you have no place in a democracy

This is the online version of Jamil Chad’s newsletter sent yesterday (11). In the complete newsletter, only for subscribers, the columnist talks about the backstage of discussions at the UN on the investigation of crimes against humanity committed by the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Do you want to receive the complete package, with the main column and more information, in your email, next week? Click here and register.



We know your tactic. A few decades ago, we saw how an untimely young deputy tore apart the concept of humanism. Almost 30 years later and without having proposed anything worthy of news in Parliament, he would become president of one of the largest economies in the world. With the same speech. And nothing was done.

We cannot tolerate that, once again, an elected office is transformed into a platform for barbarism. We have already experienced this once and, faced with the connivance of part of society and the silence of Justice, we discover the destruction that comes from those who instrumentalize hatred.

Your votes, Congressman, are not blank sheets of check signed by taxpayers for you to spread violence. Your legitimacy is not limited to the ballot box. That’s not how a Republic works. Freedom of expression has its limits and democracy, in order to survive, cannot admit voices like yours.

You chose to use the tribune of the National Congress to mock a portion of the population that, every day, dies for being who they are. It is violent acts of transphobia like these that are then repeated by groups in society, in a climate of impunity.

Therefore, leaving your attack on democracy unpunished is repeating the mistakes that led racists, authoritarians and charlatans to power.

As if you were in the Middle Ages, you suggested that women should return to the place men assigned them in society. By what right?

A few days ago, the UN announced that, at the current rate of reduction of disparities between men and women, it will take 300 years to guarantee gender equality in the world. In Parliaments, parity would be reached in 80 years. That is, in the 22nd century.

We know that your boldness in going up to the podium on the International Day for the Fight for Women’s Rights reveals that there is no accident in this criminal speech. You wanted the spotlight. But I won’t give you that pleasure. I will not repeat or echo the phrases spoken by you. I won’t even mention your name or use your pictures. Justice will take care of that.

I write only to make it clear that such behavior has no place in a democracy and that, as the father of two boys, I dedicate myself to showing how your speech, without fantasy, is an example of fear, not of courage. An illustration of a “courageous coward”, as the poet would say.

I try to show the two children at home that, being men, white and with purchasing power, they have an obligation to use these privileges to fight against all injustices and denounce discrimination. All.

Hearing you shout about how women should live, I remembered the campaign in a plebiscite so that Swiss women could finally vote, in the 1970s of the 20th century. “no” on the streets of major cities. In them, they appealed to men to vote against the law and for their wives and daughters to remain without a voice in the country’s political decisions.

Do you know what the posters said? That the decision to allow women to participate in public life would take away their femininity and disrupt society. In one of the posters of the campaign against women’s suffrage, the message brought a baby falling out of the cradle while the mother was going to vote.

I went to read who produced the material and discovered that it was funded by an entity called “Defense of the Family and Popular Freedoms”. I confess that it gave me chills to remember that, for four years, it was with the alleged discourse of protecting the family and freedom that the indecent Bolsonaro government undermined women’s rights and boosted machismo, violence and intolerance in society.

I know that you are not alone and, for that very reason, you represent a real threat to advances in women’s rights. A few years ago, I was in Budapest for an event in which the far-right local government created a kind of alliance between ultraconservative movements around the world to defend an agenda that aimed to dismantle the demands of women and LGBTQIA+ movements. Your colleagues were present, as well as Brazilian diplomats who, mysteriously, survive in the current administration in leadership positions in human rights issues.

In the end, some women would be honored by the organizers, who would ask them to go on stage. When reading the “curriculum” of each one of them, the presenter concluded by listing the pinnacle of the feats of the honorees: the number of children that person had given to Hungary. And the more children, the louder the applause from the room full of reactionaries. Four five six?

The big advantage for us is that, from now on, you no longer need to pretend to be a defender of the family, good customs and order so that we know what is at stake.

When you put on the wig, you didn’t dress up as trans. I would never have the dignity for that.

It was your mask that fell. Underneath the suit, we discover the rudest traits of misogyny and the open wounds of a decadent patriarchy that, desperate and morally helpless, still struggles with its last strength to try to survive.

If it’s up to me and my two children, you won’t make it.

Democratic greetings,

Jamil Chad



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