10/12/2020 Belarus police prefer to arrest men. Thousands of people have been arrested and hundreds - men and women - tortured during detention. This has now been going on for almost one month. The dictator of 26 years, Lukashenko, remains in power through outright election fraud, and the grace of Vladimir Putin in neighboring Russia. The repression and clamor for democracy have everything to do with the iron-fisted rule of Putin over Belarus, exercising great influence over this and in fact all states in that part of the world. Women appear to have come to the forefront in Belarus in large part to protect the men, who were generally and quickly beaten and hauled away to be tortured. The women form human chains and protect the men from the police, since the police have been somewhat reluctant to use the same force against women. (Something quite similar was seen in Beirut during the protests there almost one year ago).
As clearly demonstrated in the above image, however, police are finding themselves confronted by increasingly large and militant groups of women. Like the ´President´, Lukashenko, commonly referred to as ¨Europe´s last dictator¨ the police have very macho attitudes toward women. Woman are seen as fragile by the government forces. Now, however, that stereotype is very much being tested. A new center of power is emerging in Belarus and it is female.
On Saturday (10/10/20) many women came to the Minsk city center holding flowers in their hands. The repression by the dictators security forces, however, is becoming increasingly brutal and the women avoided forming a single crowd in fear of being arrested.
Lukashenko´s time at the helm of the country is clearly growing to a close, propped up only by Putin and the presence of a large, undertermined number of Russian security forces in the country.
No matter what happens from now on, with or without formal democracy, the women of the popular classes now rule, ultimately; they have shown themselves to be the bottom line of power. Deeply entrenched gender stereotypes that have been built up over generations have been shattered in Minsk, and indeed throughout the country, by thousand of women, the mothers, sisters, and daughters of Belarus, who take on the dictator´s police in the public square. Bravo! The women of Belarus are setting an example for the women of the rest of the world - especially to those parts of the world where democracy is flagrantly and brutally denied.