Free Pussy Riot Girls 2

I used to say, “This will not be my war anyway” to my daughter, to my young colleagues, and friends feminists or not: to girls.

We fought in the seventies eighties nineties for freedom of choice, for divorce, for contraception, for women’s human rights, against domestic violence, for peace in the world. We fought incessantly, ruthlessly, risking our careers, our private lives, our security and normality. And we accomplished a lot, all over the world; in Italy, in Serbia, in USA, name it.

The second wave of feminism was standing on the shoulders on the suffragettes from the beginning of the 19th century, who often gave their lives for women’s rights. Then I got tired, and not me only. The world took a bad turn, not only in Serbia during the nineties, but everywhere after September 11!

The Globalization of Balkanization put at stake all the conquests of women and not only of women: terrorism, and raging war on terrorism, brought us police right-wing technocrat dystopian states where human rights became just another word for nothing left to lose. I told my young girls then: you must fight it now, this is your world, the one we inadvertedly left you. Learn how much you have inherited from your grandmothers, don’t take it for granted because you are may well lose it, step by step, bit by bit. To the church, to the state, to the financiers.

Proof of this new world we are living in is the conviction of the punk Russian band Pussy Riot, convicted of blasphemy against Russian church and state, sentenced to two years of prison because of an art performance in a church. Of course, if women dared to protest in a Moslem mosque, a harsh repression would be “normal,” but since this event happened in a Russian Orthodox church, there are still voices all over the world who link this new repression to past violations of civil rights. Easy to link Putin to Stalin, but what about many long centuries of Christian culture-war and land-war, burning heretics and witches, torturing their dissidents and scientists, and Catholic-Protestant land-wars convulsing Europe for a century? And for that matter, what would happen to American punk artists invading a Mormon Tabernacle to insult Mitt Romney? Would they escape unscathed?

Two of the Pussy Riot activists sentenced to prison are mothers of small babies. World stars like Madonna, Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney have written open letters and petitions for their liberation. Even Putin, the old new Russian leader the main target of their protest performances, expressed his hope that they wouldn’t get the maximum sentence of three years. So, they got two years.

They have already even in the slammer for six months; but they have achieved the world fame for their act and their bravery. One wonders if they will be forced into exile, in the style of Taslima Nasreen in the 1990s, or the Russian dissident political artists and scientists of the 1970s. Does this evergreen usual method of uprooting the rioters, so as make them inoffensive in another country, in another language, still work in today’s globalized world? Nowadays being forced into exile can make a domestic discontent even more incendiary.

Thanks to the Internet, to the globalization of the activism, music, culture and politics, there is hope for the Pussy Riot girls, if not for their country, Russia, and their fussy sultan, Putin. Putin is one of the best friends of Berlusconi, and the third member of the gang was Ghadaffi, now dead and gone with all his harem. Only a couple of years ago, these three notably macho world leaders would meet in their fancy villas to congenially plot another world order, along with their accompanying harems of Italian showgirls, Libyan female bodyguards, Russian siloviki astronaut spygirls, and so on. Their women were chattel, though often in uniform instead of burqas. The Pussy Riots girls wear red balaclavas when they perform as punks, as rioters — as those who just won’t have any of those new-old fashioned ways of “women and children” first: meaning women as the first sent to the slammers.

Their name is not vulgar, it is provocative, the red of their masks is not Communist it’s the color of blood, their personal story is not private, it is political, and by now they do not stand only for Russia but for a a generation of young women, visible or invisible, wrapped in chains of this new age which wants to destroy “bad girls”.

Whatever they do, they are doing it in my name too!

About jasminatesanovic

Jasmina Tešanović (Serbian: Јасмина Тешановић) (born March 7, 1954) is a feminist, political activist (Women in Black, Code Pink), translator, publisher and filmmaker. She was one of the organizers of the first Feminist conference in Eastern Europe "Drug-ca Zena" in 1978, in Belgrade. With Slavica Stojanovic, she ran the first feminist publishing house in the Balkans "Feminist 94" for 10 years. She is the author of Diary of a Political Idiot, a war diary written during the 1999 Kosovo War and widely distributed on the Internet. Ever since then she has been publishing all her work, diaries, stories and films on blogs and other Internet media.
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5 Responses to Free Pussy Riot Girls 2

  1. Pingback: http jasminatesanovic wordpress com 2012 08 18 free… « Zokster Something

  2. Why “of course” in relation to Muslim mosque (is there a different kind?) – I would expect from someone like Putin to make a comment like that but not sure why you are reiterating it without questioning it? There are two problems with that statement – one is a mosque can be in a lot of countries and I doubt every mosque would have the same reaction so by generalizing it one assumes all mosques and all Muslims have some kind of joint agenda (which is an idea that is served by the West and in this case Orthodox East). Second problem is the question why are we even bringing mosques into this? I mean why not synagogues, Catholic churches, Buddhist temples?

  3. Pingback: RUSSIA: Pussy Riot “Figa in rivolta, il loro nome non è volgare, è politico”

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