By Lucas Ribeiro*
Congressman Nikolas Ferreira (PL-MG) delivered a speech in the Brazilian Congress that had a significant impact.
He criticized the participation of “trans women” in women’s sports and how trans people are taking the lead from women, even in beauty pageants and advertising commercials.
In a mocking and unorthodox way, he made his oral presentation wearing a wig and declaring herself Nikole.
He used the same criteria as the left wing: a person can be a woman if he feels like a woman.
This generated furor on the part of the progressive left in the Chamber of Deputies and in public opinion.
Congresswoman Tabata Amaral (PSB-SP) relativized parliamentary immunity in the freedom of expression and authoritatively proposed the impeachment against the congressman under the allegation of “transphobia”.
The trans parliamentarian, Duda Salabert Rosa (PDT-MG), went to a level of progressive authoritarianism and proposed the arrest of Nikolas for a “transphobic attack”.
It did not take long for favorable and contrary opinions to appear for the most-voted representative in Brazil (with 1.4 million votes in the last elections).
Congressman André Fernandes (PL-CE) expressed his support for the conservative congressman and emphasized that “women are losing their spaces” to trans women.
He also highlighted Save Women’s Sport’s initiative to make it impossible for biological men to compete in women’s competitions.
Federal MP Julia Zanatta (PL-SC) also expressed solidarity with her party colleague.
She participated in a debate on CNN Brazil with a PT parliamentarian and defended freedom of speech, saying,
“By the way, what will we be FORBIDDEN TO TALK about today?”.
Trans federal parliamentarian Duda Salabert (PDT-MG) posted on her social networks demanding the parliamentarian’s arrest.
“Cassation is not enough; we demand the arrest of the fascist congressman! Transphobia is a crime in Brazil!”.
Samia Bonfim, congresswoman of the PSOL of São Paulo (Brazilian far-left party), also followed the line of criminalizing the speech of the conservative parliamentarian.
She posted on her social networks:
“Transphobia is a crime! We want the immediate dismissal of bolsonarist Nikolas Ferreira, his actions cannot go unpunished, and the Chamber cannot be permissive!”.
After explaining the facts and some statements about what happened, we must understand that all this controversy brings more profound debates, whether it is the legal debate of a possible dismissal of the congress member or a more conceptual discussion about what is at stake in this political and ideological dispute.
In general, this debate is based on two significant worldviews.
On the one hand, there is a conservative and Christian vision that understands the transgender issue from a biological and scientific perspective.
To explain it better: this vision understands that the difference between men and women is due to the differences between the XX and XY chromosomes and the reproductive functions of both sexes.
The second view is held by ultra-progressives, globalists, and the left in general.
Those who defend this view base their discourse on gender ideology and believe that what defines a woman is her “self-perception” and the feelings one feels about one’s sexuality.
The former view is more grounded in reality, while the latter has ample media support to create its parallel reality.
After understanding the essence and ontology of the debate, we need to understand the legal dispute over whether or not to proceed with the dismissal of MP Nikolas Ferreiras.
Nikolas Ferreira’s view is based on a conception of a broad freedom of expression for parliamentarians.
Article 53 of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988 states: “Deputies and senators are inviolable, civilly and criminally, for any of their opinions, words, and votes.”
The notion of the broadest freedom of expression for parliamentarians is the very essence of democracy and the rule of law based on Western values because the deputies have the function of changing the laws and the Constitution itself.
Something previously illegal and even unconstitutional can be changed precisely by the action of parliamentarians who obtain a majority for a given change.
Thus, the parliamentarian’s criticism of political and ideological movements (gender ideology and feminism) is the essence of the work of a parliamentarian.
That is why it is possible that even in a democracy, a politician can defend a genocidal regime such as communism in its different versions in the world, whether Soviet or Cuban communism, even though they have caused so many deaths.
The extreme left defends the other legal interpretation, which seeks to criminalize the discourse it does not like.
The hermeneutic of these sectors is based on the law of the Federal Supreme Court that in 2019 equated “transphobia” with “racism”.
This judicial decision, in addition to running over the Congress of the Republic, which has the power to create laws, decided to make new laws based on the legal and philosophical conception of the juristocrats who understand themselves above the other powers and create rules based on the worldview of the party of which they are part.
In the end, what this point of view aims to do is to criminalize any negative comments on gender ideology and feminism and to criminalize in practice the conservative and Christian discourse.
Therefore, the central issue of this controversy goes beyond the congressman himself.
From what happens in this event, we will know whether Brazil will be a country where conservative and Christian discourse is criminalized and banned; or whether it could be an everyday democracy with broad freedom of expression and respect for political and ideological differences.
Also at stake is the representative system itself and whether the 1.4 million voters who voted for Nikolas deserve the right to be taken into account or whether they will be disregarded from the political game as were the Jews in National Socialist Germany, the bourgeois in Castro’s Cuba, or priests in the Soviet Union.
Brazil will have to define if it will be a western democracy or if it will be a kind of “progressive Stalinism” where it is only possible to defend the values of the identitarian left.
*Trained in International Relations (Unijorge – Brazil) and Master in Politics and International Relations by Sergio Arboleda (Colombia), he has a long experience in international business and worked in Chambers of Commerce. Since 2019, he has written about Ibero-American issues for Brasil Sem Medo and contributed to the newspaper ADN América.
With information from LGI