Soviet Masculinity Crisis

I’m really eager to read this book:

I don’t know about the 1960s, but by the 1970s Soviet art went from featuring powerful feminist women to being overwhelmingly about embittered harpies dreaming of patriarchy and weak, pathetic men who couldn’t satisfy that need. It became an obsessive topic of Soviet literature and film throughout the 1980s and 1990s. I have my ideas about why that massive change happened but it’s interesting to see what actual scholars have to say.

So yes, there definitely was a massive masculinity and femininity crisis in the USSR. A massive and rapid disruption in gender roles isn’t a road to paradise. It’s a road to extreme psychological and social dysfunction. I became a feminist in response to witnessing this dysfunction first-hand, and this is why my feminism (and that of all of us from my part of the world) is different. Everything that Western feminists dream of, we already had that. And it wasn’t good.

I don’t know how this author manages to separate the Soviet masculinity crisis from the Soviet femininity crisis. They were absolutely part of the same phenomenon. It’s something that I find endlessly fascinating. Westerners would greatly benefit from learning something about other parts of the world. There are lessons that can be learned from our experience. There is no need to reinvent the wheel so painstakingly and dumbly.

5 thoughts on “Soviet Masculinity Crisis

  1. ” A massive and rapid disruption in gender roles isn’t a road to paradise”

    Massive and rapid disruptions in anything (including things that absolutely need to change) are not the road to paradise. Revolutions are generally not a good way to change things for the better (not least because those who lead revolutions are usually not suited to leadership afterward).

    Incrementalism is the name of positive and lasting change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why aren’t they learning from us? Or from anybody? That’s what I can’t get over. This has been done. It has all been done. Nobody is too special to avoid these consequences.

      Like

      1. “Why aren’t they learning from us? ”

        Americans don’t learn from other countries… it’s kind of a defining national feature. They don’t mind learning from immigrants but only about things the immigrant does in the US….
        But a model from another country (good or bad) is seen as irrelavent.

        Like

  2. First of all, a fascinating subject. Would love to read your review when you finish it. Since I immigrated as a teen, don’t know FSU realities in different time periods as well as you but am very interested.

    ” being overwhelmingly about embittered harpies dreaming of patriarchy and weak, pathetic men who couldn’t satisfy that need”

    Like “Moscow doesn’t believe in tears” or “Office Romance” (Служебный роман)?

    Why has the change happened in your opinion?

    // I became a feminist in response to witnessing this dysfunction first-hand, and this is why my feminism … is different. Everything that Western feminists dream of, we already had that. And it wasn’t good.

    I thought your feminism and Israeli one too were the same as the normal Western kind, meaning equality of rights and responsibilities.

    In Israel, there is the additional huge hurdle of the lack of separation between religion and state which FSU lacks. So being a feminist in Israel means taking positions marked as ‘anti-religious’ or even ‘assimilationist’ (letting Jews and non Jews officially marry in Israel) by more than a few.

    // Everything that Western feminists dream of, we already had that.

    Are you sure? I thought the Western world has already achieved a state of gender equality, even if not everything is perfect everywhere. How many female politicians were in FSU? What about gender equality at home? Don’t todays Western men take greater responsibility for kids than FSU men?

    Do you warn the West about consequences of “a massive and rapid disruption in gender roles”? It sounded like that in the post and confused me since the transformation in gender roles has happened in the West long ago and people only turned happier.

    Like

    1. Exactly, it’s those movies, plus the one where a woman is so desperate she picks up an alcoholic in a street and drags him home just to have a guy. Or the one where a woman gets gang-raped as punishment for being unhappy over her husband’s infidelity. Or Осенний марафон. All of them, really.

      The art changed to reflect the audiences’ mood. It was depicting what was there, and as soon as we had a generation that had no experience of war or Stalinism, people could concentrate on other things.

      By having what feminists here want I mean 100% female employment, abortion on demand, and strong, assertive women + passive, emasculated men. The FSU situation is a reaction to the Soviet situation, so it’s understandably different. Our feminist rebellion was about learning how to be feminine because we already knew how to be masculine. All of these debates about “men explaining things to me” sound insane to women from my part of the world. We know how to shut men up. Now the struggle is to get them to speak or act or do anything.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.