Croatia In Throes of Marxist-Feminism In Istanbul Convention

Anti Istanbul Convention Ratification
Protest in Split, Croatia.
Girl in front holds banner:
“I want to be a girl, not an it”
Photo: Screenshot

Keep your filters on – focus on the real issues. A more difficult advice could not be given in the climate of information and political issues overload that just keep spinning out daily in Croatia, hence keeping the masses’ minds away from the widespread of living standards plummet, which sees the thinning out of the work-force population to alarming levels.

The sheer volume of real and “fake” issues served on a daily basis to the Croatian public drives one to distraction. Alas, the political tactic of preventing significant part of the public in gathering and joining forces on a single or more important issues for the advancement of the country. The hulking pill of distraction gets easily taken up especially in a society that hankers for change and advancement of living standards and personal pursuits to prosperity. Such is the most important feature of media, be it mainstream or social media, both of which types of media are seen as equally significant sources of information and attitude consolidation or change.

Among the “hot” topics circulating in the politics-saturated public arena one finds that Croatia is currently in the throes of dealing with the Parliament’s agenda for ratification of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence). In the ocean of umpteen other “hot” political and social and economic issues flooding the media space this very important issue of domestic violence is gathering bits and pieces of public attention but, sadly, not in the bulk that it should.

The convention is based on the premise that no single agency or institution can deal with violence against women and domestic violence alone. An effective response to such violence requires concerted action by many different actors. The convention therefore asks state parties to implement comprehensive and co-ordinated policies involving government agencies, NGOs as well as national, regional and local parliaments and authorities. The aim is that policies to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence are carried out at all levels of government and by all relevant agencies and institutions…”

Pro Istanbul Convention Ratification
Protest Zagreb Croatia
Women dressed as servants.
Photo: Screenshot

The ruling HDZ party and its government coalition partners, and the left-leaning and feminist NGO’s are voicing their support for the Istanbul Convention ratification, which EU wants ratified throughout its member countries.

The conservative opposition and the Church, while recognising that combating violence against women and domestic violence are extremely important issues for the society, are against the ratification of the Convention as it stands, claiming mainly that it paves the way to “a third gender”. That is, claims are put forth that to implement the Istanbul Convention also means the eradication of the tradition based on stereotypical gender roles; that motherhood would soon be replaced by a socially imposed construct such as “parent 1” and “parent 2” for instance.

In recent years, in the developed world, both religious and secular critics of so-called “gender ideology” and “gender theory” have mounted a growing challenge against generally accepted human rights terminology and principles. Objections to the convention encountered have to do with the very use of the word “gender”, particularly in the context of promoting the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

The word “gender” has acquired different meanings depending on the context. The definition contained in the Gender Equality Glossary, relatively recently published by the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission, represents the mainstream understanding: while the term “sex” refers to the biological characteristics that define humans as female or male, “gender shall mean the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men”. It is this meaning that enters into play in the use of the expression “gender stereotypes”.

The expression “gender equality” is increasingly replacing “equality between women and men”, from the UN level, down.

Given that the very title of the Convention concentrates on women first then on domestic violence (which can be construed in the context of both men and women) one wonders whether in fact its implementation will primarily benefit women and the rest become a secondary concern or pursuit, interfered with by gender politics. Nobody should stand in the way of progressive legislation that empowers society to tackle violence and bringing gender into it will undoubtedly disadvantage some members of the society be it men, women, boys, girls, trans and non-binary people.

On the face of it the Convention in general is the obedient adherence to Marxist-Feminist ideology. The problem here is also one of twisted logic, Croatia’s Marxist-feminist NGO’s instead of fighting against the Convention portraying women as the most important victims of violence, as opposed to men, go about pushing for its ratification, hence delivering a strong damaging blow to the progress for women’s equality status in society the feminist movements, away from Marxist ideologies, have achieved so far.

As a Marxist-feminist document the Convention has the potential of dividing any society let alone the one like Croatia that is struggling terribly to rid itself of its communist/socialist heritage. One should not forget that the European Commission was at the time of the document’s creation lead by Jose Manuel Barroso (a Maoist) and the justice department of the EU was lead by Viviane Reding, a Marxist-feminist crusader.

Marxist feminists use Marxist concepts, but they see the exploitation of women as they key feature of family life.

The gender ideologue’s worldview is visible from the very title of the document and in the Preamble of the document it says the following:

Recalling the basic principles of international humanitarian law, and especially the Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949) and the Additional Protocols I and II (1977) thereto;

Condemning all forms of violence against women and domestic violence;

Recognizing that the realization of de jure and de facto equality between women and men is a key element in the prevention of violence against women;

Recognizing that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between women and men, which have led to domination over, and discrimination against, women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women…”

First of all, aiming for the de facto equality between women and men was already tried by the Soviet Union and the Marxist governments that ruled over Eastern Europe until 1989, including former Yugoslavia. As history proved, that did not work out well.

Second, “recognizing” that “it is men’s fault” is just feminist ideology – not a fact.

So there you go, from the paragraphs of the Preamble of the Istanbul Convention we have Marxist concepts taking centre stage.

And the Convention is also “recognizing” some other aspects of the gender hate-ideology in its Preamble:

Recognizing the structural nature of violence against women as gender-based violence, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.”

Article 27 sets the obligation for the State to encourage people to report anything if they think an act of violence “may be committed or that further acts of violence are to be expected” – which basically means that it will no longer be a crime (as it is now in many countries) for someone to call the police because the neighbours are talking too loud and the caller “feels” that an act of violence is to be expected. At this point, in many countries including EU, calling the police because you “feel” that a husband might beat his wife because you heard them talking loud, even though you never heard what they were saying and did not see them, is considered “false reporting” and the police might ask you to pay for the expenses of them coming there for nothing.

This document appears filled with pro-female and anti-male bias when perpetration of violence are considered and that is a major concern that interpreting the same will affect a just or fair implemention of protection and prevention of violence. Despite the obvious biases the Convention has been described by some as the “golden standard” of legislation on gender-based violence and addresses FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) (but not Male Genital Mutilation!), domestic violence, sexual abuse and child marriage.

In all of this it would appear that the mind-frame for ratification is that if any government is committed to preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls it should ratify this convention now and start working on its incorporation and implementation. In the same breath, though, the same mind-frame ignores or considers as less important the violence against men. Not a good place to be in given the reality that violence is committed by both men and women in domestic or relationship situations. Ina Vukic

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