By Valerie Sperling
Is Vladimir Putin macho, or is he a "fag"? Sex, Politics, and Putin investigates how gender stereotypes and sexualization were used as instruments of political legitimation in modern Russia. regardless of their enmity, regime allies and detractors alike have wielded conventional techniques of masculinity, femininity, and homophobia as a method of symbolic endorsement or disparagement of political leaders and policies.
By again and again utilizing machismo as a method 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 method to problem regime authority. Sex, Politics, and Putin analyzes the political makes use of of gender norms and sexualization in Russia via 3 case stories: professional- and anti-regime teams' activism geared toward assisting or undermining the political leaders on their respective aspects; activism concerning army conscription and patriotism; and feminist activism. Arguing that gender norms are most simply invoked as instruments of authority-building whilst there exists frequent well known recognition of misogyny and homophobia, Sperling additionally examines the ways that sexism and homophobia are mirrored in Russia's public sphere.
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