It is a fact that feminism is not part of the DNA of the most conservative and populist formations. These claim to defend equality, but often hinder the measures to achieve it. In Hungary, for example, the Government of Viktor Orbán, in addition to ignoring European norms and abhorring immigration, has opened the battle against "lobbyfeminist ", in the words of a sociologist related to the Executive, and intends to prohibit the studies of gender that are studied in the university. It is a still timid offensive, but of great importance in a society in which science, culture and equality have traditionally prevailed.
In France, the Government faces certain difficulties in legalizing artificial insemination for single women and lesbians. Who are opposed? The far-right and populist National Regroup of Marine Le Pen and the conservatives of Laurent Wauquiez.
These types of tensions are not new. Yes it is the appearance of leaders who win at the polls despite their confessed lack of respect for women. The case of Donald Trump is the most airy, but not the only one. Rodrigo Duterte won the presidential elections in the Philippines with an unacceptable speech against crime, but also with pearls scandalously macho. "They say there are many violations occurring in Davao," he said. "If there are many beautiful women, there will be many violations."
Very far from the Philippines (100 million inhabitants, by the way), in Brazil (207 million), the candidate Jair Bolsonaro, winner in the first round of this Sunday, embellishes his authoritarian, racist and homophobic speech with messages as hurtful as those of Duterte "I would not rape you because you do not deserve it," he told one deputy. His right hand, Hamilton Mourão, has warned that homes without men are "factories of misfits". The Brazilians are outraged and have mobilized massively, but their protests have not been enough to stop the extreme right. The same happened with Trump.
That this drift arrives in the middle of the Me Too era is paradoxical, unless there is a link between the intensity of their advances and the furious reaction of the most recalcitrant. It occurs in the private sphere of sexist crimes, which are usually the violent and brutal response of a man who is disgusted by her attempt to abandon him. It would be the positive side of the story because it would reflect the power of the current feminist movement. The negative is the obvious: the millions of votes (including the feminine ones) that these characters reap, ignoring that the brutal machismo of these leaders is incompatible with very elementary democratic principles. Machismo, like homophobia, is a hallmark of populism.