The so-called Istanbul Convention has again become a topic of discussion. While the Czech government has postponed talks about the matter, supporters of the convention started to accuse concerned politicians of tolerating or directly promoting violence against women. But that is not true. On the other hand, the document promotes gender ideology and is a step towards replacing family education with social education.
While some people see all sorts of evil in the document, the main problem is that the Convention promotes implementing the fashionable ideology of gender into law systems of individual countries.
At first sight, it is odd that in the preamble, the Istanbul Convention declares that it aims to defend the weaker sex from violence, but at the same time adds the term “gender” to the understandable and clear term “woman.” As if gender identity was not decided by nature, but by social education. Well, not as if, progressivists have been pushing this nonsense on people for a long time. According to them, society has assigned little girls and boys their “gender roles.”
In Czechia, so far, the idea that an upbringing in the “toxic masculine” environment forces girls to iron clothes and lets boys drive a car, or that there are dozens of sexes, seems ridiculous. But it does not have to be this way forever. The Istanbul Convention is the first such important document that aims to anchor gender ideology as an internationally recognized instrument of re-educating “chauvinist” society.
In the Convention, “gender” is mentioned in various forms about twenty times. The effort to promote gender ideology often leads to ridiculous and absurd formulations, which use sex and gender as two different words. In other parts of the document, it is not so funny. For example, in the section stating that “the parties will do everything necessary to ensure that every citizen, especially men and boys, is actively involved in the prevention of all forms of violence.” That is, every citizen, but mainly “chauvinistic men,” is a suspect.
It is not surprising that the conservative Polish government does not look kindly on something that instructs it to accept gender as a social construct and introduces mechanisms, including mandatory international monitoring, to “correct” the mistakes of family upbringing. Liberals accuse Poles of refusing the Istanbul Convention so they could beat their wives. But what would they say if they had to ratify an international treaty that would oblige them to define marriage only as a union of a man and a woman?
Of course, no one can be forced to adopt a conservative ideology at the international level. But the progressivists want to push their beliefs in this way. And that is the crux of the problem. Interstate conventions take precedence over domestic laws, including constitutional ones. In many countries, gender ideology naturally becomes part of the law system simply because liberals are in power. In the case of the Istanbul Convention, there is an effort to push its principles into national legislation in one bulk without countries’ representatives voting on each specific proposal in parliament.
There is, of course, no objection to the very core of the Convention, which is the fight against violence against women. For European countries, however, the Convention brings nothing new at all, no progress, it only describes what has long been part of not only the law system but also social values.
To improve the position of women all over the world, it would be better to purge the Convention of gender ideology and to enforce it at the UN level, not just in the Council of Europe.
However, in the end, the dispute over the Istanbul Convention is futile as progressivists are likely to assert their gender ideology anyway. The only thing left after this fight will be a slightly more divided, confused, and misinformed society. Like after any such battle.
It is interesting, though, that progressivists so willingly admit that they want to influence the upbringing of children directly in families. Proposals to replace family education with state re-education are not the invention of the 21st century. About 170 years ago, Marx and Engels came with a similar idea in their Communist Manifesto: “The bourgeois family will vanish … Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents?”
Replace the “bourgeois family” with “traditional family” and there you have it, an innovation of old Marxism to modern neo-Marxism. So while I find the quarrel over the Istanbul Convention to be overly emotional and often based on misconceptions, I insist that we must not allow neo-Marxists to label those who refuse state intervention in family upbringing because of their beliefs and values as barbarians who beat women.
Individual freedom must always take precedence over collectivist claims. And when it comes to individual freedom, the family is in the front line. That is why it has also become the target of neo-Marxists, who, again, want to re-educate us. Totalitarian genes are always unmistakably revealed, among other things, by the fact that their carriers want to snatch children from their parents, provide upbringing in their way, as Hitlerjugend or Komsomol did, and thus create a “new” person. In the past, the result has always been atrocious, though.
Title image: Istanbul Convention will impact the upbringing in families (Info.cz)