While perusing blogger extraordinaire zombie’s recent photo journalistic essay concerning the “1 Billion Rising” rally/protest in San Francisco, a photo of a woman holding a sign demanding “gender democracy.”
Just what is “gender democracy”? It turns out that it has a lot to do with how the Progressive left defines “democracy.” It turns out that for them, “democracy” is only tangentially related to how a government is chosen, or even with voting!
”Democracy” seems to have more to do with feeling and faux liberation to such people as this gender-violence activist:
“The term gender democracy evokes the many dynamic paths to gender equality and equity that civil society, cultures and individuals take. I first heard the term used by our Central Asian sisters in Tajikistan – they found it resonated better at the community level than the term gender equality. Gender democracy conveys strength, freshness, liberation.
“Equality is critical to liberation, but equality is not a matter of catching up, or narrowing the gap towards an ideal. It is in fact a radical demand marked by fundamental shifts in the access to, and distribution of wealth, resources, and power. Is gender equality a radical or a fundamental demand?”
To make sense out of this, or at least as much sense at can be made out of this, it might be instructional to look how the “Reconstituting Democracy in Europe” (RECON) project of the European Union’s Commission tries to explain it.
They clearly reject that democracy can be defined or judged as a procedure, that is, the method by which government and decisions are made; rather they believe that “democracy”:
“[E]mphasises the need to start from a substantial, rather than a procedural, definition of democracy – that is, a ‘thicker’ definition which characterises democracy in terms of a set of normative principles against which institutional rules and practices should be judged.”
In effect, it means that a majority voting to support a position or candidate is not democracy unless it fits with other normative principles.
To be fair, when most people in Western Civilization say they support “democracy,” what they mean is that they support “liberal democracy” with classical liberal values such as a respect for human rights, civic virtue, and individual liberty. Considering that the European Commissions RECON group outright states in it’s name that is wants to “reconstitute” democracy into something else. Thus “gender democracy” is one of the routes by which the normative values of Western Civilization can be swept away.
A key point is that they consider that “democracy” must take gender into account if it is to be “democracy”; it is not enough that both men and women have equal access to the ballot box, an equal chance to express their opinion and organize people to their side, or even equal access to the ballot itself:
“It should be noted, however, that the fact that an assessment methodology is informed by a definition of democracy in terms of public control with political equality does not automatically entail that it will be gender-sensitive. The question here is how the principle of political equality is conceptualised. Indeed, the assumption that this democratic principle can be realised through formal rights of participation and representation which are equally granted to all the adult population – irrespective of gender – constitutes one of the central feminist criticisms of liberal democracy.”
This is just the old Progressive trope of “gender blindness,” which is similar to “color blindness” when it comes to race. Why do they derisively put down this “blindness”? Because they judge “democracy” in part by what they consider to be “participatory parity” and it can only be measured if people are hyper-conscious about race or gender”:
“‘[P]articipatory parity’ in substantive terms, as an ideal of justice requiring social arrangements that permit all to participate as peers in social life.”
As such, it would mean that “democracy” isn’t democracy unless its normative values reflect the Progressives’ ideal of “diversity.”
It should be noted that to the modern Progressive left, “gender” does not mean male or female in a biological sense, but as a social construct which can result in a near infinite number of “genders,” which makes it easier to denigrate the traditional masculine. The irony of simultaneously allowing for near infinite genders, which trying to abolish the very notion of gender readily apparent.
This also ties into the idea of “kyriarchy,” or more specifically in this case, the “Patriarchy™.” In essence, the Progressive left believe that the status quo, by whatever term is preferred, is defined in part by being oppressive and undemocratic, with those aspects being integral thereto. Thus they must purge society of this Patriarchy™ (or “Kyriarchy” as the case may be), and consider doing that as the only way to allow everyone else to have their fair share in deciding things. How can everyone have their fair share in decision making and thus achieve “equality,” when they work to push aside those that disagree with them? The established normative values are defined as being “unequal,” and that the inequality (such as “Affirmative Action”) isn’t “inequality” but rather defined as “equal” since it is the antithesis of the established normative values which had been previously defined as “unequal,” thus Q.E.D.
It is now clear, that the Progressive left does not care about actual equality. They care about destroying the status quo, and replacing it wholesale with their own normative values. This is why even though boys are highly under represented in college, they are not considered victim of “inequality.” “Equality” becomes a term they use as a mere proxy for something else, in large part because “equality” has a good connotation, while “inequality” has a negative connotation, and it becomes easier to their Nouveau-Normative values when they crouch it in terms that obfuscate their aims.
RECON goes on to summarize what “gender democracy” is with this:
“Summing up, for the purposes of developing an assessment methodology, there are four basic requisites that a definition of gender democracy should fulfil. These are:
That is it informed by a substantive, rather than a procedural, conception democracy;
- That that is enables an articulation of the principle of political equality which takes into account issues of inclusion, recognition and equal respect;
- That it is not single-focused on either the principles of political equality or popular control, but rather gives equal weight to both;
- That it can be rendered operational in principle.
“In this context, deliberative democracy offers an ideal framework for the formulation of a definition of gender democracy that fulfils these provisos. According to deliberative democracy theory, what makes a political decision democratically legitimate is not that is has majoritarian support, but rather that it has been critically examined by ‘qualified and afflicted members of the community’ through a reason-giving practice. In other words, a legitimate decision is one that can be consented to after withstanding scrutiny by those that are bound by it.”
To the Progressive left, democracy isn’t “democracy” unless people’s thinking is correct, as judged by the self-selected elite! That is not democracy; it is a oligarchy of tyrants.