Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Lawmaker Says Sexual Harassment Legislation Would Be 'Excessive'

State Duma member Tamara Pletneva Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

A senior Russian lawmaker has suggested that possible legislation against sexual harassment would be unnecessary and could turn Russian women into overly sensitive Europeans.

At least five women journalists have stepped up to accused State Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky of sexual harassment in the past month, sparking a nationwide debate about the necessity for legislation to address the problem.

Tamara Pletneva, the head of the State Duma’s committee on family, women and children, told the Govorit Moska radio station on Friday that legislation against sexual harassment would be “absolutely excessive.”

“If we sign something like that into law, we will start looking like European women, who can’t be touched at all and see everything as harassment, while maybe [secretly] dreaming about it,” Pletneva said.

“Only those who probably want it themselves and who provoke get harassed,” she added.

In response to the allegations against Slutsky last week, Pletneva suggested that female journalists should “dress more appropriately in a government institution instead of walking around with bare belly buttons.”

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.