Talking about psychology, there is a young contestant from Moldova on Project Runway, and she’s so totally like me that it’s hilarious. Not physically, obviously. Moldovans are a different ethnic group and look very differently. But in the way her post-soviet femininity is so different from the North American version.
There’s also the constant feeling that everybody around her is too slow, the capacity to do everything faster than everybody else, the irritability, the entitlement, the self-assurance.
I’m glad to see that the Soviet femininity is alive even for women born since 1991. Everything about the USSR was horrible. But it’s a lot easier to be a woman when you are from a post-soviet country. It’s much much harder to be a man but a lot easier to be a woman.
It’s a lot easier to live as a woman in the US but it’s a lot harder to carry the burden of North American femininity. Many women don’t understand that the discomfort and the pain they experience don’t come from any external circumstances. They try to project the problems caused by this defective model of femininity into all sorts of invented boogaloos like the ‘toxic masculinity’ or the equally non-existent epidemic of sexual harassment in academia (just to give a couple of examples).
But the real cause of the pain is the heavy weight of the North American way of being a woman that would defeat Goliath. Like Hasidic Jews who thank G-d for not making them a woman, I thank God for not making me a North American woman. Not because there’s anything wrong with them – they are definitely nicer than we are. But because it’s so damn hard.