Resisting "Gender Theory" in France: A Fulcrum for Religious Action in a Secular Society


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Resisting "Gender Theory" in France: A Fulcrum for Religious Action in a Secular Society
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Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe. Mobilizing against Equality
Michael Stambolis-Ruhstorfer, Josselin Tricou
Rowman & Littlefield
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In 2013, the organization La Manif Pour Tous, organized major streets protests in Paris and cities across France to denounce the Socialist majority's bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Fueled by techno music, bright pink and blue banners, and catchy slogans, they put a fun and secular face on an essentially religious movement. Since then, this group and others have put their efforts into a host of progressive reforms on gender and sexuality issues, which they call claim are the result of American inspired, "gender theory." This paper argues that this conservative French resistance is a new manifestation of historic struggles between conservative and liberal forces both within the Catholic church and in broader French society. Anti-gender activists, many of whom have ties to the Church and its satellite organizations, have garnered widespread public visibility and a measure of political success despite the passage of marriage and adoption equality. Their modes of action, including international partnerships and references to youth-culture, successfully appealed to French Catholics' feelings of marginalization and tapped into disappointment at the newly elected Left's reforms in a time of crisis. Drawing on culturally powerful symbols in the French context, activists and conservative politicians leveraged popular secular discourse against globalization, unchecked economic liberalism, and loss of national identity to federate otherwise disparate social interests. In so doing, groups like The Manif Pour Tous and its sister organizations have developed a secularized conservative religious movement that is particularly well suited for an evolving transnational backlash against gender and sexual equality.
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31/10/2022 11:08
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01/11/2022 7:42
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