman: Differentiating brings completion, and completion has classification, which is there to provide mutual help.
Let us try to live God's basic principles of unity between two gender opposites, and let other people see them too.
Let us give room to one another, and in doing so we will again recognise the qualities that a woman or a man has. As both human beings and individuals, not only as members of families, but also in our behaviour e.g. driving in traffic, with relationships with colleagues, and in churches! Let us as men, give room to women, but also for women (especially to their husbands) - to give men room for the unfolding of their masculinity.
Let us have godly order with regard to man and woman, and no ‘contamination' of gender. There should be no fear of suppression because where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
3. We need to open our mouths.
Nowadays we need courage and boldness to express a word of dissent.
It is good to start with questions, and ask until we know what the other opinion/ beliefs are, and what the opposing group's target is without insinuating anything negative.
This process has to be covered in prayer in order for us to be ‘in the know' about what really is going on, because often it is about lies and deception.
Further more, it is important to gather information beforehand and to be well-versed in these matters. We should also have something to say against the killer argument of ‘homophobia' and the reproach of being ‘macho'.
If somebody is in a position of conflict concerning gender in employment, they need to pray and think, how should they implement their ‘work to rule' i.e. to only do the minimum.
Whoever has the gift of developing strategies should ask God for inspiration and initiate a prayer meeting in their company. Nothing hinders the ‘darkness' in companies more then a prayer meeting.
Beside gender literature, the book market is booming with books about manliness and femininity. While the gender movement tries to abolish the identity of sexes, others are building up their identity as either man or woman very consciously.
God's word is clear: HE created human beings as man and woman. There is no reason why we should doubt God's order. But we have every reason to live and reshape our lives again with God's help.
Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
Volker Zastrow: “Gender Mainstreaming” Political Sex Reversal F.A.Z. 20.06.2006
Andreas Dippel, The Gender Mania in: Christliches Medienmagazin pro no. 3, 2007
Gender Mainstreaming from the Wikipedia Online Lexicon
Various contributions from: Haargenau – als Mann und Frau. Wie die Gender-Perspektive versucht, die Geschlechterpolarität umzubrüsten. Salzkorn Spezial, Heft 5, 2006
Further critical literature:
Gabriele Kuby, Verstaatlichung der Erziehung. Auf dem Weg zum neuen Gender-Menschen und
Die Gender Revolution Relativismus in Aktion
Peter Marsch, Die Emanzipation – ein Irrtum. Warum die Angleichung der Geschlechter unsere Gesellschaft restlos ruinieren wird.
Volker Zastrow, Gender, Political Sex Reversal.