Op-ed: No one to complain to about violence in Azerbaijan?
recently participated in an event dedicated to domestic violence against women.
Women complained about the police. They complained to the police of beatings by fathers and husbands, but the police sent them back home after a lecture on the topic of honour and morality, and about the patience that should be inherent in a decent woman.
At that moment, I realized that an Azerbaijani policeman behaves like an average father.
A father who believes that his father’s duty is only to guard the honour of the family, and the man’s duty is to stand guard over morality in his quarter.
An average father, one who never stops repeating: “Sit quietly, be silent or you’ll disgrace yourself, and me because of you.”
Just like the father from the Lerik region, knowing that his 14-year-old daughter was raped, denies it, becomes an accomplice to the rapist and is going to marry her to him to “wash the shame” off the family. The police, instead of enforcing the law, once again play the guardians of “morals” and prefer to hush things up.
In this country, fathers do not care about the feelings of daughters, husbands do not care about the feelings of wives, and male police officers do not care about the feelings of women.
At the same event, one Member of Parliament, taking the floor and talking about the rights of women, said: “Women should be given freedom, but in moderation.”
That is, a male considers himself free to decide to what extent I should be free. This was a Member of Parliament showing signs of the average father complex, a father who believes that giving a daughter freedom is immoral; a Member of Parliament to whom we trust our legislation.
t another event, also dedicated to women, one of the participants complained about the school in which her daughter is studying. She said that she had to talk to the teachers so that they would stop lecturing her daughter to “behave like a girl”, that “you’re a future daughter-in-law” and so on.
Then it became clear to me that we are also in the hands of teachers suffering from mother complex.
For these teachers, policemen and MPs it is normal to bring their home behavior to work.
We have parents who inspire their children that morality is only to keep silent, dress “right” and get married.
Parents who restrict the freedom of their children, regardless of their age, parents who constantly beat their children – they see no problem with beatings of stranger’s kids in kindergartens and police stations.
In their professional life, they see fit to offer up lessons of morality instead of education and protection of rights.
As a result, the society brings up uneducated people who do not know their rights, who are silent about their freedoms, but who are ready to stick their nose in how others dress and behave, silence others and marry off the raped girl to her rapist in order to “wash away the stain” from their family honour. And these same people are taught in schools, become policemen, judges, lawyers, Members of Parliament.
But along with them there are also representatives of civil society who are concerned about the troubles of each individual person. Civil society is needed in order to cooperate with the government and come to its aid when it is unable to cope with problems and give everyone time and money.
Civil society, controlling the activities of state institutions, also offers alternative ways out of difficult situations to remove some of the burden from the state.
But our state not only does not cooperate with civil society, but, on the contrary, it is at odds with it.
Civil society has to suspend its activities and move to social networks, cafes, teahouses. There is no one left to engage in public oversight and suggest alternative ways of solving problems.
If everything continues in this spirit, chaos and permissiveness will become inevitable. Lynch mobs will begin to crack down on criminals and offenders.
I ask myself: if someone applies violence against me, would I turn to the police? Would I complain about the kindergarten teachers who might beat my daughter and teach her “to be a daughter-in-law”?
And if not, then to whom? The same policemen and employees of the Ministry of Education with the average father complex?
Or will I have to restore justice on my own – also in a violent way? Will I myself give a beating to the one who offends me or my child?
The mere fact that I’m asking this question is dangerous. Because the second possibility – to restore justice with our own hands – begins to loom on the horizon, at least as a possible option.
There is a growing likelihood that, like me, thousands of other people will resort to this method. So far this is only a possibility, but the warning signal is on already.