Women and men: instruction manual – 06/06/2021 – Maria Homem

The last few days were intense in terra brasilis.

It made me want to edit a small movie: a few scenes, just three characters. Scenario: Covid’s CPI. It starts with the General who was in charge during tense moments of the war. It’s the shortest stretch: he came, lied (blatantly) and left. He blamed everyone other than him and said “I don’t have this information” many times. It wasn’t treated very badly. Some praised his work.

The second character is the pro-chloroquine doctor: the real Captain behind the Captain. The general strategy he sought in his defense, leafing through outdated school handouts or whispering to the lawyer beside him, was one of evasion: I don’t know, I don’t remember, that’s not what I said, that was at that moment, I can’t say. The plenary got excited and spent hours gloating on the doctor’s ignorance.

It was such a strong spectacle that even today it feeds crap from celebrities, feminist debates or medical advice. The senator, who thought himself very smart at the inquisition, believed he demonstrated that it did not know the difference between a virus and a protozoan. Interestingly, this was one of the few correct information in his testimony, as checked by Agência Lupa. In other words, the consensus and the meme that went viral reveal two things: our ignorance and the ignorance of our ignorance. An immunologist knows the difference between a virus and a protozoan. What she still doesn’t know very well is how to escape responsibility for having made a wrong bet at the start of the pandemic and continue to insist on it. In the end, our character didn’t stop being astute in co-opting with the image of a little woman, stupid, crazy and cynical. The comments that made the networks’ resentful joy were all along that line.

The film advances with the third character: the Doctor, based on evidence. The speech was fluid, sure, scientific. If the doctor once supported the president, his wife, his allies or anti-leftism, now, 2021, she migrates to the field of criticism. He accepts to work in this government, but feels firsthand that the issue there is neither science nor work. What is she amazing about her testimony? Strictly speaking, nothing more than being the spokesperson for a discourse in line with the most recent data from contemporary experimental science. What is the general reaction? How wonderful! Let’s congratulate the father on his daughter, his “technician” and faithful squire. How out of this world: she studied abroad and still plays the piano. The memes confirm: “half of Brazil enthusiastically applauds the infectious disease doctor, the other half wants to marry her”. How much patriarchy, what a mutt complex, and what such immediate objectification of a woman’s thinking brain, all in the same scene in the movie.

Why are we so amazed by this? Shouldn’t it be the norm for someone with knowledge of the facts to defend well-founded public policies, especially those that have been known for months? What country is this so fragile, so ignorant, so shattered as to be surprised at an adult and lucid position?

This is the normal we should aim for. And preferably without sexualizing women. As they wanted to seal: “Moral of the story: a rigorous, honest and beautiful doctor is better than an incompetent doctor, a scoundrel and a scumbag”. In other words, as we’ve been listening for centuries. Women: witches or muses. Putting on the fire or putting it as an object of my desire: until today the strategies of female domination. Has anyone compared the fluency, charm or cock size of Wajngartens or Ottos?

And, in the final frame of the film, we return to our General, the boy who does a lot of mischief and is always forgiven by the daddies. Yes, better to remain in power and still have the largest armed militia in the world at our disposal.

What is the name of the film?

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