Voices from Russia

Saturday, 18 February 2017

18 February 2017. Milunka Savić… Serbia’s Warrior Heroine

00-serbia-milunka-savic-160217

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The crackbrained “conservatives” are fond of telling us that women are unsuitable to face the rigours of combat. I’d submit that the story of Milunka Savić debunks that rightwing fable. She fought in the Balkan Wars and the First World War, and won many decorations, including foreign ones, for her bravery. Yes… this may only apply to only some women… but that cohort should have the right to fight (indeed, there are many women fighting in the patriot forces in the Donbass against the Uniate fascist aggressors today).

Oppose all lunatic rightwingers (especially, “libertarians” and so-called “paleocons”) wherever you may find them. They’re ravening enemies of decency, humanity, and true spirituality. No good can come of any “dialogue” with such sorts. They’ve chosen to follow a monstrous ideology (Libertarianism in particular and “conservatism” in general put too much trust in the basic goodness and perfectibility of mankind). Trust me, you and I can’t change that. We can only wait and hope for the best.

BMD

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Monday, 12 September 2016

12 September 2016. Why No Working-Class Woman Should Trust Bourgeois Feminists

01 Joe Hill. The Rebel Girl. 22.03.12

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Read n’ heed on why no working-class woman should vote for Chilly Hilly, Trump the Chump, or Scary Gary:

The most liberal thing the bourgeois women’s movement did was to abandon any struggle for free excellent day care for infants and children. A family with two children under 5-years-old pays what amounts to the rental of a two-bedroom apartment or home for day-care. Even at twice minimum wage for each parent, with both parents working, there isn’t enough to pay for both childcare and rent. Paying for childcare causes parents to live in difficult straits for a long time; it creates financial tensions and anxiety for them and their family. Bourgeois feminists could afford nannies and day-care, so they didn’t care, or they didn’t have children. They never worried about the working class or the future.

Heather Cottin

Only one candidate will help working-class families… Dr Jill. Vote accordingly…

BMD

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Scandalous Truth About Russian Men

02c 8 March International Women's Day

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Earlier this month, Russian-American journalist Diana Bruk shocked the delicate sensibilities of the American reading public by writing a no-holds-barred account of why she loves (and hates!) dating Russian men. In her essay, published by Salon.com, Bruk talked about how her feminist sensibilities came up against her carnal desires when she dated Russians. She talked about how fun, scary, unpredictable, and exciting it is to date a Russian man if you happen to also be a modern girl who graduated from Sarah Lawrence. She talked about the possessive and aggressive nature of many of the men she dated, and how it combined itself with the sort of passion and tenderness her American lovers frequently lacked. She talked about how the Russian ideal of masculinity is both thrilling and damaging… a kind of conundrum that, to me, immediately brought back the words from that old U2 song, “With or without you / With or without you / I can’t live / With or without you”.

Many Russians were outraged, saying that Bruk stereotyped them. Many other Russians were delighted, saying that Bruk’s incredible honesty about her personal experiences proved once and for all that Russian dudes simply do it better… and not just when it comes to sex. Some Americans were also obviously offended. Other Americans used Bruk’s essay as “proof” that the feminist movement is a bunch of bullshit. What was most interesting to me was seeing the number of commenters who essentially told Bruk that they hope that she eventually marries a Russian… and that he’d go on to knock her teeth out. That, they reasoned, was appropriate punishment for an uppity girl who dared to be open about the fact that she wants “a man who’s a gentleman at dinner and an animal in bed” and that every once in a while, she just wants to scream to an awkward and conscientious Western lover that sex “isn’t a dinner party. You’re not writing an essay. Just let go”.

Like Bruk, I’ve also encountered the notion that domestic violence should be a kind of punitive experience for a woman who’s chosen to associate with the “wrong” kind of man. A reader who disagrees with me on something will dig around on the Internet, find out that I married a Russian, and start sending me hate mail with such charming sentiments as, “I hope he hits you regularly… since that’s the only thing these guys are good for”. At the heart of this issue is the archaic notion of “our women” vs “their women”. A woman can’t belong to several cultures, you see. She must be “claimed” by someone… and to suffer accordingly. This possessiveness isn’t exclusive to Russians by a long shot, and seeing the number of people wishing Bruk ill made me realise that they all protest too much. “Yeah, we think domestic violence in Russia is wrong… and that’s why we hope it happens to you!” Right.

According to the latest findings of Russia’s State Statistics Service, one in five Russian women is abused physically by her partner, whilst a total of 40 percent suffer from verbal abuse. These aren’t numbers to be taken lightly… and the idea that a “real man” must dominate his woman in every way, which is common in Russia, does feed into the problem of abuse, whether we like to admit this or not. Yet, I also think it’s very silly to assume that a woman who wants a man to take charge every once in a while… particularly in bed… is simply asking for abuse. Furthermore, dismissing Bruk’s internal struggle on the subject of equality and desire as a form of adolescent posturing is a cop-out. It amounts to whitewashing the complexities of relationships in general. The strength of Bruk’s piece lies in the discomfort it generates for everyone. Bruk admitted something that she wasn’t supposed to admit… the idea that desire doesn’t deal in absolutes. It’s no wonder people want to see her get her teeth knocked out.

27 August 2013

Natalia Antonova

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/columnists/20130827/182993648/Trendwatcher-The-Scandalous-Truth-About-Russian-Men.html

Editor’s Note:

The good news is that a majority of Russian women DON’T suffer abuse from their partners… the bad news is that the minority who do is too large a number. We have a job of work to do…

BMD

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Expat Women in Moscow: When Dating is No Disaster

01 Couple with young cat

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At the Moscow News, our theme of the week is single expat women in Moscow… and what’s hampering them in their pursuit of relationships. Whilst the story itself was certainly interesting to do, the initial responses to it online were no less fascinating. One lovely chap from Czechia wrote to me, “Western women are total bitches! That’s why Russian men don’t go near them!” When someone else pointed up that the woman he was tweeting at (i.e. me) is married to a Russian, he couldn’t believe it at first. Then, he wrote, “Clearly, [my] husband must have a problem of some sort”. Another upstanding individual who follows Guardian (soon-to-be BuzzFeed) journalist Miriam Elder on Twitter decided to stand up for Russian men. He tweeted, “Russians aren’t the only ones [who reject American women]! American women are c***s!” I could go on, but I’m sure that you get the point.

Every woman, be she Russian or American or whatever, goes through a phase of desperately not wanting to be That Girl. That Girl is the one who calls people out on sexist stereotypes. That Girl is the one who tells it like it is. She’s mouthy. She isn’t particularly good at being manipulative. She is, quite often, a bitch… and people on Twitter will let her know about it. However, then, sometimes, life chooses for you. You become That Girl because you suddenly find yourself angry… or tired of lying… or in a bad relationship… or worse. Even though I married a Russian, I’m That Girl. It’s why I’m interested in articles about thorny relationship issues. From everything I’ve seen, Western women don’t need to pretend to be someone else to find love in Moscow… however impermanent or strange love may ultimately turn out to be.

In fact, the hate-filled responses to our article prove something I have long-suspected but never quite articulated… Western women getting together with Russian men is a scary concept for a lot of the sexist men who come to Russia to get laid. Such relationships mess with their neat little worldview wherein all Russian men are boorish and uninteresting, and all Western women are evil hags. In my experience, the Russian men who fall for Western women tend to be different. No specific “type” of Russian man does it… I suppose that anyone who dates a foreigner is somewhat open-minded in one way or another. Some are rich, some are poor, some are in the arts, whilst others are hard-nosed businessmen, and so on. The one interesting thing these men tend to have in common is their confidence.

You don’t need to be a pick-up artist to know that confidence is the only “trick” there is… it’s the same for women. My anecdotal evidence suggests that expat women who date in Moscow don’t exactly lack it either. When I told an American friend… let’s call her Jane… about our upcoming article, and the negative experiences of other Western women we describe, she was philosophical about it, saying, “Love is about luck… and there’s no real formula for success, but it’s also true that when I first came to Moscow, I was very intimidated by the whole dating scene. I kept thinking, ‘Well, I’m obviously not as feminine as the local women, so I’ll probably stay single’. For over a year, it was true”.

Then Jane made a new friend… an older Russian man who told her that she needed to stop worrying and start living. She said, “He reminded me that I’m still young, that I need to get out more. Expat social circles can be stifling, it’s true, so, I began to hang out with groups of new people. Suddenly, I was dating again”. Later, when I messaged Jane, copying and pasting some of the more ridiculous responses to our article, she had a good laugh, posting, “Bitches and c***s, sure, whatever! When people talk like that, they’re ultimately saying more about themselves than anyone else”.

9 July 2013

Natalia Antonova

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/columnists/20130709/182138123/Trendwatcher-Expat-Women-in-Moscow-When-Dating-is-No-Disaster-.html

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