Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Today in justifiable cultural insensitivity...

Vladamir Putin, seen here hugging a
puppy, says it's ok to beat your family,
just keep it within reason, you know?
Are you for, I can't even...I think we all knew Russia was pretty screwed up but thisThis. Didn't click on the link? No problem. I'll explain what it's about. Vladimir Putin, you know the guy that helped us pick our President? He just signed a new law that will drastically reduce sentences for domestic violence. 'Holy shit Russia' is, I believe, the phrase you're looking for. It's called the 'Slapping Law' and it reduces the punishment for domestic violence if no bones are broken and no blood is drawn. Men who administer light beatings could get 15 days in jail or a fine of 30,000 rubles.

Thirty grand might sound like a lot, but rubles are like pegged to Monopoly money or something, so it works out to be about $500. Yup, the law reduces the punishments for domestic abuse to a slap on the wrist which would be funny if there were anything funny about this. Which there's not. Because holy shit Russia, I mean, holy shit.
You'd actually get a better exchange rate with Disney Dollars.
I don't know, I just expect more from
the country that brought us Zangief.
So why in the name of hell would the rusted out, mafia-run remains of a former superpower do something like this? Why family values of course. Also Hitler. Let me explain. According to proponents of the law, in traditional Russian families the husband is the head of the household and prison sentences for men who beat their wives and children undermine patriarchal authority. To be clear: punishing men who abuse their families is like, super-inconvenient for them.

Dmitri Smirnov is literally the Russian
equivalent of Joe Sixpack.
According to Dmitri Smirnov of the Russian Orthodox church, and walking Russian stereotype had this ridiculous comparison to offer:

"Some of the things happening in Northern Europe now are such that even Hitler couldn't have dreamed up."

-Dmitri Smirnov head of the 
Church's commission on family matters  

What other thing...oh, right.
Wait, what things is he talking about? We can't be sure, but from context I'm assuming he's referring to countries in Northern Europe that have, you know, laws against beating up your family. What's Hitler got to do with this? Was Hitler known for being tough on domestic violence? Because most of us remember him for the other thing. You know, he was also a huge anti-smoking guy, but Dmitri's not suggesting we all take it up just to stick it to Hitler, so maybe let's all stop invoking Hitler, ok? Because only a Hitler would do that.

Pictured: a typical session of the Duma.
What? I'll be nicer when they stop
decriminalizing domestic violence.
The bill passed Russia's Duma-huh? Oh, that's their preposterously named legislature. It passed with 85% support because conservatives love family values and because conservatives the world over lack the part of the brain necessary for irony. So to sum up: Russian law makers saw families torn apart by domestic violence but felt that the root of the problem wasn't so much the violence itself or the men who carried it out, but the legal repercussions which took fathers away from the families they beat. Which reminds me of an anecdote about the space program.

Yes, lot's of things remind me of the space program. Anyway, when faced with the problem of writing in zero gravity, NASA spent millions developing a pen that would work in space. The Russians on the other hand gave cosmonauts a pencil and then punched them in the face and said: "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about."
So yeah, I'm trotting out a lot of Russian stereotypes and making
some culturally insensitive comments, but they just passed a law
that puts domestic violence on par with a traffic ticket, so fuck'em.

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