Pussy Riot On Their ‘Feminist Virus Infecting Your Thoughts’

pussy riotVia the New Statesman, Laurie Penny speaks with members of Pussy Riot who are non-jailed, but on the run from the law, about the meaning of their subversion:

When we meet in a secret location in central London, they make it clear that this interview is on condition of anonymity. The Russian punk-feminist protest group, two of whose members are currently travelling the world, raising support for their band-mates in prison, are wanted by their government. It will be illegal to read or share this article in Russia.

Since the trials, a smorgasbord of new legislation, informally known as the Pussy Riot laws, have been put into place in Russia to clamp down on the group and anyone who might try to imitate their art-protests. You can’t cover your face in public. Distribution and discussion of Pussy Riot’s protests is strictly forbidden. People have been prosecuted for making t-shirts with their image.

“There are two reasons why we frighten people,” says ‘Schumacher’. “The first thing is that we’re a feminist, female group with no men connected to it, and the second is that we don’t have leaders.”

“Russia has always linked the idea of leadership with some man or other, who can control things, and control women. A woman’s group with no leaders… this activism comes from a place people do not recognise, and sets itself up against the structures of power.”

Every sexist society, including this one, fosters an image of women as basically interchangeable. Underneath the makeup, girls are all the same, aren’t we, with the same petty problems and weak, willing bodies. Pussy Riot take the image of modern womanhood as a faceless smile, repeated endlessly, and turn it back on us as a scream.

Their manifesto is a call to action: “We are open-source-extremists, the feminist virus infecting your thoughts.”

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6 Responses to Pussy Riot On Their ‘Feminist Virus Infecting Your Thoughts’

  1. Ittabena June 29, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    You know, they would only have to change a couple letters in the second part of their band name to reflect their true qualities.

    Ladies and Gentlemen! Presenting Pussy Idiot!

    The first selection they play could be… Shooting Ourselves In The Foot.

    In fact, I think Yoko let us know that this was her favorite song by them.

    • echar June 29, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      They sure got their name out there, oh and their cause.

      • smooth_operator June 30, 2013 at 3:31 am #

        They don’t have a cause, except to be lewd… and a tool for the US State Department.

  2. Cyprus Mulch June 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Making punk a threat again!

  3. Nomi June 30, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Wake me up when they start playing the big leagues campaigning for women’s rights in Sudan.

    • The Well Dressed Man June 30, 2013 at 3:40 am #

      Struggle has globalized along with everything else. Any viable labor or civil rights movements in this century must transcend geopolitical boundaries to compete.

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