Feminist punks smash taboos
by Yulia Ponomareva at 15/03/2012 21:37
Photo © RIA Novosti. Andrey Stenin
Pussy Riot are one of the numerous self-organized feminist groups in Russia. In just two outlandish protest performances, the members of punk band “Pussy Riot” have put feminism firmly back on Russia’s political agenda – and it may cost them their liberty.
“We didn’t mean to insult believers, we protested against the Patriarch calling on Christians not to go to opposition rallies denying them the right to participate in politics,” one of the members of Pussy Riot, who called herself Vozhzha, told The Moscow News in an audio interview by Skype on Wednesday.
Pussy Riot, some of whose members say they are Orthodox believers, claim that Christ the Savior Cathedral has been desecrated by the Church. “The Cathedral is more like a business center, with all these halls rented out for profit, dry cleaning facilities, and machines generating snow, smoke and bubbles,” Pussy Riot wrote in their blog.
Orthodox Christians seem to be divided over the issue of prosecuting Pussy Riot members. Condemned by the Church for committing “blasphemy,” Pussy Riot received a storm of curses and threats on their blog.
Meanwhile, public activists collected 5,739 signatures online, including 23 from Orthodox priests and 1,955 from other people who identified themselves as Christians, under an appeal to Patriarch Kirill calling for mercy toward Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova.
Meanwhile, Pussy Riot insist that they mean no harm to anyone through their protests. “Our main aim is to develop the feminist movement, invigorate and politicize it, and fight for gay rights,” Vozhzha said.
Pussy Riot’s ideal state is one in which the government is fully accountable to people. “There should be no authoritarianism or power verticals, all people are intelligent enough to sort out their problems themselves,” Vozhzha said.
Another means to promote their ideas is education, she said. “The state manipulates people through education, especially through the subject called History of Orthodoxy,” Vozhzha said. “If there were other subjects like History of Feminism or History of Fight for Gender Equality teaching about American feminism and Russian suffragettes of the early 20th century, it would make a difference.”
read full article: http://themoscownews.com/news/20120315/189538887.html