«Pro Feminism» is a voluntary organisation to raise awareness of women’s issues and promote active campaigning in Russia.
Our slogan is «Feminism is our choice!”
«SEXIST OF THE YEAR» AWARD
Sexism is an ideological component of gender violence aimed at the social segregation of women. Sexism is a set of ideological convictions based on a belief in physical and psychological inequality between men and women and decisive impact of sex differences on history and culture. Sexist ideology comprises ideas of primordial differentiation of humanity into the male upper group and female lower group, with the former allegedly creating civilization and culture and predestined to rule over the latter.
The goal of the established award «Sexist of the Year” is to stop the orgy of sexism in mass media and advertising. Our objective is to attract popular attention to the problem of sexism and initiate the passing of a special law that would guarantee the absence of hate speech against women in information space.
We observed sexism in popular culture, it becomes worse, because of the rise of commercial culture, which means that stereotypes are used to promote products, and women in particular are turned into a commodity to conform to patriarchal stereotypes. Under patriarchal norms, women are treated as goods to be sold, and goods themselves are sold as if they were women.
In the Russian media, there is very aggressive orthodox religious propaganda which is supported by government policy due to the economic situation, and the objective is to remove women from the economic sphere and keep them contained in the private and domestic sphere, to keep their roles as careers of and supporters of men and children.
The difference is that European governments are making an effort, on the whole, to try and control sexism, whereas in Russia sexism is becoming more prevalent because it’s being supported by government policy. In Russia, it’s in the government’s interest to support patriarchal culture for reasons of commercial gain, because most powerful people in the political sphere are men.
2010 — The Belarusian Central Election Commission’s Chairperson Lidia Yermoshina
Won for her notorious statement at a press-conference on the election results. Talking about women who took part in mass protests against falsified election results, she said: «…these women are wasting their time. They’d be better staying at home and cooking borsch [soup] rather than taking to the streets». The organizers presented Yermoshina with a saucepan for her award.
2011 — Vsyevolod Chaplin, archpriest (Russia)
Won for the suggestion to introduce Orthodox Christian dress code for women and Elena Mizulina, the Member of Parlament for lobbyism of anti-women draft legislation and amendments based on superstition and limiting women’s reproductive rights and access to safe abortion.
2012 — German Sterligov, Russian orthodox nationalist.
Won for his hate speech against the law on gender equality, in particular, for claiming that a woman wearing a «modest” long skirt is «genetically impossible” to be raped, and referring to women fighting for equal rights as «elderly repulsive filth” and an orthodox psychologist Irina Medvedeva for opposed the law on domestic violence on the ground that this law would be used for persecuting «innocent” offenders who were «provoked” by their victims, and parents, who, according to Medvedeva, have the right to use physical violence against their children.
2013 — Maxim Stepanenko, head of Tomsk Orthodox Mission
Suggested calling single and unmarried mothers ‘whores’ in official discourse, using the Bible as justification. Incited hatred against single mothers and their children, justifying this with religious ideology.
When targeted against specific social groups like this, this kind of discourse represents hate speech and discrimination according to the Russian constitution and international legislation.
2014 — Egor Kholmogorov, Politician, writer, blogger, Russian nationalist.
On his Facebook page he wrote: “When we occupy the US, we will release a secret decree to let American men to punch in the face any woman who uses the word ‘sexism’, and then we will all view the best videos of it happening. By the way, some may say it is not comme il faut to beat women in the face. I say a woman who use the word ‘sexism’ is not a woman any more. She becomes a person of the second gender.”Nominated for inciting hatred and hostility towards women, direct incitement to physical violence and the division of women into categories of «right» women and «wrong» women, who it would be acceptable to beat.
2015 — Pavel Astakhov. The Commissioner for Children’s Rights under the President of the Russian Federation.
Nominated for the dehumanization of women and for the justification of violence against women and girls. His rhetoric contradicted the responsibilities of his post as the Commissioner for Children’s Rights under the President of the Russian Federation. He blamed the victims of gang rape. Quote: «On the one hand, there is a girl who got drunk and was raped, on the other, there are some guys, who are also are victims and hostages of this situation».
2016 — Ismail Berdiyev. Chairman of the Coordination Center for Muslims of the North Caucasus.
Nominated for the call for Female genital mutilation (FGM) (also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision) in order to reduce debauchery.
2017 — Sergej Stiilavin. Radio and TV journalist and well-known blogger
Demanded that shops hide female sanitary products from “people”, by which he really just means men. Said that women being in public spaces was a kind of female aggression.
2018 — Archpriest Of Russian Orthodox Chirch Alexander Ilyashenko
Alexander Ilyashenko supports early marriages and parenthood. “We must normalize early marriage and childbearing. A girl at 17 years old is fully capable of becoming a wonderful mother. Moreover, at this young age the girl has not yet wasted her virtues, and has not picked up any infections or diseases, which is why she may well be a good and kind other. <…> Early marriages can save the country from the enormous and totally unnecessary mass of people with higher education. <…> We see women forcing men out of management jobs etc., but if women raised children instead of going out to work, they would benefit society in a much better way”, — said the archpriest in his interview with “Russian People’s Line”.