"I am a woman. I do not have this terrible male ego, which always prevents politicians from reaching an agreement, which considers a forceful solution to any problem to be the most correct, and this is almost always not the case. Whatever the outcome, half of the country's population deserves a female voice in these supposedly men's games for the first time in 14 years,”Ksenia Sobchak says in her letter, in which she declares herself a so-called“against everyone”candidate. Its goal is to become a “herald of claims,” and it is not directly interested in governing the state - the main thing is to change the political climate in Russia.
Today they argue with her nomination on many points: the press laughs at her, making fun of the desire of the ex-“blonde in chocolate” to take the helm of a huge power, and politicians are outraged by the fact that the elections are fanning another show. But there is also something that makes Sobchak's statement a full-fledged social phenomenon - after all, whatever one may say, we are again raising the question of how ready we are to accept a woman as president and why in the age of emancipation, equality and tolerance, we still turn attention to the gender of candidates.
How the tail wags the dog
April 14, 2016. Vladimir Putin is conducting his fourteenth Direct Line. Among the discussion of serious and not so serious problems, one of the most naive questions in the entire broadcast is being asked in a child's voice: can a woman become a president?
“We need to think about how to cope with internal issues and problems: with the roads, asking ourselves how to solve the problems of healthcare, education, with the development of our economy, with its restoration and giving it the necessary growth rates … And as for whether a woman can be the head of the state, perhaps a woman can cope with these internal problems the best,”the president replies with a smile.
Almost a year later, Dmitry Peskov will touch upon the same topic, who, during one of the press conferences, will say: “As for a woman-presidential candidate, the answer here is very simple: the Russian Constitution clearly describes who can be a presidential candidate. There is no division into women and men. " By the way, netizens will immediately begin to scoff at the words of the press secretary, speculating in every possible way on the topic of what kind of relationship Vladimir Putin may have to the female sex (otherwise, how else can a woman win the next elections?).
Some time will pass, and already on September 1, 2017, the Vedomosti newspaper will publish a sensational material based on the words of a source in the presidential administration. The journalists will find out that, it turns out, the Kremlin is considering at least 5 ladies who could compete with Vladimir Putin in the 2018 elections. Competition, of course, is imaginary and bogus in order to create the illusion of a political struggle. Among them were the leader of the National Parents' Committee Irina Volynets, the chairman of the Social Democratic Union of Women of Russia Natalya Velikaya and others. The name of Ksenia Sobchak also appeared - one of the sources of Vedomosti would call her "the ideal option", since she, perhaps, is the brightest of all the image of a beautiful, young and intelligent woman who could become a politician.
Sobchak herself will be incredibly outraged by the publication in Vedomosti. On the same day, she will write on her Instagram that she, as an independent person, has no relationship with the presidential administration. And the scandal, in general, will quickly subside until October 18 Sobchak - on the platform of the same Vedomosti - posts his letter of application.
The tangle will begin to unravel further: it turns out that not long before this, Ksenia Sobchak met with the current president during the filming of a film about her father. The candidate herself will say that Putin will not like her decision, but that will save the situation little: the assumption that Sobchak's nomination is part of a well-thought-out (and by no means democratic front) show to split the opposition will begin to grow at lightning speed.
And although Sobchak herself immediately made a reservation in her letter that she is fully aware that her step will be enthusiastically accepted by the authorities - they say, this will solve the problem of the representation of the entire "political spectrum" - people's suspicions are still unabated.
The situation is not the most smooth one. In the realities of the Russian state, Sobchak represents a vivid image of a political minority - and not only by the criterion of belonging or not belonging to the ruling power, but also by the notorious criterion of gender. And the more firmly in the public mind the thought that its promotion is not an accident, the stronger it will seem that all this is not devoid of a serving element. There is a suspicion that a woman in Russia not only cannot become president - women candidates are still perceived, rather, as characters, and not as serious contenders for the highest political post.
Maybe or not
Russian history knows many talented rulers. About Princess Olga, who for the first time established a fixed amount of tribute (also a kind of struggle against abuse of power) and pacified the negligent Drevlyans, they make up legends. They admire Elizaveta Petrovna, one of the first in Europe to abolish the death penalty. They also sing praises to Catherine the Great, who did not lose a single war, who suppressed the Pugachevism and allowed some kind of flourishing of social thought in Russia.
And, nevertheless, historians and amateurs still do not stop looking for more and more evidence that all the above successes are the merits not so much of the rulers, but of the assistants and advisers who surrounded them. Men.
In terms of statistics, the situation is even worse. Here's the last: according to VTsIOM, more than half of Russians are not ready to entrust the presidency to ladies. The Levada Center has slightly better numbers: since 2006, the number of those who would not mind seeing a woman in the role of head of state has halved - from 21 to 11%. The percentage of those who are ready to trust the famous ladies of Russia is completely below the level of statistical error (here Valentina Matvienko remains the leader, for whom 6% of respondents are ready to vote, and in second place is Irina Khakamada, who was nominated for the presidency back in 2004). More than a third of the respondents are absolutely sure that there are no women in Russia who could govern the country.
Neither Maria Zakharova (a graduate of MGIMO and a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry), nor Deputy Oksana Dmitrieva, nor Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets pass the popular approval competition. Yes, in Russia there is a representativeness of women in politics (and not the lowest in the world), but ladies often achieve their high positions in a banal way of climbing the career ladder. With rare exceptions, people do not vote for them.
This, however, does not mean that Russians are in principle opposed to women politicians. For example, more than half of the respondents are ready to give the post of prime minister to ladies. And as for such areas as education, social and family policy, health care - then here the majority is just happy about women's leadership. In this sense, Margaret Thatcher was right when she said that "any woman who is familiar with the problems of housekeeping has a better understanding of the problems of governing the country." But, perhaps, Vladimir Putin expressed himself even more precisely here, who noted on the Direct Line that women could better cope with domestic political issues.
Obviously, the people have an association with the traditions of housekeeping: the comfort in the house (again - traditionally) is always created by a woman. But there is also the outside world - and here the hero-hunter comes to the fore, whose duties are definitely more dangerous and noble. Traditionally, it is always a man.
What is happening in the world, or why there are so few women in politics
It's trite: Wikipedia has a separate page - "List of women - heads of state and government." If you run through it with your eyes, you will see that the institution of women's political leadership is not uncommon on a global scale. Yes, it is smaller than it could be, but given that the world embarked on the path of emancipation and equality less than a hundred years ago, the situation is not so dire (read also: "Handbag Diplomacy: Women in Politics").
Meanwhile, the question is not whether there are women leaders in the world or not, but in which countries these ladies rule.
The facts are stubborn: over the past half century, women managed to be in power mainly in Latin America, in the small states of the Pacific region and in the countries of Southeast Asia (the leader is India). Less often - in European countries (the North and Scandinavia are ahead of all here). In general, never - in such states as Russia, Italy, Spain, France, and even in the "cradle of democracy" - the United States.
Never in all history has a woman become the Secretary General of the United Nations, an organization seemingly designed to fight for equality and peace. The last elections for this post were held last year. Then more than half of the candidates were women, and there was a wide discussion on the topic of what a woman should be at the head of an organization glorifying diplomacy, not war, because it is women who are by nature more compromising, flexible and peaceful. But no: a man is again elected to the post of Secretary General.
Sociologists and political scientists agree that women are most often elected to senior positions in countries in which foreign policy ambitions traditionally do not play a big role. In such states, the electorate with peace of mind trusts the ladies "to put things in order at home." As for performances on the world stage, people here still prefer to turn to men.
And this is especially true of powers with a strong military-defense complex and nuclear potential.
Angela Merkel is at the head of a non-nuclear power, whose defense industry has suffered severely since the defeat in World War II. One can argue and recall Margaret Thatcher, who ruled nuclear Britain for so long - but here, too, a pattern can be traced: the people were imbued with respect for the "Iron Lady" only after she decided to make war with Argentina in the Falklands (read: "Margaret Thatcher: the path from the grocer's daughter to the Iron Lady "). Theresa May came to power as a result of internal reshuffle after Brexit, and although her party was re-elected with a creak, the ratings of the British Prime Minister are far from optimistic.
What else unites the above women? All of them were or are the leaders of their parties and become the head of state only because their particular faction wins the elections, and not themselves. And the party leaders - attention - are not chosen by the people.
The people independently and directly elect presidents in countries such as Russia, the USA, and France. The US elections were held in November last year - and here the Americans voted for Freak Trump, not experienced Hillary. In May of this year in France, the victory went to Monsieur Macron, not his rival Marine Le Pen. Women have never ruled these countries, despite strong traditions of democracy. Whatever one may say, but to entrust to represent their country on the world stage and, more importantly, to keep a nuclear briefcase in these countries are not given to ladies.
Why? Perhaps Vladimir Putin can explain the logic of these nations. “I’m not a woman, I don’t have bad days,” Putin said in an interview with Oliver Stone this summer, referring to menstruation and PMS. - I don't want to offend anyone. It is in the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles."
Well, it seems that the presence of these "certain natural cycles" will not allow ladies to become leaders of their states on an equal basis with men for a long time. Including, apparently, in Russia.
Photo: Getty Images, East News, Legion-Media, Instagram (@xenia_sobchak)
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