Thursday, July 17, 2003

Confirming Sexist Stereotypes

Before 2000 elections SDP, trying to compensate the lack of coherent anti-Tudjman policies with “cool” image, filled the ranks of its Sabor delegation with large number of women. The idea was to give the impression of SDP being “modern European” party that takes gender equality seriously (unlike HDZ, which had been branded by patriarchal conservatism during Tudjman era).

Those who would later watch Sabor sessions on television would see that SDP only partially managed to change the image of post-2000 Croatia. SDP Sabor women proved to be incompetent, ignorant, self-righteous, intolerant, chauvinistic – just like their HDZ redneck colleagues are. Dijana Čižmadija (Dijana Cizmadija), one of those women, however, didn’t leave such impression. She actually didn’t leave any kind impression at all, because in three years of her sitting in Sabor she didn’t bother to speak any word. Having hefty salary of MS and enjoying all kinds of privileges did little to remind Ms. Čižmadija of her obligations towards the voters she had to represent.

Public was reminded of the sad fact in the election year and Račan (Racan) quickly reacted by manipulating Čižmadija into resignation. The media, however, took hold of the story and quickly found out that Čižmadija used to be fashion model in 1980s (and even had nude photos made by Stephan Lupino). This case would undoubtedly make Croatian sexists happy, since it confirms all stereotypes of fashion models as airheads and brainless bimbos.


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