Belgian plastic surgeon refuses to apologise for sexist statements during lecture at UGhent
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    Belgian plastic surgeon refuses to apologise for sexist statements during lecture at UGhent

    The plastic surgeon refused to apologise or his statements. Credit: Jeff Hoeyberghs/Twitter

    Jeff Hoeyberghs, the Belgian plastic surgeon against whom over 500 complaints were made after a lecture he gave at the University of Ghent, refuses to apologise for the sexist statements he made.

    The Institute for the Equality of Women and Men has received more than 500 complaints against Hoeyberghs since Monday evening, and has filed an official complaint against the man as well. The Belgian Order of Doctors is also investigating the statements, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

    The Institute’s legal department will look into the complaints and see if there are legal steps that can be taken in light of violations against the Belgian law against sexism. “The high number of reports convincingly demonstrates the greater social sensitivity to the problem of sexist discourse,” the Institute said, reports De Standaard.

    During a lecture on Wednesday 4 December, he made statements like “Women want the privileges of male protection and money, but they do not want to open their legs anymore”, “We have given women dishwashing machines and cleaning ladies, until they themselves became superfluous” and “You cannot treat a woman like an equal without becoming her slave”.

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    In the same lecture, he said that women were not suitable to become scientists, as they always let emotions get in their way, according to him.

    Since a video of his statements went viral, he had repeatedly said that he will not apologise.

    “Well, if that’s the reality, then that’s the reality. Listen, dear, reality isn’t nice,” he said to the female journalist interviewing him on VTM NEWS on Monday. “If you can’t deal with it, you may not have had a father who taught you how to deal with the truth,” he added.

    About his statement that women do not want to open their legs anymore, he said that he never said that, and that it is the #MeToo movement that is driving that claim. “It is obvious I will not apologise for that,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times