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Accepted Paper:

Female faces of anti-gender movement: case of scholarly heteroactivism in Ukraine  

Author:

Maryna Shevtsova (University of Lund)

Paper short abstract:

The paper draws on the recently coined concept of 'heteroactivism' to examine the ways in which homophobic claims are framed and employed within scholarly campaigns in Ukraine, making the issues of motherhood and 'complete' traditional family central to the well-being of Ukrainian citizens.

Paper long abstract:

While right-wing homophobic aggression resulted in the emergence of what I define as Ukrainian homo-patriotism (open readiness of Ukrainian LGBTI people, predominantly cis-gender gay men to reproduce the national project and participate in military actions (Shevtsova 2018), new actors and form of resistance appeared within Ukrainian anti-gender movement in response to that, the present paper engages with those, namely, focusing on female spokespersons of Ukrainian radical right-wing and conservative anti-feminist groups. Using their public self-presentation: interviews, performances at the protests, posts in social media and on official sites of the groups, this article explores how issues of sexuality, gender, and women's rights is being instrumentalized and integrated into resistance against "Western ideologies" and which political purposes this instrumentalization serves. The paper will draw on the recently coined concept of 'heteroactivism' (Browne and Nash, 2017) to examine ideological and activist work of those resisting to promotion of LGBT rights and gender equality. In particular, I will focus on ways in which heteroactivist claims were framed and employed within scholarly and grassroots campaigns in Ukraine, making the issues of motherhood, 'complete' traditional family, and Christianity central to the well-being of Ukrainian citizens (in particular, minors).

Panel P126
Interrogating the global geopolitics of homosexuality: state-sponsored homophobia as reaction to Western cultural imperialism? [European Network for Queer Anthropology]