quarta-feira, 25 de maio de 2011

And rape is again in the global agenda...

by João Lopes Marques (Eesti keeles)

Genghis Khan. The first man I thought about when I heard the news was Genghis Khan. Could it be otherwise? Even if the “h” of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is after the “a” vowel, it must be tough to sport such a surname. Yes, I am writing about former IMF general-director, the Frenchman accused of raping a Guinean chambermaid in a New York hotel last week.

This kind of news deserve always my interest. Not rape neither the rapist himself, but the psychological and social mechanisms behind the contemporary definition of rape and forced mating. Do you remember Julian Assange case last year? When WikiLeaks founder was accused in Sweden of abusing two different women?

Of course, there is giant nuance that separates rape from sexual abuse. This is a scientific field in itself — and perhaps much more delicate than rocket science. I myself remember what happened with my first girlfriend in Portugal, still a close friend more than two decades later: after spliting, she insinuated to our common friends we both had lost virginity because I forced her.

The word she used was a definitely crueler. Guess which one? “Rape”, exactly.

Truth be told, it’s symptomatic Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal is in the global agenda. Some puritan societies tend to judge imediately the alleged rapist. Two examples? Sweden and USA. Justice is still gathering information but the man is already crucified, as if contemporary societies feel this urge of revenge against machos.

Ah, and the more powerful they are, the faster they are aniquilated in the public arena.

Being a man, sorry, but I’m very sad. Not about Mr. Strauss-Kahn who I never met in my life, but about such a primitive behaviour. Mechanism. There was no contradictory in this story, just the chambermaid version so far. One can kill somebody, can trigger a huge financial crisis, can be a lethal terrorist, but a virtual rapist is still the worst enemy of Mankind before any kind of physical evidence.

It’s a too strong image not to sentence: “He destroyed her life!”; “What if she got HIV?”; “Is she bearing an undesired child?”

Speculation is legitimate, although there are two facts few people know: a) retrospective rape is a classical behaviour and means that a woman who initially gave her consent later on claims she had been raped instead; b) the rape fantasy is more common in women than men.

OK, I bet you are slightly shocked with the author of this text. Me too every time I reflect about such topic. “He’s just writing this because he is a man”, the reader may correctly wonder. Once again I confirm. However, it’s also netto for me that we have to put an end to such maximalism.



Knowing Mr. Strauss-Kahn womanizing past and exceptional libido, I even believe this soap opera is as humiliating as possible. Moreover, experts underline powerful men tend to be the most unreasonable. They feel a thrill of impunity and über-self-confidence. More than an accute self-perpetuating instinct and unreasonable sense of grandiosity they assume their targets bow — or kneel, for instance — at the click of a finger.

Some Psychologists call this permanent priapism “The Caligula Effect”, after the most obsessive Roman emperors in History.

Now I bet you are thinking about politicians like Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, movie makers like Roman Polanski, artists, footballers, pop singers... Yet my focus is still on Strauss-Kahn... sorry, Genghis Khan: I admit the instantaneous punishment we are watching is partly related to past traumas and genetic information.

As geneticists proved eight years ago, one in every 200 men alive today is a relative of Genghis Khan (they have the same male Y chromosome as the Mongolian warlord who lived between 1162 and 1227). With his extravagant male habits Khan fathered something like 20,000 children; as of today his descendants make 8 percent of men in Central Asia.

Too much is an euphemism. That represents a kind of genetical holocaust. But please don’t demonize men just because of that: dealing with old traumas is also part of our — male and female — common evolution. Responsability.

Punishment should be always exemplar. No doubt about that. But just after 100 percent confirmed. Otherwise: are you able to ressurect a innocent person (man)?

Outros tempos de Eurovisão

quinta-feira, 19 de maio de 2011


Há uma coisa que me deixa triste nestes tempos de massas. De verdadeiro espa(r)guete: trabalha-se a quantidade em detrimento da qualidade. Os número convencem mais do que a(s) palavra(s). Pena.

quarta-feira, 11 de maio de 2011


É com grande pesar que Marta e eu reconhecemos hoje que Fábio estava coberto de razão. Insistia ele: "Pior do que vender a alma ao Diabo, é emprestar a arma a um pobre diabo."

segunda-feira, 9 de maio de 2011

BBQ: sexist season has just begun

By João Lopes Marques (Eesti keeles)

Sometimes I feel guilty just because I prefer to prepare mozzarella salads instead of a nice BBQ. Sorry. A short email I received last week renewed this feeling. Why manhood and BBQ are synonyms?

Of course I have my personal story with the dish: it was one of the reasons why my Brazilian exile didn’t work out.

Truth be told, there aren’t many human practices so sexist as this outdoor grilled experience. Unlike Europe, BBQ in Brazil is a weekly practice year round where everybody sticks to a very defined role. Like a stylish performance:

  • Men supervise charcoal drinking beer and speaking about cars and football;
  • Women prepare the side dishes and have small talk about children and nasty neighbours.
“Hey, João, what are you doing here? Go back to the garden and help the boys grilling the veal...” I still remember the astonishment of Cláudia, my Brazilian girlfriend then. The chat was quite boring outside and I felt free enough to join the female group in the kitchen... Sorry again.

Cláudia meant it: I should leave the kitchen immediately and return to the garden. I blindly obeyed her. After all women were gazing me and a true man has to fight hard to defend his own reputation. Bear in mind the worst danger in life is the gossip about our manhood. Masculinity. It can turn into an unstoppable spiral. You see? I was right: when I returned to the grill there was a guy already commenting I looked like a Portuguese Sissy...

Such conventions are not a Brazilian exclusive. Far from that — they are universal. The only big difference is the fact in Europe gender roles are a bit shier than in the tropical latitudes.

Needless to say, the email my friend Francisco sent me last week triggered my introspection. Consisting of ten usual BBQ stages, made me reflect about the symbolism of such an ancestral ritual:

1st: Women go shopping and buy all the ingredients;

2nd: She prepares the salad, peels the potato and innovates with a new dessert;

3rd: She marinates different kinds of meat and brings them outside, where the man is already drinking beer and getting concentrated to his big mission;

4th: Hey, more respect: this is the moment man puts meat on the grill;

5th: Woman returns indoor and lays the table for a dozen of guests;

6th: Woman realizes men keep telling jokes and runs outside in order to avoid meat to be burnt;

7th: Since she came outside, men ask her to bring more cold beers, stupidly cold, meat can’t be left alone;

8th: Meat seems ready and he proudly delivers it in a tray women swiftly brings from the kitchen;

9th: After the meal, she washes the dishes and cleans the grill;

10th: All the guests thank the man for the unforgettable lunch he has just cooked.

More than an anecdote, these 10 steps are a brilliant caricature of some human conventions invloving a certain level of risk. I also acknowledge it can be slightly unfair for certain types of men.

However, one of the things that pisses me off most often is a machist woman. “What’s the problem, Cláudia? I just love to prepare the salad...”, I still insisted.

“Nope. Go!”

Thirteen years and hundred of BBQ’s later, I propose a small game. A therapeutical experience. Challenge. What about exchanging roles this BBQ season? To grill meat is not riskier than frying an egg on the stove. Dear ladies, charcoal is not rocket science and of course a generous glass of rose wine can also be served by the grill.

I just prefer to prepare mozzarella salad, OK?

8 de Maio, dia da comunhão iberiana (fotos de Carlos Isaac)

quarta-feira, 4 de maio de 2011

Peru velho

Iván não só nascera em Lima como odiava laranjas. Por acaso, e este era outro desses acasos mesmo estranhos, até namorou com uma esbelta tangerina.

4 do 5

Quatro de Maio é um bia donito. É uma bata em que eu nunca tinha pensado. Bepois bestas dreves linhas vou passar a pensar mais no quatro de Maio, e todos os quatro de Maio em todos os quatro de Maio. Foram, são, serão, a bata marcante em que escrevi estas linhas. As grandes referências, e mesmo as mais ínfimas, nascem assim. Beste merdoso, medroso, nada. Num virgem e aparentemente bescartável quatro de Maio, essa bata mítica em que o quatro dá total precedência ao circo, aliás, cinco. Mas é melhor terminarmos.

Nice review

Nice promotion


Tinha aveia para o negócio.