An editor of a student’s newspaper (Mark Camilleri) faces criminal charges for publishing obscene material. The author of the “obscenities” (Alex Vella Gera) comes to Malta from Luxemburg where he is living at present. He ends up interrogated by the police, and criminal charges were filed against him too (thankfully there wasn’t any European Arrest Warrant involved)

What are the obscenities involved? Nothing more than the first words a tourist learns as soon as he puts his foot on our island. A work of fiction that makes a parody of an idiot whose life is centred on f**king women. (Sorry for the asterisk but I’m not taking any chances).

Here the crucial word is Parody. The importance of this word is due to the fact that Vella Gera and Mark Camilleri were accused (if not at the Courts of Law at the Courts of Public Opinion) of being sexist. Something’s really wrong here. Ridiculing a sexist is not sexism, it’s actually the opposite. I don’t think anyone ever said Charles Chaplin is racist because he makes a parody of Adolf Hitler!

An individual (Giovanni De Martino) writes a letter to the most read newspaper in this country – The Times of Malta. Titled ‘Visual Abuse’ this person is asking if men should have the right to sue women for exposing quite a hefty amount of flesh. According to De Martino this is ‘visual sexual abuse’ on us, males.

Funny isn’t it? However, a comment Mr De Martino himself sent to the online version of the same newspaper is not only sexist but proposes a very dangerous attitude towards the way we view sexual abuse (on women). This is what Mr De Martino wrote, word by word:

“If a female, as stated below, is free to dress what she likes and how she likes, a male is equally free to say what he likes and does what he likes in her presence as long as he does not touch her. And even if he does touch her, the courts would take into consideration her provocation. We are all humans, my friend.”

I don’t want Mr De Martino to be prosecuted, it’s not the point of my article. However, at least at the Court of Public Opinion, I would like to ask: Who should be accused with sexism here?

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