These kind of people do nothing but test the limits. I don’t know how Brazilian society could accept their existence, from the misogynistic insults directed at former President Dilma, back in 2014, when it started; to the recent invasions of classrooms to publicly oppress teachers. We even denounced it, but Brazilian society was so numbed by Bolsonarism, that we ended up accepting it. Today, they are rejected on all sides, even by the right. And rightly so. Whoever is in favor of these people is because they agree and are equal to them.
This man, Arthur do Val, congressman in São Paulo, in 4 duly verified audios, showed a real interest in going to Ukraine in a context of war and violence: showing up. He did this accompanied by another guy who, according to the audios themselves, is a specialist in sex tourism in Europe. The audios themselves are disgusting, disgusting. They are of an unforgettable baseness. “I didn’t catch anyone, but I could, if I wanted to”, is what he implies at all times.
Now, I think the matter is even more serious than what the media in general came to point out. I believe that the most iconic phrase, and perhaps the one that was not given due attention, from the audios, is this: “they are easy, because they are poor”. And when he said that, he also referred to the context: looking at the refugees, in line. The essence of a sentence like this is beyond sexism pure and simple. This perspective, I believe, if taken solely and exclusively, reduces the problem. Sexism is just the cover, the appearance of something deeper: the hatred that this stereotypical middle class has for all the poor.
He did not manifest anything other than the libido for people who are in a condition of weakness, humiliation, vulnerability. “They are easy, because they are poor”… What is at stake is precisely a condition, the poor (literally what he said), not a person. If we ignore this, we lose everything we learned from sociology. He began to look at people not as people, but as elements that he could dispose of if he wanted to. And he just didn’t have it, because he didn’t want to. “If I want, I can make them do my will”, is the problem. It’s the real feeling.
Imagine how he looked at people at the moment when they were suffering, to be able to say these atrocities. They were in the refugee line, that’s what he pointed out. There, on the other hand, people have absolutely no libido at all. They abandoned loved ones, friends, homes, work, school, an entire social and cultural life, their own country. They find themselves orphans of everything. Human suffering, there, matters little. What he sees, on this occasion, is people available, at his disposal. It’s just that he wants to. That’s what the middle class does with the maid in the kitchen, or with the employee in the factory.
Don’t think that the audios are justified just because they are women. It is, moreover, an oppression on the poor. Arthur do Val’s libido was not for women. It was out of vulnerability. When he sees the humiliation, the vulnerability, he feels alive, he feels like someone. It’s not just “I want to be more macho, to be a man, to be above the woman”. It is “I want to be, while you are non-being”.
This is what was present on the streets in 2014: these people in yellow, fighting against the advances of the poor class in consumption, and the expansion of their opportunities. Many of them, accompanied by their children’s nannies in the demonstrations.
Note that his girlfriend, from the posts she made on social media, breaking up with him before he even knew it, seemed to be unaware of this aspect of his personality. She’s probably never heard him say things like that. I do believe that this is possible. Let it be possible that he doesn’t attack all women. Let him attack only poor women. That when he came across all those refugee people, while he was in a more favorable situation, that of a free foreigner, with money in his pocket, being able to stay in hotels, he felt like someone.
And his response to his “cancellation” when he returned is an example of this. Arthur do Val, from the videos he published on Instagram, considers that the problem with what he said in Ukraine was the fact that the content of the messages leaked. He considers his mistake to have been exaggerated words and expressions. “I used expressions and exaggerated, as many men do. […] And these audios were leaked, unfortunately, and I’m sad that you saw this”, he argued. He even says, with all the words, that he committed an exaggeration. That men, after soccer games, really say these things… Realize how difficult our task is. It’s not fighting what men say after soccer games, but fighting a whole historical heritage of hatred for the poor, or the vulnerable.