Večernji list, Sunday, June 14, 1998


Milan Ivkošić

The culture of public communication in Croatia is far from accepting certain standards and turning them into a moral code which would be equally applied to all and where everybody would be free of both privileges and discrimination. And when the subjects under discussion are privileges and discrimination, we are seemingly the most susceptible to ethnic, racial and religious intolerance and marginalization, superiority and inferiority, domination and submissiveness. I say seemingly and supposedly – because our precious oppositionists, journalists, intellectuals and other public figures with predominantly liberal, social democratic and international orientation, have been stigmatizing Herzegovinians with an extreme ease in exactly the same manner which is then discarded when it’s done to other ethnic, racial and regional groups. So it turns out that many Herzegovinians would not be such bad guys if they were not in fact Herzegovinians, or they would be bad guys just because they are bad and not because they are Herzegovinians.

Racism becomes a practice when it is so expressed persistently, permanently and with an ease which is perceived as an absolutely tolerable act and way of conduct in the public. It has been redeemed by such a habit and accordingly to that, is unpunishable. However, the absurdity is complete when someone from the demonized surroundings represents a synonym for nobleness, integrity, exemplary literacy and unique style, and consequently, when someone is unquestionable and immaculate but his origin is persistently suppressed, such as, for example, the fact that the late Veselko Tendžera, a great writer and journalist, was a Herzegovinian. Or perhaps that Antun Branko Šimić, one of the most honorable and artistic writers we have ever had, was a Herzegovinian.
Is Miroslav Kutle, a high profile tycoon, at all a Herzegovinian? He left Herzegovina early in his childhood so could easily say that he is from Zagreb just as Silvije Degen, who also was not born in Zagreb, but who is nowadays the loudest advocate for the “endangered” Zagrebhood, and an advocate who, as an election candidate in Zagreb received an insignificant number of votes.

And so, some remain untouchable if you can suppress someone’s background, when it serves your purpose, and again make the origin notorious, when it suits you. If you touch on their background, you will be declared chauvinists although the transparency, as some like to say, of their origin could reveal the motives of their public activities being quite the opposite from ones they emphasize in those activities.
I was on the TV show Press-klub last week where one of the participants, Rada Borić, said several serious condemnations about the state of Croatian society. She, among other things, pointed out that the violence had transferred from the battlefield to the family, to violence against women. Nenad Ivanković, the show’s host, and some other participants reacted to this since it totally distorted the image of the Croatian War of Independence, its morality and cause, and since this denied the War as a defensive response to fascist Serbian aggression. What could one think about Mrs. Rada Borić, a program coordinator of the Centre for Women War Victims and one of the heads of the

Centre for Women’s Studies – who actually openly defended the position of the Great Serbian aggressor – if her family origin comes from Serbia itself, if she comes from the family of a Yugoslav Army officer? What could one say when it is a well-known fact that more than eighty per cent of activists from women’s and similar marginal organizations are Serbian women and the remaining percentage are more-or-less Croatian women who come from the Yugoslav Secret Police, Yugoslav Police and Yugo-military political and family milieus?

They want a majority influence although they are an absolute minority. Although they support women war victims, they primarily support non-Croatian women. The ones who are the loudest in their defense of women’s rights in families represent the total opposite of the desirable Croatian family (many of them are married and without children, or old and single, etc.). Although they are fighting for the independent choice of women, in relation to men, to make decisions about their bodies, giving birth to conceived babies and child-bearing in general, some of them are not related to men at all since they are lesbians (against whom I have nothing just as long as they do not transform their lesbianism into militant ideology). Although they have been attacking laws of nature, they wanted to impose laws in the Parliament. And although they, with their numbers and influence, do not mean anything without foreign support (propaganda, money, international organization’s awards...), with the mentioned support they make some difference. Although they are declaratively women’s organizations, they are primarily Yugo-political organizations and with their degenerative activities towards women, the family and towards Croatia, they are actually expressing the degenerative level to which their collapsed but missed state, the Great Serbian Yugoslavia, has fallen, and for which they mourn.
In other words, anti-women who fight for women!