During a discussion on Russian national identity, President Vladimir Putin made sure to politely but firmly reject any notion of replacing traditional family structures with more “progressive” examples implemented in the West.
“You said the word ‘mother’ cannot be replaced. Turns out maybe it can: they’ve replaced it in some countries with ‘parent number one’ and ‘parent number two.’ I hope that never happens here,” Putin said on Friday at the meeting of the Council for Interethnic Relations, a Kremlin advisory body.
His remarks came in response to lawmaker Viktor Vodolatsky, who talked about efforts to cultivate a unifying identity among Russia’s youth without infringing on any other ethnic, religious or group identities. The words “mother” and “parent” are functionally the same, but carried a very different emotional weight, Vodolatsky argued, just like “motherland” and “country.”
Vladimir Putin, today: “You said the word mother ‘can’t be replaced.’ It turns out, perhaps, it can. In some countries, they now have ‘parent number one’ and ‘parent number two.’ I hope we never have that (in Russia).”pic.twitter.com/O7mS7YNtfI
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) November 29, 2019
Smiling as he replied, Putin may as well have winked and nudged in the westerly direction. One notable place where motherhood and fatherhood had been replaced in the name of “social equality” is France, where in February school forms were updated to “parent 1” and “parent 2” in order to reflect new “family diversity.”
Certain families were finding themselves stuck in “rather old-fashioned social and family models,” Valerie Petit, an MP with President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party REM, said in February.
A similar measure was underway in Italy, but Deputy PM Matteo Salvini restored “mother” and “father” on government forms in April. It is unclear where the proposal may be on the agenda of the current government, which was put together in September to shut out Salvini without an election, in yet another display of EU democracy at its finest.
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