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Sexism does not differ parties

Only three days ago, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s wife, Anna Hakobyan, addressed the public with a video message, speaking openly about targeting women, violence against women, masculinity and other related topics. I mentioned in my earlier article that a serious step has been taken, but if this video message is not followed by serious systemic steps  dedicated to women’s rights, condemnation of violence, then it was just a video message that does not contain political will. The very next day, however, we saw a scene of violence in  no more and no less parliament, and again on Facebook, most people were having fun, were immediately formed into Facebook lawyers, observers, and in fact fight turned into happy memes. This fact was not particularly difficult, from which we can assume that deep-seated violence is otherwise normalized in our society, in us. Let’s just record this.


Coming to the parliamentary incident. After the famous fight, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made a speech and said the following:


“I apologize for saying that, but the deputies of the parliamentary majority, women deputies, are threatened with rape on social networks, their children are threatened with death on the streets, the latest false and obscene information is spread about the deputies representing the” My Step “faction of the National Assembly.”


The Prime Minister does not say anything wrong, but let’s be objective ․ If we talk about targeting women, not only women MPs from Cicil Contract party have been targeted and labeled terribly, but also women and opposition activists, women activists, women human rights activists, journalists, their children, families, and relatives have received an unprecedented number of death and violence threats. Doesn’t the Prime Minister know, doesn’t see, doesn’t read all that, and is the targeting of only female CC deputies visible?


And if it is still possible to understand the number of hateful comments on social networks, taking into account that many users can be directed, present fake profiles, etc., then the targeting of women by the representatives of the ruling party is incomprehensible.


Let’s remember, for example, the well-known statement of MP Andranik Kocharyan about Arpine Hovhannisyan, who in no way would allow anything publicly against a man, in connection with which he did not receive a harsh, really harsh assessment from his party members. Alen Simonyan, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, responded to the criticism of Ani Samsonyan, an opposition MP with a replica of a woman who was exclusively sexually explicit. I especially mention the deputies of the CC, because today they are the political majority, and especially they should be the guarantors of our rights. Meanwhile, aren’t the mentioned examples classic examples of targeting female politicians, and aren’t the mention of targeting only female CP deputies double standards, regardless of the context in which it is mentioned?


Yes, the opposition MPs do not lag behind with sexist expressions, yes, the female politicians of the ruling party are seriously targeted, and it is here that all women, regardless of their political struggle, have one thing in common․ All are labeled and targeted as women. For their part, women MPs can at least strongly criticize any sexist expression, regardless of whose party member is the author of the expression.


Basically, they don’t do that, and not supporting each other, the lack of a balanced, systematic struggle against labeling, targeting, psychological violence and hate speech, comes back like a boomerang, without sparing anyone. In other words, without talking about sexism in case of its existence, the same parliament normalizes sexism.


In fact, sexist statements have not been severely criticized by either the former or the current authorities, and will continue to be so as long as there are no resignations following the manifestations of sexism. These are the issues that need to be discussed today, the goal is not to destroy, the goal is to heal, to improve, to have a fair country for all of us.


It should be noted, however, that targeting women politicians is a fairly common practice all over the world, and there are many psychological and historical reasons for this, but so far the following can be recorded as a consequence.


According to a 2018 study on Sexism, Sexual Harassment and Violence Against Women Parliamentarians, more than 85 percent of women MPs in the parliaments of 45 European countries have been subjected to psychological violence, 68 percent have heard or observed statements about appearance within gender stereotypes, 46.9% received obvious threats, 58.2% became targets of online sex attacks on social networks, and nearly a quarter of women have been sexually assaulted.


Is that a secret is it that female politicians in Armenia are much more targeted and labeled than male politicians? And women politicians are targeted because they are women, and the result is that women are less active in politics. Have you ever seen a man being targeted for hair, eye color, marriage, personal life, big or small eyes, being handsome or ugly, and so on?


We cannot talk about women’s political empowerment, eradicating the culture of violence from society, eliminating sexism, eliminating the demonstrative manifestations of masculinity and changing other social norms.


When we closed the streets with our bodies during the revolution, and they hurt us by pushing, arresting, beating, cursing, often insulting us just because we are women and girls, we had high expectations, and the most important of them was the exclusion of discrimination. including gender-based, double standards, and, consequently, the revolution of thinking and values. The direct addressee of all these demands is the legitimate government, and that is the logic of the revolution.


P.S. The term “sexist” is not a compliment. In short, sexism is gender-based discrimination.

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