National Post

Monday, June 12, 2000

Radical feminists only need apply
Susan Martinuk
National Post

The United Nations may have hosted a worldwide conference on women's equality, but it is abundantly clear this was one conference where all women were not equal. In fact, some women were not even welcome.

If you're a radical, left-wing gender feminist who is pro-abortion and considers the traditional family to be a repressive patriarchy, the door was wide open. If you're a lesbian, even better. Heck, the Canadian government might even have paid your way to the conference or given you a position on its negotiating team.

But if you're a stay-at-home mother, or a social conservative who is straight, anti-abortion and pro-family, then you were officially persona non grata -- and the Canadian government supported efforts to ensure that your influence was limited.

One of the government's academic funding agencies gave a $98,000 grant to the University of Quebec so "researchers" could investigate the lobbying "tactics" of conservative women's groups and devise strategies to counter them at the Beijing+5 conference that ended Saturday in New York.

Apparently, this was deemed necessary because feminist groups "expressed their unease at the presence of right-wing feminist groups at the UN." The researchers describe such "intimidating" tactics as wearing red buttons saying Motherhood or blue buttons saying Family. Of course, feminist groups sport buttons saying [M]Otherhood and FAKE Women (a slam at REAL Women, a conservative women's group).

The report also alleges that some people carry Bibles (although other reports say there is no evidence of this) or wear religious robes (the only Christian group to do so was a group of Catholic brothers who wear such attire every day of the year). The study also claims that Christians had ashen crosses on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. But the report doesn't make any reference to Muslim women who wear religious veils and head coverings or delegates from other traditions that have particular dress requirements.

One hundred thousand taxpayer dollars to report that priests wear robes and that buttons proclaiming Motherhood are frightening! Perhaps the government and the authors of the report have forgotten the very scary fact that by far the majority of women in Canada are mothers.

Compare these "intimidating" tactics to those used by the feminists (including Canada's official delegation) to ensure their radical agenda was adopted:

Members of conservative NGOs (non-governmental organizations) were shouted down at meetings and had their recommendations pushed to the end of the agenda -- only to be deleted as time ran short. Meeting times and places were changed - and conservative groups conveniently not notified. The UN gave official NGO status to more than 2,000 feminist and left-wing groups -- but conservative groups numbered between 15 and 20. The UN bureaucracy deliberately acted to further limit the influence of conservative groups by reducing the number of official participants to three per NGO. Given such numbers, one can see why such an overwhelming conservative presence would be intimidating!

If using bureaucracy to manipulate the proceedings didn't work, there were more blatant tactics. A pro-life, pro-family delegate from Poland was told to support the push for sexual and reproductive rights or risk Poland's acceptance into the European Union. A pro-family member of the Nicaraguan government who opposed the proposed definition of gender was fired when the UN threatened to withhold funding to Nicaragua if this position was not reversed. Humanitarian aid packages are frequently used as political tools to enforce compliance with coercive population methods and the western agenda on sexual rights.

So much for the feminist cry of "choice" and "equality" and "tolerance" for all women. It is clear that equality and tolerance are only extended to those who agree with feminist and pro-homosexual rights positions.

The movement for women's rights and equality has been overtaken by fringe, minority groups with militant agendas that have nothing to do with equality. Their goals do not represent those of the majority of Canadian women, nor do they advance the cause of women in developing countries who still lack access to basics such as education and employment.

As one feminist shouted to a pro-family delegate from Australia last week, "You're invading our space. This is our conference."

It is indeed.

But as the pitch of their cry increases, we would do well to remember that he (or in this case, she) who shouts loudest probably has the least to say.

Susan Martinuk is a Vancouver writer.

(Each link opens a new window)

  • United Nations: Beijing+5: The main site for the conference otherwise known as "Women 2000." Also check out this PDF document discussing strategies for implementing the five-year-old Beijing platform.
  • Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: What was agreed upon in Beijing.
  • Status of Women Canada: Beijing+5 page of the ministry headed by Hedy Fry.
  • Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action: A critique of the Beijing+5 conference.
  • WomenWatch: The UN agency attempting to advance women's rights across the world.
  • Holy See: The official web site of the Vatican, a criticized participant in the talks.

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