Does the sexual objectification of women exist

Russia

A lively debate about sexism in Russia has broken out as a result of a tweet from the independent online newspaper "Medusa". Agree.

The Russian blogger Anton Nosik. (& copy picture-alliance / dpa)

At the end of March, a heated debate on the subject of discrimination against women broke out in the independent media and social networks. The trigger for this was a failed tweet by the independent online newspaper "Medusa", which was intended as a contribution to a new series of FAQ index cards on the subject of "Sexism on Twitter" and instructed men "how not to offend chicks". Shortly afterwards, most of the authors who had contributed to the publication asked to delete their names from the text. The issue has split the liberal public into two camps. One group, including some human rights activists, see no discrimination in the term "chick", find the tweet funny and ultimately such a serious debate in times of increasingly repressive Putin policies and the war in Ukraine not appropriate. The other group, on the other hand, speaks of a trivialization of sexism, with which women are confronted every day, even in enlightened circles. The blogger and photographer Ilja Varlamow, the blogger Katja Kermlin, the feminist Bella Rapoport, the blogger and IT expert Anton Nosik and the journalist Michail Fischman spoke up. The debate received little attention in the state press.

Ilya Varlamov: Why our women are better

"Lately the fighters against sexism have become more active. I was just about to prepare a very important post about why the girls in Russia are the most beautiful. Now I'm afraid to publish it. A week ago it would be a common, harmless post Now I risk that feminists gone mad burn me at the stake. On the other hand, someone has to call the white white, the black black and stop the excessive sectarians.

The feminists will of course accuse me of sexism. Never mind, that would be partly fair. Yes, I think a woman should be a woman and a man a man. And I am not ashamed. There is no such thing as gender equality, and there cannot be, and all of your attempts to make the genders equal are doomed to failure. You are trying to change nature; you will not succeed. Of course, perhaps in many generations, you could actually succeed in blurring the differences between the sexes as much as possible through sexual selection, but that will not happen in our lifetime. And it's good that I won't see that. [...] I find all this whining about discrimination of the sexes completely confused. Yes, there is discrimination in places, but it is caused by natural gender differences rather than stereotypes among men. Yes, I want my assistant to be a young woman and the bodyguard (if I need one after this post) a man.

If you travel through the countries of victorious feminism, through Europe or the USA, you have probably noticed that something is wrong with women there. They are unattractive there. Why is that? You have been brought there by 50 years […] feminism, which has already taken particularly ugly forms in the West. As a result, the woman is ashamed to be a woman. "If the man is hairy and stinks, why can't I? Why can't I get dressed as it comes and pee standing up?" Thinks the European woman. They stop taking care of themselves, adopt masculine behaviors, and eventually lose their attraction. They shy away from dressing like a woman, they are ashamed of their weaknesses, and it annoys them when men try to woo them. In the USA this has taken on really unhealthy forms: the so-called "sexual harassment", when every act of the man can be classified as gender discrimination. The harried men are forced to consume this product of feminism and cannot escape it.

Fortunately, our society is still holding up. Our women are not ashamed to be women and that is wonderful. They can be weak and capricious, you can pay for them in the café, open the door for them, [crossed out in the original: "send them home to cook borscht and bear children"]. And no one will judge you for it. That's why our women are better. [...] "

Ilya Varlamow on Livejournal, 25.03.2015

Katja Kermlin: Russia hardly needs feminism

"[...] When I tell my foreign friends how bad things are in our country when it comes to basic human rights, I definitely add: with the exception of women's rights. With women's rights, everything is fine in Russia. This is where the eyebrows rise Interlocutor, you open your mouth and pounce on me to prove to me that gender discrimination is Russia's greatest problem. I smile [...] and continue to insist: Russia doesn't need feminism that much either.

In the West it was a completely different story. With us the women got as many rights as they could take with them. Do you want to study - Welcome! Work? - Get started, my dear, with any, hardest and most disgusting work. Fight? - Here is the MP. You want to be head of the family, of course, who else could that be? Dress however you like - there may be nothing in the stores, but the length of the skirt and the depth of the neckline don't upset anyone. No, I lie, they upset the grandmas in front of your house, but they are - trara! - no men either. Abortion? Alas, but you have a right to it.

In some of the national republics the situation is not so sparkling, so I am ready to recognize that the fight for women's rights in Chechnya and Dagestan, for example, makes a lot of sense. But in Saratov, is it forbidden for a woman to go to the market unaccompanied? [...]

With us everything is fine with [women's] rights. There has never been gender discrimination in business, from the beginning until the best western corporate practices spilled over to us, with their diversity, women’s clubs, girls get it first. What exactly is gender diversity? That's when the man doesn't get a job because they say, "Sorry, we already have too many men".

I was once recommended to join the Women's Club in a large international company, to which I replied that it was the most disgusting suggestion I had ever come across in my career. The audience was shocked. I explained that I don't need any special conditions to compete with the men. And that the promulgation of such conditions is the most insulting form of discrimination that I want to fight openly. That I worked in various Russian companies and started in a male construction workers' cooperative with an extremely high degree of hardship. And that nowhere and never have I been confronted with such a degrading corporate procedure just because I am a woman [...]

I almost forgot my favorite word from last year: objectification. Objectification means when a woman is a director, writer, singer, philosopher, producer or media manager, but is only perceived as a sex object. This happens especially when the woman looks like a goddess, but no one has seen her films, her texts suck, or she understands philosophy to be pretentious nonsense that she has put together from some books. Even if a woman is a brilliant neurosurgeon, she can and has every right to arouse sexual desires.

[...] So let's not be offended at a point where there was no intention whatsoever. Our gender is an exciting quality. When trying to fight back, one should not blindly blot it out of one's personality. Especially not when nobody is attacking. "

Katja Kermlin on Facebook, March 10th, 2015

Bella Rapoport: The Ordinary Sexism

"[…] Journalists, bloggers, SMM people [social media marketing] probably understand that their readership is roughly equal to men and women. But they only address the first group directly and assign the second the role of silent observer When they talk about women in the third person, they suggest that women be perceived as objects of contemplation and admiration, spreading negative stereotypes about women or using forms of address like "Muschiki" ("boys"). Women themselves often become the mouthpiece of something everyone is used to For example, the popular blogger Katja Kermlin, who apparently campaigns for human rights, and who in an incredibly popular post about the fact that our human rights are bad, but that everything is so okay with women's rights that one can get diabetes from the sweetness of the female existence. [...]

Instead of focusing efforts on reflection and the development of empathy, the advocates of upholding human rights and liberal values ​​try to convince women who find something offensive that they are talking with constructs in their heads and that they have no sense of humor. Advocates of the progressive media treat attempts to relate sexism to phenomena such as racism or anti-Semitism with irony. And this in a world in which, according to the World Health Organization, every third woman is exposed to physical or sexual violence. In the world, not just in Saudi Arabia. All over.

Sexism does not appear to be as serious a problem as other forms of discrimination because it is not a serious problem, but because it permeates all spheres, layers and information spaces in such a way that everyone, including those who suffer from sexism, can accept it keep the rule. It is conveyed by many, even the most advanced media, without any intention - and reproduced out of sheer habit. It is transported by members of those milieus in which a similar rhetoric with regard to other groups discriminated against (because of their race or nationality) is considered beyond the decent and reserved for marginal media and their audiences.

The problem deserves a more serious and intense discussion than a conversation about who is helping whom in the cloak. The lack of a voice of women is both a consequence and a reason for their dehumanization, which is made easier by words like "tjolka" ["Tussi"; S.M. (or literally "female calf, young cow", d. Red.)] and finds expression in severe form through massive violence. If it is recognized that sexism is discrimination, one would have to be conscious, alert and painful about its eradication. However, nobody wants to deal with it. "

Bella Rapoport on colta.ru, March 24, 2015

Anton Nosik: Crusade Against Sexism

"The stupidity of the feminist attack in yesterday's Colta amused us by reinforcing a fresh and sparkling analogy. To see a woman in a woman, it turns out, is the same as anti-Semitism. To say aloud about a woman that you see a woman in her means something like the Holocaust. [...]

In reality, this story is not at all about gender, feminism, female hysteria and excessive political correctness. It is just a graphic illustration of a truth that many do not see and do not want to understand. Totalitarianism is not brought from Mars to Earth and not grown in the laboratory tubes of any factory, let's call it "Uralwagonzavod". Totalitarian thinking is in the back of each of us somewhere. In every individual (not just in the herd) there is a latent need to expose, scourge, brand, to drag "the bad guys" and enemies of humanity into the light of day. Any ideology, religious, political, nationalistic, is suitable as a club. Feminism is just as well suited to these needs and an instrument for these purposes as Islam or Eurasism.

The picture is always painted according to the same pattern. There are a multitude of righteous people (women, orthodox, true Aryans / Eurasians). There is an extremely powerful evil force that seeks to corrupt, trample, humiliate and offend them (sexists, blasphemers, Jews / Atlanticists). Proofs are pumped up easily and loosely: Tolokonnikova [an activist from Pussy Riot] is a sexist, the French cartoonists who were killed threatened the Muslims of Groznyj, the Rothschilds and Khodorkovskys rally for a crusade against the Holy Putin Rus. And already the congress is dancing.

The thing with the column at Colta is simply a highly chemically pure laboratory experiment: how a case for diabolical intolerance is constructed from the completely harmless human rights issue of protecting women from everyday violence [...]. It is built according to the same pattern that Hitler used to invent the genocide of the Sudeten Germans and 66 years later the station "Rossija" invented a deadly threat to the Crimean Tatars from thugs from the "Right Sector". Because the mechanism for creating intolerance is always the same. Just like the parts of the brain that such a sermon is supposed to stimulate. This is not a story about feminism, Dugin, Hitler, political correctness or "tolerance". This is a story about archaic consciousness that is absolutely dependent on an "enemy image" and is looking for a "green card" for the 21st century. And always finds it with simple manipulations ".

Anton Nosik on Livejournal, 25.03.2015

Michail Fischman: Medusagate. "How Sexism Works in Russia"

"In the discussion about sexism, which started from the banks of the anti-sexist index cards of the" Medusa ", there are obvious and less obvious things. Even the obvious things, in a surprisingly at first glance, break the usual consensus of opinion among those Russian citizens who consider themselves progressive and modern. Some insist that tweeting about "chicks" is basically funny. Others, including well-known feminists, even agree with them, at least in the sense that the protracted fight against Sexism is made up of more important battles, and that it is not worth wasting time and energy on such rubbish.

The immediate conversation about "chicks" - are you allowed or not? Is it embarrassing or not? - is of course important in itself because it shows that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to sexism and that even progressive social consciousness is not entirely clear what it is about. In terms of anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, it is obvious why one has to fight against it; in relation to gender discrimination, however, it is not even very clear what that means in reality.

Don't expect Medusa, for example, to joke about Barak Obama's skin color. This is the prerogative of their successor at "lenta.ru" [Many Medusa employees used to work at lenta.ru; d. Red.] (As well as from some MPs, governors of the annexed areas and almost the entire "high-circulation" press). The readership of "Medusa" is extremely important that no such jokes are to be expected there and "Medusa" knows about it; that is their "selling point", as they say in marketing. It is precisely because of this that both the medium and its readership and the author of these lines define themselves as an enlightened, progressive part of society that opposes increasing fundamentalism and general barbarism. The fight against sexism - and this is absolutely clear - is still not part of the list of quality characteristics of a decent person, because the understanding for this term is obviously not there. [...]

It is important to understand that the fight against gender discrimination is by no means a collection of precisely prescribed rules and words diffused from above that suddenly cannot be said aloud. It is a complicated and flexible system of social self-censorship that does not just exist for its own sake, but with a specific social goal, namely to give women security by taking action against aggression and violence. [...]

Political correctness arises from the understanding that there is ultimately a direct connection between sexist jokes, "harassment" on the street and the number of rapes and murders - a connection that we do not feel because it does not exist in Russia , but because our society is torn and also oppressed by the state.As if the men weren't drinking next door and beating up their wives and children, but in some other reality, essentially derived from the (very frightening, by the way) data from Rosstat [the Russian statistical agency]; d. Red.] Exists. We are convinced from the start that it is unfortunately not possible in principle to help this parallel Russia, and certainly not by stopping jokes about chicks and blondes. [...]

But that does not mean that progress is not possible. And all the more important and useful is the discussion about "chicks" that has finally taken place. Political correctness that builds on experienced and reflected cases is much more sustainable and stable. We recently saw the effect of precedents. Here's an example: two years ago the state launched a homophobic campaign and got a response. There was debate about the famous issue of "Afischa" appearing with the coming-outs, with the result that the limits of tolerance towards gays in the progressive sections of the public have widened noticeably, thanks to the resistance in response to the unbearable homophobic trend that was announced from above. Now something similar is going to happen again. We will see very soon: those who find jokes about "chicks" harmless and simply funny will become fewer among our Facebook friends. You don't even need new index cards anymore. "

Michail Fischman on slon.ru, 26.03.2015