Putin on Thursday slammed cancel culture and supporters of transgender rights.
The Russian president suggested that teaching gender fluidity to kids is a “crime against humanity.”
Putin has been condemned worldwide over his anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday took aim at “cancel culture” and supporters of transgender rights, suggesting that teaching gender fluidity is a “crime against humanity” while stating that Russia should maintain its “spiritual values and historical traditions,” per The Washington Post.
Speaking at the the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Putin said that some Westerners believe “the aggressive deletion of whole pages of their own history, reverse discrimination against the majority in the interests of minorities … constitute movement toward public renewal.”
“It’s their right, but we are asking them to steer clear of our home. We have a different viewpoint,” Putin added.
Cancel culture is “the idea that people too often pile onto others for bad behavior,” as defined by Insider digital culture reporter Rachel E. Greenspan. The concept, which some argue doesn’t actually exist, has increasingly been brought up – particularly by right-wing media outlets like Fox News – in relation to the ongoing conversation on racism in the US. Reverse racism, or the idea that white people can also experience race-based discrimination, is also a heavily disputed topic and many people regard it as a myth.
Putin on Thursday also said teaching children “that a boy can become a girl and vice versa” verges on being a “crime against humanity,” while suggesting that supporters of transgender rights were calling for the cessation of “basic things such as mother, father, family or gender differences.”
The Russian president, who vies to project a macho image and is widely viewed as an authoritarian, has been condemned by other world leaders and top human rights groups over his anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric.
Putin’s chauvinism and machismo is similar to that of other strongmen leaders, who try to look tough in order to appeal to and connect with voters. The Russian leader has frequently appeared shirtless in photos.
“Strongmen are a subset of authoritarian who require total loyalty, bend democracy around [their] own needs, and use different forms of machismo to interact with their people and with other rulers. When Putin takes his shirt off and bears his chest, it’s not just about vanity or narcissism. It’s a tool of political legitimacy,” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University historian who has written extensively on strongmen leaders, told Time last November.
Putin in 2013 signed an anti-“gay propaganda” law as part of his effort to shore up support from his conservative base. Human Rights Watch has decried the law as a “classic example of political homophobia,” while emphasizing that LGBTQ youth in Russia “face formidable barriers to enjoying their fundamental rights to dignity, health, education, information, and association.”
In July, Europe’s top human rights court ruled that Russia was violating the European Convention on Human Rights by not legally recognizing same-sex marriages. “This landmark decision underlines that the Russian government is on the wrong side of history, supporting and enabling homophobia and depriving LGBTI people of their basic human rights,” Natalia Zviagina, director of Amnesty International’s Moscow Office, said in a statement at the time. In response to the ruling, the Kremlin said that same-sex unions are “not allowed” in Russia.
During his first address to the UN since entering the White House, President Joe Biden in September called out Chechnya, a region in Russia, over its treatment of LGBTQ people. “We all must defend the rights of LGBTQI individuals so they can live and love openly without fear, whether it’s Chechnya or Cameroon or anywhere,” Biden said. There have many reports in recent years of gay people being tortured and imprisoned in Chechnya.
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