Russia Bans Trans People and Others With “Disorders” From Driving
Yakov Smirnoff Says, “In Soviet Russia, DMV Hate You!”
Unless you live in South Dakota or are currently watching that smutty Alfa Romeo 4C ad, you probably don’t associate sex with driving. However, those two things are apparently very closely intertwined in Mother Russia. According to the BBC, a new law in Russia bans trans people and those with other “sexual and mental disorders” from obtaining drivers licenses.
As a result, that one 1999 Weird Al song about a cross-dressing truck driver is now a de facto protest anthem, which is the one bright spot in this whole mess.
In addition to discriminating against transsexual and transgender people, Russia is now considering “fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism” to be “mental disorders” that disqualify people from driving. Why? The Russian government says it is just trying to tighten up “medical controls” for drivers because Russia has too many traffic accidents.
Granted, there was that incident in October when trucks in Moscow featuring ads flaunting giant boobs caused 517 auto accidents over the course of 24 hours, but we always assumed that was an isolated incident. And really, banning anyone and everyone with a “fetish” from driving seems like it would leave the roads completely empty – especially since in the Internet Age, pretty much every person with a modem has engaged in “voyeurism” of some sort.
It also raises the question of how this will work – when Russians get their licenses renewed, will they now be asked to tell their height, weight, eye color, and weirdest sexual fantasy?
Also, it’s not just sexual “disorders” that are being cracked down on. “Pathological” gambling and compulsive stealing are also banned, a prejudicial move that will disproportionally affect literary characters in Fyodor Dostoyevsky novels.
Not surprisingly, Russian psychiatrists and human rights lawyers have come out against the new regulations, with the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights calling the new law “discriminatory.”
However, the Professional Drivers Union supported the new laws. “We have too many deaths on the road, and I believe toughening medical requirements for applicants is fully justified,” said Alexander Kotov, the head of the union. But he added that the requirements should not be so strict for non-professional drivers.
Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.