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Author Topic: Moving the Winter Olympics...  (Read 13988 times)

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Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #125 on: August 15, 2013, 03:08:17 AM »
Quote
And the debate is at a point where arguments such as "we are guests in another person's home, and act by their rules while we are here" are no longer valid.

They were never valid.  Just because someone invites me to their house does not mean I have to go there -- especially if they say, up front, "Btw, one of the rules in my house is I'm going to lock you in the basement if you let on that you're gay."

The moment they said that their human rights violating laws would be applied to the Olympic athletes and attendants, the IOC should have split -- not just out of a show of support for human rights, but because it seriously undermines the competitive nature of the Olympics by placing undue pressure on particular athletes.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 03:10:12 AM by meikle »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #126 on: August 15, 2013, 03:17:39 AM »
My main problem with all of this, that they consist of speculation and assumptions. They may be correct, I don't know, and until there is a solid translation of the Russian law (which I believe people are working on) and a clarity on how this will or won't affect the athletes, nearly impossible to argue. It's impossible to say something won't happen. Even if I say no cow will ever fly, that is an assumption... a reasonable one, but still... if someone says "cows will fly one day".. then yeah, it could happen. And this is me exaggerating, and not comparing. It is illustrative of how hard it is to predict an event in the future.

What I do agree with is the enhanced risk now, after all the media attention and this having become a hot item, for activists to push the issue. With viewpoints taken and moods heated, I do agree that the risk is very real that the Olympics will be turned into a LGBT movement showcase, and that Russia will react badly. This worries me. And the debate is at a point where arguments such as "we are guests in another person's home, and act by their rules while we are here" are no longer valid. Not because they weren't valid in the first place, but because the risk of groups seeking media attention and thereby endangering others is becoming bigger each day.

But it's not just the athletes. It affects spectators and visitors as well. And it's all fine and good to talk about respecting other countries' rules, but Russia is not really being conducive to that right now. The confusion as to whether and how it will be enforced is a good example: nobody knows how anyone else will act right now, and unpredictability is decidedly dangerous in a situation like this. How are fans and supporters supposed to be expected to enjoy the Games when there is no way to measure what will get them a completely undesired response? At the very least, it will be Russia's responsibility to issue clear-cut, definitive guidelines for visitors as to what actions they should avoid to keep themselves safe. If they want their laws to be followed, at the very least they must, must, must define them. They have not done so in clear terms, and through that, Russia is contributing to its own dangerous situation. And for that - yes, I do think the Olympics authority (can't recall the acronym right now) has the responsibility to step in and at least try to mediate. For the sake not only of their athletes but for their fans.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #127 on: August 15, 2013, 03:19:04 AM »
They were never valid.  Just because someone invites me to their house does not mean I have to go there -- especially if they say, up front, "Btw, one of the rules in my house is I'm going to lock you in the basement if you let on that you're gay."

To a lot of people those reasons were valid, including athletes currently participating in the World Championships. To them, the sports event is the primary important thing.

Once again, it is not confirmed in any way by official channels that 'letting on you're gay" is going to result in being locked up. At this moment it is yet unclear what that law entails. This is a matter that should be cleared up, and the IOC - if I read their quotes instead of the quotes from action groups - is working on getting that hammered out. So far, IOC and Russian Government have mainly addressed the topic of propagandizing, which is a far cry from holding hands or showing - by acting as a sensible human being - that you love your life mate.

I'd rather wait with my judgement to see how the current sports event is handled. If no supporters, or athletes, or crew, find any law suits filed against them for holding hands, same sex hugs, or any such normal behaviour between loved ones. I dont see a reason to assume this should be different for the Olympics.

What I do fear, is that after the media hype, the Olympics will be used as a media platform for action groups on both sides to provoke those of opposite viewpoints.

(edited to remove a sentence that was poorly worded and ambiguous, it could be read as the exact opposite I intended)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 03:25:19 AM by Imogen »

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #128 on: August 15, 2013, 03:21:26 AM »
But it's not just the athletes. It affects spectators and visitors as well. And it's all fine and good to talk about respecting other countries' rules, but Russia is not really being conducive to that right now. The confusion as to whether and how it will be enforced is a good example: nobody knows how anyone else will act right now, and unpredictability is decidedly dangerous in a situation like this. How are fans and supporters supposed to be expected to enjoy the Games when there is no way to measure what will get them a completely undesired response? At the very least, it will be Russia's responsibility to issue clear-cut, definitive guidelines for visitors as to what actions they should avoid to keep themselves safe. If they want their laws to be followed, at the very least they must, must, must define them. They have not done so in clear terms, and through that, Russia is contributing to its own dangerous situation. And for that - yes, I do think the Olympics authority (can't recall the acronym right now) has the responsibility to step in and at least try to mediate. For the sake not only of their athletes but for their fans.


I believe we agree, Trieste. This is one of the reasons why I see the current World Championships as an important test case for the Olympics. What happens here sets a precedent for the Olympic Games. And it is up to Russia to be on their best behaviour and show the world the fans, athletes, crew, etc. will be as safe as they ough to be.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #129 on: August 15, 2013, 03:22:53 AM »
But it's not just the athletes. It affects spectators and visitors as well. And it's all fine and good to talk about respecting other countries' rules, but Russia is not really being conducive to that right now. The confusion as to whether and how it will be enforced is a good example: nobody knows how anyone else will act right now, and unpredictability is decidedly dangerous in a situation like this. How are fans and supporters supposed to be expected to enjoy the Games when there is no way to measure what will get them a completely undesired response? At the very least, it will be Russia's responsibility to issue clear-cut, definitive guidelines for visitors as to what actions they should avoid to keep themselves safe. If they want their laws to be followed, at the very least they must, must, must define them. They have not done so in clear terms, and through that, Russia is contributing to its own dangerous situation. And for that - yes, I do think the Olympics authority (can't recall the acronym right now) has the responsibility to step in and at least try to mediate. For the sake not only of their athletes but for their fans.

Well, in fairness the bill was only passed a few weeks ago.  Laws often take a bit of time to settle down as the courts, police, prosecutors, etc. need a bit of time to establish how it'll work in the wild.  We already know some stuff and the IOC is working on extracting more.

Not that I disagree with your point in any way.  Just that it's still early days for that particular law.  It would have been better if this could have been resolved before e.g. tickets went on sale, certainly.  I can't argue that Russia could have timed this better (you know, assuming they had to do it) but there's still a lot of time for the situation to become clearer.

Offline Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #130 on: August 15, 2013, 03:23:34 AM »

Dashenka's posts suggested homophobia because she says things like this:



BECAUSE SHE THINKS IT IS OKAY TO SEND PEOPLE TO JAIL FOR BEING SEEN BEING GAY.

Excuse me? What? Are you serious? Or are you just being thick??

I am gay... I left Russia, I took my girlfriend with me. You really haven't been reading anything I said have you? Better do so next time before talking BS.

Anyway, apparently Elliquiy is much like Russia... you can't have your own opinion without being judged by almost anybody. That is quite sad. And with that I'm done with this thread.

Imogen has it right. I do not support the law but for a country as Russia the law makes sense since homosexuality IS NOT accepted by the majority of the people. That some of you can't wrap your heads around that surprises me as I thought Elliquiyans were usually quite open for things. Which again, is quite sad.

Let me tell you a little secret.... might be shocking to some.


Some people have different opinions.

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #131 on: August 15, 2013, 03:25:22 AM »
Anyway, apparently Elliquiy is much like Russia... you can't have your own opinion without being judged by almost anybody.

As long as we're in the majority it's okay though right?

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #132 on: August 15, 2013, 06:02:39 AM »
Well, in fairness the bill was only passed a few weeks ago.  Laws often take a bit of time to settle down as the courts, police, prosecutors, etc. need a bit of time to establish how it'll work in the wild.  We already know some stuff and the IOC is working on extracting more.

Not that I disagree with your point in any way.  Just that it's still early days for that particular law.  It would have been better if this could have been resolved before e.g. tickets went on sale, certainly.  I can't argue that Russia could have timed this better (you know, assuming they had to do it) but there's still a lot of time for the situation to become clearer.

I agree here. And I hope that not only the international community will benefit from the demands for clarification, but that also those living in Russia may find some measure of protection in a clearer defining of that Law. And no, this does not imply I agree with this Law, or that I feel it should stay. This means only that I want the LBGT society in Russia to receive the maximum of protection possible in a bad situation.

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #133 on: August 15, 2013, 07:47:34 AM »
I know Dashenka said she was done with this thread and probably won't read this, but still, I have to point out that its hardly good form to compare these forums to Russia on the grounds that people are disagreeing with her. Granted, some of the posts on here seem to be getting a little heated, but I suppose that is to be expected with a topic like this.

The truth is, yes, you are judged for having an opinion... and I see nothing wrong with that. You're judged daily, every time you meet someone and every time you do something. Your actions and decisions are the basis for judgement and that's fine. That's how people form opinions about each-other. As long as those judgements are based on what a person says and does, I don't see the problem. Its when judgement is based on what a person is, rather than what they do, that I see a problem with it.

But that seems to be a start of a totally different topic, so I'll leave it at that.

In general, I have to agree with the posts on here pointing out that there's a lot of potential for danger. This law could be enforced on people who aren't sure how they're NOT supposed to act. Violence against gays could be, if not officially sanctioned, at least ignored, given the political climate and what we've seen in Russian news already. Pro-gay protesters could use the Olympics for a soap-box, and lead to counter-protest and that in turn could lead to chaos. That all just sort of adds up to the fact that its not a safe setting for a diverse international event right now. If the Russian government would be clear as to just how this law would be enforced; and provided the answer is reasonable, which I have my doubts it would be; if they gave us assurances that athletes and spectators would be protected from anti-gay violence; then at least all we'd have to worry about is a riot.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #134 on: August 15, 2013, 08:20:11 AM »
Here's the thing. I'm a Liege. We're in the very early stages of our fight for justice, which means we're still dealing with a lot of fundamental concepts and problems. Among them is the idea, imposed by the societies in which we live, that we need to conform to very limited and outdated standards of what it means to be a "man" or a "woman" - and that if we fail to do so, then we're just looking for attention and not deserving of support. Part of this includes the idea that only those who can "pass" sufficiently - those whose presentation can be so perfect that the average cis person couldn't tell the difference between cis and trans - should get the chance to live their lives as their real gender. Unsurprisingly, very few people make the cut. It's an incredibly toxic concept, and it drives a significant part of the high trans suicide and murder rates. Right now, in goddamned 2013, there are still jurisdictions in the USA that will accept and uphold "trans panic" defenses - "I beat or killed this person because they didn't look normal enough and that disturbed me," in essence. (Fortunately, "gay panic" isn't accepted any more, but it was in the not-too-distant past.)

There are approximately 430 000 trans and gender-variant people in Russia. Bearing that in mind, reread this:

In a way, I even symphatize with that law. I know I'm gay as well but I don't like these men in pink leather thighs acting all stupid and gay and the fact they made a law about that, isn't all that strange. You can be gay, just not in public. Not only because of a law, but also because the majority of the people on the street feel offended by it.

So Dashenka's justification here is that people who don't look "normal" enough justify this law (and by implication the very real happening-right-now brutality it enables). There's a very strong implication here that these "abnormal" people deserve what happens to them as a result. This is indistinguishable from the trans panic defense, except in its proactive nature. (Trans panic offense?) So nearly half a million people get to be forced to deny their very existence, or be brutalized for daring to try to live their lives as themselves. And when we object,we're being unreasonable? Fuck that noise.

And no, Imogen, it is not "just speculation". People are being beaten and brutalized right now because they are gay or support gay rights. This is all-too-real, and pretending it isn't just casually sweeps very real violence under the rug.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 08:23:35 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #135 on: August 15, 2013, 08:26:44 AM »
Quote
And no, Imogen, it is not "just speculation". People are being beaten and brutalized right now because they are gay or support gay rights. This is all-too-real, and pretending it isn't just casually sweeps very real violence under the rug.

In the olympics? That's a stretch, since it has yet to start.

My discussion focuses only on the olympics, the athletes, their crew and the fans. And my comments should be seen in that context.

None of my comments are directed at the daily life in Russia.

Hope that clarifies.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #136 on: August 15, 2013, 08:50:26 AM »
In the olympics? That's a stretch, since it has yet to start.

My discussion focuses only on the olympics, the athletes, their crew and the fans. And my comments should be seen in that context.

None of my comments are directed at the daily life in Russia.

Hope that clarifies.
Given that this is the daily life in Russia, I can pretty much guarantee you that people will be beaten at the Olympics for these reasons. Probably not the ones in front of the cameras, but.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #137 on: August 15, 2013, 09:01:40 AM »
Given that this is the daily life in Russia, I can pretty much guarantee you that people will be beaten at the Olympics for these reasons. Probably not the ones in front of the cameras, but.

I guess I should make myself further clear. I responded to a concern regarding the safety of foreign athletes, crew and fans visiting Russia for the Olympics.

Please, do not drag my words out of context. Or perhaps you just don't want to understand.

I'll try again.

My comments do not pertain to the daily life in Russia. Or the trouble GLBT people suffer due to stupid, moronic people and or laws in Russia. This includes daily life in Russia during the Olympics. To make myself further clear: I am not entering a discussion as to whether the Russian law is wrong. That's not even a debate. It is wrong on every level.

The discussion I have involved myself in is whether or not foreign athletes, crew and fans will be safe in Russia while visiting for the Olympics. My arguments concerning that debate can be found in depth above.

(edited: fixed some glaring typos)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 09:12:15 AM by Imogen »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #138 on: August 15, 2013, 09:39:53 AM »
Sigh. Let me try again. The athletes are reasonably likely to be safe. The crew, less so. The fans? I will be positively shocked if there isn't at least one instance of a fan getting beaten or arrested due to this law and the climate it endorses. The fact that this is day-to-day life in Russia is important context for how we can expect them to be treated - if violence against people who are too different is the norm, and suddenly there's a massive population of people who are by definition different, and some of these are outspoken in supporting gay rights (as is pretty close to guaranteed in a crowd that size with an issue like this), exactly what do you expect to happen?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #139 on: August 15, 2013, 10:39:34 AM »
So, correct me if I'm wrong Ephiral - but you seem to be saying/predicting that even if this law isn't enforced in February, hell even if it is repealed before then, you expect some sort of "gay bashing" at the Olympics?  Have I read you right?

Because my issue with that - assuming you'd go on to say "Hence the Winter Olympics shouldn't be held there" - is that it removes a pretty large incentive from Russia to do anything at all.  Because attitudes take time to change, certainly longer than six months, you're effectively saying "Your population is too homophobic to host the Olympics and there's nothing you can do about it."  Well, with that off the cards, why would Russia want to change the situation?  The law passed both houses unanimously, you've got to assume that an even stronger version would be able to at least get a majority.  And with the international community as personified by the IOC saying "It doesn't matter if every single politician in Russia has a change of heart, its the hoi polloi we're concerned about" then the Russian politicians have no reason whatsoever not to listen to their population - the IOC burnt their bridges for them.

As mentioned before, I don't think it should be moved but even if the IOC goes the other way and says "Repeal/Don't enforce that law or no Olympics for you" then there's a definite outcome being shot for.  Taking what the IOC can offer off the table straight off the bat removes any incentive for Russia to bother showing up for the talks.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 11:11:41 AM by Kythia »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #140 on: August 15, 2013, 11:27:24 AM »
Not quite what I'm getting at. There is a certain risk of incidents happening no matter where or when the games are held. However, the official stance and response when it comes to these incidents can greatly amplify or reduce that risk. Russia, by taking an official stance against the victims and either ignoring or condoning the attacks, is doing almost everything possible to increase the risk. This is the core of my objection. If the law were repealed, the risk would be reduced; this would be a good thing. Even better would be if Russian officials made a serious effort to visibly enforce the laws against assaulting people, regardless of whether the victims were perceived as gay or gay-supporting. Best would be if both happened.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #141 on: August 15, 2013, 01:50:50 PM »
So, correct me if I'm wrong Ephiral - but you seem to be saying/predicting that even if this law isn't enforced in February, hell even if it is repealed before then, you expect some sort of "gay bashing" at the Olympics?  Have I read you right?

Because my issue with that - assuming you'd go on to say "Hence the Winter Olympics shouldn't be held there" - is that it removes a pretty large incentive from Russia to do anything at all.  Because attitudes take time to change, certainly longer than six months, you're effectively saying "Your population is too homophobic to host the Olympics and there's nothing you can do about it."  Well, with that off the cards, why would Russia want to change the situation?  The law passed both houses unanimously, you've got to assume that an even stronger version would be able to at least get a majority.  And with the international community as personified by the IOC saying "It doesn't matter if every single politician in Russia has a change of heart, its the hoi polloi we're concerned about" then the Russian politicians have no reason whatsoever not to listen to their population - the IOC burnt their bridges for them.

As mentioned before, I don't think it should be moved but even if the IOC goes the other way and says "Repeal/Don't enforce that law or no Olympics for you" then there's a definite outcome being shot for.  Taking what the IOC can offer off the table straight off the bat removes any incentive for Russia to bother showing up for the talks.

I really don't think the choice of host nation for a top-rank sports event should be used as a carrot to try to guile the host country into 'better attitudes'. Maybe that is part of how the IOC see their mission, but I don't think it's very important to them. Their key yardsticks seem to be spreading the games around the continents in some sort of regular rhythm and encouraging sports in countries that look like they could be "on the go" in some field of sports - the boost of hosting the games.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #142 on: August 15, 2013, 01:55:44 PM »
Quote
I really don't think the choice of host nation for a top-rank sports event should be used as a carrot to try to guile the host country into 'better attitudes'

No, I don't either, as I said.  Hence querying what I had understood to be Ephiral's position.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #143 on: August 15, 2013, 03:52:25 PM »
Someone has tested the law.  Guess it remains to be seen what will happen.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #144 on: August 15, 2013, 04:15:10 PM »
Heh:

Quote from: Heart-warming
“We are just against the publicity in our country and I support our government,” Isinbayeva said [ . . . ] “If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people”

I have to say I'm coming around to the view that using the Olympics as an opportunity to bring these attitudes out into the harsh light of day in all their incoherency, so's everybody can have a good long look at them and Russia can enjoy the sensation of having everybody have a good long look at them, may after all be better than moving the event.

Offline Moraline

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #145 on: August 15, 2013, 04:34:56 PM »
Someone has tested the law.  Guess it remains to be seen what will happen.
They aren't the only ones. I posted an example yesterday too.

...

Quote
~ http://www.advocate.com/sports/2013/08/14/american-runner-dedicates-medal-gay-friends-moscow
~ BY Michelle Garcia August 14 2013

American Runner Dedicates Medal to Gay Friends in Moscow

I guess we'll see really soon just how these laws are going to be applied to the athletes and fans.

The athletes are going to stir up trouble for better or worse themselves.

I think we all knew that there was no way that they'd keep silent on this issue.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #146 on: August 15, 2013, 04:56:11 PM »
Incidentally, those interested in the context of the law (and its roots in a rising tide of frustrated post-Soviet nationalism and xenophobia) should read this.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #147 on: August 15, 2013, 05:54:36 PM »
Thank you for that, Cyrano.  Really interesting.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #148 on: August 15, 2013, 05:57:59 PM »
Someone has tested the law.  Guess it remains to be seen what will happen.

Yeah, I noticed Emma's rainbow fingernails. And it's a bit sad to see Isinbayeva's response. She's one of the most amazing track-and-field women of post-Soviet Russia, and she's always been a model of sportsmanship. But I'm not going to reject her on the count of this. She's not personally responsible for these laws, even if she seems to support an oldish attitude that helps them.

It's the Putin regime this is about, not the Russian people. Even if these laws could be popular with a majority of the common people, it's the regime that keeps them in place.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #149 on: August 20, 2013, 03:30:26 PM »
It's the Putin regime this is about, not the Russian people. Even if these laws could be popular with a majority of the common people, it's the regime that keeps them in place.

I think it's just as likely that the regime is "leading from behind" on this: that they're happy to make use of the groundswell of xenophobia that underpins the homophobia but are letting others do the work of driving it forward. I wonder if one could trace any of the laws directly to organs of the regime.

In any case, there are obviously Russians willing to stand up against it. (Notice in that article that it seems someone may have sat Isinbayeva down at some point and explained that she might not want that initial outpouring of incoherent, hateful drivel to be her sole contribution to the history of the moment.)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 03:34:34 PM by Cyrano Johnson »