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Opinion: The rainbow herring

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New legislation was passed this spring in Russia where it is now a criminal offense to promote non-traditional sexuality to minors, or those who appear to be “pro-gay.”This has led to a climate in Russia where members of the LGBT community are beaten, tortured and killed without any response from law enforcement. Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia, pushed this legislation in order to appeal to and expand his political base to include the Russian Orthodox Church and a more conservative populace. It’s a power grab to legitimize himself because of the questionable past and intentions that surround him.

The bill was passed the year before Russia is to hold the Winter Olympics, which will take place in Sochi. There has been international backlash against this new “anti-gay” law and many have called for a boycott because of it. The Russian government has confirmed that it will enforce the new law even against international athletes. James Nichols reports in The Huffington Post that, “…authorities confirmed Aug. 12 that law enforcement officers would uphold Russia’s controversial anti-gay legislation during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, RIA Novosti is reporting.” This has caused concerns that gay athletes will be arrested on the spot. But this is simply not true. They will be arrested if they spread a message of nontraditional sexualities to children or appearing “pro-gay,” which could be vaguely defined as wearing a rainbow ribbon while competing. The main reason to boycott has been the fact that many in Russia’s LGBT community are being oppressed and by participating in the Olympics, other countries are appearing to accept the law.

The new law in Russia actually has nothing to do with the queer community. It was passed in order to distract people from what’s going on. It’s not that the queer community is being oppressed. It’s the whole Russian populace that is being oppressed. Currently, the government is manufacturing a belief of hate toward the queer community so that the people have a distraction and a scapegoat when in reality they are just mere cogs in the machine. The problem with a boycott on the Russian Olympics is that it does nothing but keep the attention on queer identity. The backlash is so fierce because sexuality has become such an intricate part of someone’s identity that any attack on it must be dealt with severely. The unfortunate truth is that sexuality is just a label that has been constructed in order to control and compartmentalize us.

Sexuality was created to bring desire out of the dark chaotic world of emotions and place it into the political sphere where it could be regulated and analyzed. Just as Michel Foucault said in The History of Sexuality Volume 1, “The sodomite had been a temporary [deviant]; the homosexual was now a species.” When we fight in solidarity for the queer community in Russia we are actually just falling into the trap. The liberation of desire is very important, but if we continue to work within these labels and hold them up in esteem, then we can never achieve freedom because the very power that we hate is inscribed in the labels themselves. So what should be done? What should be burned?

Olympians should go to Russia and compete. There should be no boycott or anything of the kind. The Olympians should express their sexuality. They will then be arrested, which is actually a good thing. Not because they should be arrested, but that when they are arrested it will cause a huge international incident that has the potential to explode into something beautiful. Go to Russia, cause riots, fight against the government. What is needed is direct action, but not against the law. Direct action is needed against the entire system that has created these labels. This system uses sexuality issues to distract us from the real issues, those that affect the very nature of our lives such as socio-economic oppression and the destruction of the natural world. Sexuality issues are derivative of socio-economic issues because it’s those who own the wealth that have created these labels that we have come to internalize, which was their purpose. By creating chaos in the streets of Sochi a new potential is discovered; the possibility of revealing the true powers at work not just in Russia, but throughout the world. Go to Russia, fight, get arrested, stir the pot, create an international political problem. In short, kiss a man and fuck shit up. Fight the police, extinguish identity, blow up buildings, and break open the prisons! Power needs order to function and inscribe itself…but in chaos…it is revealed and destroyed.

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  1. Asian Boy

    September 17, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    OMG. Who does this Putin guy think he is. Just OMG.


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