Questions and answers for the webinar Women’s Human Rights Campagn (WHRC), August 14, 2021, Ioana Petra, author “7000 Years of Patriarchy..until the Radical Era”

1. Please can you give us an overview of the situation regarding “gender identity” ideology in Romania? And is there much awareness of this amongst the general public? (3-4 mins)

2. What is radical feminism, and why is it virtually unknown in Romania? (2-3 mins)

3. Can you tell us about your book, “7000 years of patriarchy…until the radical era” (3-4 mins).

4. What about your work as a feminist scientist? Can you tell us more about your fight against neurosexism and sociobiology, i.e. about misogyny in science? (2-3 mins)

5. Can you tell us about your political organizing? And your ideas about democratic participation? (2-3 mins)

Answers

1. Romania literary (geographically) is placed in the Middle of Europe, and everything bad that appears somewhere in Europe or in the West gets here very quickly. This is not available for nazism or communism, but also for the trans cult. The trans cult is already present here, although not very developed. Not yet. There are trans people in Romania, I personally know a few. And they were described in older books (novels), there were Romanian authors who wrote about trans people at the end of the XIXth century. I wrote about it on my blog in Romanian, but also in my new book of feminist critics, wich will appear very soon. Most feminists, I mean the feminists in the academia, support the trans cult. Most of them are liberal feminists and are proud of that. I cal them “women in feminism” like “women in prostitution”. I remember, one of them, when I told her about a radical feminist group I created, told me that she didn’t want to join this group if it was “transphobic”. She got angry when I told her why radical feminists felt threatened by the trans cult. It is amazing…such so-called feminists are immune against any radical critic of this cult.

If we want to find an opposition against the trans cult, we find it in the right-wing parties or politicians. And we have such things… There was a political proposal for a law of banning any discussion about gender in schools, universities, and everywhere in the public space. This stupid, strange law didn’t pass in the parliament. The right-wing and traditional politicians don’t care about women and feminism, they care about traditions and religion. The politicians who oppose the trans ideology also oppose gay marriage, sex education in school and any right for the sexual minorities. People in Romania are not religious, but because religion was banned during the communist dictatorship, people consider the church as a resistance force against communism. Some people hate communism so much than they see neomarkism everywhere. And progressism looks like a sign of communism.

As I know, I am the only author who wrote about the trans cult in a feminist manner. I published a few articles in a tiny cultural magazine called “Egophobia”.

Nobody talks about what the sport became after the trans cult, when men can compete as women. The gold medal of a Romanian gymnast was retreated because of an anti-inflammatory drug, Nurofen, and now we accept male athletes competing as women. It’s unbelievable! What would De Coubertain have said now? Except women don’t matter.

Fortunately, in Romania, we still can criticize the trans cult and almost any incorrect political ideas. It was like that before the war, when here the freedom of speech was spared, one of the last such places in Europe. But we paid for that with 40 years of communism.

2. The discussions about radical feminism are very funny, and not only in Romania. When I say I am “a radical feminism” some people, especially males, think I am “radicalized”, Feminism can get radicalized, in the way some Muslim people are. Sure, there are extremist feminists, but I never found out what extremist feminism is. Most people don’t know what radical feminism is. It is not about killing and destroying men, as most people assume. When I told them that it is the feminism which really opposes patriarchy, which wants to destroy patriarchy, they don’t react very much. Most people don’t know what patriarchy is. They think patriarchy is simply…men. And that’s why we need to understand what patriarchy is, why did it appear during the history of human kind, which conditions favored it and what helps its survival.

Radical feminism is the feminism of the ’60-’70s, the feminism which fought for equal pay, the laws against sexual harassment and domestic violence, I call it “patriarchal violence”. This feminism declined in the 80s and 90s. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in one of her books, Nomad, remembers the first time when she entered a think tank. They said her that there were no new feminist ideas since that times. I don’t agree with this idea, I try myself to bring new ideas into feminism.

In Romania the problem is, like in other former communist countries, there is a huge break in the feminist movement (as well as in the human rights movement) a break in the feminist history along more than 4 decades. Contrary to the general belief, communism didn’t support women, communism was very patriarchal, and it considers feminism as something “bourgeois”. And the academic feminists in Romania are proud of not being radical, as I saw when one of them was launching a book of liberal feminism, sure… I wanted to create a radical feminist political party in Romania and in 2016, when I first tried, I didn’t find 3 radical feminists, the minimum number of members for a party. Then I met a lot of “radical feminists” who supported the trans cult and hated transphobia.

3. My book “7000 years” has a very interesting story. I am a scientist, but I think the most important thing a woman can do in her life is fighting patriarchy. I was a feminist since I was a little girl, actually, I learned the word “feminist” whose meaning is very transparent in Romanian. Most people told me that books with a larger audience, films, novels are the best mean of transmitting culture, in this case, feminist ideas. This book “7000 years of patriarchy” appeared as a collection of essays I published as articles on a blog where I was trying to promote a feminist novel. This book, the collection of feminist essays, was accepted by one publishing house in Romania. I decided to publish by myself on Amazon in English for a larger audience and bigger royalties.

The most important challenge with this book was to be friendly, accessible. I had girls and young women in my mind when I wrote it. It is dedicated to them. But I am a scientist and I didn’t help exposing some original ideas about the origin of sex in evolution, ethology and so on. These analyses are about male dominance in apes, the origin of patriarchy, sex vs gender, new feminist strategies, etc. Besides scientific ideas, there are some intercultural analyses, literary critics of novels, films, etc, everything about the life of women in patriarchy. I also had a real feminist revolution in mind, a revolution able to change everything from values to institutions and society. Women have to liberate themselves, to find out how oppressed they are. We have a long way ahead in order to liberate, to create a society for women. Now, we are still living in patriarchy. This book was also conceived like a kind of a manifesto.

4. First of all, related to our topic, the trans cult is the most unbelievable nonsense I ever heard. Nobody can really change her or his sex. We have sex chromosomes in any cell. Castration is not sex change. As a scientist, in fact, I have a PhD in biomedical sciences and a master degree in neurobiology, I fight as I can against neurosexism and sociobiology, but not only. People don’t understand that there is sexism in science, a lot of sexism in nature. There is sexism, that Broca with his ideas about the female brain, the uterus involved in psychiatric disorders (hysteria) are not just history. Racism was “scientific”, sexism was “scientific” and still is. Now, sociobiology, the so-called evolutionary psychology, in fact a kind of social Darwinism applied to animal and human behavior, can be called the sexist theory of evolution. God was replaced by nature. Now, gender roles are natural, not imposed by God. According to some male authors, like Dawkins, women are a kind of inborn prostitutes who want to find dominant partners able to help them raise their children. Women allegedly accept polyginy and abuse, taking into account their higher purpose, of spreading their genes. The authors of this kind of ideas, like Dawkins, who is a zoologist, but not only, take patriarchy for granted and they don’t even question the existence of patriarchy. They don’t even know what patriarchy is. These ideas are very dangerous for young people. And unfortunately, they are very successful in some groups, especially the atheist and humanist groups.

The misogyny in science, evolution and related fields like ethology, is described even by male researchers and authors like Frans de Waal. Now, he says, there is a resistance against a more peaceful, female-centered model of human evolution.

We need feminist scientists in order to counteract such toxic ideas, in order to offer a new perspective on some phenomena. I treated the topic of misogynistic pseudoscience in my book “7000 years”. I wrote academic articles in order to debunk some misogynistic ideas. I also created some groups like feminist psychotherapy and feminist medicine. There is a Facebook page named feminist medicine and a page. And don’t forget, science is a good source of new feminist ideas…

5. Because the situation of women is the most important political problem and the most neglected one, I intend to create a European radical feminist political party. So far, there is an informal group with this name (Radical feminist political party) where I try to reunite the radical feminists all over Europe. Such parties are necessary in other places too. Unfortunately, radical feminism is little known, most women know little about feminism, don’t even understand basic ideas. There is no feminist sense in most women, which is very strange. Most men don’t understand anything about feminism and patriarchy. But I don’t find them any excuse for this ignorance and lack of empathy.

All we need is money, we need to promote the radical feminist ideas, but unfortunately, most rich women are not feminists. And we have not to forget the censorship or radical feminism in mass media, academia, etc.

I try to organize new events on my groups and pages in order to promote some ideas. Such events are “me neither” referring to the lack of success and the difficulties women face in patriarchy and more recently, I hate gender, Gender is the problem behind any pride parade.

The Author

7000 years

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