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Author Topic: Moving the Winter Olympics...  (Read 14092 times)

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Offline Avis habilis

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2013, 08:51:40 AM »
And Avis, nice touch in justifying my fear in posting my take on this.

That wasn't demonization. It was pointing out that your conclusion was based on a faulty premise.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #51 on: August 14, 2013, 08:55:25 AM »
I really don't see why it's so hard to understand that some countries have other rules and opinions.

The vast majority of the Russians doesn't agree with homosexuality so there is a law to protect those people.

The Olympics are held in Russia, the athletes come there on their own free will. They visit the country so they have to respect the rules. Whether they agree with it or not.

Again, Russia isn't the only country with laws like this. In any muslim country it's illegal as well. The customs are different from the 'western world' but you have to adapt to it and deal with it.

Just because we are all open to homosexuality doesn't mean everybody is.

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.

We gay people always want the 'normal' people to accept us.... shouldn't we accept them as well?

Offline ofDelusions

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #52 on: August 14, 2013, 09:10:31 AM »
Actually, its not that same-sex public displays of affection can land people in jail that scares me the most (though I do think that even that is violation of basic human rights) but that is trans* person presenting according to his/her gender identity can equally be interpet as "gay propaganda" and get someone jailed?

Great to know that once I go fulltime (hopefully later this year) I can no longer even think of visiting our eastern neighbour. Not that I was thinking of it much before but not being able to visit Karelia ever is a shame.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2013, 09:32:54 AM »
To Imogen: As others have pointed out, the problem across the board is that you cannot meaningfully define the word "propagandize" in the legislation. It functionally means simply "to be gay in any way in public," and once you've hit that point, it's meaningless to proclaim that the IOC's rules on "political propaganda" apply or are relevant to what's being talked about. The IOC is being slippery (I would say cowardly, quite frankly) about this.

To Dashenka: There are 76 countries in the world with anti-homosexuality laws on the books. Most of them criminalize specific sexual acts, and while that's bad enough, the fact is that very few of them, including Muslim ones, go to the extreme of criminalizing the fact of being or looking gay in public*. And none of them are hosting the Olympics and threatening to arrest athletes and visitors under such a law. I get that you're uncomfortable having Russia come under a negative spotlight, but they've done it to themselves; a law that baldly ridiculous was always going to attract international attention, the moreso when you're hosting an international event.

And that last line is heartbreaking. No, it is not the job of gay people to "accept" straight people if that means "accepting" having sewage like this constantly dumped on them. For most of history they just didn't have a choice. It's kind of perverse to ask them to just hunker down and take it in the first era where other possibilities have opened up... and one of the only things that shifts any kind of bigotry in any real sense is shame, knowing the world does not tacitly accept and approve one's backward attitudes.

(* The major notable exception to this is, on paper, Saudi Arabia... though there are interesting complications to that. But note that during the one major international event the Saudis host every year -- the Hajj -- its religious police keep an extremely low profile. There is no tough talk about enforcing Wahhabi norms upon visitors, because they have the sense to know what problems this would cause them.)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:51:31 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #54 on: August 14, 2013, 09:50:16 AM »
In conversation with a friend earlier today the point was raised that moving the Olympics could well be the worst thing possible for Russian LGB people - not only are they hated already but then them and their foreign friends will have embarrassed Russia on an international stage and cost it money and prestige.

Not sure how I feel about that point just yet, haven't really had time to think about it, but I thought I'd throw it into the conversation.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #55 on: August 14, 2013, 09:55:22 AM »

I get that you're uncomfortable having Russia come under a negative spotlight, but they've done it to themselves; a law that baldly ridiculous was always going to attract international attention, the moreso when you're hosting an international event.

And that last line is heartbreaking. No, it is not the job of gay people to "accept" straight people if that means "accepting" having sewage like this constantly dumped on them. For most of history they just didn't have a choice. It's kind of perverse to ask them to just hunker down and take it in the first era where other possibilities have opened up... and one of the only things that shifts any kind of bigotry in any real sense is shame, knowing the world does not tacitly accept and approve one's backward attitudes.

1. I don't agree with the law either and I fully understand that the Russian government has done this themselves. Qatar is hosting the 2020 or 2024 FIFA World Cup. You can't be openly gay there. Are we going to boycot that as well?

2. A lot of gay people are acting different to be accepted. Being gay myself I find THAT offending. These people in their pink leather suits, feathers on their head, acting stupid and funny. They offend even me. How can you be accepted as a normal human being, when you act differently?


So, again, I do not agree with that specific law at all and I don't like where Russia is going. I agree with you all on that. Free speech is limited and had I still lived in Russia I probably wouldn't be able to get on this website. I'm not in any way defending that law.
The fact of the matter is though, for Russia, this law makes sense since most Russians don't agree with homosexuality. The Olympic Games won't change that in any way. Might as well accept it.

Besides as long as your country still allows this to happen, I'd be extremely careful who I'd judge... Every country has some political abominations, Russia has this, Canada has that, the US have the gun ownership laws, Netherlands legalized soft drugs, etc, etc.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #56 on: August 14, 2013, 10:17:11 AM »
1. If Qatar threatens to arrest athletes and participants in the event, yes, it should be boycotted or denied the event. And in general international federations should deny events to places that will threaten their athletes. But I would be surprised if the Qataris did so, just as I'm disagreeably suprised to see Russia attempt it.

2. A lot of gay people don't care for the flamboyant "flaming" stereotype or those who promote it, but even if one was willing to throw just those people to the wolves -- and I'm not, those behaviours are an understandable result of trying to live under otherwise unbearable social pressures without committing suicide, but that's a debate for another day -- even if one was willing to do that, the Russian authorities have been explicit that they're casting a much wider net. So bringing up pink leather and feathers is not relevant.

Maybe losing the Olympic games would not shift Russia's homophobic attitudes in any way, I don't know. But I do know that international pressure most certainly can affect how countries behave and how norms are seen. Embarrassment on the world stage was one of the nails in the coffin of segregation in the United States of the Sixties. Similar embarrassment has prompted Saudi Arabia to rein in the antics of its religious police since 2001. In the short term in both those countries, hardliners talked big about how foreigners and liberals were never going to change anything... but the trends of change are clear anyway.

So it does not do to pretend these things cannot be affected. I don't think it's okay to say "might as well accept it" or "everybody's got problems" because you're uncomfortable with the fact that it's your country's bad behaviour currently in the spotlight. Just as we all have problems, for every one of us there comes a time when we can no longer avoid confronting them. This is Russia's.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 10:18:46 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2013, 10:28:49 AM »
Okay, let's shift the question a little bit.  There are Middle Eastern countries where a woman can not be seen in a 'revealing' outfit.  There is an Iranian swimmer who has, by the numbers, set a world record in open-water swimming - 20 km in 9 hours

http://www.rferl.org/content/female-iranian-swimmer-record/25035330.html

The link shows a picture of what the Iranian state considers 'too revealing'.  It adds 6 kg of weight, which any competitive athlete will tell you is a severe handicap.  Because of her 'revealing' outfit, they are refusing to recognize her record.  They also pursued her with boats in a previous open-water event, causing her injury.

Now.  Let's say that the Summer Olympics were due to be held in Iran.  Iran comes out and says that they are going to enforce their laws on 'revealing attire' for women.  Would the IOC be as willing to say 'Oh, just follow the local laws, it'll be fine.'?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2013, 10:33:50 AM »
Its not quite the same, Oniya, as your example directly affects sports.

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #59 on: August 14, 2013, 11:21:41 AM »
Its not quite the same, Oniya, as your example directly affects sports.

And having athletes not show up because they're afraid of being arrested doesn't?

Geeze, next time the US hosts the Olympics we should pass laws arresting any foreign nationals on US soil, that way we can win everything by default.  ::)

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #60 on: August 14, 2013, 11:41:07 AM »
Well according to some people's judgmental errors, the whole world should ban the US Olympics anyway because you have a law in place that will effect some people.


Like gun ownership. The athletes could be shot by some halfwit hillbilly with a gun.


Let's hold ALL Olympics from now in Switzerland. Everybody loves Switzerland.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #61 on: August 14, 2013, 11:58:12 AM »
Well according to some people's judgmental errors, the whole world should ban the US Olympics anyway because you have a law in place that will effect some people.


Like gun ownership. The athletes could be shot by some halfwit hillbilly with a gun.


Let's hold ALL Olympics from now in Switzerland. Everybody loves Switzerland.

Except for Oprah fans.
Here

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2013, 12:00:28 PM »
Except for Oprah fans.
Here

Haha where's the world gone to? We can't even hold the Olympics in Switzerland anymore :D

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2013, 12:02:28 PM »
Haha where's the world gone to? We can't even hold the Olympics in Switzerland anymore :D

It's human nature.. folks gotta hate. I try to not judge nations by individuals. After all, I never did the 'Ugly American' when I was overseas.. in fact I was mortified by them.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2013, 12:04:26 PM »
We could always move the winter ones to Antarctica.  No need for fancy snow-making machines, we could bring in a crew from Sweden to do one of those ice-hotels, no controversial laws to deal with...

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2013, 12:08:43 PM »
Al Gore would protest and spew his Inconvenient Lies around the world again :D

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #66 on: August 14, 2013, 12:10:08 PM »
2. A lot of gay people are acting different to be accepted. Being gay myself I find THAT offending. These people in their pink leather suits, feathers on their head, acting stupid and funny. They offend even me. How can you be accepted as a normal human being, when you act differently?
The problem here is threefold. One: 'normal' is a slippery little thing that isn't defined anywhere near as well as you think it is. Two: "Offense" and "beaten while the police look on and/or jailed" aren't in the same ballpark. They're not even the same fucking sport. Three: Your rather problematic standards of behaviour basically mean that trans and non-binary people basically aren't allowed to exist.

Well according to some people's judgmental errors, the whole world should ban the US Olympics anyway because you have a law in place that will effect some people.
There is a difference between "might affect someone" (which your example doesn't, given that it is actually creating a right for US citizens) and "definitely denies people basic human rights and equality under the law". The former is not at issue here. Stop pretending it is.

Offline ofDelusions

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #67 on: August 14, 2013, 12:14:39 PM »
I still don't understand why cities even want to host Olympics. They always lose more money than they gain and IIRC some of the rules the Olympics force the cities to sign are rather draconian with things like free speech restrictions. Not that Russia would mind the latter.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #68 on: August 14, 2013, 12:20:25 PM »
There is a difference between "might affect someone" (which your example doesn't, given that it is actually creating a right for US citizens) and "definitely denies people basic human rights and equality under the law". The former is not at issue here. Stop pretending it is.

The gay law is not an issue in Russia either. The world makes it an issue. Same with the gun ownership :)

Offline ofDelusions

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #69 on: August 14, 2013, 12:23:38 PM »
The gay law is not an issue in Russia either. The world makes it an issue. Same with the gun ownership :)

Yes yes, lets ignore rights of the minories because the majority wants to do that...

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2013, 01:29:12 PM »
The gay law is not an issue in Russia either. The world makes it an issue. Same with the gun ownership :)
Here. In this thread. The issue in this thread is not laws which "might affect" someone, but laws which are flagrant denial of equality under the law and human rights. Your repeated attempts to distract from this point with non sequiturs will not change this fact, and only serve to make you look deceitful. Is this clear enough?

Yes yes, lets ignore rights of the minories because the majority wants to do that...
This is an excellent point too. No majority has ever wanted equality and civil rights laws - which is precisely what makes them important.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 01:32:42 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2013, 01:39:34 PM »
This is an excellent point too. No majority has ever wanted equality and civil rights laws - which is precisely what makes them important.

If that were true those laws would, by democratic standards, not have come into being.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2013, 01:40:43 PM »
Here. In this thread. The issue in this thread is not laws which "might affect" someone, but laws which are flagrant denial of equality under the law and human rights. Your repeated attempts to distract from this point with non sequiturs will not change this fact, and only serve to make you look deceitful. Is this clear enough?


Yes in most parts of the world gay people are equal. In Russia the majority of the people think they aren't. Don't blame the law, blame the people.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2013, 02:03:26 PM »
Like gun ownership. The athletes could be shot by some halfwit hillbilly with a gun.

Dashenka, this is just a totally and utterly false equivalence and I do not believe that you believe it, or mean it, seriously. You should stop saying it, as it is not helping your case.

Again, as I've already said, it's obvious that you're uncomfortable seeing Russia in the crosshairs of an international controversy, but I think you're going to just have to suck it up: the controversy isn't going to go away if you just throw chaff at it.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #74 on: August 14, 2013, 02:18:19 PM »
Yes in most parts of the world gay people are equal. In Russia the majority of the people think they aren't. Don't blame the law, blame the people.
I do, which is why I've made repeated reference to the severe (and, AFAIK, not legally permitted) violence gay people and their advocates have faced in Russia. This attitude is a problem; this law is a manifestation of that attitude which severely ramps up the threat, as it cuts any official support or assistance out from under the people who need it most. Both are problematic, both need to change. There. Is. A. Big. Problem. Here. Do you really find that to be a controversial statement?

If that were true those laws would, by democratic standards, not have come into being.
The tyranny of the majority is a very serious problem for a democratic system; these laws were meant to redress that. The majority generally do oppose them when they comeinto being, though I think my initial statement was a bit too broad - gay rights laws in several nations are unusual in having enjoyed broad support before being passed. These are the exception, though - most of the voting public didn't want women's suffrage, or the Civil Rights Act, for example. This does not mean that they are bad laws - it means that they are even more vital.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 02:21:42 PM by Ephiral »