William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


Over the past decade, the Russian state has been deliberately pursuing politics of masculinity that aim to actively undermine feminist dissenting voices by presenting feminism as something that is foreign and inappropriate for the Russian context. This Article examines why Russian domestic feminism has failed to generate a re-examination of entrenched gender stereotypes and barriers in Russia. The Article concludes that in order to effectively combat gender stereotyping and reduce structural barriers that continuously relegate women to the private sphere, new "local norms" based on gender equality need to develop. In order for these new local norms to gain public acceptance, the role of "translators," such as civil society and domestic activists, cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, in today's Russia, such "translation" work is highly discouraged by the state. The Russian state is simply unwilling to cede some of its power and account for dissent in order to advance gender equality, as opposed to its current politics of masculinity.