Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia

Paperback | December 5, 2014

byValerie Sperling

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Sex, Politics, and Putin investigates how gender stereotypes and sexualization have been used as tools of political legitimation in contemporary Russia. Despite their enmity, regime allies and detractors alike have wielded traditional concepts of masculinity, femininity, and homophobia as ameans of symbolic endorsement or disparagement of political leaders and policies. By repeatedly using machismo as a means of legitimation, Putin's regime (unlike that of Gorbachev or Yeltsin) opened the door to the concerted use of gendered rhetoric and imagery as a means to challenge regime authority. Sex, Politics, and Putin analyzes the political uses of gender norms andsexualization in Russia through three case studies: pro- and anti-regime groups' activism aimed at supporting or undermining the political leaders on their respective sides; activism regarding military conscription and patriotism; and feminist activism. Arguing that gender norms are most easilyinvoked as tools of authority-building when there exists widespread popular acceptance of misogyny and homophobia, Sperling also examines the ways in which sexism and homophobia are reflected in Russia's public sphere.

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Sex, Politics, and Putin investigates how gender stereotypes and sexualization have been used as tools of political legitimation in contemporary Russia. Despite their enmity, regime allies and detractors alike have wielded traditional concepts of masculinity, femininity, and homophobia as ameans of symbolic endorsement or disparagement...

Valerie Sperling is Professor of Political Science at Clark University. She is the author of Altered States: The Globalization of Accountability and Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia: Engendering Transition.

other books by Valerie Sperling

Altered States
Altered States

Kobo ebook|Jun 1 2009

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:376 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:December 5, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199324352

ISBN - 13:9780199324354

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Table of Contents

1. The Power of Sex: Culture, Gender, and Political Legitimacy2. Putin the Sex back in Politics: Gender Norms, Sexualization, and Political Legitimation in Russia3. Who's Macho, Who's Gay?: Pro- and Anti-Kremlin Activists Gendering Russia's Political Leadership4. Fight Club: Gendered Activism on Patriotism, Conscription, and Pro-Natalism5. Everywhere and Nowhere: Sexism and Homophobia in Russian Politics6. When Pussy Riots: Feminist Activism in RussiaConclusion. "The First Time, Do it for Love": Sexism, Power, and Politics under PutinAppendix: MethodologyBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"I recommend this provocative, innovative feminist analysis of politics in Putin's Russiato all Russia observers, students of scholars of women's and gender studies, and anyone trying to make sense of the Russia/Ukraine crisis. Sperling's insight into the foreign policy implications ofmisogyny, combined with her interviews with current Russian feminists, makes Sex, Politics, and Putin a must-read." --Cynthia Enloe, author of Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as If Women Mattered