No More Mother-Saviors


Nanna Heitmann/Magnum Photos
Protesters at a demonstration in assistance of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Moscow, January 2021

Soviet rhetoric commemorated ladiess liberation, but Soviet ladies didnt feel free.This memory left numerous post-Soviet people skeptical of feminism, even as essentializing ideas about motherhood being the central purpose of a ladys life made it through into the post-Soviet period and took on more nationalist overtones. During morning rush hour, I marveled at women who seemed to be reporting to office tasks in hot pants.Feminism was associated with Soviet disillusionment, drab clothing, and unsightly shoes; in the starving, unsteady post-Soviet economies, lots of ladies had little option however to attempt to capitalize on their looks. Tsvetkova established an online group called “The Vagina Monologues” and shared materials and illustrations on feminism and sex education, including a series of body-positive drawings called A Woman Is Not a Doll, with slogans like “Real ladies menstruate, and that is typical.

Soviet rhetoric commemorated femaless liberation, but Soviet women didnt feel free.This memory left lots of post-Soviet people hesitant of feminism, even as essentializing ideas about motherhood being the main function of a womans life survived into the post-Soviet duration and took on more nationalist overtones. During morning rush hour, I marveled at females who appeared to be reporting to office jobs in hot pants.Feminism was associated with Soviet disillusionment, dull clothing, and awful shoes; in the hungry, unsteady post-Soviet economies, numerous females had little option but to try to capitalize on their appearances. Women were crucial to rebuilding society in the 1990s, including in nongovernmental companies and in politics.Over the last couple of years, ladies in post-communist Slavic countries have won the worlds attention and appreciation through mass demonstrations. Tsvetkova established an online group called “The Vagina Monologues” and shared products and drawings on feminism and sex education, consisting of a series of body-positive drawings called A Woman Is Not a Doll, with mottos like “Real ladies menstruate, and that is typical. As in the other “Verdicts,” we have a painfully clear glance into the dehumanizing contempt with which the Russian state treats ladies, queer people, and migrants.Compared to Yusupovas tales of rape and murder, Rymbus poems, which are now readily available in the volume Life in Space, are almost bright.

Alexey Kruchkovsky
Galina Rymbu, circa 2017

Margaret Atwood is mentioned, and her impact is palpable in Yusupovas reimagining of femaless historical experience of criminal offense. Later on in this poem, thoughts of lesbians and Leningrad lead Yusupova to remember the story of two ladies who endured the siege of Leningrad since one loved the other adequate to share her food ration. As in the other “Verdicts,” we have a painfully clear glance into the dehumanizing contempt with which the Russian state treats ladies, queer people, and migrants.Compared to Yusupovas tales of rape and murder, Rymbus poems, which are now available in the volume Life in Space, are nearly sunny.


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