This paper seeks to lay out a critical feminist analysis of anti-gender discourse in 843 media texts published in Serbia from January 1, 2019 to October 31, 2022. A database with the largest coverage of mainstream news was selected.
The analysis was carried out by one of Countering Backlash’s research grants in Serbia
. It is a targeted sample through a search for several key terms characteristic for anti-gender discourses. Those terms are ‘gender ideology’, ‘family values’ and ‘traditional values’. Our research showed how the Serbian anti-gender movement’s discourse corresponds to the discursive framework and broader activities of the international anti-gender movement. As such, the local anti-gender movement stands in opposition to feminism, the LGBTQI+ movement, and progressive politics in general.
Like the international anti-gender movement, the local current relies on essentialist and biological understandings of gender and sexuality and insists on the traditionalist family structure based on gender asymmetry and accompanying hierarchies and is part of a broader rejection of ideas and practices of social and human equality. This context shines a light on why ideas about the social conditioning of gender, the fluidity and changeability of human identities, as well as the equality (in the legal sense as well) of different manifestations of human sexuality are considered so subversive.