Anti-Gender Campaigns, Freedom and Education about Gender and Sexuality in Australian Schools

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Research is being conducted on diverse anti-gender mobilization campaigns in Europe (Kuhar and Paternotte; forthcoming). Building on and expanding this research, this paper looks at how anti-gender campaigners are mobilizing in the Australian context. I consider how ideas and tactics from diverse European campaigns may inform Australian campaigns. My specific focus is on how anti-gender campaigners are seeking to influence the provision of education about gender and sexuality in Australian schools.

Drawing on Eric Fassin's study of gender norms and sexual democracy (2011) in France, I consider how anti-gender campaigners deploy "common sense" understandings of gender in order to oppose discussions of gender, sexuality and diversity in education. I also touch on the challenges of negotiating diverse gender perspectives in ways that can attend to religious freedom and sexual freedom.