Vladimir Putin and the Gospel of Men’s Rights

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by Matthew Kupfer on 1/17/2015 · 1 comment

As Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union continue to deteriorate, it’s tough to find real fans of Vladimir Putin west of Hungary. But they’re out there, even in America. I recently published an article on Muftah.org about a group of men with a passion for the countries of the old Eastern Bloc and a great respect for Putin and his leadership.  They are the “manosphere,” a loose, online collective of men’s rights activists, pickup artists, and “traditionalists” who believe that Eastern Europe is one of the last holdouts in the battle against the oppressive feminism and androgyny they see reigning in the West:

Faced with a social environment at home that is increasingly hostile to their beliefs, members of the manosphere have directed their search for affirmation, sex, love, and everything in between abroad–often to Eastern Europe.

This is nothing new. The old Eastern Bloc has long been regarded as a mecca for lonely and horny men of all ages. Popular perceptions of the region are saturated with images of so-called mail order brides, leggy blondes in high heels, and stodgy American losers drooling after them. But while the average American “marriage agency” client may fantasize about rescuing his dream woman from gray, post-Soviet industrial poverty, the manosphere has a different view: it is Eastern Europe that can save America.

The logic is simple. The manosphere posits that, as America falls under the oppressive yoke of feminism, the post-communist East provides an alternative example: conservative values, traditional gender roles, and strong, masculine leadership as embodied by Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Want to know why U.S.-Russian wrangling over Syria’s chemical weapons was allegedly just like pickup artistry? Or why  feminism is supposedly responsible for separatism in Ukraine’s Donbas region?

Check out the full article at Muftah.org.


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This post was written by...

– author of 13 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Matthew Kupfer is a writer focused on Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia and a graduate student at Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. A witness to the 2010 interethnic unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan, he is particularly interested in conflicts and interethnic relations in the former Soviet Union. Matthew's research and writing has covered topics as diverse as the interethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, women's rights in Central Asia, the history of genocide accusations in the former Soviet Union, and the Ukraine Crisis. His work has been published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Moscow Times, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, EurasiaNet.org, and Muftah.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Matthew_Kupfer.

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{ 1 comment }

Oldschool Boy January 23, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Is Steven Seagal one of those members of manosphere? Do these losers really think that conservative family values are strong in Russia? What a joke!

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