RESPONSE TO KAREN SHAKHNAZAROV’S OPINION ON PART OF CONTEMPORARY WESTERN CULTURE
On New Year’s Eve, some friends sent me an excerpt from the 60 Minutes program aired on the Russia-1 TV channel on 28.12.21, asking me to comment on something film director Shakhnazarov said. Sometimes such unexpected statements create a negative opinion about people who are respected figures in society. So what did Shakhnazarov say? I will not quote him word for word, but the gist of what he said boiled down to the following: “Western culture is rotting away, it has no great thinkers, writers, or filmmakers (whereas Russia does? I ask). In every country, LGBT (transgender ideology) is a hot topic; its standards are being forced upon us, and this is driving me crazy—a man has his penis cut off and becomes a woman, or a woman has a penis sewn on and becomes a man. How can we stand to hear about such things—it’s intolerable. People with male names are demanding they be called by female names. And society is supporting them. It’s a nightmare. I see a male, but society says he is a female! It’s shameful! The West is rotten through and through! I will never accept these new imposed trends.”
And Russian society is full of such opinions. This gentleman is not the only one ranting on the subject; many public figures are speaking out about it. But these appalling statements have one obvious flaw—they are lacking in depth and knowledge; they do not take into account human genetics.
I grew up in a small seaside resort town and my modest home had no bathroom. I had to use either the toilets at school or the public latrines around town. There was always a crowd of tourists of all ages jostling in front of the urinals. I was eleven years old when two men in one of these toilets suddenly expressed the desire to unbutton my pants. I was startled when they began arguing about who was going to help me take off my underwear... I ran away. I told some of the older local guys about the incident. That was the first time I heard the word “homosexual.” After that I was afraid to use the public toilets until I was 13... By the time I reached the age of 14, I was a strong, tall boy and no longer afraid of the homosexuals who made passes at me; I would cuss them out. All the local boys and men also gave them a hard time. But the homosexuals usually steered clear of the locals; there were over thirty thousand tourists in town at any given time, and over fifty thousand during the summer months...
During my university years and later I became interested in the scientific explanation of this sexual anomaly and began studying both Russian and foreign sources on the subject. The upshot of my research brought me to the realization that people are products of the microbiome, a conglomeration of the trillions of microbes, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and archaea that live in our bodies. The first Homo sapiens were female, after which bisexuals emerged, each individual always having two origins, female and male, although they differed in appearance. Over the span of tens of thousands of years of evolution, gene ensembles aligned into masculine and feminine. But not in everyone and not entirely. For some reason, our microbiome creator has not ultimately resolved this matter, since 5 percent of the world’s population is made up of females who by all external appearances look like males and males who appear outwardly to be females. To return to basics, females have two X chromosomes, while males have an X and a Y chromosome. The Y chromosome in males is missing an extra leg, thus preventing it from becoming an X. We are familiar with the Klinefelter syndrome, in which the genitalia are underdeveloped due to the presence of one or more X chromosomes in addition to the XY chromosome, thus depriving the person of a specific gender. A change in the number of chromosomes, or their irregular arrangement, causes genetic changes in the human genital system. Aside from congenital genetic disorders, DNA methylation also has an effect on human health. This is a process in which the environment itself disrupts gene expression. The structure of the gene does not change, but its expression does. The environment, and often even the food we eat, affects our genome. Bisphenol A, for example, a substance used in the manufacture of plastics, can erase the difference between gender genes and contribute to the birth of offspring with homosexual tendencies.
Five percent of the world’s population amounts of almost half a billion people. The population of Russia today (people living within the country) is about 98 million. Five percent of this number gives us a total of almost 5 million bisexuals. The population of the European Union amounts to 550 million, which means there are about 30 million bisexual people living in these countries. About one percent of the world’s population is asexual: their appearance is typically male or female, but biologically they are asexual beings. This means that Mr. Shakhnazarov is condemning people with genetic disorders whose gender genetics (including transgender people) have been disrupted by their creator. And this primitive worldview is considered humane and humanistic? If this is the case, does it mean we have the right to ridicule people with congenital syndromes, abnormalities, and physical disabilities?
Such a worldview is fraught with misanthropy and homophobia. Having lived for more than 40 years in different countries—Germany, Spain, Russia, China—I can say that Russia is the only place where there are official media platforms for such hateful public rhetoric. Ninety-five percent of the world’s population lives their own lives; the global population increases by 200 million people a year. And everyone is different, some have physiological problems, which educated people—most of us—treat with calm understanding. People with physical disabilities are accepted like any other member of our species. LGBT is a generic term for sexuality and gender identity, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Comparing some with others is crude, since all of these individuals have genetic anomalies and varying amounts of faulty changes in their genetic makeup. These people are not perverts—their nature, physiology is just different from others. So by demonstrating his ignorance, Shakhnazarov, a so-called cultural figure, is verbally mocking part of humanity, publicly “spitting” on them, and insulting them to their face. After all, no one sees the need to point out that he is Armenian but does not have a typical Armenian name. Shakh is the ancient Persian word for “king,” Nazareth is the biblical name of a city in Israel, and Nazar is a Judaic name.
It is also worth pointing out that the general director of Mosfilm spends a lot of his time at TV studios—three hours a day, plus another two hours travelling back and forth—five hours a day—that’s almost two thousand hours a year. How much time does he have left for managing the Mosfilm studio he supposedly runs? And it comprises 350,000 square meters of expensive land, 22,189 square meters of premises, more than 1,000 employees, hundreds of billions of rubles in financial assets, and production facilities capable of putting out 100 films every year. It is the largest studio in the entire area stretching from Gibraltar to the Pacific, but it only puts out one or two films a year! Mosfilm is bankrupt professionally, intellectually, and culturally and exists only on the money it receives in rent. What else can you expect from such a misanthropic director who spends 70 percent of his working hours on television?
People like him, who are telling millions of their compatriots insulting and primitive things about people with genetic disorders, are totally ignorant and do not have a drop of humanity. The microbiome probably did not give them enough intelligence or tolerance to accept individuals with genetic anomalies. But this should not be a topic for public mockery.
On the other hand, the microbiome has given public citizens living in Western countries everything they need to prevent them from humiliating hundreds of millions of people due to their not entirely standard genetic makeup.
I would like to say a few words, however, about the brash, colorful outfits worn at LGBT parades. It is my belief that all countries of the world should enforce a uniform standard of behavior for these events, taking into account contemporary environmental requirements. People should not be allowed to wear brightly colored clothes at these parades. We must remember that the manufacture of bright fabrics, as well as their disposal, creates a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions, which negatively affects the climate and the quality of our air and water. Another important point to mention is that the flamboyancy and indiscreet nature of noisy parades of half-naked people in the central streets of our cities causes embarrassment for other members of society. Be more modest, LGBT citizens. Attempts to impose your identity on others and the desire to expand your ranks at the expense of new supporters are not encouraged in any society.
The law in the Russian Federation does not condemn LGBT people. Perverts and people who engage in sex orgies may be publically castigated, but in Russia, just like in the rest of the world, they constitute no more than 0.00001% of the total population. And even then, they should be treated with sensitivity and not with ultimatums and hysteria in the way Shakhnazarov did on the air. If you are a conscientious and intelligent human being, you have absolutely no right to mock people with genetic anomalies or bring the details of their personal lives into the public eye. The authors of public reproaches, insults and mockery should be held criminally liable, as is customary in the entire civilized world.
The Western worldview permits everyone to be themselves, free and open to the world and society. At least in the West there is no cultural corruption on the scale it is demonstrated in the country of which film director Shakhnazarov is a citizen.
When I lived in China, I often heard a thought I now often recall: “If you hang out with and listen to evil people, you are already on your way to committing evil.” Therefore, I, like many others, do not watch Russia-1 or listen to Radio Russia or any other federal media platform filled with lies and fakes. We watch, listen to and read wonderful analyst Mikhail Fishman, the journalists of Novaya Gazeta, and honest bloggers.
After watching the videos of several Russian political scientists, one gets the impression that it is not only people with a low level of social responsibility who have a love for money.
A civilization built on fakes, fables, and legends cannot survive for long. We are already seeing the first signs of its decline.
On 7 January, for the first time in history, medical workers in the US successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig heart into a live patient. What will become of humans after such transplants of genetically modified organs? Will it affect their perception of the world around them, their sex drive, their emotional and mental state? Will they be mocked by the Russian “cultural elite?”
P.S. I have six children, one of whom is of school age, while the others are university graduates. I hope to have a seventh and eighth...
P.P.S. From the comments I have been receiving on Russian social media, it is clear that their authors do not know the history of the formation of their species Homo sapiens. Nor do they know anything about such legendary LGBT personalities as Julius Caesar, Socrates, Nero, Alexander the Great, Ivan IV (the Terrible), Richard the Lionhearted, Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, Virginia Woolf, Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Dyagilev, Frida Kahlo, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Andy Warhol, Freddie Mercury, Rudolf Nureyev, Vakhtang Chabukiani, Sergei Parajanov, Vadim Kozin, Vaslav Nijinsky, Gennadi Trifonov, Georgi Millyar, as well as many other contemporary famous Russians. Such genetic disorders have accompanied humanity for centuries, and non-traditional sexual orientation and transgenderism have always been inherent in our species.
Gender reassessment surgery is a relatively recent phenomenon, since in the past medical technology had not reached the level of development that such operations impossible. The first gender reassessment surgery was performed in 1931, while full-fledged surgery of this type was not carried out until 1968. Uninformed people today do not realize that if there had been methods and techniques for carrying out sex correction before the beginning of the 20th century, Ivan the Terrible may have gone down in history as Ivanna the Terrible, Peter Tchaikovsky as Natalia Tchaikovskaya, and Jennie Irene Hodgers would not only have simply had a male name, Albert Cashier, but also a male body. Ninety years ago, gender correction was considered nonsense and absurd, and was “treated” with electroshock therapy. Now it is an official disease that is no longer considered a mental disorder but has been moved in the International Classification of Diseases to the category of diseases related to sexual health. In Germany, as in many Western countries, which Shakhnazarov makes fun of, this surgery is carried out for free. In Russia, transgender people are severely criticized and disparaged. Gender correction surgery is not included in the mandatory medical insurance program. The cost of such an operation in a private clinic can be as high as 2 million rubles, and you can only change your gender in your passport in a court of law. However, more than a thousand such operations are performed annually throughout Russia. Only those who can afford it are able to undergo gender reassessment surgery. But how many more people who cannot pay for this expensive surgery suffer due to their condition and are unable to live normal lives? So-called “intelligent” filmmaker Shakhnazarov should be aware of this situation in his own country instead of vehemently criticizing Western gender “values.”