Sometimes, this whole violent Russia problem just seems like a dumb misunderstanding that could be cleared up with just a few words.
“Please do not touch kids,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak (pictured) pleaded this week in a remark aimed at LGBTs. This is a reasonable thing to ask of people who you think are pedophiles! The only problem, of course, is that LGBTs are not actually pedophiles.
Somehow, it’s just become an undisputed Russian belief that gay people want to molest children. How did this happen? We have no idea. Maybe cultural leaders wanted to attack gays and decided that was an effective myth to spread.
It’s not just a danger to LGBTs. It’s also embarrassing to Russians that their leaders cling to this false belief — it’s as if a whole country believed that Jews eat babies, or that all Mexicans are lazy. The world is looking in in horror as a whole country attacks a minority for reasons that are entirely made-up.
His full remarks: “We are all grownups, and any adult has his or her right to understand their sexual activity. Please do not touch kids. That’s the only thing. During the opening ceremony, during the closing ceremony, during the sports events, I hope that we will not see such problems.”
Yes. Good point. We too hope that there will be no gay-touching of kids during the opening ceremony. That certainly would be strange, wouldn’t it? And also wildly unlikely. In fact, it would be unlikely in any circumstance, since gay people aren’t pedophiles. Gay men generally like body hair and muscles and tallness and deep voices and, you know, secondary sexual characteristics. Could someone just please take the entire country of Russia aside and explain this to them?
UPDATE: A reader informs us that our translation isn’t quite right, and Kozak’s actual meaning is even worse:
While “?? ???????? ?????” (“Ne trogayti detey”) could mean exactly what you wrote, in this context it means something else. ” Trogat’ ” is a verb that can mean “to touch” or “to affect, to disturb”. Mr. Kozak means the second meaning. He is saying ” We don’t discriminate against anyone. Do what you want. But do it in front of adults. But leave children out of it.”
Under that reading, it’s no longer an accusation of pedophelia (yay!), but instead an insinuation that seeing any evidence of gay men and women is somehow harmful to children (boo).
Any way you look at it, Russia still has a problem with widespread belief that LGBTs are harmful to children.