Friday, 19 March 2010

on gender politics

As far as I can tell International Womens' Day here means that men give women flowers. And the Russians I have been talking to - male and female - really don't see this as a problem; the complexities of gender politics are for the rest of Europe, not here.

And then I watched the (brilliant) 1979 Mosfilm Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears on YouTube, and something - perhaps completely wrong - fell into place. Put simplistically, everyday commonsense in 1950s to 70s America and the UK ideally located middle-class white women as the angels of the house in opposition to male power in the public realm of work. Across the same period in the Soviet Union, men and women were equally envisaged as workers so gender relationships were located differently. Don't want to give the plot away, but MDNBIT centres on how important it is, ultimately, for women to allow male authority in the home.

What I don't know is how much things have changed here since the 1970s. What I do know is that it does not mirrors the path of western feminism.

You can find Moscow does not Believe in Tears in several parts - start here:

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