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Gender as ‘Ebola from Brussels’: The Anti-colonial Frame and the Rise of Illiberal Populism
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Gender Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8263-5530
University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
2018 (English)In: Signs (Chicago, Ill.), ISSN 0097-9740, E-ISSN 1545-6943, Vol. 43, no 3, p. 797-821Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines the recent wave of grassroots mobilizations opposing gender equality, LGBT rights and sex education, which vilify the term gender in public debates and policy document. The anti-gender movement emerged simultaneously in various locations after 2010. We argue that it is not just another wave of anti-feminist backlash, or a new tactic of the Vatican in its ongoing efforts to undermine gender equality, but a new ideological and political configuration, which emerged in response to global economic crisis of 2008 and the ongoing crisis of liberal democracy. The backlash of the 80s and 90s combined neo-conservatism with market fundamentalism (which is to some extent still the case with neoconservative Christian fundamentalists in the US and elsewhere), while the new movement – though in many ways a continuation of earlier trends – tends to combine  gender conservatism with a critique of neoliberalism and globalization. Liberal elites are presented as “colonizers”; “genderism” is demonized as an ideology imposed by the world’s rich on the poor. Thanks to the anti-colonial frame, anti-genderism has remarkable ideological coherence and great mobilizing power: right-wing populists have captured the imagination and hearts of large portions of local populations more effectively than progressive movements have managed to do. The article examines the basic tenets of anti-genderism, shedding light on how this ideological construct contributes to the contemporary transnational resurgence of illiberal populism. We argue that today’s global right, while selectively borrowing from liberal-left and feminist discourses, is in fact constructing a new universalism, an illiberal one. While the examples discussed are mostly from Poland, the pattern is transnational, and our conclusions may have serious implications for feminist theory and activism.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Chicago Press, 2018. Vol. 43, no 3, p. 797-821
Keywords [en]
gender, anti-gender, populism, knowledge, right-wing, feminism
National Category
Gender Studies Political Science
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39106DOI: 10.1086/696691ISI: 000432224800002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85046896156OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39106DiVA, id: diva2:1356709
Part of project
Gender and Political Cultures of Knowledge in Germany, Poland, and Sweden, The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, A 78/2014Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Ebola from Brussels Korolczuk and Graff(213 kB)71 downloads
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Korolczuk, Elżbieta

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Citation style
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