As the President of LGBT Forum Progress, I use this opportunity to publicly react and condemn the homophobia, misogyny and sexism that are all-present in the media campaigns of the political subject “Democrats of Montenegro”. Democrats of Montenegro have, in the recent period, launched several videos in the public, as a part of their political campaign, which contain clear elements of discrimination and degradation of women.
One of those videos contains elements of homophobia, which negatively characterise LGBTIQ persons, and describes gay men in an offensive way. The scene from that video, in which two individuals – a partisan and a četnik (chetnik) – discuss different identities in the Montenegrin society, contains, among other, words “Peder je!” (He is a fag) and “Nije peder!” (He isn’t a fag) in the context of something bad and places the identity of gay men in the same basket as ideologies, which has absolutely nothing to do with one another. What makes this additionally problematic is the fact that, through this video, LGBTIQ individuals are equated with “četnici” (chetniks), which additionally creates negative perception among the Montenegrin public and fuels already existing homophobia. A serious and democratic political subject such as Democrats of Montenegro cannot allow itself to use the terms such as “peder” (fag), which have extremely negative and bad meaning in Montenegrin society.
Additionally, in another two videos the elements of misogyny and sexism are clearly demonstrated, as well as placing women in a subordinate and insignificant position. The videos themselves show the leader of the Democrats talking to the “man of the house” while in the background the “housewife” can be clearly seen washing the dishes, with her face never being shown, reducing her to a mere object. This representation of a woman and the role of women in a household is decades away from the values of modern Montenegro and a democratic society that is striving towards Europe.
Finally, in the fourth video, the leader of Democrats is speaking of a woman who gave birth to triplets, and referred to her childbirth as a “measure of patriotism towards her country”. I repeat that this representation of women, as “objects for childbirth”, is a big step backwards and a completely misogynous statement from a leader of a political party. The promotion of machismo and sexism in this way only widens the gap between women and men and feed the existing prejudice.
As a woman, a feminist, and a human rights defender, I have to say that I am deeply disturbed by this display of homophobia, discrimination, misogyny, and sexism that originated from the Democrats of Montenegro. The abuse of LGBTIQ persons and the degradation of women cannot have their place and a pass in the public and political dialogue in Montenegro, and these kinds of behaviours and actions mush have adequate sanctions, no matter who perpetrated them. LGBT Forum Progress has, in the past, warned about the negative use of the LGBTIQ community in the dialogue of some political subjects, but what is happening now is a significant problem for the whole society.
We call for the Democrats of Montenegro to withdraw from public all discriminatory and misogynous videos, not to use them anymore, and to issue a public apology to the LGBTIQ community and all women in Montenegro. We hope that other LGBTIQ and women’s organisations in Montenegro will join in this appeal.
Bojana Jokić, President
LGBT Forum Progress