Hidden Agenda in Beijing

September 01, 1995|By CAL THOMAS

Washington -- From his vacation retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, President Clinton dismissed as demagogues those who have criticized the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women, which begins Monday Beijing.

''All these issues,'' the president said, ''seem to be torn like Silly Putty into extremes, so now there is this huge effort in America to try to convince the American people that this conference is somehow anti-family, and that we're sending some sort of radical delegation there.

''Why? Not because it's true, but because it favors the almost addictive, almost narcotic drive among some elements in our society to take every single issue and use it as a cause for division among our people when we need to be united.''

Why is unity to be only on Mr. Clinton's terms, and those who disagree with those terms labeled divisive? This is the arrogance of so many liberals who believe they hold the franchise on truth.

President Clinton is supporting a delegation and a conference that seeks to redefine ''family'' as we've known it. The cover of human rights for women is used to advance a radical agenda. The conservative Family Research Council summarized the main points of the draft proposal:

The word ''mother'' has been bracketed throughout the entire platform, so that it might be changed to the word ''caretaker.''

''Family'' has also been bracketed so that ''household'' could be substituted. Bracketed words and phrases indicate delegates could not agree in advance on the text.

Paragraph 198 of the platform devalues the husband-wife relationship by making it into a power game:

''Inequality in the public arena can often start within the family when power relations between men and women are unbalanced with discriminatory attitudes and practices within the family. The unequal division of labor and responsibilities within households based on unequal power relations also limits women's potential.''

So, marriage is no longer to be considered a cooperative partnership, but a competitive entanglement in which rivals battle for supremacy in the home. The words ''wife'' and ''husband'' are omitted from the document.

The word ''gender'' is left open to interpretation, with as many as five under consideration. The idea that there are only two -- male and female -- is apparently passe, said to result from ''socially constructed roles which society assigns to men and women.''

The platform repeatedly states that governments should ''emphasize the role and responsibility of adolescents in sexual and reproductive behavior through the provision of appropriate services and counseling.'' It refuses to recognize parental authority regarding their own children's reproductive health.

And, of course, the U.N. gathering will promote abortion and contraceptives as human rights.

Does it sound as if the Beijing women's conference is going to be ''true blue to families,'' as the president claims? Not to any families most Americans live in or know. This is the most radical attempt yet to use the power of government to enforce an outrageous social order on a world that is already suffering the consequences of a bogus and wrong-headed philosophy planted by the flower children of the '60s.

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.

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