No. 483-21

No. 07-00-329/2021-02 date: 10.9.2021.



The opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint of the Association AA, against Dragoljub Petrović, due to discrimination based on sex/gender. The complaint states that on June 2, 2021, on the site a text was published entitled “Petition to revoke the law: Letter of the famous Serbian linguist Professor Dragoljub Petrović to the President of Serbia” from June 1, 2021. The complaint further states that in this text, Dragoljub Petrović presented discriminatory attitudes towards women. At the request of the Commissioner to comment on the allegations of the complaint, in accordance with Article 37, paragraph 1 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, Dragoljub Petrović submitted electronically, on September 6, 2021, two texts, whose titles are: 1. Protection from distorted mind and 2. Violence against the Serbian language and people. Although it is not explicitly stated, the analysis of the text shows that Dragoljub Petrović’s address refers to the newly adopted Law on Gender Equality, in the part that refers to the use of gender-sensitive language. It was determined that the text, among other things, states: “A woman gives birth, (up)brings life and it is not “given” to her to kill life and only a healthy, normal woman can be a poet, and only an unfinished one – a she soldier; only a healthy, normal woman can “give birth to sixteen pieces”, and only the unhappy and unfinished one – can have sixteen abortions; the former may be an academician, and for the latter even “she academician” is too much; the former feels quite comfortable as an ophthalmologist, sociologist, philologist, while the latter, minx and/or runaway suits much better; the title of professor emeritus fits the first one quite nicely, and the one who wants to be prof. emerita only confirms that she did not deserve the first title, let alone the second one. The law that prescribes all this was prepared by some unfinished women and our female breed (let’s just dwell on it) who realized that it is much more profitable for him to be among feminists, Trilateral women, Bilderberg women and similar cheeky women rather than among ordinary women, and yes, from these new positions, they support the destruction of all the values Serbian history, tradition, culture, and ethos are based on”.  Having in mind these allegations, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality pointed out that in this text Dragoljub Petrović expressed opinions, attitudes and ideas that are humiliating, insulting and degrading and that encourage discrimination and hatred towards women. Also, his views and statements “and this was always known and it never had to be explained to anyone: the woman upheld the three pillars of the house (gave birth, raised children and ‘maintained the house’ and hence the popular saying that ‘the house is not standing on the ground but on the woman’), and to the man it was “given to provide food and defend the house…”, and it never occurred to anyone to change or “fix” something in that, are contrary to the provisions of Article 20 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Namely, with these statements, Dragoljub Petrović expressed his attitude towards women through stereotypical and traditional gender roles, according to which a woman is portrayed as someone who “gives birth, raises children and maintains the house”, which emphasizes the stereotypical pattern of women and their position in society. The Commissioner pointed out that Dragoljub Petrović has the right to express his views and opinions, in this case the right to criticize and comment on the law (which he proposes to be withdrawn from the adoption procedure), but not in a way that encourages discrimination against women or publicly advocates stereotypic gender roles. Thereby, the Commissioner had in mind that Dragoljub Petrović is a professor, and that his views and authority can influence the public, which is why he has the additional responsibility not to encourage discrimination and insult the dignity of persons or groups based on their personal property. Therefore, the Commissioner gave the opinion that in the text published on the website on June 2, 2021, entitled: Petition to revoke the law: Letter of the famous Serbian linguist Professor Dragoljub Petrović to the President of Serbia, violated the provisions of Article 11 in conjunction with Article 20 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Along with the opinion, a recommendation was issued that Dragoljub Petrović, regarding the views and statements presented in this text, publish a public apology to all women, in electronic or print media, as well as to take care in the future not to encourage discrimination against women nor stereotypes and prejudices about the social roles of the sexes in statements, attitudes and contents he publishes.

Brankica Janković

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