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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
When Russia and China vote together on UN Resolutions (such as their recent veto of the UN Resolution on Syria), I always think to myself that in the two countriesâ€™ collective unconscious they realize that they are going to have to, literally, marry each other someday soon.
And hereâ€™s why. China has many more men than women. Russia has the opposite problem. Marriage of convenience anyone?
Itâ€™s easy to understand why Chinaâ€™s population has more men than women. Many years of the one-child-per-family law and an overwhelming preference for sons made abortion and infanticide of baby girls almost de rigueur.
Itâ€™s harder to grasp why Russia has more women than men. For a long time the reason was that World War II had wiped out the male population. Russia lost over 29,000,000 during that conflict, most of them men. These days, the reasons are less dramatic and probably have more to do with lifestyle choices than anything else.
Most Western men who spend any time in Russia quickly find out that they can have their pick of beautiful Russian girls. Itâ€™s assumed that this is because the Russians are aching to move away. But really itâ€™s because men are such a rare commodity in Russia.
I recently did a radio interview the subject of which was â€œAre Russian men ugly?â€ and the point I made was that it doesnâ€™t really matter if they are or not, because the pool of men is so limited that women will flock to them anyway.
This fact profoundly affects relationships in Russia. Men have a monopoly on power that they wield with impunity. From my own experience dating a Russian man, I found out for myself just how much.
That relationship gave me a lot of divergent â€œfirstsâ€: first time a boyfriend painted my portrait vs. first time I was ever cheated on, first time I was ever serenaded vs. first time I was ever stood up, first time I was ever carried over an icy puddle vs. first time I was ever hit.
My experience is not rare. Russian women find that the scarcity of men affects relationships in all sorts of ways, both blatant and subtle.
Elena Krivovyaz, an editor in Moscow for the Daily Telegraph, says that Russian men have become more confident, and women more insecure. â€œWhen something or somebody is rare, then itâ€™s of higher value,â€ she says. â€œThis circumstance provides men in our society much freedom and power to dictate the rules, which are more convenient for them. Iâ€™ve noticed that being a man in our society is way more prestigious and even safe.â€
Simply put, women in Russia must tolerate whatever men can dish out. For instance, domestic violence is not only rampant there, but accepted.
According to the Dumaâ€™s Committee on Social Defense, two-thirds of all murders in 2009 were of women who died in domestic disputes. Frederica Behr of Amnesty International in Moscow has reported that there are three times as many Russian women murdered at home as in any other European country, and that one woman dies by unnatural causes per hour in Russia compared with one per week in the U.K.
Marina Pisklakova-Parker, the founder of Russiaâ€™s first hotline and crisis center for women, was quoted in Newsweek saying that â€œthe number of Russian women killed will keep increasing, as there is no law that would punish domestic crime. Both the state and society treat this issue as something everybody is used to. It is commonplace that men beat women in Russia. And it is commonplace in Russia, too, that women forgive their men for the beatings.â€
Less dangerous, but equally demoralizing for women, is the rampant infidelity practiced by men in Russia. The Russian I was seeing was married at the time of our relationship. This fact seemed to neither surprise nor particularly bother any of the Russian parties involved. He recently told me that after our relationship ended, he picked up with someone else. â€œI am in another affair,â€ he wrote. â€œI am not an easy type.â€ You can almost hear the shrug.
In her book Lust in Translation: Which Country Has the Highest Rates of Infidelity?, Pamela Druckerman writes that â€œin Moscow, women in their forties told me that, by necessity, they only date married men. Thatâ€™s becauseâ€¦the life expectancy for Russian men has fallen so sharply (to 59) that by age 65 there are just 46 men left for every 100 women.â€
Tessa thinks this is true for younger women as well. As she told me, â€œMore women in Russia nowadays are okay with being in a serious relationship with a married guy.â€
Astonishingly, Druckerman goes on to remark that â€œit was clear that Russian men flaunted [their] demographic advantage. With the exception of a pastor (who was sitting with his wife at the time), I didnâ€™t meet a single married man in Russia who admitted to being monogamous.â€
Compare that to the United States, where statistics on adultery are notoriously unreliable due to the fact that people wonâ€™t admit to being unfaithful. According to what I could ascertain, about 60% of men in the US will have an affair, but only 22% will reveal that to a researcher and only a small percentage of them will also reveal it to their wives.
During my time in Moscow, I discovered that this culture of infidelity has a crushing impact on womenâ€™s relationships with each other as well. Imagine if all your friends considered your spouse or partner fair game for a serious relationship: what would that do to your interactions with them? Thatâ€™s why there is a distinctive lack of a â€œgal palâ€ culture in Russia.
Reminiscent of a bygone era, the press in Russia is forbidden by law to write about President Vladimir Putinâ€™s own dalliances, but that doesnâ€™t prevent them from being commonly known. Itâ€™s pretty much accepted in Russia that Putin, who has been married since 1983, has had a long-term affair with Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast, and even that he is the father of her child, born in 2009. Besides being good fun to talk about, no one in Russia really cares. Yet a brief incident with Monica Lewinsky almost cost Bill Clinton his job.
Despite the risk of death and/or heartbreak, women in Russia still believe that finding a man is of paramount importance. Ms. Krivovyaz told me that many women will enroll in math or engineering schools in the hope that they will find men there â€œWomen are dependent on men, she says. â€œ[Men] become a target to gain various goals in society and are a clear indicator of your social status as a woman.â€
But the disproportionate amount of men in Russia is not all bad news. The men there are still very comfortable being men, in the old sense of the word. After all, thereâ€™s still my positive â€œfirstsâ€ to consider, each one an example of a certain chivalry difficult to come by anywhere else.
I think Tessa summed it up best when she told me â€œRussian men are more manly, less whiny than American men.â€
Russia: where the men are men. And too many women are nervous wrecks.
http://www.latitudenews.com/story/in-ru ... -for-less/
Wow, that was a great article! It sounds like Russia is for men, what the United States is for women!
Here are some interesting comments from people regarding this article:
Must be a shortage of women in US, or at least datable women, most being big fat monsters, any chick under 200 pounds and 40 years of age are out of control here thankless, cheaters, cruel, mean, arrogant selfish drunks self important they really are disgusting sounds almost the opposite of Russia, but I married an Asian lady so my life is good.
Western women couldn't compete with eastern European or Asian women not even close. Women always get mad here and tell me what a jerk I am for saying it, but the rest of the world is not like US, men have little value here unless they have everything money looks etc.
As someone who lived in Canada for three years I can tell Western women are feminist, lesbian monsters.
Check out the comments at the end of the article: http://www.latitudenews.com/story/in-ru ... -for-less/
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
That's what Winston said when he was in Russia and eastern Europe. He felt like he was "in the game" and at least had a chance with women. In America, he felt like he had NO chance with women.
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."