Offended Greek politician throws water glass and blows at female opponents, thumbing his nose at the real crisis at hand…

7 Jun

During a nationally televised debate on the financial crisis, a member of New Dawn–the far-right neo-fascist party currently expanding its reach in Greek politics–hit a member of the Communist party several times across the face. Lianna Kanelli stood up in protest after Ilias Kasidiaris petulantly threw a glass of water at another panel participant, and was rewarded with several blows to the face.                                   

Rena Dorou, member of far left party Syriza, cried there is a “crisis of democracy when people who will take the country back 500 years have got into the Greek parliament.” Kasidiaris responded by throwing a glass at her.

Kanelli stood up and threw a newspaper at the violent facist, who then began to hit her across the head. The moderator attempted to intervene, but from the photographs and video it appears that the other panel members remained seated.

Granted, Greece is in a constant, elevated state of political, economic and social crisis, but Kasidiaris’ actions are not that of an enraged, emotional politian but instead those of a hateful, violent misogynist. To engage in throwing things, hitting colleagues and generally throwing a tantrum reveals a man unable to control his emotions during a minor debate. (Further, to direct his acts at female opponents is evidence of much more negative tendencies.) How can such a man produce positive change for the Greek people he was elected to represent?

Kanelli has said that she will not be pressing charges, stating that she is an adult who can take care of herself, and whose energies will remain committed towards the restoration of the Greek economy. “I can handle a punch…let the people decide when they vote. I am 58 years old, I just feel pity for his mother, his family and his colleagues.”

P.S. Later that day a commentator noted that, given the fact that Greece remains a male-dominated country with a certain reverence for the traditional woman, Greeks will not tolerate this kind of violent action. This got me to thinking a lot about the notions of chivalry, i.e. protecting the weaker sex. This protection is often considered respect, an upholding of traditional courtesty and regard; but protection is also a form of barrier construction, where those who are deemed not ready, too weak, not suitable for certain activities are kept at bay. I have nothing against courtesy and kindness, but it must be noted that a space where women are revered is often a space where they are restricted. If there were more female politicians and women in exposed areas of power, could it be argued that Ilias Kasidiaris wouldn’t have dared to act out in such a way?


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