Realta, Sexism, Borat and Racism

Ironically the University rector censored Realta’s newspaper on the grounds of its being sexist. I say ironically since I know the people behind the newspaper and they are all staunch believers in gender equality.

The offensive ‘sexist’ article, called “Dak li Tkisser Sewwi” by Alex Vella Gera involves a fictitious person who considers women only as sexual objects. Obviously there are a lot of ‘sexist’ and definitely politically incorrect phrases in the story. However these are only sexist if taken out of context. The narrator is in reality, depicted as a sick person, obsessed with sex and fearful of a relationship. The text is nothing more than a parody of sexism, which implies that the author’s view of women is anything but sexist.

Somewhat this reminds me of the movies with the character of Borat. Watching a couple of minutes of his shows one might suspect the author/artist Sasha Cohen has a racist and sexist agenda. Watching the whole movie or even whole video clips, it doesn’t take much to realise that Cohen is actually ridiculing racism and sexism through overt exaggeration and satire.

At one point, the character is given respite by an elderly couple who are very hospitable and kind. Things go wrong when he realises that the couple are Jewish. From then on he feels in a trap and refuses to eat their food, which he believes is poisoned. At a point he even starts throwing money at two cockroaches, (which he believed were a transformation of the elderly Jewish couple) pleading with them to let him live.

Borat’s attitude towards women is once again an exaggeration of sexism, exposing it as ridiculous. On one occasion, when he was canvassing for a politician, he asks to speak to ‘someone who can vote’ when a woman opens the door of her house. He regularly asks women ‘how much?’ for sexual favors and considers women driving as dangerous as having a ‘monkey trying to fly a plane’. He even states that women’s rights are being improved in his country (Kazakhstan, though it is made clear he is not depicting the true culture of the country which he had chosen randomly) since now women are ‘even allowed to stay on the inside of the bus’.

Saying that Cohen is a racist and sexist is plain naive.  Same goes for the story published in Realta. The misunderstanding could be considered as naive. Or may we ask whether this is an attempt to silence the people behind this newspaper for their progressive views, including their aversion towards any kind of discrimination.


Robert Callus

http://robertcallus.wordpress.com/

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