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Friday, August 30, 2013

My Least Favorite Piece of Misogyny This Week: Russia

Posted by Barbara Holm on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Russia recently incurred criticism for passing a law banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” Under the law, anyone supporting gay pride or anyone speaking in defense of gay rights is eligible for a prison sentence. A real prison sentence, not a verbal sentence about prison that we can ignore because we're not sure what it ends in a proposition for. My least favorite piece of gender politics related issues this week is the Russian law banning gay propaganda.

The law specifically bans discussing homosexuality in front of minors. That's stupid. When am I ever going to talk to someone who can't drink? I hate that the law is framed like talking about sexuality in front of children is negative. The Russian Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, said, "We want to prevent the young generation, whose psyche has not been formulated. We want to protect them against drunkenness, drugs and non-traditional sexual relations." This illustrates that sports ministers are even dumber than most of the recent ministers of magic. I am offended by the implication that being gay is a choice, and furthermore that it's a negative choice children may be corrupted by, like smoking cigarettes or understanding Justin Beiber.

It's stupid to imply that endorsing pro-gay messages might have a detrimental affect on children. What negative message could possibly be imparted by equality? It's like, oh no if we're going to let someone marry someone of the same sex, what's next, children believing that love exists? Some house in the icy suburbs, a dead-eyed aging child bride comes up the stairs, sees her son drawing hearts in a composition notebook. She's like, "Vat is zis, hope and optimizm for a more idealiztic future? Vo taught you zis?"

I asked my Russian friend what he thought of Russia's institutionalized homophobia and laws against teaching children about equality. He responded, "Barbara, how many times do I have to tell you, I am not from Russia; I am from Ukraine." So, clearly, it's a really divisive social issue.

I love that athletes have protested the gay propoganda ban. Around the world strong, confident women are standing up for what they believe in. I think that if children are learning anything from this controversy it's that there are smart women with strong convictions who stand up for their rights and for the rights of those around them. This law is stupid and offensive, but there are so many people with beautiful altruistic hearts and everything is going to be okay. That has been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week, tune in next week to thumb wrestle with a giggling monster.

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