Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ukraine's Presidential Elections: The Evil of Two Lessers

Today Ukrainians have to choose between their two last remaining presidential candidates. The most popular choice seems to be the Pro-Russian "let's-go-back-to-the-Empire-and-let-Russians-abuse-us-some-more" Yanukovich.

The other candidate, Timoshenko, looked kind of better. At least, she is a woman, which is always a good thing to see. She also looks a lot less like a Soviet-era dinosaur than her opponent.

For these reasons, I hoped she would win. That is, until she organized a disgusting religious event, which was a kind of a huge public prayer. I understand that she only did this to score points with some of the more obtuse, uneducated voters. Still, this quasi-religious posturing is really unattractive. And understandably scary.

I feel truly sorry for the Ukrainian voters who now have to choose between two almost equally lousy candidates. Ukraine just doesn't seem to be able to catch a break for the past 350 years.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you hear that Yanukovych referred to Chekhov as "the great Ukrainian poet"? When corrected by someone who whispered "Russian, not Ukrainian", Yanukovych responded: "Russian, Ukrainian - doesn't matter; the most important thing is that he was a great poet!"
M.

Clarissa said...

Well, he is also really NOT a poet. But who cares, as long as he is somebody great, huh?

These people are insane.

Anonymous said...

a poor, impoverished eastern european country is using religion as a way to cope with the stresses of daily life?! oh noes, someone call the atheist police!!!

get a grip on yourself you spoiled, self-entitled scumbag cracker and stop telling people in other countries how to deal with their injustices

- angry black chick

Clarissa said...

Oooh, look, a religious freakazoid feels sorry for us, aren't we lucky.

You just can't hide from these religious freaks. Of course, not only have they never visited Ukraine, they can't even find it on a map. Still, they know so much better what it is that we need than we do ourselves.

I'm not deleting this idiotic comment so that everybody can see why I hate religious freakazoids.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Clarissa said...

I have no interest in promoting the unpopular blogs of uneducated religious zealots. Please refrain from leaving your links on my blog.

-An angry Ukrainian chick.

Rihanna said...

I wonder, though, why do all the weirdest, unhinged commentators come from Livejournal? Is that like a new place where they hang out or something?

I remember a weird anti-women person from Livejournal too some time ago. And then there was another one. This is getting macabre...

Clarissa said...

I actually visited the link before deleting it and the gist of the discussion that the freakazoid was having (apparently with him/herself) was that the point of this whole idiot string of comments was simply to troll my blog.

I only had one very identifiable and consistent troll before. This will be my second one. I feel popular.

Livejournal is, indeed, a very weird place.

tinceiri said...

Hi. I'm the author of the blog that was linked to you. I'm not the person of color anonymous) or the other two people that I was referring to in my blog. And I feel that you are being disingenuous by insinuating that this is the case.

Of course, this is the Internet and I should probably expect such things - except you're supposed to be a feminist. There is nothing "anti-woman" about third-wave feminism. I suggest that you look it up.

I apologize for the troll, but it's probably not the last one that you're going to have.

Clarissa said...

My Statcounter shows that the same individual made all these comments. Whatever the case may be, the person who left the original comment is a religious freakazoid. The anti-woman troll is not you but somebody who left a comment last year calling me "a feminist bitch." My long-time readers know the story.

What third-wave feminism has to do with me being annoyed at a weird individual who comes here to teach me how to be a good Ukrainian is beyond my understanding.

Natalee said...

No offense but the exchange following the post is a lot more fun than the post itself. :-))))))))))))))))))))))))

Clarissa said...

It always surprises me to see which posts provoke the liveliest discussions. I wish I could attribute the popularity of this post to people's sudden interest in Ukraine but I'm afraid the real reason is that some kooks get over-excited every time the word "religion" is mentioned.

I'm glad this gave me a chance to repeat the word "freakazoid" many times. I really like it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the plural be "freakazoa"?

:))))))))))))))))))))))))))

You're right, it's a cool word.

Clarissa said...

I especially loved it how in the original post Ukraine was a "poor, impoversihed country." As opposed to all those rich, impoverished countries or maybe poor, enriched countries.

The ignorance among the zealots is intense.

tinceiri said...

The connection is the same because this is a wifi-connection and it's coming from a shared connection. Your tracker is also going to show that this message is coming from the same type of operating system.

The person who left the original comment is not someone I would consider a "religious freakazoid" and even if she were I would have no problem with it whatsoever. Why? Because third-wave feminism respects the choices of everyone, not just those who have abstain from religious preference.

I do not agree with the comments that were left on this blog, and if the aforementioned person chooses to do so again it will not be coming from here. This is ridiculous, and I annoy people by letting them know exactly who I am. I do not want to get egged into whether you are a "good Ukrainian." That's wrong, and it's not my place.

But I also feel that it's wrong for you to draw on your experiences in the Ukraine to generalize religion at large, and understand a person of color's religious preferences and to label them as fundamentalist. I mean, wow. It's not analogous. I'm assuming that what you have some ties with Eastern Orthodoxy - that's a lot different from the American black liberation congregations.

Again, third-wave feminism entails respecting that person's choice. Again, I apologize for the troll and it will not be coming from this address again. But I am not anti-woman.

Clarissa said...

So if a man chooses to beat up his girlfriend to a bloody pulp, we should respect his choice? If parents choose to abuse their child, we need to respect that choice? If a politician robs the country blind and chooses to disregard the constitutional separation of church and state we should respect that choice as well? How about people who choose to take away women's right to vote? Respect them too?

Interesting philosophy, indeed.

And I still don't know what American black liberation congregations have to do with the presidential elections in Ukraine and why their history should mean that it's ok to trample on the constitutional rights of Ukrainians.

Clarissa said...

I think this "third-wave feminism" would be more aptly termed "not having the courage of your opinions." Thank God the 1st and 2nd waves didn't "respect everybody's choices" or we would still be barefoot in the kitchen.

Aminah said...

Why are these Christian psychos always so angry and agressive? Aren't they supposed to be all about peace and love? They are always so scary. Then they walk to other blogs to spread their anger and hate there. I hope a person like that doesn't stop me in the street and try to convert me. Or I'll just run away shaking with fear.

Clarissa said...

It's because they are sexually repressed.

The scariest thing is that armed with their contempt of and ignorance about "poor, impoverished countries" they start throwing bombs on those countries in hopes of bringing their religion to other people.

I wish they could just sit in their own church minding their own business.

tinceiri said...

So if a man chooses to beat up his girlfriend to a bloody pulp, we should respect his choice? If parents choose to abuse their child, we need to respect that choice? If a politician robs the country blind and chooses to disregard the constitutional separation of church and state we should respect that choice as well? How about people who choose to take away women's right to vote? Respect them too?

This is a strawman.

Interesting philosophy, indeed.

And I still don't know what American black liberation congregations have to do with the presidential elections in Ukraine and why their history should mean that it's ok to trample on the constitutional rights of Ukrainians.


You decided to look at presidential elections in the Ukraine and then you attempted to use that as a launchpad to attack the notion of religion at large. Suddenly, this had absolutely nothing to do with feminism and it became about your personal attacks on religion.

When you say that you hate religion, you are dismissing the notion that religion can be used as a tool of social change and that it can be used as a vehicle for feminism. You are stuck in a view that is centered only on what you think religion is, and you aren't cognizant of the larger picture - look at Meena Keshwar Kamal (the founder of RAWA) or Asra Nomani.

I think this "third-wave feminism" would be more aptly termed "not having the courage of your opinions." Thank God the 1st and 2nd waves didn't "respect everybody's choices" or we would still be barefoot in the kitchen.

Do you have any idea how many riots and arrests have occurred under the name of third wave feminism?

Women would still be in the kitchen and barefoot if so-called second-wave "feminists" such as Mary Daly could have had things their way. It was (and still is) centered on white, upper-class New England armchair ideology. It is often unapologetically classist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic.

Third-wave feminism is the feminism of street protests, of people who will go out there and fight for equality regardless of who they fight for. No other movement in feminism can make this argument, or has tried to do so much for so little in return. Indeed, there's a very good reason why a lot of us have some training as street medics.

Clarissa said...

"This is a strawman."

-So you have no answer? Of course, you don't since it is impossible to "respect all choices."

I never condemned religion at large and I challenge you to show me where I do. I condemn the lack of respect many politicians - both in the US and Ukraine - show for the constitutional separation of church and state.

I wonder what and who it is third-wavers fight if they are supposed to respect verybody's choices. That should include the choices of those who oppress women to do so, right?

If you reserve the right to fight the discriminatory choices that are made against women, i reserve the right to fight the choices of fundamentalists who do not respect the constitution of this country.

tinceiri said...

No, it's just that I don't like the question. It's a straw man argument.

Let me explain what third-wave feminism is about:

* Against Ableism
* Against Classism
* Against Ethnocentrism or Western-centrism
* Against Homo-/bi-/queerphobia or Heterosexism
* Against Racism
* Against Sexism or Misogyny
* Against Transphobia or CISsexism
* Against Religious Bashing
* Honoring Bodily Autonomy
* Supporting Sex Workers
* Anti-Biological Essentialeism

We tend to adhere to the power+privilege definition for oppression. One can oppress others over whom they have both individual and institutional power and privilege. We do NOT believe in reverse “-isms." We do NOT speak out on behalf of groups that do not share experiences that are relative to ours, EVER.

Yes, we respect people who make individual religious choices. When I said this, I was referring to religious choice and religious choice only. It does not follow that by respecting someone's religious choice that I would suddenly "have problems" in addressing violence against women, or dealing with a seperation of church and state. Third-wave feminism PROMOTES seperation of church and state.

Needless to say, we do not equate the actions of any particular being that's a member of a religious affiliation as someone who speaks on behalf of all members of a given religion. Do some people use their religion to oppress other people? Yes. But it is no reason to judge an entire religion like that or to engage in religious bashing.

Clarissa said...

If you promote separation of Church and State, then I don't understand what your problem is with my original post. When a presidential candidate (who is also the prime Minister) presents her cadidacy as supported by god and church - as opposed to that of the other candidate - this is an obvious infringement on the separation of church and state. Which is what annoyed me and led me to write the original post. So, once agai, what bothers you about my post?

Another question is why do you say that "third-wave feminism respects the choices of everyone" when that is so patently NOT the case? Is that just some way of speaking?

Anyways, I am grateful for the description of third-wave feminism's causes you provided in the last comment. With your permission, I will address it in my next post.

tinceiri said...

What bothers me? The way that you throw the words 'religion' and 'religious' around as pejoratives. That's exactly the game that people like Tymoshenko are hoping people will play so they can exploit it for political purposes. And this is exactly why I got onto that troll's case.

I say that we respect the choices of everyone who adheres to a religion (no matter how "fundamentalist" they may be) AS LONG AS they do not violate any of the guidelines that I listed. I have known Southern Baptist, Muslim, and even Wiccan "religious fanatics" who have been good third-wave feminists. To throw terms around such as "religious fanatics" generalizes and alienates ALL of them.

Go ahead and address third-wave feminism, but I should warn you that this blog has been cycling through a feed on LiveJournal (feministblogs) and you'll need to watch yourself.

tinceiri said...

..and by 'watch yourself' I mean prepare to be trolled. :/

Clarissa said...

I don't really see why I should be afraid of antagonizing people who are obviously unafraid of antagonizing me. Especially, if they are so pathetic that they have to crawl around the Internet trolling people.

As a believer, I am absolutely in favor of people holding any religious beliefs they want. As long as they keep those beliefs to themselves. The second their religion becomes a public, showy thing, I reserve the right to say whatever I want about them. They choose to make it public, so they should live with the consequences of people's public reactions to them.

tinceiri said...

Hah! I like that you are verbose.

It's not a matter of being "pathetic," per se - there's a strong tradition of debating and trolling anything that moves that came from the "early days" of LiveJournal and it is something that has never completely gone away. There's a fine line between taking it too seriously and between not taking it seriously at all.

By the way, since you're from the Ukraine I thought that you might find the following link to be of interest:

український фемінізм

I don't understand Ukrainian, but you obviously do. And then, of course, there's the original -

Feminist

Богдан said...

Так, Тимошенко гарно виглядає і гарно говорить...Але мені вона нагадує одну з тих Сирен, що зваблювали своїм співом Одіссея.

Це був важкий вибір, але врешті "жереб кинуто"...Життя і історія покаже, що саме випало на долю України.

Clarissa said...

Of course, I'm verbose. I'm an educator, I speak for a living. :-)

Thank you for the link. Ukrainian feminism is, sadly, in a deep toilet. But let's hope for the best. That's all we can do, in Ukraine's case, keep hoping.

tinceiri said...

Hope? Naw, I want to do more than that.

Clarissa said...

You can't make people happy against their will. This is what the Ukrainian people want for now.

KT said...

I like this discussion. What a pity I missed the troll :D