How emancipated are Russian women?
The International Women’s Day is a holiday in Moscow. But what about the emancipation of Russian women? Why are they so attractive for men from the West?
After the revolution of 1917, the Soviet Union took up this idea. But not out of pure philanthropy.
The Russian women were needed as valuable workers in factories, in the civil service and on kolkhozes. The USSR declared the Women’s Day officially a holiday.
The equality of women didn’t come from the basis. It was ordered by the regime: first by Lenin, later by Stalin. And by their successors. That’s the reason why emancipation never was really important in the minds of Russian ladies. The gender role of women left traditional: The man is the boss. She cares for children, household and family.
In the Soviet Union, Russian ladies had certain rights: they were officially considered as equal. Their education was promoted. Russian and Ukrainian women could go to university. There were nurseries. The women were protected from sexual violence – at least in factories and on the streets.
After the fall of Gorbachev, the situation has changed radically. Under Yeltsin and Putin, women were degraded to second class citizens – a step backwards to the Tsarist era. Russian never had a chance in politics. A female president as Angela Merkel or Hillary Clinton will not be possible in the Kremlin in 1.000 years.
In work life of modern Russia women are disadvantaged. Wages are much lower than that of men. Women are the first who are dismissed. In many jobs women may not work at all. They are harassed, and blackmailed to sexual activities by superiors.
The International Women’s Day on March 8 is in Moscow certainly not a day that should remind the Russian of the struggle for women’s rights. It is a public holiday – comparable with the Mother’s Day.
Young woman, old women, mother, grandmother and daughter: on the International Women’s Day all are hypocritically compensated for what they have to bear on the other 364 days of the year. It’s a little thank you – as alibi for what they achieve every day. Secretly men in Russia know: women are the backing of society.
In the week before International Women’s Day, we see many merchants on marketplaces of Moscow and St. Petersburg. They sell flowers, gifts and perfume. Russian men spend much money on Woman’s Day.
On the 8th March, nobody is working in Russia. No matter where a woman is walking on this „holiday“: Everywhere she is congratulated, respected and celebrated. She gets presents, roses and chocolate. Not only by her husband. All men don’t get tired of praising the ladies with compliments. Everywhere it’s party time.
But nobody thinks of women’s rights on this day. Today Russia is so far away from emancipation as the Saturn from the moon.
Russian women as uncomplicated wife
Most men like very female ladies – as it can be found so often in Russia. They prefer girls who are not yet spoiled by the emancipation as in the western world. In the European media and on the Internet, women from Eastern Europe are often presented as sex bomb.
She wears high boots or pumps. She has a perfect makeup and red lips. She wears very feminine dresses with a deep cleavage. And a short miniskirt. At the same time she gives the impression of a cuddly woman in need of love.
In the imagination of many men from the West, the Russian is considered the ideal woman for a relationship. That’s the reason why these gentlemen look for these women on the Internet.
Not only unattractive bachelors would like to have a Russian girl as wife. Disgusted and frustrated by rough ladies in the West, even the average man looks more and more in direction to Eastern Europe.
The cliché of the obsequious Russian woman is certainly not correct. These ladies have also assertiveness. And special ideas of an ideal marriage and a good life partner. They are not weak and spineless.
Nevertheless, there is still a big difference between a woman from Moscow and one from London, Sidney, Berlin or New York. How the mentality of the ladies will develop in the future? I think: this depends on the political situation in Russia. Under Putin we must fear that development goes backwards instead of forwards.
Everyday life and status of women in Moscow and Russia
Problems of Russian men
Alexej and Boris die on average at the age of 59 years. Olga and Natasha with 73 years. So there are 10 to 15 percent less men than women in Putin’s society.
The risky lifestyle of Russian guys is the reason for the early mortality. They drink a lot of alcohol. They work under hard and accident-prone conditions. Many men in Russia and Ukraine take drugs. They get infected with AIDS. They die by criminal acts. Out of desperation they commit suicide.
Russian men eat rich in fat and unhealthy. Wellness, sports, fitness and health awareness, as in Europe, don’t play a role. In the view of Russian that’s only for weaklings.
A Russian man is a strong guy. Thoughts of health are strange to him. But human nature cannot be outwitted. Soon he has to he pay for his health-hostile lifestyle. So men in Russia die much earlier than in all other European countries.
Women’s problems in Putin’s Russia
While many guys complain about their hard life – looking deeper and deeper into the vodka bottle. The Russian women are usually fighters. They have no time for moaning. They have to earn money to support the family. Life of women in Russia is anything but easy. Especially if they are divorced. If they have to survive without a husband’s income.
Another aspect what is part of everyday life of a Russian woman: the sexual discrimination. She is considered a second-class citizen. Men and media love to see a woman as sex object.
Many ladies suffer from sexual harassment in firms. In Russia, this term is not used so inflationary as in western countries. A look to the bum or to the tits of a woman is not yet regarded as sexual act. Only bothering somebody by hands: real sex and rape.
There come extremely bad news from the Caucasus republics of Putin’s empire: fathers decide whom daughters have to marry. Similar as in Turkey or in the Arabic world.
Another point which shows how far away Russian women are from emancipation – even in Moscow and St. Petersburg: Many of them are victims of domestic violence. A man has the right to beat his wife – or women generally. If there is no plaintiff, there is no accusation. Russian police would be totally overwhelmed with this.
Many girls bear beatings with patience. According to the motto: „As long as he beats me, he loves me“. Incredible! But Russian women often use such brainless sayings.
Women who don’t want to accept beatings, must file for divorce. From a certain age, they have only one chance to find a partner again. They must look for a man from the West.
Since a decent man is not easy to find on the streets of Moscow, they start the computer. And try their luck at dating services. In the homeland, no average guy finds a woman over 40 years attractive.
What the women’s surplus means for the Russian ladies?
Many girls in Putin’s state are disillusioned by life. They have married at the age of 20. They have the first baby. Soon it’s clear that the spouse is a loser. He starts drinking or playing. He loses the job. He doesn’t help in household, cooking and educations of children. „That’s something for wimps“. Beneath his dignity.
The Russian divorce rate is much higher than in the UK or the United States. Many women in Russia prefer to separate – instead to get beaten every day by a drunken monster.
Because many single men in Russia are not suitable for marriage, a divorced woman has to live alone. Then she has to prove her strength. There is no hope for a new relationship. In Moscow and Kiev, young sexy girls grab away the best men.
In this situation it’s not surprising that many women get the idea to find a man for marriage abroad. Western men are considered reliable partners. They don’t drink so much, they have a job. Most of them live in financial security. They like to take responsibility. They are more predictable than a Russian alcoholic.
Women’s rights in Russia today
Career women are a small minority. Highly educated, good job, big ambition: some Russian has moved up to a top position. These are independent strong girls. They work as doctor, as engineer, as autonomous entrepreneurs or as even bank director. Some of them have earned millions of rubles.
Also these career women don’t believe in emancipation. Even well-known intellectual Russians speak on TV negatively about feminism in western countries. Emancipation is a swearword for almost all Russian ladies. Because a woman has to be a wife and mother.
They would chase a women’s libber as the German Alice Schwarzer to the devil. Statistics show: Only a small percentage of Russians struggles for women’s rights. Primarily in the big cities Moscow, Kiev, St. Petersburg and Volgograd.
The mass of women has – despite good qualifications – badly paid jobs: In factories, as cleaning lady, in hospitals or offices. Maybe sometimes in administration. Women’s rights are limited everywhere in Russia. The ladies don’t fight. In Putin’s macho society that would be difficult.
The fact is: under communism, Russians were more equal than today. After Gorbachev’s perestroika much has changed to disadvantage.
Emancipation and traditional gender roles
How far the attitudes of women from Russia and England differ, we see in the following fact: While British women aged 30 start slowly to think about marriage, young Russian celebrate wedding already at the age of 20. They have a strong desire to have children as early as possible.
Ideally, the father of a child is a candidate for a long marriage. But often it comes to divorce after a few years. Generally, women in Russia don’t regard the man as a breadwinner. But primarily as father for their children. A woman aged 25 who is not married, is considered abnormal. At the beginning of a marriage, she must calculate with a separation 10 or 15 years later.
Even successful career women from Moscow and St. Petersburg want to marry and to get children. They have no understanding for the emancipation movement in the Western world. They see it as unnatural.
Traditional gender roles in Russia look like this: a woman needs a strong man. She subordinates herself. European wives don’t understand such thoughts at all. Emancipation is not a tradition in Russia. The fronts are hardened. Nothing moves. The medieval image of a relationship is still cemented in the heads of Russians.
After the wedding she is a housewife. She gives up a well-paid job for a less luctrative work. Family-friendly part-time jobs and mini-jobs don’t exist in Russia. For a married woman it’s extreme hard to make a career.
Quite different from Western Europe: After pregnancy, women bring the child to the kindergarten. They go back to the company. Again we must say: Russian women are underprivileged.
Feminists from the West don’t understand why Russian girls are so much suppressed? They think: women in Russia are not only passively abused as sex object. They enjoy to play this role with high heels, excessive makeup, jewelry and sexy miniskirt. How can a woman reduce her personality only on appearance, beauty and sexual charisma? That’s the view of feminists in Western Europe.
On the other hand, the behavior of Russian women is understandable: in the Soviet Union there was no luxury. Now they have at least a little money to afford some little things. Under communism, normal citizens could not buy such goods. The Russian has a backlog for fashion and beauty articles.
Intelligent women from Western Europe are certainly not a model for a Russian. In the eyes of Irina and Svetlana, emancipated women from England or the US are poorly groomed viragoes without any sex appeal.
Russian girls prefer elegant dresses instead of jeans. They celebrate their femininity. The more, the better. The most important task in life is to be a mother and caring wife. A political party which fights for women’s rights – like the Greens in Germany – would have no chance in Russia.
It’s rare that ladies rebel against suppression, tyranny and inequality. Or even against the political system. A few years ago, the girl band „Pussy Riot“ tried to protest against Putin’s power. We know the end: they came in a prison camp in Siberia. They have been manipulated by brainwashing.
In Moscow and Kiev, there were women protests. Female students demonstrated with naked breasts against abuses and prostitution. It’s not that kind of prostitution we have in the West.
In rural regions of Russia and Ukraine, women have to offer sexual services because of shortage of money. All protest activities and demonstrations were in vain. Nothing has changed in Russia and Ukraine.
In Belarus however it’s so wonderful quiet and idyllic. Nobody would ever risk to criticize the president. Demonstrators would be knocked down by the police at once. And put into jail.
On television I saw young Belarusians weeping. They came back home from Warsaw by bus. In a country of the former Eastern bloc, they have seen what a free society is.
At this point, shameless people could make a prediction: In a few years the time of the Russian president and his marionette in Minsk will be over. The political system will change. People cannot be treated permanently like stupid fools.
The war in Ukraine and Syria is only a show. To divert attention from domestic problems and weaknesses in Russia.
„We are the people“:
One day these world-famous slogan of Eastern German demonstrators could to be heard also in the streets of Moscow and Minsk. It will be interesting to see if Russian women will have enough courage then to fight for a piece of emancipation.