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Sex, Politics, and PutinPolitical Legitimacy in Russia$
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Valerie Sperling

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199324347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199324347.001.0001

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Who’s Macho, Who’s Gay? Pro- and Anti-Kremlin Activists Gendering Russia’s Political Leadership

Who’s Macho, Who’s Gay? Pro- and Anti-Kremlin Activists Gendering Russia’s Political Leadership

Chapter:
(p.80) 3 Who’s Macho, Who’s Gay? Pro- and Anti-Kremlin Activists Gendering Russia’s Political Leadership
Source:
Sex, Politics, and Putin
Author(s):

Valerie Sperling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199324347.003.0003

This is the first of three case study chapters on the use of gender norms and sexualization as political tools in Russia. It shows how activists use gender norms and homophobia in their efforts to demonstrate support for the political leaders whom they favor and to undermine the positions of their opponents. Examining the discourse and activism of several political youth groups, the chapter shows how masculinity has been “materialized” in Putin’s practices and portrayals, how it has been supported and reinforced by the political endorsement of women identified with traditional femininity in the political arena, and how it has been symbolically challenged by Putin’s political opposition. To provide political context, the chapter briefly describes the pro-regime political youth groups that operate under regime auspices and the extra-systemic liberal opposition groups.

Keywords:   Putin, Russia, political leaders, political opposition, masculinity, femininity, homophobia, activism

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