The Modern Sufferage: Putin’s Love for Misogyny
I’ve read the interview with German foreign policy expert Sabine Fischer in Der Spiegel way too many times. I promise you, I’ll keep reading it until everything she said is permanently etched in my memory. It’s a treasure trove of information about Russian society. She said a ton of things, but there’s this one passage that I just can’t get out of my head
DER SPIEGEL: In your book, you quote a rape metaphor that Vladimir Putin applied to Ukraine shortly before the Russian invasion when explaining to French President Emmanuel Macron why Ukraine had to adhere to the Minsk agreements. At a press conference, he said: “Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to put up with it, beautiful.”
Fischer: Yes, Putin intentionally uses such metaphors. We hear this over and over again from feminists in Russia: Putin is a rapist. Feminists, by the way, play an extremely important role in the Russian underground antiwar movement. Women were also in the majority among those arrested in the early days of the antiwar protests.
As hundreds of thousands of men ran for neighboring countries forming mile long queues in border check posts, antiwar protests sprang to life in Moscow. According to data from OVD-Info, a Russian group that monitors protests, 71% of the 848 detained on Sept. 24 were women. Some men who were protested were immediately handed draft papers ordering them to join the army. A nice deterrent to keep the men out of the picket line.
OVD-Info lawyer Daria Korolenko highlighted the specific risks faced by women protesters in Russia, noting their increased susceptibility to sexual violence threats. The organization recorded approximately 200 instances where women were threatened with sexual violence, denied food or sleep, or experienced various forms of mistreatment during detentions related to protests from September 21 to 26.
A police officer aggressively confronted a group of 25 women and 4 men who had been arrested for participating in anti-war protests near Moscow’s Krasnye Vorota metro station in March of this year, declaring, “Putin is on our side. You are Russia’s enemies. You are the enemy of the people. Now, we’re going to deal with you right here, and that’s final. We might…