Interview with the Romanian feminist and university professor Maria Cernat on the legislative ban on gender studies
Romanian parliament introduced legislative changes, according to which will forbid educational institutions from “…activities, related to the distribution of the theory or the opinion on gender identity, understood as a theory or opinion that gender is something different from sex and that the two are not always equal”. This means that a number of university disciplines, related to the social sciences, gender studies, etc., will become illegal. It is not clear what the sanction for breaking these statutes will be or who will control adherence to them.
Romanian universities and the Romanian Academy are a traditional refuge for the conservative elites of the country. The fears of professors, who speak about gender in their lectures, is that they will be attacked and will not be able to defend themselves, given that the conservative elites have been waging war for years against what they call “sexomarxism” or in other words – the negative influence on youth by the Frankfurt School.
The Barricade has conducted a video interview with one of the Romanian university professors who is worried by the introduction of these legislative changes. According to Maria Cernat, who is a lector in communication, a feminist and vice president of the Romanian think tank of social researchers The Institute of Social Solidarity, the present legislative changes have been introduced without consultation from academics and reveal a rudimentary understanding of the issues of gender and itssocial construction. Cernat explains that it is not coded inside a woman’s genes that she should dress beautifully – this is something, which has been learned from society, which is socially constructed. Feminism owes its success to the fact that it manages to divide biological sex from gender, allowing women to occupy“untraditional” roles, different from those of obeying creatures, made for the pleasure of men.
On 18 June 2020 a flash mob took place at Cotroceni Palace (the presidential office), putting pressure on the head of the state Klaus Iohannis not to promulgate the changes – which is the last step before their entrance in force. In the Romanian parliament a big part of the parties have a conservative political line. New “surprises” in the fight with sexomarxism are not impossible. According to Cernat, the Romanian politicians don’t have a viable vision for social and economic politics. That is why they further feed the fire of cultural wars between conservatives and liberals. In this moment in the White House is “the conservative” from the covers of Playboy Donald Trump.
The interview with Maria Cernat has subtitles in English language:
Vladimir Mitev is a Bulgarian-Romanian journalist based in Rousse, a town on the very border between the two countries. He is the editor-in-chief of the Romanian website BARICADA Romania, which initially started as a Romanian language version of the Bulgarian portal by the same name. He focuses on international politics. He has worked for the Bulgarian weekly “Tema” until its closure in 2015. He founded the bilingual Romanian-Bulgarian blog ”The Bridge of Friendship”. His articles and translations have been published by the BGNES agency, the magazines of A-specto and Economy, the blog of ”Solidary Bulgaria” and others. He has published also in the Romanian magazines of Decât o Revista și Q Magazine, in the Romanian cultural magazines of Vatra and Poesis, and in the Romanian left-wing portal Critic Atac.