Coal miners are predominantly male, and kindergarten teachers predominantly female. Professions are gendered, as any Department of Labor survey, anywhere in the world, illustrates. And until the 1980s, the nouns used in English to describe some occupations were also gendered, such as fireman, or stewardess. Feminists in English-speaking countries fought this largely by neutralizing male […]
The Charter of the United Nations (signed in 1945), was the first international agreement to uphold the principle of equality between men and women. Since then there have been many significant achievements in the struggle for the international protection of women’s rights, most notably the United Nation’s landmark treaty the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the second most widely ratified human rights treaty in existence.
Masculinity is a characteristic that many people associate with political legitimacy; we expect politicians to be “strong” and to “protect” the country’s citizens and national interests. Politicians (male and female) thus make an effort to demonstrate their strength and toughness on various issues.
In February 2012 a group of young women wearing balaclavas went into Moscow’s most grandiose Russian Orthodox cathedral and sang about 40 seconds of an anti-Putin song they’d written, before being bodily removed from the premises. Pussy Riot quickly became a household name. The chorus of their “Punk Prayer” prevailed upon the Virgin Mary to kick Putin out of power, and included the line: “Shit, shit, holy shit.”
A key element of Vladimir Putin’s legitimation strategy has been the cultivation of a macho image. His various public relations stunts subduing wild animals, playing rough sports, and displaying his muscular torso, drew on widely familiar ideas about masculinity.