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Friday, August 24, 2012

Russia’s outrageous Riot “is not feminism”

Pimps and male-stream media’s complicity in degrading women
Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett
From “Pussy Riot: whose freedom, whose riot?”  (HUB Newsfeed August 21, 2012) 

Offense in the name 

“The first thing that made me frown,” this writer says, “was that progressives were hailing Pussy Riot as the ‘new feminists,’ despite their name being fairly insulting to women.  

“It is certainly not apolitical since we are in a context in which pornography has deeply colonized our movement and the only groups that media present as feminist are those who either insult us or reclaim the very instruments of our subordination, that is, male sexual violence, …, pornified femininity, and all the associated harmful cultural practices. These tactics of destroying the meaning of feminism form part of a general worldwide backlash against women. 

You can measure the degree of feminism of an action by how men react to it, and if men collectively cheer and celebrate it, then you can be pretty sure there’s something wrong about it, or that it doesn’t somehow support our liberation from men.

Anti-woman, anti-feminist “Male-stream” media 

Under close inspection, one discovers, the writer says, “that the high level of coverage [of the Pussy Riot case] was related – though indirectly – to promoting men’s right to women’s sexual subordination and the pornification of our [the feminist] movement.  

“The arrested women actually form part (and are victims of) a mixed anarchist group called ‘Voina’ (meaning ‘war’), founded in 2007 by two men (called Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaïev) who regularly engage the women in extreme and degrading women-hating pornography as part of their public ‘political stunts.’ 

“Some of Voina’s men [were] incarcerated in 2011 for hooliganism, punishable in Russia by a prison sentence of seven years…” 

The group, “Pussy Riot,” with its ‘Voina’ connection, has in the past performed a variety of vile anti-woman, anti-feminist antics. I will not excerpt them here but the link will take you to them.  

Degrading women to promote male supremacy 

However, spoken generally, the writer says, these “male anarchists [have] used the women as dead bodies or receptacles through which to make a political point to other men…: target women for men to bond over women’s annihilation. 

Men instrumentalize women, using sexual torture of women as a means of communicating a political message, which, if not totally vacuous, communicates nothing other than their hatred of women.

Complicit in breaking women  

“What can be understood from the media’s silence about Voina’s pornographic exploitation of women, when all the attention is focused on promoting Pussy Riot as our modern heroines? The effect and intent is political.  

While all public eyes are set on Russian representatives of the state and religion as the ultimate fascists, dictators and machos, we are made to forget that the primary oppressors and tyrants of these particular women are the men closest to them; that is, Voina’s men and their use of pornography to demean, oppress and enslave their female comrades. 

“They are their everyday police, the fascists and colonizers breaking the women’s resistance, occupying their souls, sentencing them to public humiliation and subordinating them through sexual abuse.  

“We are made to forget that these women are doubly victimized: first victims of the violence by the men of their own group; then punished and held responsible for the abuse committed against them. 

“In holding Pussy Riot as examples of resistance, being silent about the pornographic violence and denouncing the state and religious authority as the only oppressor, media are complicit with the men from Voina’ … 

Insidiously protecting “the anarchist’s individual impunity and, more generally, furthering all men’s interest in promoting rape and women-hating propaganda; and  

Distracting and disgusting women away from feminism 

“What kind of dignity and respect for our movement can women have if the only models of resistance given to us by the media are those to be seen by millions of men as humiliated, soiled and degraded?   

“We need to recognize and openly denounce the pandemic levels of sexual violence present in most male-centric leftist or anarchist activist groups whereby women are often pimped by the men of the group for pornography or expected to submit to extremely violent or degrading acts in the name of ‘sexual freedom.’ 

For our sisters, for all women, we need to say out loud that this is not feminism”


Sources and notes

The writer began this analysis by saying, “I support without ambiguity the liberation of Pussy Riot’s members [but] it is worth pausing to ask ourselves, as radical feminists, what the political dynamics are here.

“Why would Western media denounce so passionately the repression of feminists in Russia when they usually only disseminate information that supports male supremacy and patriarchy?

“Feminism has long disappeared from any malestream media, except when journalists can turn it into male masturbation material; that is, pornify either [women’s] suffering or [women’s] resistance to it.”

“Pussy Riot: whose freedom, whose riot?” (HUB Newsfeed), reblogged radical feminist analysis of the Pussy Riot controversy, August 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm (In memory of Anna Politkovskaya: the woman who frightened the Russian state « Cherryblossomlife
August 21, 2012 at 4:02 am, http://radicalhub.com/2012/08/20/pussy-riot-whose-freedom-whose-riot/
http://www.animalnewyork.com/2010/voinas-latest-action-is-fowl/ (Warning! Pornographic still image included in this link.)


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