17 January, 2013
In an article I have written a few years back, I mentioned that from empirical understanding of Georgian history and culture, woman as a beautiful ideal was always held in high regard. In practice, women were sold as cattle, degraded and sent back to kitchen if they were ugly and thought of sex objects only if they were beautiful. It is not fair to put this on Georgia alone; plenty of civilized countries sold humans and treated the female sex
as the weak sex. It follows then that in many of those countries, feminism took root as an antidote to the mistreatment of women. But here’s the interesting thing;
Feminism seemed to have completely skipped Georgia. Why? Where Georgian women treated better than women in France? Where men more influential in suppressing feminism in Georgia then in England? The answer came to me only after conducting an in-depth research into daily lives of Georgian women. In Georgia there exists a different brand of Feminism.
It is not directed against men, but against fellow women, for it seems that the majority of the populace that has problem with women in power are women themselves. I am not suggesting that there are no sexists or misogynists in Georgia. On the contrary quite a few of them are occupying space as Parliament majority at the moment, but the oddity of the situation is that the sexist men are almost constantly spurred on by the equally disturbed women. It is a wildly bizarre phenomenon, when a woman judges another woman’s worth on her looks. If she is smart, she must be ugly, if she is pretty she must be dumb, as if a combination of both in one person, smart and beautiful would somehow be threatening to all womankind. To bring this point to a familial relationship, (not mine, rest assured) I have heard of no other culture, where a man, raised apparently rather well by his mother comes home every night to be with his wife and children, and gets an earful from his mother for being, excuse my expression, whipped.
The man’s reaction is understandable, where else is he supposed to go, he asks? Drinking with his buddies who have no families or to a whorehouse? The reaction of the mother is the strange one here. Is it simple jealousy, or is it something more? Leaving the familiar set up, for it is possible that no one will ever know why mothers-in-law behave antagonistically towards their daughters-in-law, let’s examine the political life of a Georgian woman.  It is not much different from the life of a woman in politics in the US. The only ones taken seriously at their jobs are by men’s standards more masculine, and the pretty ones are dumb and easy to ignore. Same standards seem to apply in Georgia, except here they are exaggerated to an unrecognizable point. One example of minister of former Economy Vera Kobalia, was that such a beautiful woman couldn’t possibly have gotten a job because she applied for it and was more suited then the others, it was strongly suggested she, or her sister was sleeping her way to the top.
Latest example would be the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maia Panjikidze, who caught flack for being unattractive on Facebook, but never mind that no one argued that her logic towards Abkhazia’s independence was idiotic. (You can’t have a referendum in a land where most of the legal residents are not allowed to vote), people just assumed, she looked smart and therefore the only thing they could do was degrade her for her looks.
Anti-feminism has no political boundaries, it lives everywhere, and in Georgia it survives with the help of women who should know better.

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