Editor’s Note: This talk, given on August 18, 2018, was the third of a series of conferences for the young adult gathering in Córdoba, Argentina, on the subject of “Attacks on Modern Youth.” Professor Patricia Barrio de Villanueva has given multiple conferences at young adult meetings. She is a professor of history at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, and the mother of a Society of Saint Pius X priest. In this conference she addresses the historical antecedents and the false foundations of so-called “gender theory.” The oral style of the talk has been retained throughout.
A Cultural Revolution
Today we are going to speak of what we may call a “cultural revolution.” When we speak of revolution we must always understand that it is a deep change, a fundamental one; and we could also say—and in this I follow the writings of Calderón Bouchet—that the concept of revolution is the process of man distancing himself from God. It is a long process that begins, first of all, in modernism. When we speak of culture, without defining it too scientifically, we refer to all those things that we do: art, customs, laws, our way of organizing ourselves, our style of dress, our form of interaction with our friends, husbands, boy and girl-friends. All that which forms something intangible but essential in the life of mankind, all this is culture. What I am trying to say is that we are not going to talk about the economic revolution; we are referring to man’s space of cultural activity and productivity.
Within this topic of the cultural revolution, we will directly address some matters that attack the virtues that are so dear to Christians and personified, for example, in the Blessed Virgin: such virtues as chastity, purity, modesty, and even temperance.
The revolutionary process, at this point, has reached a level of acceleration such that it has gone far past the breaking down of all these virtues; it proposes to overturn completely not only Christian order, but even the pre-Christian order—that is to say, the way society organized itself even before the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ—and this especially, because all cultures have recognized the family as the most important basis of society for mankind: that society in which we find procreation, the education of offspring, and mutual help between man and woman on the basis of complementarity. This is the place where we are truly free, and where we can truly reach a natural and supernatural happiness. The family is fundamental to any society; and cultural revolution attacks the family directly.
The cultural revolution presents itself as a sort of unheard-of experiment—and why unheard-of? Because what is being proposed is something without antecedents, something that is contra naturam—we will explain why shortly—and because if it comes to fruition, we have no idea how it will end; there are no antecedents even in Sodom and Gomorrah that can help us predict how the society currently being proposed would end up. I will not cover the topic exhaustively, but we will talk about three aspects—there are many more—of this “ideological combo” that is being pushed, most of all, upon you.
The “Ideological Combo”
I repeat, this will not cover the topic completely; but I would say that the “ideological combo” that is being insisted upon begins with the rejection of the mission of the woman, that of procreation—I need say no more—and this, too, has different facets; the most important of these is the idea of abortion. This goes directly against womanhood, and against the function and instinct of reproduction that belongs to all species.
The second aspect of the “combo” is the enmity between man and woman. Everything today is directed to the idea that we women should hate men above all—even our fathers; all things masculine are deeply hated, and this is one of the most notable ideas that is promoted.
And third comes what we call gender theory itself; which is the consideration that any sexual orientation, and preferably homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality, are perfectly legitimate attitudes toward our sexual practices.
These three matters are all part of the same “ideological combo” that is not only unheard of among mankind, as we have said; but also, it leaves man absolutely alone, because he is torn away from the natural society that is the family, and besides, it creates a state of permanent conflict between us and those to whom we have to relate, which could be women who think differently, but especially the opposite sex which is considered in terms of a social conflict.
Now, about the concept of gender itself: why does the question arise? The concept of gender stems from the discussion, often taken up in anthropology, concerning the weight of biology and culture on human conduct. For example, when I studied at the university, I had an anthropology class where they told me that man is cultural, that he has no essence. So the professor spent the whole hour writing about characteristics of man because he couldn’t describe man’s essence—because if you’re an anthropologist you simply can’t talk about essence, it’s their philosophy—but all of this was overcome when the human genome was discovered, because as we already know, humans have a truly impressive load of genes. This theory has been publicized since the decade of the 1950s, with some interesting proponents—for example, Mr. Alfred Kinsey, who was in the pay of the University of Indiana, who had a sexual conduct department and wrote two books on “Sexual Conduct of Man and Woman,” saying that 10% of the world’s population is homosexual. He lied—this was all uncovered later. It was a bluff, rather like that of Rubinstein in the Argentinian Senate; but just so you can see its impact, the laws of marriage equality in Spain would be based on the data that Kinsey gave, even long after that data had been completely refuted on the basis of science.
And the idea that man is a “cultural concept” and therefore nature and the force of biology do not matter, would have terrible results… Many of you have heard of the experiment of Dr. John Money with the Reimer twins. He said that this little boy, who had had a botched circumcision and would have serious issues with his male genitalia, should be dressed as a woman—that there would be no problems. He said this because he was convinced that masculine and feminine behavior is cultural, so what problem could there be? They performed surgery on him, they dressed him as a girl; and the poor child was a boy, and wanted to be a boy because his nature cried out for it, and eventually after a long struggle he wound up committing suicide.
Now, Money created and used this concept of gender. What does “gender” really mean? We use “gender” as a convention in grammar: salt in Spanish is feminine gender, “la sal,” and in Italian is masculine, “il sale.” The masculine and feminine gender in languages are conventional. Money carries over the concept of gender, which is normal in languages, into sexuality as something conventional. And Money said this and inaugurated this idea in 1951, not in 2010!
You well know what gender theory states: that differences in ways of thinking, acting and self-esteem are products of culture—this is what Money said—and of a certain period of time in which each group of persons is assigned a series of characteristics which are explained by the oppressive structures set up and imposed on each person by society; and this code of conduct imposed upon us is called a “gender stereotype.” Here, then, is perfectly defined what one of the great feminist theorists, Judith Butler, says: “Gender is a construct radically independent of sex;” that is, something artificial, free of all limits. In consequence, “man” and “male” can signify a female body just as much as a male one; “woman” and “female” can mean a male body just as much as a female one—we may say there is a complete rupture between what we are biologically and how we wish to act. To be a man or a woman is no longer natural; it ceases to be so; it is something constructed. I decide what I want to be; a duckling, a tree, a boy who wants to go to school or a man; and that must be respected. I am absolutely autonomous over my nature and my ideology.
Now, this whole concept took shape especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in the 1990s, and it took the name of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual movement: the LGBT Movement. It came from many years back and its most important moment came when this ideology was incorporated into the United Nations. That happened in 1995, at the Women’s Conference in Peking, when abortion—that is, contraception, abortion and gender theory—was instituted as a right. When this “ideological combo,” with some differences, was taken up by the United Nations, they immediately began laying down the law to the different countries, and so it began to really grow wings, especially because of the money; if you are an NGO and want to receive any money they force you to promote gender theory, to distribute contraceptive pills, to approve reproductive rights in general. So this theory that had been just for the elite began to spread vastly; and we are dealing with it now, after 23 years of uninterrupted growth.
In Argentina, we can note that all these things have been implemented with the exception of abortion, which has been stopped at least for the time being. During the Kirchner period all these gender perspectives were implemented; this did not happen in the United States nor in France. It happened here because we have a law on Integrated Sexual Education, which now must include gender perspectives—the priests and those who work in schools well know what a Damocles’ sword they have hanging over them. Marriage equality passed into law as well. And any day there might appear at a religious school some man dressed as a woman with a woman’s name, who wants to teach classes and believes he is a woman, despite being a man.
The last step is gender identity. The last things left for this “combo” to come to life are two: on one hand, abortion law, which for now has been stopped; and on the other, the political will of the government or governments—because sometimes it depends on the provinces—to implement these laws with the fullest force. I repeat, this “combo” is being enforced in Argentina, excepting abortion, and it is completely up to the political will of the state, on a provincial or national level, how soon it will begin to strike at us directly. But we cannot stop here, because a new theory has appeared, which some of you may know about: Queer Theory.
In 1984 the philosopher Michel Foucault wrote his History of Sexuality—I do not recommend it—and he proposed to deconstruct, which is a word that signifies taking down—many of you who study philosophy will know it—not only the distinction between man and woman but even the categories of “male” and “female” within the idea of gender. Because in gender theory, this occurs: “I am a man, biologically male, but I want to be a woman,” so the “masculine” and “feminine” categories continue to exist. Foucault says that what we have to take away is the very condition of difference between man and woman, between what is masculine and what is feminine—and why? Because where there is identity there is inequality; and where there is inequality, there is oppression. What they promote is what is called polymorphous sexuality—which Freud also mentions in early-childhood stages—which means “without distinction of masculine and feminine.” After all, as Kate Bornstein says: “Men would not enjoy male privilege if there were no men, and women could not be oppressed if womanhood did not exist.” To do away with gender is to do away with patriarchy, that is, what must be ended—as everything is a construct. Woman is a construct, she has nothing to do with biology; let us be done with the construct “woman,” the construct “man” and let us give them this new sexuality which is polymorphous sexuality. She says “the form in which the species is propagated is socially determined.”
If people were biologically or sexually polymorphous, that is, with no differences, today I might like one thing or the other or anything. And society would be so arranged that every form of sexual expression would be equally permitted. Reproduction would be the result of only certain sexual encounters—the heterosexual ones—and in more imaginative societies, biological reproduction could be ensured by other means. In this experiment—which is experimenting with the destruction of all western civilization, not only Christian—these people are wagering on getting as far as thinking of a machine that can manage, by way of implantation of ovaries or something, to end up forming a child.
See how far this has gotten—it’s like Frankenstein. You might ask where I got this idea. Well, let me tell you how, in 2015, the department of Social Sciences at the UBA did an experiment on a group of children, a movement they called “post-pornography.” They said, “Post-porno will move through the hallways of the university and sexualize everything around it. A proposal to amplify the pornographic imagination and experience other, sexualized forms of inhabiting the academic space.”
I won’t even tell you what went on because they did this on the day the kids graduated. It was utterly disgusting what went on, so much so that I will not describe it here.
We also have the transgender children, who have problems as you may know; there are over 1,000 that are undergoing treatment in England because they decided they want to know if they’re male or female…a truly Dantesque affair.
At some point I read the writings of the Archbishop of Poland, pontifical member of the Council on the Family and the Academy for Life, the late Monsignor Caffarra. In an interview with the Italian paper Tempi in 2015, he spoke at great length on the current moral crisis in the Western world. You know that in Europe they talk of being in a post-Christian era; and he said the following (at the time, in Europe the question of marriage equality was under discussion, which we had already passed, so we were ahead of them in that regard): “I have had various thoughts in mind, springing from the motion being voted on by the European Parliament. The first thought was this: ‘This is the end, Europe is dying, and perhaps she does not even want to live, for there has been no civilization that has survived the exaltation of homosexuality—and I do not say the exercise of homosexuality, but its exaltation.’”
In other words, it is a problem not of will, but of intelligence. Before the present panorama, the Cardinal asks himself out loud, “How is it possible that such seminal evidence can be obscured in the mind of man?”—And his response is overwhelming: “All of this is work of the devil, literally, it is the final challenge that Satan hurls at God the Creator, saying ‘I will teach You how I build an alternate creation to Yours and You will see how man says it is better. You promise them freedom, I offer them free-thinking. You give them love, I give them emotions. You want justice, and I the perfect equality that annuls all difference.’ “
We are certainly in for a very long and hard fight; and Caffarra asks, and I ask you: Who will be the workers in an enterprise that will require time, ability and much sacrifice? These, beyond a doubt, must be yourselves: knowing, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, that the vices contra naturam, all these of which we have been speaking, are the obverse of the coin of the heroic virtues—and St. Thomas calls them this, heroic virtues; but also without a doubt, with the grace of God and the intercession of Our Lady of heaven, I am sure that you will be able to stand firm, and we will be able to reconquer at least some small part of Christendom.