On the eve of March 8

Juan Davila, Love, 1988
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By MARIANA C. BROENS*

International Women's Day, the speeches of Deputy Arthur do Val and the power of social networks

Last Friday, March 04, 2022, a few days before the celebration of International Women's Day, journalist Igor Gadelha from portal Metropolis, made public voice messages sent by state deputy Arthur do Val (Podemos-SP) to other members of the MBL – Movimento Brasil Livre ().

The messages, with phrases like "Ukrainian women are easy because they are poor" and "I didn't catch anyone, but I stuck them in two mines", whose authorship was recognized by the deputy, were made on a trip to Ukraine along with Renan Santos, his MBL colleague. , supposedly to support Ukraine against Russian military forces, although in one of the messages Arthur do Val says he was an apprentice to his colleague, supposedly with extensive “tourist” experience with blonde women in European countries.

In addition to the disgusting content of the speeches, they bring a lot of information about (i) the person of the Deputy, (ii) the right-wing conservative movement of which he is part, (iii) the political parties that welcomed him, (iv) the São Paulo electorate and (v) the convincing power of social networks.

The speeches reveal, directly or indirectly, that: (1) because the conversations are private and intended only for members of the MBL, the deputy talks frankly with his colleagues about “poor and easy” women; (2) another MBL member would conduct sex tourism in Europe targeting vulnerable women and share his experiences with his MBL colleagues; (3) the parties he was a part of would be ideologically committed to conservative thinking that exalts the Ukrainian extreme right, including the neo-Nazis; (4) Arthur de Val, according to the most voted state deputy in São Paulo, with 478 280 votes, has no political experience, does not show the ability to debate and propose projects in favor of the population of São Paulo, but (5) has become a person public for having a YouTube channel, with more than 2 million followers, in which he dogmatically expresses his opinions, forces controversies to acquire notoriety, seeks to ridicule people and uses other artifices to gather followers and, thus, earn money, the objective of every channel monetized.

Upon returning from his tourist trip, Arthur do Val tried to justify his lines by saying he was just a “young and excited man” and that his statements “should not be taken out of the context in which they were made”. Let us remember that the context in which I said, for example, that “Ukrainian women are easy because they are poor” concerns women and girls who seek refuge from bombings, armed forces and violence and the social and political instability of their country. country.

In short, his speeches revealed that Arthur do Val represents the conservative right, some of whose supporters concur with disgusting speeches and actions against people weakened by poverty and use their media notoriety to earn money and become political agents. The conduct of Deputy Arthur do Val and his associates reveals the ideology of violence, the abuse of vulnerable women and the pursuit of personal gain, an ideology that conservatives strive to preserve.

Let's hope that Brazilian society and voters, especially women in São Paulo, give Arthur do Val and his peers the response that their repulsive speeches and actions effectively deserve.

*Mariana C. Broens Professor at the Department of Philosophy at Unesp.

 

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