In Russia, a magazine has advocated that little boys should hit little girls in order to ensure they don’t become homosexual. In general, this same tabloid provides numerous sexist and homophobic recommendations to parents.
We already know that Russia is not a country where homosexuality is well accepted. What’s more, with all that went on in Chechnya during 2017, we now have further proof of extreme intolerance.
The press regularly attacks homosexuals and demonstrates sexist attitudes, as seen recently in the Moscow Times when Harvey Weinstein was depicted as the victim of a slander campaign. The newspaper also highlighted that Russia was one of the last countries in the world still opposing the #MeToo movement.
The most recent controversy is that of the Schastlivye Roditeli (“Happy Parents”) magazine, which provided its readers with advice from two psychologists, in relation how to react to bullying in school. The least we can say is that the advice is frightening.
Maria Vishnyakova, the first psychologist interviewed, believes that children should be allowed to talk about how they feel, share their feelings with their parents and let their aggressors know that they have hurt them. This may seem like wise advice, but the psychologist also recommends that fathers should teach their sons the best ways to defend themselves, implying a bias towards using physical force. She considers it a question of “toughening them up and giving them a sense of virility”.
The second psychologist, Evgeny Idzikovsky, goes even further. In fact, according to the latter, little boys should hit back, punch for punch, and shouldn’t let themselves be hassled by girls. The psychologist says that “from the moment a girl starts to hit you, she stops being a girl and becomes an aggressor. And you should hit her. It is simply the right thing to do.”
Ultimately, the psychologist believes that if a boy lets himself be bullied by girls and doesn’t respond with violence, the boy will be humiliated by other boys, and worse again, could see his sexuality disrupted to the extent that he could become homosexual.