Putin's new measures have significantly reduced the penalties for domestic abuse in a country where one in three women endure it.
One of Russia’s most widely read newspapers has called for battered women to be “proud of their bruises,” according to The Independent. This has added fire to the international controversy focused on Russian President Vladimir Putin for signing off on a law that partially decriminalized domestic abuse earlier this week.
Written by columnist Yaroslav Korobatov and published in the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, a portion of the inflammatory article’s English translation reads:
“For years, women who have been smacked around by their husbands have found solace in the rather hypocritical proverb, ‘If he beats you, it means he loves you!’
However, a new scientific study is giving women with irascible husbands new grounds to be proud of their bruises, insofar as women who are beaten, biologists confirm, have a valuable advantage: they’re more likely to give birth to boys!”
Satoshi Kanazawa, a widely discredited evolutionary psychologist, published the research in question, “Violent men have more sons,” in 2005 and followed that up with another paper called “Why do some battered women stay?” three years later.
The Independent reports that Kanazawa wrote that women “may have been selected to tolerate a certain level of nonlethal violence in their mates” in the latter article. He also said that black women are “objectively less attractive” and that African countries are in poverty because of their “low IQs.”
This reemergence of Kanazawa’s comments comes just days after Putin signed a law ensuring that domestic abusers will face fewer penalties. According to the Independent, the law means that “battering a spouse will now be punishable by a fine of less than $500, 15 days of ‘administrative arrest’, or community service” for first-time offenders in cases when the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.
The move has provoked international outrage, with fears spreading that it will signal that marital abuse is merely a minor offense. This is particularly troubling in Russia, where the Independent reports that one in three women endure physical abuse from their partner and where 14,000 women die from domestic abuse each year, according to a 2010 UN report.