Posted in English

It’s Illegal, But You Can Do It

Discussing yesterday’s post with a friend, she pointed me to a sketch from a satirical show called Gato Fedorento (literally “Stinky Cat”) from 2007 which had a similar phrase in it. It’s actually not the same as the usage I’d heard, but it lives on as a meme, so I am definitely interested, and I spent some time understanding it anyway! The phrase is “É proibido mas pode-se fazer”.

The background is that in that year there was a referendum about reforming the abortion laws, which was quite a big deal in a largely catholic country. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had initially supported a referendum in 1997 but when it had finally come to the crunch ten years later he campaigned against it and set up a website critical of the plan called “Assim Não” (“Not like this”). Cynical political move or principled stand? Well, if I understand it, his reasoning was that in the ten years that had elapsed, he was out of power the Partido Socialista had launched the referendum, backed by a law they had written. The wording on the referendum remained “despenalização” (decriminalisation) but the law they were intending to pass was actually advocating “liberalização” (liberalisation), which he argued was slightly different. On top of that, there was an indication that women would be able to have abortions by their own choice, with no need to justify it on psychological, medical or other grounds, which he did not support. And he even goes on to paint a picture of a world where women are choosing abortions more-or-less at a whim. He is pretty ridiculous about it, actually. The bottom line was that he didn’t want to liberalise the conditions under which women could get abortions, he just wanted to take away the criminal penalty.

Here’s the original video.

(By the way, what’s the camera guy playing at? There are some really odd zoom shots and then, at about 2:00, he starts filming the guy through a glass on the table. That’s a pretty cool shot if you’re making an edgy police drama, but it’s weird AF in this context)

Anyway Gato Fedorento mocked him by having Ricardo Araújo Pereira repeat his speech (without the avant garde camera work) but spelling out the absurdity of how he wants it to work: “É proibido, mas pode-se fazer”. Or “It’s illegal but you can do it”.

Marcelo is the president now. Make of that what you will.

Posted in Portuguese

O Aborto

This text is part of a dialogue about the recent events berturning of Roe V Wade. I don’t often go political in these texts but someone did a post about Any Coney Barrett and I replied. Then someone replied to me and so… Basically this is just the part of the discussion that got corrected! You can read the whole thing here though.

As usual, I was quite impressed that the Portuguese people I speak to have such a good, detailed grasp of the facts of the case. Must be some good foreign news in Portugal. How much do we in Britain know about court decisions in Brazil, say? Not much.

Anyway, thanks to Cataphract for the corrections

(resposta ao texto do u/solanium sobre a juíza Amy Coney Barrett)

Concordo com a maioria deste texto, mas acho que há uns erros factuais. Não tenho toda a certeza mas tanto quanto eu sei, ela não tem 10 filhos. Li na Wikipedia (indiscutível fonte de sabedoria) que tem 7. Sete ainda são muitos mas não é tanto como 10.

Também disseste que ela é a primeira juíza conservadora vetada pelo gajo cor de laranja. Não conhecia a palavra “vetar” mas parece que tem um significado oposto àquele que queiras? Ou será que entendi mal? Lembro-me de que os lacaios daquele palhaço esticaram as regras sobre como confirmar juízes para garantir este resultado. Para mim, este assunto, mais do que praticamente todos os outros, precisa de ser governado pela ciência, mas nos estados unidos tornou-se uma espécie de tópico fracturante* que motiva os votos de pessoas religiosas e conservadoras num lado e feministas no outro lado. Tal polarização quase nunca dá resultados bons.

*tópico fracturante =wedge issue.