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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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Everywhere and Nowhere: Sexism and Homophobia in Russian Politics

Everywhere and Nowhere: Sexism and Homophobia in Russian Politics

(p.169) 5 Everywhere and Nowhere: Sexism and Homophobia in Russian Politics
Sex, Politics, and Putin

Valerie Sperling

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that gender norms can be successfully invoked as tools of authority building only where misogyny and homophobia are widespread among the population. It explores the ways in which sexism and homophobia have been reflected in Russia’s public sphere, as well as within the political groups that engage young political activists. Theorizing that a strong women’s movement can serve as a brake on public misogyny, the chapter also examines the failure of the nascent women’s movement in early post-Soviet Russia to mobilize significant popular support between its foundation in the late 1980s and the end of Putin’s first decade in power. Aspects of gender-based discrimination, such as violence against women, are also discussed.

Keywords:   Russian, sexism, homophobia, women’s movement, violence against women, discrimination

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