Women in Malta are currently in an uproar over the femicide of Paulina Dembska, a murder committed by a member of the misogynist cult River of Love. Women are simply stating the obvious when saying that this murder had nothing to do with mental health and that it had more to do with the general misogynistic culture in Malta. They are being too diplomatic here as most probably, most women in Malta are better off marrying foreign men given that we’re not the best specimens around after having absorbed throughout our lifetime the misogynist and homophobic mentalities of our peers.
Saying the obvious is not enough, however. We already know that Maltese men have a high tendency to be misogynistic. We also know the reality that a significant number of Maltese men are violent and abusive to the women in their lives and acknowledging that this situation is unacceptable should go without saying. We don’t go out of our way to produce educational content to explain to people why they shouldn’t steal or murder, but apparently, we do need to change the mentality of men on the simple and basic rule of civilisation that we should not kill, rape or even abuse the women in our life in any way. Here, at this point, we are saying the obvious: men are to blame and they should fix themselves.
What is not being said, however, and allow me to be the prick to point it out, is that there are many women in positions of power or with a high status in society who prefer to betray their feminist sisters by supporting men at the expense of women. I will have no qualms to call them out because one does expect a male lawyer to defend abusive men in court cases, but I was surprised when I got to know that Veronique Dalli, an outspoken feminist had very recently, defend a client accused of severely abusing a female family member. I’m sorry, but I don’t get this. If women are feminists, why would they make money defending such men in the first place? This kind of Maltese charade where we separate our professions from our beliefs is absolutely hypocritical. The “kulħadd irid jiekol” mantra.
In addition, there was absolute silence from Veronique’s sister, Miriam Dalli when Marlene Farrugia presented her bill in parliament to decriminalise abortion.
I’m sorry but I still don’t get it. If women themselves, especially those who are in power don’t speak out for themselves and for their sisters, how can we expect the feminist cause to move forward in the first place?
But then, Malta is a man’s world, and for Miriam to climb the steps of power, maybe, she has no other choice but to unabashedly serve in silence villains like Joseph Muscat and his successor Robert Abela.
I have another answer. I think they are cowards and opportunists and people like Miriam use feminism only as long as it serves them. When women will be as angry enough as to force these women in power to change their views, then things will start changing. So far, Miriam is elected on the Party ticket not for her feminism, but for simply following the Party devotedly, even on its line against discussing a bill about abortion. Our misogynistic mentalities are reflected in our current abortion laws which consider women who commit abortions as criminals. Defending such a law itself is a misogynist act given that the law itself is a reflection and even an enabler of current misogynist mentalities. The reality is that despite all Labour’s theatre about supporting women, it had to be Marlene Farrugia to grab the bull by the horns and force the inevitable debate about how we perceive a woman’s body. It seems like all of Miriam Dalli’s army of women foot soldiers, recruited through the programme LEAD, don’t even add up to the woman that Marlene Farrugia is. Compliance with their masters seems to be the only thing that Labour teaches its students.
Now, having said that, allow me to turn onto River of Love, the cult which hosted as its member the murderer of Paulina Dembska. Another thing that is true but is not being said is that basically, religious cults in Malta are fraudulent business activities of their leaders which peddle misogynist ideologies to insecure men willing to pay money to have an outlet for their hatred and bad ideas. Let me say the obvious so that people understand what I am saying. Gordon Manche is not a doctor or a specialist in the Bible. He is not a preacher or a prophet sent by God. Gordon Manche is just an eccentric fraudster with no ability in life other than to fraud vulnerable people out of their hard-earned money to sell them a false hope based on his own self-made ideas. It’s all made up. But Gordon may probably be as mentally deranged as to believe his own lie – that he is indeed a preacher doing God’s work.
So, sure, let’s say the obvious because apparently, we need to. We do need to convince Maltese men to change their ideas and their perceptions of women. But let’s go even further than that. Let’s legislate accordingly and pressure the men and women in power to speak out and take pro-women positions instead of cowering like cowards under the shadow of their masters. Women have a bigger responsibility in the latter because it is in their own interest to do so. Men are quite comfortable as they are, and women in power are not necessarily feminists if they hypocritically consolidate this patriarchal male comfort with subservience to their masters. And if women lawyers want to get serious about feminism, the least they can do is not to defend male abusers in court. You can’t pretend to be a feminist if you are defending abusive men in your line of duty. Sure, you are doing your job, but don’t come out as a feminist if your job consists of defending abusive men. I don’t care what you think about the right of an attorney and all this bullshit that everyone deserves a lawyer. The first thing women can do to be feminists is at least support their own cause in their line of work.
Last but not least, fraudulent religious cults should be called as they are: fraudulent religious cults. No one has the legitimacy to speak in the name of God unilaterally because this is not Israel during the Babylonian invasion and we are long past that kind of behaviour. People should be aware that religious cults do not offer you salvation – they will only make you poorer by taking your money. If you seek religion and God for your salvation, do yourself a favour and reach out to the real thing: the Roman Catholic Church which has a 2000-year experience in organised religion. Gordon Manche is a fraud.