The Estonian president’s son is not present in the photo
A status appeared on Facebook, which drew considerable attention and which contained text with the words “The President of Estonia and her son. #LiberalPigsFuckOff!” And together with it there is a photo of three people – two men and a woman in the middle. The man on the right is wearing a light pink women’s dress and high-heeled shoes. His name is Mikk Parnitsa and he is a writer, but also an activist who fights for the protection of the rights of sexual violence victims. The woman in the middle is Kersti Kaljulaid and she is the President of Estonia, and the man in the suit on the left is Raivo Aeg, a former police officer and current Minister of Justice of Estonia. And no, Mikk Parnitsa is not the son of Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Last week, these three people were attending the same event where awards were given for the activists against sexual violence. One of the winners was Mikk Parnitsa, who was awarded the prize for the campaign entitled “It’s not okay!” for protection of women and children from sexual violence.
Parnitsa, like all other award winners, gave a speech that was as controversial as his light pink dress and high heels. In his speech, Parnitsa referred to the state of sexual violence in the country, noting that it is bad, that children and women are the victims of sexual violence most often committed by the men in the family. He added that he also blames men who pass the laws, believing they do not provide sufficient protection to potential victims, and highlighted opposition to laws making it legal for a 14-year-old to have sex with a 60-year-old man, adding that this encourages pedophilia. With this speech, he opposed the liberal legislation that Estonia has on this issue. That is, he did the exact opposite of what he is accused of in this status containing the words “liberal pigs”. But, to be even clearer, there are other countries in the world with the same legal provisions according to which the minimum age at which a person can legally consent to participate in sexual intercourse is the same – 14 years of age.
However, the most controversial was his claim that the Estonian family “is the most dangerous place for a child, as well as for an adult woman”, alluding to the dangers of sexual abuse that in Estonia mostly occurs within families. And again, this is the situation in all countries in the world where such research has been conducted. Estonia is not special. The only difference is that in many countries this issue is not discussed publicly.
Let’s go back to the hashtag “liberal pigs”. That hashtag assumes that Parnitsa’s provocative outfit and provocative speech seemed to have passed without consequences in Estonia. But that, of course, is not the case. First of all, Minister Aeg did not confirm the award given to Parnitsa, which means that it was not officially awarded to him. This award, being a state award, should receive confirmation from the Minister, but he refused to do so. Moreover, he emphasized that he would demand responsibility from the Commission that gave the award. Aeg also opposed Parnitsa’s claim that “the traditional family is a place of violence and the most dangerous place for a child. Such shameless labels and accusations are completely unacceptable and inappropriate,” he said. Furthermore, the Chief of the General Staff of the Estonian Army, Riho Uhtegi, decided not to appear at the reception at the Presidential Palace on the occasion of Estonia’s Independence Day, and the reason for that is considered to be the performance of Mikk Parnitsa. Estonia’s free media widely discussed the provocative act of the activist, with headlines asking whether a pink dress can really tarnish the dignity of a nation and what it means for its dignity. All this shows that things are not as “liberal” as they seem.
Moreover, in the history of Western activism, especially regarding the issues not in the public focus, and for which it is difficult to attract its attention, activists have often resorted to shocking moves when nothing else works. And Parnitsa’s pink dress and high heels are nothing in comparison. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, suffragettes emerged in Anglo-Saxon countries, a movement that fought for women’s right to vote. This battle has been waged by women activists for decades through numerous protests, which often ended in inhuman beatings by the police (and male passers-by), as well as sexual abuse and even rape by the police. Women in the UK chained themselves to train tracks in protest. But especially shocking is the move by one of Britain’s most radical suffrage leaders, Emily Wilding Davidson. If you have strong stomach watch this video (note: the video is not intended for children) in which you will see how Davidson, in the most famous and most important horse races in Great Britain, in which the horse of the British king competed and in the presence of the King himself, without telling anyone, jumps out of the audience on the racetrack and stands in front of the running horses. She is run over by the racing horses and dies. Davidson deliberately does this knowing that she is going to get the public’s attention and that there will be a large audience at those races, as well as that her move will be filmed. And that is not all. She had previously been arrested nine times. In prison, she regularly went on hunger strikes after which she underwent forced feeding, which is an incredibly painful process and is done by putting a hose in the nose that goes to the digestive tract to insert food in the organism. She tried to jump from the second floor of the prison in order to draw attention to the demands of the suffragettes, not to mention the fact that on one occasion she beat a man, thinking that he was a politician. She did it with a whip. So the tradition of activists shocking the public was certainly not invented by Mikk Parnitsa. This tradition is long and – shocking.
Finally, just a few words about the origin of the post. The most popular content on social media on this topic and with the same untruth comes from accounts that support the Kremlin. A pro-Russian Twitter account with the name Logan posted a tweet that has been shared over 750 times, has over 1,400 likes and hundreds of comments. In English, a similar tweet can be found on the account Scott’s Humor that covers events in Russia. This tweet is also very popular, with 620 shares and over 1,000 likes.