A Russian communist MP sparked a sexism row after he confessed to ogling at a female minister's 'beautiful' breasts while she was speaking during a parliamentary session. Red politician Pyotr Ammosov, 54, confessed to constantly staring at the chest of entrepreneurship minister Irina Vysokikh in the middle of her speech, which distracted him from following what she was speaking.
Vysokikh snapped back at the sexist rant of Ammosov in between her speech. She was quickly interrupted by the speaker of the parliament, who asked her to focus on what she was speaking. This definitely didn't go down well with Vysokikh, who feels a victim of the sexist system. Ammosov, on the other, hand has refused to apologize and has the full backing of his party.
Ammosov interrupted Vysokikh while she was speaking and told her that as a 'healthy man' he had fixed his eyes on 'a bare part of your body'. This distracted his attention from the subject she was speaking on. Ammosov said that he couldn't help but stare at her "beautiful" chest during an online session of the parliament.
'It's not good, of course. Yes, as a man I admit it's beautiful, but still...', he went on, calling for the legislature's ethical authorities to crack down on women's dress. Vysokikh immediately hit back at the offensive sexist comment and said, 'I will most certainly not discuss my looks with you.'
But the incident didn't end there. The moment she snapped at Ammosov, Vysokikh found herself rapped by Pyotr Gogolev, 49, the male Speaker of the Il Tumen assembly in Russia's largest region, Yakutia. Gogolev, instead of saying anything to Ammosov, asked Vysokikh to 'stick to your report and do not comment. You have no right to comment (like this) to MPs. This will be reported to your superiors."
Silencing Her Voice
Gololov, instead of censuring the Ammosov, appeared to silence the mic of the minister as she protested. Although several other MPs apologized to Vysokikh and said that there was nothing inappropriate about her dress, Ammosov declined to do so.
Instead, he is now being backed by his Communist Party, which issued a statement claiming: 'He could not tear his eyes away, which perhaps is a big compliment (to the minister.)' In fact, the party also said that the Ammosov was trying to compliment her and it wasn't a sexist comment.
However, Russian media has been supportive of the minister. One of the local newspaper branded the MP an 'old dinosaur', and another said: 'What on earth is he saying? The minister was dressed completely fine, he's got to be kicked out.'
A native of the diamond-mining region which straddles the Arctic Circle, Vysokikh has also been pictured in traditional Yakutian dress. She is one of the most respected ministers from her region but now feels victimized in a male-dominated society.