Slovenia’s Most Sexist Statement of the Year Award

By , 28 Feb 2018, 20:56 PM Lifestyle
Silver Thistle Award Silver Thistle Award Anna Ehrlemark

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The nominees await your vote. 

February 28, 2018

As in earlier years, the Red Dawns collective in cooperation with the web portal  editorial board, will present the dishonourable Silver Thistle Award (bodeča neža) to the authors of the most sexist statements of the previous year, as chosen by a public vote. Out of 27 nominated statements, a short list of 12 are now offered to the public to choose the winner for 2017-18.

The Silver Thistle has so far been awarded three times, and as the nominated and winning statements suggest, sexism seems to be expressed among men and women of all political orientations. The dishonourable title, as  explains, can be awarded to anyone “who publicly attacks, humiliates and insults other people on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation and/or sexual identity”.

To get a general idea what this is about, let’s meet the winners of the Silver Thistle in previous years.

For the year 2014-15, the award was given to Slovenia’s first president (1991-2002), Milan Kučan, for the following exchange he had with a female journalist in 2014:

Kučan: You are not married yet?

Journalist: No.

Kučan: Well, focus on that.

(Original: »Niste še poročena?« – Novinarka: »Ne.« – Kučan: »No, s tem se ukvarjajte.«)

In the year that followed, another Slovenian president (2012 - ) won the title. President Borut Pahor, the honourable guest at a high school graduation parade, decided to entertain the teenage girls with patronizing and sexualised chants, to the seeming discomfort of his wife:

“Come on, cutie, let’s go! Give it to me, give it to me.”

(Original: “Ajde miška mala, gremo! To mi deli, to mi deli.”)

The incident in question:

The sincere apology:

In fact, two awards were given in the year 2015-16. The second one was for Rosvita Pesek, the host a show called Odmevi shown on the national broadcaster, who asked her guest, Zoran Stanič, PhD, to explain the new European firearms strategy again, but in simpler terms:

“Simplify for the women, please.”

(Original: “Poenostavite za ženske, lepo prosim.”)

Finally, the winner of the last year’s Silver Thistle Award was Angelca Likovič, an activist from the Movement for Families and Children (Gibanje za otroke in družino), classroom teacher of Janez Janša (SDS leader) in his first and second school years, and a 2017 presidential candidate, who explained the foundations of her political work in the following statement from 2016:

“Look what Merkel did in Germany because they have no reproduction, how many people she pulled in from abroad. We are fighting to have our own descendants with Slovenian roots, so we support all mothers to give birth, even the raped ones. (…) Look, my dear ladies, if your mothers decided to abort, you would not be here today, me neither, which is why I am against abortion.”

Original: (»Poglejte, kaj je Merklova v Nemčiji naredila, ker nima nobene reprodukcije, koliko ljudi iz tujine je potegnila. Mi se borimo za to, da bomo imeli naše potomce s slovenskimi koreninami, zato podpiramo vse mamice, da rodijo, tudi posiljene.« ... »Poglejte, drage moje gospe, če bi vaše mame naredile splav, vas ne bi bilo danes tukaj, tudi mene ne, zato sem jaz proti splavu.«)

angelca likovcposiljenenajrodijo.jpg

Screenshot of the show

The voting period for this year’s most sexist statement started on February 23 and ends on March 5, 2018. All 12 finalists can be found here, where you can also cast your votes (you can mark them from 1 to 5, from the least sexist or “neutral” to the “ultimate sexist”). The current top five, according to the highest “ultimate sexist” vote, are:

In fifth place is currently Milan Knep, the chair of the Preparation for the Sacred Marriage at Ljubljana archdiocese, with the following statement he gave to

“Many contemporary women, due to their feminist views, weakened men and then ended up alone and resigned.”

(Original: "Mnoge sodobne ženske so zaradi feminističnih naziranj oslabile moške, potem pa ostale same in resignirane.")

In fourth place is Slavko Bobovnik, the host of the show Odmevi, who chose to bother his first guest, a female award-winning manager with questions about family and housekeeping, but not second guest, a male award-winning manager:

"Madam, you know how to run a big company, but you do not know how to cook žganci. Why? You don’t have the will, you don’t have time, or you at least don’t know how to cook them as good as your mother used to make them?"

(Original: »Gospa, vi znate voditi veliko podjetje, ne znate pa skuhati žgancev. Zakaj? Nimate volje, ali nimate časa, ali vsaj tako dobrih ne znate skuhati, kot jih je znala skuhati vaša mama?«)

Currently number three, anthropologist Vesna Vuk Godina, in her essay on elections and women in politics, written for OnaPlus concludes with the following statement:

"Do not be afraid! One way or another, in the following four years we will be ruled by a woman. With female genitalia, or without them. It is hard to say which option is worse."

(Original: "Ne se bati! Tako ali drugače nam bo naslednja štiri leta vladala ženska. Z ženskimi genitalijami. Ali brez njih. Kaj je hujša možnost, je težko reči.")

In second place is a statement which was originally delivered to us in English, for which we are immensely grateful to its author, a former constitutional judge who is serving at the European Court of Human Rights, and, until he decided to post the statement below (now deleted from his Facebook page) also a candidate  for the UN Human Rights Council, Boštjan M. Zupančič:

“Simone Veil was a traumatized woman, survivor of concentration camps. Nobody speaks of how these traumas caused her to become the ‘mother of all abortions’. Because of her legislative initiative while she was France's minister of ‘health’ millions of unborn children have been and still are deprived of legal subjectivity. These unborn children, legal subjects as nascituri since Roman law, continue to be deprived of their right to live that should steam from Art. 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The media celebrate her even posthumously, while she ought to be condemned as the greatest murderer of all times.”

The current number one sexist statement is written by the president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) and a former employee of the Ministry of Health, Luj Šprohar, who explained his hardships at the Ministry in a book, as quoted in an article in Reporter:

““I didn’t find my way in this snakes’ nest of hags who aren’t properly fucked, who raise nervousness of all kinds." He was also angered over being eaten away by "wicked little hags with small breasts that were hardly there and hair that was only few centimetres long and of dominant character.””

(Original: "Nisem se znašel v tem kačjem gnezdu slabo pofukanih bab, ki zganjajo nervozo vsake sorte." Hudoval se je še, da so ga nažirale »zlobne male babnice z malimi prsmi, ki jih skoraj ni bilo, in lasmi, dolgimi nekaj centimetrov in dominantnim značajem«.)

To make sure we understand that sexism goes both ways, against women and men who refuse to submit to the standards of “toxic masculinity”, we would like to present one more statement which is also in the running for the Silver Thistle award in which a psychologist Andrej Perko, writing for OnaPlus, declares all men over the age of 40 who are single or divorced as unworthy of a relationship with a woman:

“I sincerely suggest to women to take into account my following thesis: do not take a divorced man (if so, talk to his ex-wife about what’s wrong with him), do not take a man who is over 40 years old and has never been in a committed relationship before. The best men have been already taken anyway. Well, then there is the third group that you should be targeting – widowers.”

(Original: "Moja teza, ki jo ženskam polagam na srce, je: ne jemljite ločenca (če že, se pogovorite z bivšo ženo, kaj je z njim narobe), ne vzemite moškega, ki je star 40 let, pa nikoli ni bil v tvorni zvezi. Ta boljše moške so že itak druge pobrale. No, potem pa imate še tretjo skupino, na katero lahko merite – vdovce.")

You can join the voting here, and we’ll let you know the results when we have them.

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