"We are all Pussy Riot"

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onlinediscountanvils
"We are all Pussy Riot"

[url=http://pitchfork.com/news/47516-interview-kathleen-hanna-on-pussy-riot/]"We Are All Pussy Riot": Kathleen Hanna Speaks on the Jailed Feminist Punk Group[/url]

August 17th is [url=http://freepussyriot.org]Global Free Pussy Riot Day[/url]. There are events planned for Ottawa and Toronto.

onlinediscountanvils
Fidel

Yes, more U.S. Government-funded sedition is about right. Cartalucci knows how they operate.

MegB

Well, NDPP, according to your link they are "accurately described as hooligans and religious bigots".

They're a politicized feminist band.  This is the Feminist Forum.  Don't make me ban you, and Fidel, from this area of babble, because I've had just about enough of your reactionary crap and conspiracy theory bullshit.

Do the few pro-feminism babblers left here a favour.  Just. Don't. Post. Here.

Slumberjack

The Pussy Riot Flap

Quote:
This isn't about Pussy Riot and their run-in with the law, nor is about feminism or freedom of speech. It's all political maneuvering to make Putin look bad. That's all there is to it.Just take a look at Google News. As of Monday night, there were 2,453 articles about Pussy Riot, every one of them singing the praises of the courageous girls who took on Vladimir the Terrible and exposed themselves to 7 years of jailtime. That's the basic storyline with virtually no exceptions. Over and over again, the same tedious theme; "Pussy good, Putin bad". 

Now wouldn't you think that in a country as fanatically religious as the United States, that at least one or two of the journalists would defend the position of the church or find fault in what the girls did? 


Of course, they would, but I didn't find any articles like that, which is why the coverage doesn't pass the smell test.  So, let's do a little thought-experiment and dig a little deeper into this matter.

Well, let's not, because I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone what will happen.

MegB

What part of "feminists discussing feminist issues from a feminist perspective" are you people not understanding?

I am so tired of having to repeat this. Want to discuss this issue from any other perspective? Then get out of the feminist forum. Feel free to dominate the rest of babble, as you consistently do. This forum is NOT your space.

Slumberjack

I understand that the term feminist is not restricted to a single gender.  It can involve many in fact.  It is from this perspective that this is being discussed, and so I don't quite know what you're going on about.  Patriarchal western media organizations that don't otherwise give a hoot about feminism, using the plight of a group of feminists for their own geo-political purposes.  Sounds like a feminist topic to me.  And why, as a rabble staff member, do you insist on continuing to talk down to people in this manner?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think it's easy to see how this story fits in to geopolitical narratives and power struggles between nation states. I think when Sting and Madonna start getting all political, it's safe to raise an eyebrow. But, as with all issues of intersectionality, I wish those babblers with a strong anti-imperialism critical lens would respect the mandate of this forum, which is not "discuss issues about women from any lens you please," but "discuss feminist issues from a feminist point of view." I think babblers here understand the difference, but it's a very serious problem that many continue to flout it.

The price of riding roughshod over the feminist content of this story is that we deny the agency and message of the women who are self-identified radical feminists. That's anti-feminist, and it doesn't belong in this forum. There is a way to talk about the geopolitics at play without doing that, but it requires a nuance I haven't seen from the blunt perspectives linked to in this thread. If you can't do that, don't wish to do that or don't have the time and energy to do that, don't post in this forum. It's simple. There is a Russia thread in the Int. Politics forum that would do quite nicely. If male babblers -- idenitified feminists notwithstanding -- can't see that babble has chased all the women feminists out of here and realize that that is a problem, you need to follow the direction of the moderators whose job it is to cultivate this space. It's a question of respect.

NDPP and Fidel, I'm afraid you have had this pointed out to you both repeatedly and yet persist in this blustering, macho railroading of feminist perspectives and feminist issues ("it's not feminist! It's geopolitical!"). Rebecca West and I are asking you not to post in the feminist forum again until such time as you acquire some iota of feminist-friendly perspective. Thanks.

MegB

Slumberjack, 2nd warning. Deviate from the FF mandate again and you're on vacation from babble.

Slumberjack

Call me a deviant then, tar and feather me, do what you will.  It is precisely a conversation about how this MSM generated story has nothing whatsoever to do with a feminist perspective.  Why won't you let the discussion proceed?  What interest do you have in shutting down this feminist perspective which challenges a particular narrative of the MSM, which sees fit to appropriate a struggle for their own nefarious end?  It's not a problem with turf here, because we're on exactly the right turf to discuss it from this angle.  It has more to do with deviation from your edicts if you're being honest with yourself.  CF is incorrect as well in saying we're here to discuss this story from any lens we please.  Recall that the patriarchal monologue of the MSM that brings us this news as its latest project spared little if any room to discuss political prisoner Mandy Hiscocks and her friends, who currently languish in jail and have done so for many months.  I have not deviated from anything to do with the mandate of this forum, but only from your need to exert and impose what power you have in a negative way, for its own sake.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

SJ, a Russian deputy minister called Madonna a "moralizing slut" for calling Pussy Riot courageous. Yes, the MSM is hypocritical. But to say that this story has nothing feminist about it, when thousands of women -- both Russian and Western -- believe otherwise, is patriarchy at its blatantly obvious. You know this. This forum is not for you, by the way, so your grandstanding is rather offensive, if you could see it. But since all you seem to hear is edicts, here's one: don't post in this thread again.

6079_Smith_W

Before this thread popped up I assumed this was not being posted about for that very reason - the geopolitical one. 

I heard some surprising background to this on a CBC piece (As It Happens) the week before last - that part of the reason why they are on trial is that they were in a part of the Orthodox Church forbidden to women. And that when they were asked to leave they did so.

And of course, whether in earnest or not, they asked for the aid of Mary in fighting Vladimir Putin.

The fact that they complied with that kind of discrimination, despite their feminist politics, fles in the face of the way they have been painted by the prosecution in this trial. And it makes their treatment all the more outrageous.

Unfortunately it is summer time, otherwise I would take the time to dig up what struck me most about the radio piece - a quote from one of the members fo the band that jail is not the worst place for someone who knows how to think.

Also, those following this might also be interested in the actions and persecution of the art collective Voina, who have also worked with Pussy Riot:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voina

 

I

Slumberjack

The story about female punk musicians being arrested and put on trial has a feminist perspective to it, but not as it arrives to us through the MSM.  The latest link you posted can hardly be described as MSM, and so it has to be given credence for that alone at least, which has nothing to do with what we're talking about here, and nothing to do with challenging the meme that "We are all Pussy Riot."  The MSM is not for one.  I certainly don't want them in jail for disrupting a church service or for voicing anti-Putin messages.  And to further contribute toward a fitting end to this episode....it would of course be patriarchal of me to ignore RW's ill-conceived warnings only to heed yours, now that you've arrived on scene....so there you go.  A feminist perspective to the whatever end you make of it.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Or typical hard-headed, macho posturing, as usual. Congratulations, SJ. Suspended until further notice, pending discussion with RW. And permanently banned from the FF.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

The story about female punk musicians being arrested and put on trial has a feminist perspective to it, but not as it arrives to us through the MSM.  The latest link you posted can hardly be described as MSM, and so it has to be given credence for that alone at least, which has nothing to do with what we're talking about here, and nothing to do with challenging the meme that "We are all Pussy Riot."  The MSM is not for one.  I certainly don't want them in jail for disrupting a church service or for voicing anti-Putin messages.  And to further contribute toward a fitting end to this episode....it would of course be patriarchal of me to ignore RW's ill-conceived warnings only to heed yours, now that you've arrived on scene....so there you go.  A feminist perspective to the whatever end you make of it.

 

It may have arrived to you through the MSM but that doesn't mean that it arrived to everyone that way.  I first read about it, right after it happened on femmist blogs and sites.  Hardly tools of the MSM.  That the MSM has decided to latch onto it and create their own story about it does not mean that it is an "MSM story".  In the femmist world it was a story before the msm paid attention and would be if the msm was ignoring it. 

 

onlinediscountanvils

ElizaQ wrote:

That the MSM has decided to latch onto it and create their own story about it does not mean that it is an "MSM story".  In the femmist world it was a story before the msm paid attention and would be if the msm was ignoring it.

 

Thanks, ElizaQ. Exactly. Although I understand babble to be in practice a place that is largely hostile to feminist discussions, it never occured to me that my posts on this topic would receive this reaction. Like you, I first learned about their protest, arrests, and incarceration months ago through news sources of the feminist and anti-authoritarian left. It's only been in the last week or two that I've noticed the MSM jump on the story. Thankfully babble has no shortage of guys willing to mansplain imperialism or how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

6079_Smith_W

They have been in the news long before this latest action. Boingboing is one of the places where I have been following them.

 

Caissa

Three members of the Russian all-girl punk group Pussy Riot have been found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for their performance inside a Moscow cathedral criticizing President Vladimir Putin.

Judge Marina Syrova handed down the verdict Friday in a Moscow court. Sentencing was expected later in the day. While prosecutors have sought a three-year prison term, the women could face a maximum of seven years behind bars.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/08/17/pussy-riot-verdict-moscow-russia.html

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Thanks, ElizaQ. Exactly. Although I understand babble to be in practice a place that is largely hostile to feminist discussions, it never occured to me that my posts on this topic would receive this reaction. Like you, I first learned about their protest, arrests, and incarceration months ago through news sources of the feminist and anti-authoritarian left. It's only been in the last week or two that I've noticed the MSM jump on the story. Thankfully babble has no shortage of guys willing to mansplain imperialism or how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

 

Well honestly my reaction to the whole looking at the MSM coverage and what they're doing with from a feminist perspective idea is well yeah duh what else is new.  The latching onto the story for geopolitical 'bad putin, bad putin' means is so  obvious and typical MSN that it really doesn't warrent my time to discuss in great detail.

 I appreciate your link because it delves into more then just the obvious and is from a perspective namely feminist artists and and polotical expression which I am not that familar with, especially punk rock self identified feminists.  Before Pussy Riot I really knew nothing about it. Wasn't even on my radar.  

Would love to talk more about feminism and feminist poltical expression from an artistic POV but my knowledge is so lacking in that area I wouldn't have a whole lot to contribute.  

For me one of the questions I ask myself in order to get deeper into the feminist perspective of the story is, would the reaction of the Russian State be different if it was a group of males that had done the same thing?   I can't help but answer yes to that question but having no real knowledge of the state of feminism and feminist political activism in Russia so it's based more on assumption then anything concrete.  

A group of women spoke up, artistically and boldly to power. Yes they talked about Putin. From their own statements it's was about a whole lot more then Putin the personal, it's Putin the system, the patriarchal and authoritarian social systems of control political and otherwise.  Replace Putin with someone else and the system they challenge would likely be the same.   Thats my take anyway.

This to me is where the commonality is between feminism as expressed in any other country or situation.  From the beginning it's been more about then just 'talking about women' it's about changing cultural systems.        

Mr.Tea

They were sentenced to two years of prison.

6079_Smith_W

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/us-blog-pussy-riots-idUSBRE87F...

A piece on Voina from 2008

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2008/07/23/russia-art-idUKGRI32768020080723

Of course this trial is because they challenged the power of the state, but I wonder if they would have used religious outrage as the excuse in the same way if they had been men and not women. Like you, Eliza, I don't know enough about the situation over there to say.

And I have to say, the action in Kiev, reported in that BBC piece (I mean CBC - I first read it on BBC) is astounding. I seriously doubt this is over.

Mr.Tea

I didn't realize the Russian consulate was in my building (Bloor and Church) but there are now a couple hundred protesters outside chanting "Free Pussy Riot"

onlinediscountanvils

ElizaQ wrote:

I appreciate your link because it delves into more then just the obvious and is from a perspective namely feminist artists and and polotical expression which I am not that familar with, especially punk rock self identified feminists.  Before Pussy Riot I really knew nothing about it. Wasn't even on my radar.  

Would love to talk more about feminism and feminist poltical expression from an artistic POV but my knowledge is so lacking in that area I wouldn't have a whole lot to contribute.

 

I can't claim to know a lot about feminist artists, but I did watch a fascinating documentary on women in punk music, called [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0o3Tsh0qyI&feature=player_embedded]From the Back of the Room[/url].

onlinediscountanvils

The judge declared they had engaged in homosexual propaganda, imitated demonic attacks, and allowed their dresses to ride up.

[url=http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/08/17/judge-declares-members-of-russ... Riot Members Sentenced to Two Years in Prison For ‘Hooliganism’[/url]

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

The judge declared they had engaged in homosexual propaganda, imitated demonic attacks, and allowed their dresses to ride up.

[url=http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/08/17/judge-declares-members-of-russ... Riot Members Sentenced to Two Years in Prison For ‘Hooliganism’[/url]

 

Jeez they sure manage to get a lot into that 30 seconds didn't they? //sarcasm

And oh Lordy(pun intended) can't have the dresses riding up!!! In the slammer you go.  If there is any statement that confirms my uneducated feeling that males would be treated different in this situation that's it. 

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 I seriously doubt this is over.

My prediction: Putin, or someone with the authority to act with the appearance of his sanction, will pardon the women very early on in their sentence, and then bask in the warm accolades that often accrue to those who back down from doing something nasty after threatening to do it.

I don't know how the Russian legal system works, but if it's possible for that scenario to be enacted, I think that's what will happen. Putin has already made what seem like concilatory gestures.

http://tinyurl.com/d8naava

I do note that Putin also played the "Christians are persecuted" card, ie. "Oh, if they did this to Jews or Muslims, they'd get the shit kicked outta them, but, gee whiz, look how lenient we are in comparison".

 

 

 

Michelle

I agree that the women in Pussy Riot are being oppressed in misogynist ways by the state.  I also agree completely with Slumberjack, that the reason we're hearing about this from the hypocritical mainstream western media, who are now pretending to be feminist warriors on the side of punk rock feminists everywhere, is because they want to demonize Russia, and Putin in particular, especially at a time when Russia is in disagreement with the western countries on how to deal with Syria.  And the writer of the article he posted from Counterpunch is also right - it doesn't pass the smell test when even right-wing media is singing the praises of a punk rock group called "Pussy Riot" - a group they would delight in putting down for being "obscene" if they were here.

I don't think those two analyses (that Pussy Riot is being oppressed, and that the western media is hypocritical) are mutually exclusive, and I think the analysis of the western media pretending to be feminist when they want to demonize another country or culture or religion, while either not reporting on feminist issues within the dominant culture, country or religion or even promoting outright anti-feminist propaganda from their own dominant corporate and religious leaders, is a feminist one.

It is possible for feminist blogs that are reporting on this and the mainstream media who are reporting on this to be doing so for entirely different reasons.  The feminist blogs are doing so out of international feminist solidarity.  The mainstream corporate media is not.  That is what I read the Counterpunch article to be saying.

International pressure to free Pussy Riot is a good thing.  Knowing who your enemies are and what their hidden agendas are when they're pretending to be feminist allies, is also a good thing.

lagatta

What Michelle said.

I hate to think what a band called Pussy Riot would endure under Paul Ryan, but I've also received petitions about this from unimpeachable left feminists who have nothing whatsoever to do with the Western Imperialist agenda.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree, Michelle. I think what's interesting is the uptake of the story when it comes to the imperialist component, in that it fits so neatly into narratives that the West likes to tell itself about itself: liberated women, freedom of speech, freedom of religion. But in actual fact, were Pussy Riot to "perform" in the US, there would be equal outrage (and probably the performance would be a bit different). These women seem to me to be pretty radical feminists of the best kind, right down to the No Pasaran! t-shirts. I think it's easy enough to admire their courage and creativity while remaining cynical of the Stings of this world who try to stir up tired old "the West is the Best" tropes.

6079_Smith_W

I was thinking about this a bit more this evening. Putin and those who have built his myth have made him into a very macho character.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/aug/17/vladimir-putin-telev...

It probably wouldn't be in keeping with his image, nor that of his state to be seen as threatened by a women's group. That might be a reason why he publicly argued for leniency (since chivalry must also be part of that manly image), and why the church was used as the object that they were presumably threatening (even though that was not the case). And of course, churches, particularly orthodox ones, have a whole toolkit when it comes to putting down women doing things the church feels they are not supposed to.

 

eastnoireast

sorry double post. how'd that happen? i only pressed the save button once.

eastnoireast

michelle wrote:

... that the reason we're hearing about this from the hypocritical mainstream western media, who are now pretending to be feminist warriors on the side of punk rock feminists everywhere, is because they want to demonize Russia, and Putin in particular, especially at a time when Russia is in disagreement with the western countries on how to deal with Syria.

-

also, because it's an excuse to say "pussy" in print and public.

-

i would agree that they are being treated differently because they are female; partly because they are more of a threat to the system because of who they are.

there is another group of women russian protesters, i can't remember the name - "femme" something or a play on that word. they basically strip, to varing degrees, with political messages written on them and such. so the pr action is perhaps informed or referenced to that.

an interesting site to check out russia is englishrussia.com, which is where i saw the femme protests. russsia is amazing - like a parallel canada, big northern fucked up beautiful countries.

onlinediscountanvils

eastnoireast wrote:

there is another group of women russian protesters, i can't remember the name - "femme" something or a play on that word. they basically strip, to varing degrees, with political messages written on them and such. so the pr action is perhaps informed or referenced to that.

 

Could you be thinking of FEMEN, who are Ukrainian, not Russian?

 

[url=http://en.ria.ru/society/20120817/175271764.html]Topless Protester Cuts Down Cross in Kiev[/url]

Quote:

Activists from the Ukrainian feminist group Femen cut down a wooden crucifix in the center of the country’s capital, Kiev, on Friday in support of members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot whose trial on hooliganism charges comes to an end today.A video posted online showed a topless blond Femen protester wearing red shorts, with the words “Free Riot” scrawled across her chest and arms, cutting the cross with a chainsaw and then pulling it down using a rope pulled by two other activists, and then posing with her arms extended crucifix-style.

Inna Shevchenko, FEMEN wrote:

No business, not even one as successful as the church, has the right to attack women’s rights.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Regardless of why (you might think) their story was covered by the western MSM I’m glad it was so maybe the public attention can help them out in some way. That and I would have never got to listen to thier stuff: here is a link to their music… (it’s free)

http://www.myspace.com/pussyriot

It's good solid punk rock, I so could have listened to this stuff in my helmet headset at Pennsic last week… I wish them luck.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The Wrong reasons to back Pussy Riot

At the core of much of the media fever over Pussy Riot lies a fundamental misunderstanding of what these Russian dissidents are about. Some outlets have portrayed the case as a quest for freedom of expression and other ground rules of liberal democracy. Yet the very phrase “freedom of expression,” with its connotations of genteel protest as a civic way to blow off some steam while life goes on, is alien to Russian radical thought. The members of Pussy Riot are not liberals looking for self-expression. They are self-confessed descendants of the surrealists and the Russian futurists, determined to radically, even violently, change society.

Anyone who has bothered to see them beyond their relevance as anti-Kremlin proxies will know that these young people are as contemptuous of capitalism as they are of Putinism. They are targeting not just Russian authoritarianism, but, in Tolokonnikova’s words, the entire “corporate state system.” And that applies to the West as much as to Russia itself. It includes many of the fawning foreign media conglomerates covering the trial, like Murdoch’s News Corp., and even such darlings of the anti-Putin “liberal opposition” establishment as the businessman and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny.

Pussy Riot’s fans in the West need to understand that their heroes’ dissent will not stop at Putin; neither will it stop if and when Russia becomes a “normal” liberal democracy. Because what Pussy Riot wants is something that is equally terrifying, provocative and threatening to the established order in both Russia and the West (and has been from time immemorial): freedom from patriarchy, capitalism, religion, conventional morality, inequality and the entire corporate state system. We should only support these brave women if we, too, are brave enough to go all the way.

 

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1268810--pussy-riot-member-fre... Riot member freed; court upholds prison sentence for other 2[/url]

Quote:
A Moscow appeals court on Wednesday unexpectedly freed one of the jailed Pussy Riot members, but upheld the two-year prison sentence for the two others jailed for an irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin.

All three women were convicted in August of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. They argued in court on Wednesday that their impromptu performance inside Moscow's main cathedral in February was political in nature and not an attack on religion.

The Moscow City Court ruled that Yekaterina Samutsevich's sentence should be suspended because she was thrown out of the cathedral by guards before she could remove her guitar from its case and take part in the performance.

“The punishment for an incomplete crime is much lighter than for a completed one,” said Samutsevich's lawyer, Irina Khrunova. “She did not participate in the actions the court found constituted hooliganism.”

Quote:
The judge repeatedly interrupted the defendants when their statements turned to politics, but they persisted in speaking their minds.

“We will not be silent. And even if we are in Mordovia or Siberia (where prisoners in Russia are often sent to serve out their terms) we won't be silent,” Alekhina said.

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/22/pussy-riot-remote-prison-cam... Riot band members sent to remote prison camps[/url]

Quote:
Two members of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have been sent to remote prison camps to serve their sentences, the group has said.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, will serve the rest of her two-year term at a women's prison camp in Perm, a Siberian region notorious for hosting some of the Soviet Union's harshest camps. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been sent to Mordovia, a region that also hosts a high number of prisons.

Slumberjack

The Guardian eh?  Perhaps they'll spare a little investigative coverage in an attempt to reveal what there is to know of Diego Garcia's role as a secret prison and rendition way-station.  It might even help the UK government figure out what exactly went on there, notwithstanding their amnesia ridden acknowledgements of the last decade.

onlinediscountanvils

Slumberjack wrote:
Perhaps they'll spare a little investigative coverage

 

To be fair, this wasn't exactly an investigative piece. There seems to be upwards of 100 news sources reporting more or less the same information. The Guardian just happened to be the first one I noticed.

Slumberjack

Yes, I should have put it in brackets.

voice of the damned

From Agence France Presse...

The Russian collective Pussy Riot will perform in Alabama on Thursday, a sold-out concert to raise money for women's rights groups in light of the state's recent passage of a near-total ban on abortion.

Proceeds from the Birmingham benefit will go to Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer Fund, a group that gives assistance to women seeking abortions at one of the southern US state's three clinics.

https://tinyurl.com/yy9wbhjx