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Anti-European campaign, or fight against “gender”?

 

 

The  Aravot daily  writes about anti gender campaign in Armenia:

 

In recent months, when high-ranking officials of Armenia were still trying to convince the public that “and-and” policy was acceptable for the EU, and when it was still not declared on the Customs Union accession, anti-European campaigns were regularly taking place. Moreover, the target was chosen, so-called “law on gender,” which, according to those who are fighting against the law, provide grounds for the European perversion campaign. To put it simply, this anti-European campaign was that the law imposed from the Europe would be the basis for permitting homosexual marriages, and so on. In the period of active discussion of “and-and,” and “either-or”, Russia resident Sergey Kurginyan appeared in Armenia, who was introducing himself as a politician. However, it was not indicated that Mr. Kurginyan is the President of «Суть времени» (Essence of time) in Russia, which is making anti-European statements, moreover, searching in the Internet we found that the events of this organization are accompanied by USSR red flags and constantly voiced slogan: «До встречи в СССР» (See you in the USSR). One more remarkable fact is that parents’ committees began to operate in the post-Soviet countries, which also should have made a choice: either accession to the Customs Union, or signing the EU Association Agreement. For example, there are parents’ committees in Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia (although these committees have recently become passive in their operations in Georgia and Moldova). The organization supporting the ideology of parents’ committees in Russia is called «родительское всероссийское сопротивление» (All-Russian Parents’ Resistance). The head of this organization is Maria Kurginyan, the wife of Sergey Kurginyan. It is noteworthy to note that, on February 2013, the Finnish politician Johan Bäckman and Russian President Vladimir Putin were present at the founder session organized by these two organizations’ joint efforts. In fact, the very Johan Bäckman visited Armenia this year, on October, and signed a memorandum of cooperation, this time with Pan-Armenia Parental Committee. After the conference organized in Russia, Mr. Kurginyan also visited Armenia. Here, during the press conference, Mr. Kurginyan again stoned the present Europe. As an anti-European campaign, let’s quote the statement of Mr. Kurginyan made on May 27: “It is also an important question as to where the Europe is heading to today and what rules it sets forth. The European family is the victim of the crime, today. And, it is still a question whether we are ready to enter this family, or whether we know what would happen to it a few years later. This is the choice of the European family, and not the usual mixed marriage. The new Europe is nothing more than an empire, a common bank, a common exchange rate, and a common president. It turns the situation that all the countries are bringing together the geopolitical and geo-economic capital. And, each state based on its own interests should determine where the interests of the nation are.” In addition, Mr. Kurginyan always claimed that European laws permit perversion, homosexual marriages and so on. In other words, according to these statements, allegedly such European perverse values would penetrate ​​into our society, if we also choose the European Union, rather than the Customs Union. Another remarkable fact too. In the background of Kurginyan’s statements as such and right at that time emerged “Pan-Armenian Parental Committee”, which was fighting “against gender law” and was making similar, so to say, “kurginyan” anti-European statements about perversion. And, once again, searching in the Internet, it turned out that all the press conferences and statements were followed by similar events in Russia. Arman Boshyan, Head of Pan-Armenian Parental Committee, in the conversation with us told that we should not seek for any political context in their activities; the establishment of the organization and the statements just complied with the adoption of the “gender law” and with the period of active discussion by the society. We can say that the target for disseminating anti-European campaign was chosen “gender law”, spreading the opinion that it provides a base for dissemination of perversion. Being “a man of dignity”, of course, the Armenian community would strongly react against such phenomenon, and, naturally, anti-European sentiments would have been disseminated. But, what is really happening in Europe, and what are the European values, such campaigns seems have not happened. Only some NGOs have tried to amend “the gender law”, the wrong perceptions of the society about the RA law on “Providing equal right and opportunities of women and men”. In the conversation with “Aravot”, Mr. Boshyan said that they are connected with about 37 parental committees in the world, but they do not pursue political objective. There is a memorandum signed by Russian and Ukrainian organizations and with the Finnish company. Finnish Johan Bäckman, who is also in Russia, will support in dissemination of materials and organizing conferences. “I welcome parents’ committees in all countries, which are fighting against gender, save the future of children, communicate with everyone, share materials with each other.” As to how the Armenian Parental Committee is financed, since we may assume from Facebook ads pasting for at least months that huge expenditures are made, to our question Mr. Boshyan said that it is totally self-funded, and the company does not actually do big expenditures. Mr. Boshyan said that they do not lead an anti-European campaign rather that fighting against the term “gender”. To our question of whether Russia is directing the “Pan-Armenian Parental Committee,” Mr. Boshyan said, no, “we started in June, our supporters did not agree, I made a single-based a decision to start a movement. I knew what gender is, and was aware of the threats of it long ago. The name of the movement was in my mind, I already knew about the Committee operating in Ukraine and thus I chose the name. The legends that Russia-EU Association Agreement… Russians do not care whether there is a gender here or not, they have their own “military base”, they have tanks, if they want they would have solved their problems.” To confirm that it is not an anti-European fight, but just a fight against gender, Mr. Boshyan presented the threats of the law according to his view, one by one. As said by Boshyan, the term “gender” should be totally eliminated from the law on “Providing equal right and opportunities of women and men”. Gender, as formulated in the law, is obtained and socially attributed behavior of persons of different sex, which according to Boshyan’s interpretation means “the male can obtain a behavior of a female and vice versa”. This is a very expression of transvestites, it is not written that such thing can not happen, it is written ‘any type of behavior that a person can obtain’. Homosexuality is an acquired behavior. I am against the transvestite teaches underage, and this law allows it.” One of the organizations, which has years of experience in working with international experts considered Mr. Boshyan’s notion about gender misinformation and the law does nt provide any ground for the transvestite to teach the underage. In the conversation with “Aravot “, Lida Minasyan, representative of “Society Without Violence” NGO, presented the international formulation of gender. “The law defines what gender and gender equality is. Sex refers to person’s biological status, whereas gender refers to the perceptions, feelings and behavior that given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. (www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/sexuality-definitions.pdf). In other words, gender is socially prescribed, i.e. acceptable behavior in the society, which is attributed to women and men. The law says ‘acquired’, because both men and women are lifelong learning behavior patterns, which the society attributes to a man or a woman. Let’s say, women learn to be more humble, obedient and submissive, men learn to be more coarse, decision making, or express less emotions. With regard to gender equality, it is the equality of rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men, which is displayed in various areas: social, political, and cultural, and implies legal status to them. This is also defined by a number of UN documents.” As said by Mr. Boshyan, the UN Convention of 1993 was the basis of this law, where the word gender is missing. To our question, in this case, how it appeared in our law, Boshyan said, “Armenia introduced the word gender voluntarily, the reason was that Armenia should be integrated into the European Union.” As presented by Mr. Boshyan, according to the UN Human Rights Council, the gender identity is this-or-that person’s gender belonging, which may be compatible or incompatible with the natural sex, which may be accompanied by surgical and other medical techniques, behavior change, including speech, dress, and conduct. “In other words, hereby they introduce the right to change of sex, as the law also states that the international norms will dominate in Armenia.” Regarding Boshyan’s presented dangerous clause, the representative of “Society Without Violence” NGO said that there is no single word in our “gender law” about gender identity, and apparently, Mr. Boshyan is making a useless quote and misleading the public. “Gender identity has nothing to do with gender equality. One should not spread disinformation through playing with words and manipulation to confuse people.” Boshyan also considers the Article 3 of the law dangerous, “Gender stereotypes: solid views about any differences between women and men available in a given society at a given period of time. NGOs say that the stereotype is when a woman should always be in the kitchen, and here it is written like that, it is written ‘any difference’, i.e. the difference between you and me is a stereotype. If you are protecting the rights of women and men, write ‘a woman and a man’. It emphasizes the culture and value system, and determines stereotypes and the difference, the behavior between men and women.” Studying the law, however, we found out that there is no phrase saying “any difference” in the Article on stereotypes mentioned by Mr. Boshyan. As for the notion of stereotypes, Nona Aruchyan, the NGO representative, gave another explanation: “For example, even the the president of Armenian Football Federation publicly declares that the Armenian woman should not play football because she is an Armenian woman, because the Armenian father will never let her daughter play football. And this is when the whole nation is proud of female athletes winning in “non-feminine” sports. The law is called to fight against such stereotypes. As for drawing parallels between between the terms gender equality and gender identity, half jokingly and half serious I would say that it is the same as drawing parallels between the “toilet paper” and “sand paper””.

 

Nelly BABAYAN

Read more at  Aravot   daily

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