The Flemish association Cavaria, which defends the rights of gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons, is demanding apologies from Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken and his party, the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) following a controversial message on male lingerie.
Commenting on a press article on male lingerie, Francken wrote on Facebook: “Men who apply make-up, wear lingerie and are pregnant … Is the world still spinning around? Long live ordinary men who do not need all that nonsense to feel at ease with themselves.” The message went viral and the Secretary of State first adapted, then withdrew it.
Francken’s statements drew a sharp response from Cavaria.
“Anyone not conforming to the male or female stereotypes is wounded and marginalized,” the association said in a press release. “They divide the world into ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ persons. This is not the image of the world that we defend,” Cavaria stressed, adding that anyone who moves away from them is “jeered at, discriminated against, and, in the worst cases, subjected to violence.”
“The fact that a member of the Government finds it necessary to publicly vent such an opinion makes us wonder whether the world is really spinning around,” added Cavaria. “It is important for the whole of society to react vigorously.”
“We are asking the N-VA to distance itself from such statements and an apology from Mr. Francken seems totally in order.”