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 strategies of masculinity, femininity, and homophobia as a method of symbolic endorsement or disparagement of political leaders and policies.

By time 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 reviews: professional- and anti-regime teams' activism geared toward aiding or undermining the political leaders on their respective aspects; activism relating to army conscription and patriotism; and feminist activism. Arguing that gender norms are most simply invoked as instruments of authority-building whilst there exists common renowned popularity of misogyny and homophobia, Sperling additionally examines the ways that sexism and homophobia are mirrored in Russia's public sphere.

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Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia (Oxford Studies in Culture and Politics) by Valerie Sperling


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