Russia’s 1st sexual harassment bill sexually harasses women

Oleg Nilov, the author of Russia’s first-ever proposed sexual harassment law, says the soon-to-be-considered legislation will protect the honor and dignity of “the more beautiful, but weaker sex,” according to the Moscow Times.

The English-language paper reports that the legislation only applies to women who are harassed by men, not the other way around (or same-sex harassment).

In other words, Russia’s first draft sexual harassment law is based on a sexist, and sexually harassing, notion that women are beautiful, weak, and never commit sexual harassment themselves.

Oleg Nilov.

Oleg Nilov.

Oh yeah, the draft law is racist too.

The law focuses especially hard on foreign men, who members of Russia’s parliament, the Duma, believe are “more likely” than Russian men to harass women.

Nilov explains that foreign men have a hard time speaking Russian, so they speak with their hands, especially when they want to show a woman they’re interested.  So the bill is needed to stop those handsy foreign guys.

“The millions of migrant workers who speak Russian badly have to rely on body language to make their intentions toward women clear,” said Nilov. “Adopting this law can significantly reduce ethnic tensions in our society.”

“Ethnic tensions.” Get it. He’s talking about dark people.

Russia is a notoriously racist country, where the definition of “black” seem to start with “not blond.” Russians consider people from Central Asia and the Caucuses “black.”

The bill conveniently includes “deportation” as one of the punishments for foreign men convicted under the draft law.  That could be a useful tool for kicking unwanted “ethnic” foreigners out of the country.

One Russian paper reporting on the legislation thought it would be a good idea to illustrate its coverage with a photo of a woman flirting with a man at work by running her foot up his suited pant leg.  And while that could potentially constitute sexual harassment under typical sexual harassment legislation, this bill doesn’t apply to women’s advances towards men, so the photo makes no sense, and actually seems to undercut the bill by showing the woman as the aggressor.

russia-newspaper-sexual-harassment

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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