The U.S. government is sparing no effort to spread radical gender ideology at home and abroad.
It’s not popular at home. The more Americans grasp the horrors of what gender ideology is, the more they reject it. Its growing presence in medicine and K-12 schools is most polarizing. Beneath its euphemisms, gender ideology is irrational, destructive, and anti-human. Nevertheless, the left is trying to bully and confuse Americans into accepting it.
Meanwhile, President Biden is directing the full financial and diplomatic heft of the U.S. government to export gender ideology and other such pet projects. Yet they’re more than unpopular in the developing world—they’re toxic.
The gender radicals make no secret of their plans. The presidential memorandum on advancing “LGBTQI+ rights” abroad was the outline. The National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality is the blueprint. And the U.S. government juggernaut is now using it to bully smaller, poorer developing countries. Woe to the religious believers and traditional families who stand in the way.
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Such families live in countries as far from each other as Indonesia, Guatemala, and Uganda. They profess different religious beliefs and come from diverse racial and ethnic groups. But they share traditional beliefs about marriage, family, and sexual morality. They believe that God created men and women to be different for good reason.
To the Biden team, these convictions are old-fashioned and bigoted. And they’re determined to use American diplomacy and foreign assistance to try and convert them.
Last year USAID rewrote its gender policy to reflect the left’s obsession with gender theory. The word “gender” used to be a polite alternative to “sex.” But USAID redefined it as a social construct, and “gender identity” as a “self-determined” sense of oneself. These new definitions open the category of “women” to anyone, male or female, who identifies as one.
Today, USAID boasts a network of over 180 gender advisors embedded in its offices throughout the world. These gender advisors integrate the agency’s gender equity and equality goals into programming.
USAID recently released a new guide on “Integrating LGBTQI+ Considerations Into Education Programming.” It recommends “train[ing] educators to model the use of inclusive language (i.e., names, pronouns, descriptors).” It says that lessons should include information about “diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.”
The guide goes on to instruct its partners to avoid “policies based on a gender binary.” It urges them to support “students who want to express a different gender than what was assigned at birth.” And it promotes resources from GLSEN, the influential activist group that promotes gender ideology in classrooms.
USAID isn’t the only government agency on this mission. The State Department has an open grant for $1.5 million to participate in the Global Equality Fund. Recipients of this grant will empower local “LGBTQI+” communities and promote social inclusion. Last year another grant funded lobbying to increase “LGBTQI+” acceptance in Botswana.
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In fact, the State Department requires grant applications to include a “gender and inclusion analysis.” It must include “gender norms, equity and equality for underserved communities and marginalized populations.” In other words, hopeful grant recipients must endorse these ideas before getting a single dollar. Those who refuse cannot even compete for funds.
USAID dispenses billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in the developing world. In many places it has done good work. But now, it posts the genderbread person bearing the motto “from the American people” in those countries too. These images, and the ideology they serve, are anathema to traditional religions and cultures.
Using conditional aid to pursue worldwide adherence to gender ideology is wrong. It’s also foolish. While China and Russia buy influence across the global South, the U.S. is tarnishing its good name in developing countries.
Gender ideology is poison to African children and families too, and they know it. Whatever good will the U.S. might earn through genuine aid to the developing world, we are squandering by pushing the latest craze of the sexual left.
This piece originally appeared in The Washington Times