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‘Woman Is Not A Feeling:’ Heritage Foundation Defends Gender And Draws Fire At UN Panel

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The DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation spoke out in defense of traditional gender ideology at a UN panel earlier in March and drew backlash from activists.

The panel, part of the Commission on the Status of Women, was entitled “Gender Equality and Gender Ideology: Protecting Women and Girls.” Presented by the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, panel members consisted of Dr. Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation, Mary Hasson from the Catholic Women’s Forum, Dr. Monique Robles from the Lozier Institute and Dr. Melissa Moschella from the Catholic University of America.

The panel drew anger and criticism from The Women’s March Global account, which tweeted, “What a surprise – The DeVos Foundation is at the UN (yes that very same DeVos Family) – ‘advocating’ for women under the guise of Gender Equality.

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The Women’s March Global account also expressed outrage at the language used by the DeVos Center, saying phrases like “biology is the basis of sex,” have no place at the Commission on the Status of Women. They further alerted their followers to a petition revoking the Holy See’s status at theUnited Nations — “Support Catholics For Human Rights Call To Revoke the UN Status Of The Holy See.”

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In a Monday op-ed to the Washington Times, Emilie Kao, the director of the DeVos Center, defended the DeVos Center and said the recently proposed Equality Act equates womanhood with mere feelings in an op-ed to The Washington Times.

“How ironic that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced the Equality Act during Women’s History Month,” Kao wrote. “The bill’s proponents insist it’s meant simply to protect the rights of the LGBT community. But by embracing the ideology of “gender identity,” it treats womanhood as a mutable feeling rather than an immutable fact. This, in the end, will only increase the very real dangers and disadvantages women face.”

Kao said the Equality Act strips women of rights that leaders like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have acknowledged and fought for — such as Ginsburg’s acknowledgement that making Virginia Military Institution co-ed would require private spaces for women’s privacy.

“We tell young women and girls that they can do anything,” Kao wrote. “But if the Equality Act passes, it will put their dreams out of reach. For them to enjoy the progress that their grandmothers, mothers and sisters fought for, we must stand up for the truth that being female isn’t a feeling or a social construct. It’s a biological fact.”

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