Vladimir Putin’s response to Oliver Stone’s inquiry as to what he would do if he found himself in a shower with a gay man – Putin said he wouldn’t want to tempt him and that the latter should remember that he is a judo master – has provoked widespread comment by Russian bloggers.
Perhaps the most thoughtful has been offered by Igor Eidman who notes that “people (regardless of sexual orientation) typically bathe themselves in showers” and that Putin’s remark thus points, as Freud would have it, to “a whole set of serious complexes and deviations.”
Eidman, who lives in Germany and provides commentary for Deutsche Welle, offered three:
- First of all, the commentator says, Putin displayed “a fear of others, a syndrome of a weak boy lacking confidence in himself who constantly fears force from those around him and therefore tells everyone that he is ‘a master of judo.’ They are suddenly frightened and decide not to attack.”
- Second, Putin’s words point to “a fear of his own latent homosexual nature … Most likely, Putin simply is subconsciously afraid that if he were in a shower, he wouldn’t be able to withstand temptation. Latent homosexuality, as often happens, is pushed out of sight by demonstrative homophobia.”
- And third, Eidman says, Putin’s words also reflect a fundamental narcissism. The Kremlin leader clearly thinks that were he to find himself in a shower with a gay man, the latter would be instantly attracted to him and try to force himself on Putin. It clearly “doesn’t come into his head that he, an older and battered man, might not be of any interest to someone else.”
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