Pussy Riot Girls Jailed In Russia

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Leslie Carol Botha: Guess Russia and Putin are waging their own ‘war on women.’ This is a very interesting statement in the article: …you can always spot a Pussy Rioter in a crowd — kneeling in prayer or being dragged off by police, she’s a flash of moving color, never an individual girl. Perhaps that is another comment on Russian culture and the perception of women.

The Riot Girls’ Style

The New York Times
By VIVIEN GOLDMAN
August 8, 2012, 5:30 pm

It has been a shock to see the bravely smiling faces of three girls from the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot locked in a glass cage in a Moscow courtroom these past two weeks. Ordinarily they are dressed in shots of clashing colors, their faces hidden behind bright balaclavas. Stripped of their costumes and dressed in plain clothes (graphic tee, button-down shirt, day dress), they are unrecognizable. Hearing their names and seeing Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, exposed and vulnerable on national television seems only to emphasize the band’s slogan: “We Are All Pussy Riot.” After all, if women who look like Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich are Pussy Riot, why can’t I be, too?

The women are on trial after being arrested in March for performing an anti-Kremlin “punk prayer” inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Already imprisoned for five months on charges of hooliganism, the three women were initially facing up to seven years behind bars. (It’s looking, today, like the sentence will be closer to three years.) The Russian journalist Sergey Chernov said, “This case reminds us of both the 1930s Stalinist show trials and medieval witch trials.” It’s suspected that Vladimir Putin’s relentless pursuit of the Pussy Rioters is a reaction to their criticism of his cozy relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church. As a piece of political performance art, Pussy Riot’s confrontational demonstration seems to have worked brilliantly. And their style — so noticeably missing from their appearance in court — is as big a factor in their effectiveness.

“The way they present their performances is a bright, feminist splash in our gray Russian politics and society,” said Petya Verzilov, Tolokonnikova’s husband.

Pussy Riot’s communally conceived fashion attack is clearly visible in the YouTube video of the group’s performance on the altar of the church. All the elements are there: gaudy, ripped-to-fit minis and shifts in contrasting solid colors with bright tights, boots and those haunting balaclavas. “Different colors explode when the action is performed,” said Bullet, a member of the collective who helps the girls make sure they look ready for the stage … or barricades. Indeed, the video proves you can always spot a Pussy Rioter in a crowd — kneeling in prayer or being dragged off by police, she’s a flash of moving color, never an individual girl.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.