On Thursday (16), I participated in the launch panel of the book “Anti-Gender Policies in Latin America” (available for free download on the website of the Observatory of Sexuality and Politics, which signs the publication with the Brazilian Interdisciplinary Association of AIDS), a very comprehensive study carried out by many hands, which retraces the temporal trajectory of anti-gender in Latin America and shows how “gender ideology” and other formulas are appropriated by politicians and religious leaders in their governments and power plans.
The publication defines, for example, that the “gender ideology” has been propagated in Latin America like an empty basket. “The anti-gender language is popular, versatile and common sense. It has left religious semantics behind and has appropriated arguments from biology, biomedicine, demography, as well as from democracy, citizenship and law.” And he remembers that despite having been more replicated from 2013, the book “Agenda de Gênero”, by the American journalist Dale O’leary, published in 1997, already had this fiction (my term), linked to a “Marxism, communism or totalitarianism” — a combination that would be “particularly powerful in the 2018 Brazilian elections, when it operated as a symbolic glue to bring together ‘gender ideology’, pedophilia, the Workers’ Party and Marxism under the same umbrella of accusations”.
In the conversation about the book, anthropologist and professor Isabela Kalil spoke about how the patterns found in anti-gender discourses and actions in the various countries observed in the study caught the attention of researchers and highlighted that Bolsonaro’s campaign promises regarding the fight against “ideology of gender” and “Marxist indoctrination” were refined during his government, and became in fact public policies, but now focused on the “family” – a notion of heteronormative family not based on affective, but biological ties.
The book also argues that anti-gender policies are not just about promoting retrograde laws and policies in relation to gender, sexuality and abortion: “The political trajectories recovered by the studies show that the investment made in the preservation or restoration of sexual and gender orders is in the the heart of the democratic erosion and rightward shift sweeping the region” and provides detailed analyzes of the alliances between neoconservatism, evangelical fundamentalism and Catholic ultraconservatism.
I highly recommend reading it, especially to anyone who is concerned about setbacks and threats to human rights and who has asked the important (and currently quite sad) question: “How did we get here?”