In light of the recent ban of gender studies in Hungary, the LSE Department of Gender Studies and Engenderings are calling for contributions to a blog post series on transnational anti-gender politics. Not only in Hungary have gender studies and feminist thought become the target of vicious attacks. In Germany, gender studies are consistently targeted as a pseudo-science that threatens proper academic rigor and social conduct, in France, anti-same sex marriage activists have decried ‘gender ideology’ as a weapon aimed at destroying the nuclear family, and, in Brazil, effigies of queer feminist theorist Judith Butler were burned down in protest of her visit last year. Transnationally, then, anti-gender politics target gender studies as a an academic field, the ‘rise of gender ideology’ as a socio-political force, and individuals – whether they be scholars, activists or politicians – seen to be their embodied representatives.

Demonstration banner in blue and pink with words “Con mis Hijos no te Metas” (Spanish for “Don’t mess with our Children”)
Peruvian demonstrators from Lima in the 2018 “Marcha por la Vida” (March for Life). Most of the participants belong to the conservative movement “Con mis Hijos no te Metas” (“Don’t mess with our Children”) against so-called gender ideology. Photo credit: Mayimbú

For the blog series, we consequently want to discuss how we can make sense of and resist the current attacks on gender studies, ‘gender ideology’ and individuals working within the field? How can we understand the rise of anti-gender politics in the light of intensified nationalism and racism and how are they also intertwined with religion, capital and heteronormative understandings of the family? How do anti-gender politics resemble but also differ from each other in distinct geopolitical contexts? And what forms of knowledge, collective action and intervention might be mobilized to stem or even reverse this anti-feminist backlash? As a transnational and interdisciplinary blog series, we encourage contributions from different fields and forms of expertise and are particularly interested in submissions from a range of geopolitical contexts.

Topics for the blog series might include but are not limited to:

  • Moral panics around ‘gender ideology’
  • Anti-gender politics and the rise of right-wing populisms
  • Nationalism, racism and the protection of the family
  • Gender Studies as a ‘pseudo-science’ and attacks on gender from within the academy
  • The role of religion and religious discourses e.g. conservative Catholics and evangelicals
  • Anti-queer politics and attacks on sex education, marriage equality and gender identity laws
  • Attacks on abortion and reproductive technologies
  • The globalization of anti-gender politics, resources and networks
  • Homo- and femonationalism in relation to anti-gender and anti-queer politics
  • Trans politics and the protection of the ‘natural’ gender binary
  • Capital, class and the relation of anti-gender politics to austerity regimes
  • (Neo-)colonial entanglements, postracialism and the framing of gender as a Western invention
  • The relation between anti-feminism and anti-genderism

Pieces should be from 500-1500 words and be sent to Pieces are accepted on a rolling basis and will follow the normal editorial process described in the ‘Notes for contributors’ section of Engenderings’ website, and will then be published accordingly. As an ongoing political intervention, we are planning to continue this blog series and are aiming to extend it into a special issue for an academic journal and possibly a one day conference and/or workshop at the LSE.