Gay rights are important. So important that it’s time for the Western world to get its act together and to stop being so immature.
We criticise Russia for many things, and rightly so. They don’t have a proper democracy and their human rights record is pretty darn terrible, to say the least, so we should try to do something about that. But since when is it a good plan to use tyranny to create democracy? Have we not learned from all those previous wars? Are we so incapable of imagining Russia’s point of view that we are willing to jump right into a war if we have to?
National leaders are boycotting the Russian Olympics, the German national team is making a major statement with their outfits and politicians all across the Western world are unleashing their judgement on Russia, because boy oh boy are they evil. And surely these statements are going to help! Because angering an entire country that isn’t so fond of the West to begin with is a real good way to get them to agree with us!
It’s time we all start facing the truth: the Russian people are opposed to gay rights. And that doesn’t mean that we should give up, but it does mean that we need to stop seeing Putin as some evil, tyrannical puppet master, because that is an illusion. The reality is that even if Russia was a perfect democracy, the people would be voting against gay rights, and that isn’t going to change just by making them hate us even more. All we’re doing right now is convincing every Russian citizen who was still on the fence that the West is evil and that we don’t want them to have a democracy.
What we are doing now is just plain wrong, and if only we took a moment to think rationally, to analyse our own actions without being influenced by our political bias, we would see that. Democracy doesn’t work this way. You cannot tell Russia to set up a proper democracy, only to act like a tyrant when you disagree with a decision they do make. That’s what we did in Iraq, in Vietnam, in Afghanistan and wherever else we wreaked our havoc. And yes, I really do mean “we”, because that is how the Western world is seen: we are all part of this society that believes its political ideals are superior to that of the rest of the world and we are willing to ignore those ideals just to make sure that they adopt them as well.
But that is not how it works and that is not how a country is convinced to listen to your arguments. Of course, I share those biases. I too believe that the Western world has ideals that are superior to Russia’s and I do think it is ridiculous that gay rights haven’t been universalised yet, but that doesn’t mean that turning this into another war is going to help even in the slightest way. Because that’s where we’re heading right now: the Western world is collectively pissing on Russian society, and they are not going to like that.
But war doesn’t solve anything. Not ever. Equal rights for the LGBT community, or in fact for anyone, are worth fighting for, but not in that way. We are supposed to fight with words, but also with respect, not with force and innocent blood. Listen to your own ideals. If you think a democracy is better than a tyranny, then stop supporting the tyranny and help the Western world get back to improving human rights in a democratic way. In an effective way. Only then can the Russians actually be convinced.
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