We present here results of the research and structural analysis of a small web community. Members of this community call themselves feminists. It was surprising to find out that under cover of fight for woman rights they copy like with a tracing paper the most repressive model of the sexual exploitation and reproduce a rigid vertical of patriarch’s power.
FEMALE-VICTIM – Oksana Shalygina
RESCUE-AGENT – Marina Vinnik
Lesbian-Patriarch – Nadya Plungyan
Oksana Shalygina /2014
Regional RESCUE-AGENT introduces the Patriarch
FEMALE-VICTIM: I have called a psychological center but they did not give me any advice.
RESCUE-AGENT: What do you mean, nobody would give you advises. That’s what psychotherapists do. They help you to understand yourself. They don’t give you advises. Listening to advises is the shortest way to shit which is not about you.
There is only something that matters to you.
FEMALE-VICTIM: It means that what matters to me is a way to rule over me.
RESCUE-AGENT: So what, you can rule over anybody by means of something, it’s OK. You can’t use people without their will. You start behaving like a newly converted feminist. I mean that there is violence everywhere, and they use us. Women are being oppressed.
FEMALE-VICTIM: You just keep using this language?
RESCUE-AGENT: Yes, I keep using this language but you have to think what matters to you and what to do with this information instead of walking around saying that you have problems everywhere.
FEMALE-VICTIM: And what does the Patriarch have to say about it?
RESCUE-AGENT: Listening to the Patriarch is the last thing to do. As he has his own dissident views on this matter. You can use him as a tool if you want him to motivate you for divorce. He will tune you, and program, and comment. He will make all these things clear and you’ll just think: fuck me! That male is always a rapist and he’s not going to change. But remember, you can become dependent on the Patriarch just the way you were dependant on the Despot-Tyrant-Rapist. I can also give you a phone number of a gestalt therapist.
All these women whom the Patriarch used to deceive and for whom he was like a Mother, a mother figure. They all gave him a good scolding in a few years, because this is not OK.
The most important thing for the Patriarch is self-affirmation. It’s very easy to make somebody get hooked on you. You can use such person as an instrument. If you decide to divorce you can just go to the Patriarch and he will tell you how bad males are. You just go and do it. He will encourage and incite you, he will explain that this is violence and this is compulsion and this is at your expense. He will explain you everything. And you will be just sick of the Despot-Tyrant-Rapist and your relations and you’ll have an impression that you don’t have any positive feelings and that man just ruined your life. The Patriarch will advise you to leave kids to your husband.
He is for nonviolent relations.
It’s dangerous to get close to him if you are younger than 18. You can always come to him with you divorce and ask him to nurse you, he likes to deal with media people, and he will take it up.
Audience with the LESBO-PATRIARCH
FEMALE-VICTIM: I came back to my man again and I want to discuss it with you.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Yes, I’m ready. But I want to know the limits: what I can and what I can’t tell you.
FEMALE-VICTIM: You can tell me whatever you want. I want to hear the truth about my relations.
Concept of violence comes up at the second minute.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: When a woman says she can’t go somewhere without her husband it means that there is a problem. It probably means that there is a usual violence because this is a restriction of freedom of movement to put it in legal terms. This is a control of all contacts, and what worried me a lot when we were living in separation it was not a problem. I don’t think I should socialize without men. You told me then, how can I leave him? Like if he was a child. It worried me a lot. I saw it as a symptom of something happening. I thought there was some influence of the Petersburg environment and there are also Despots-Tyrants-Rapists and other people who would attack and persecute you. It’s a high level of violence when you feel that you can’t go somewhere. When the freedom of movement is restricted you don’t realize that it used to be that way and now it is this way. It doesn’t come at once. The thing is that it is common in the Russian society.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Then what is the violence and how does it show and what is its mechanism?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Its mechanism is following: violence is a human behavior when someone in some way violates your private boundaries.
FEMALE-VICTIM: He does it intentionally?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: It doesn’t matter intentionally or not. There are you boundaries that matter. Nobody can violate them without your concern.
This is a usual question: is an aggressor acting of his own free will? It is also usual for psychotherapy. I underwent such psychotherapy. Aggressor’s motivation in fact doesn’t matter. I had to understand that this was inacceptable and they can’t treat me like this. But this therapy didn’t help me.
I think psychotherapy in Russia is a class thing. It doesn’t help, it just lets you feel yourself a white person. For many women it’s a serious step forward, it helps them and they tell other women they’ve been to a psychotherapist, it’s a sort of socialization. But in terms of professionalism I wouldn’t say psychotherapy is at high level in Russia.
Dependence on one person is what really concerns me. Like one psychotherapist.
FEMALE-VICTIM: All mothers blame themselves for not taking care of their children.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Alimony is one of the most important elements of the divorce. ALIMONY.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Making him pay?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Sure. Women are afraid to sue their husbands for alimony, they are afraid to lose everything.
I can tell you that women hold on their children not because they are good or bad, it’s just a commitment they are used to. And husbands tell them, “you have to commit and we won’t.” A father has to feel responsible for children because they can stay with him. And this is dangerous if children will stay with that Despot-Tyrant-Rapist and he can do nothing.
FEMALE-VICTIM: You mean he can’t work?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: He won’t be able to do his job. He’ll realize his social responsibility and, eventually, let him realize it. After all, they are also his children. This an interesting issue. Let’s see what will happen but that’s already none of your business.
FEMALE-VICTIM: I feel that something wrong is happening. I talked to a regional RESCUE-AGENT about this issue.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: It’s good that you met our regional RESCUE-AGENT.
FEMALE-VICTIM: I thought that had to do something. I have to give advises.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: It’s a wrong situation.
It’s easier for a young handsome man in Russia, at work, in the society, while a woman whom nobody knows but who is very ambitious and who undertook a big project or even three, they will give her hard times as hell.
It makes sense to turn to a crisis center in Petersburg. It’s the best in Russia. They have a very good lawyer. Talking about alimony, it doesn’t matter are you married or not, it’s doable. He has to pay them. And a place of child’s residence is also doable. Let’s see what he’s going to do but you’ll need such counseling later on. It helps in hard times. There are no such lawyers in Moscow.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Is it possible to change relations staying in a couple?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: You have to wait until he becomes active in the relation and for that you have to leave him first.
Concept of victim comes up at the 53 minute.
It’s hard for a victim to believe that she is doing her job and that an aggressor is interested in her. You have to wait, let’s say for half a year, and you’ll see him beating down your door and asking you to come back and suggesting you other things but there is another problem. It takes a lot of work to make a person do what you want and serve you saying nothing. You have to begin in a roundabout way.
A term honeymoon is being used for stages of violence. If the victim understands that she is in a trap, one day she will break free. Usually dynamics are following: good relations, worse and worse, first beating, very bad and absolutely bad, then turning out of the house, improvement, and then all over again.
FEMALE-VICTIM: He says I should do sports, diet, take care of myself.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: This is a control of your appearance, this is violence. There is nothing wrong with sports but if a woman doesn’t do sports she is not less valuable.
Penetrative sex is a popular form of sexual activity in Russia, some people think that it’s the only form of sex, and without it there would be no sex at all.
FEMALE-VICTIM: What are close relations then?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: There may or may not be a tactile contact. It doesn’t matter for me. I don’t feel desire for physical people. I don’t care about interaction with real people. My relations are based on intellectual intimacy. It’s a close friendship and a romantic relation at the same time.
FEMALE-VICTIM: How do you express romantic desire then?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Remember your relations at school. It’s something like this. I’m asexual, I don’t have penetrative sex. Normally, I don’t really care about sex; all my relations are not based on sex. And they last for really long, without ups and downs.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Is there a sexual addiction?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: You are not addicted to sex, you are addicted to affirmation. It is not your addiction; it’s what he is doing with you.
FEMALE-VICTIM: So, is it my addiction or not?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Women depend on a relation because this is the only currency we get for the work we do.
FEMALE-VICTIM: How can I overcome dependence?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: You should think where you get your emotions from. Maybe you should get a lover or two. I’m not sure it is possible in your situation though. It’s not about sex.
Communication with women is a different level of relations, it’s something more human.
FEMALE-VICTIM: What should I do? How can I overcome dependence?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: It’s a good idea to look for support from other women who were in a similar situation. Read feminist communities. Talk to them. It’s hard to advise how to leave a relation to someone who is still in a relation.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Des it means that one addiction replaces another?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Yes, if you can’t overcome an addiction replacing it with another one may be a good idea.
You can’t leave straight away and you can’t blame yourself for it. Women usually divorce for a long time. You can speed it up with a help of feminist support. Year by year you’ll start understanding your real situation.
I recommend you to keep a diary where you can describe all the unpleasant situations, since you tend to forget and suppress as every victim does. It’s very hard to leave nowhere. We are talking about the emotional violence, and you’re not the one who does it, you are a victim of the emotional violence, it doesn’t mean that you are a victim everywhere.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Maybe I am an aggressor and not a victim?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Every victim says that maybe it is her fault. Aggressors never say they are guilty. They never take responsibility for what they are doing, and it’s a victim who takes responsibility and says she is the one to be blamed.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Maybe I should stop sleeping with him?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: If you stop sleeping with him you’ll see the amount of violence immediately and very clearly. You will no longer get any compensation for the violence whatsoever. And you’ll be able to see it. But can you stand it? He will try to trick you into it. It is really hard to deny, later you’ll forget why you were denying. If I’m with him why can’t I have fun? In fact it’s fun plus all the rest!
FEMALE-VICTIM: Maybe my desire to have sex with him is a perversion?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: No, no, desire of sex is a very alarming sign, it’s a result of violence, and it’s not a perversion. He lets you enjoy it because it’s the only thing you can get: no human support, no sympathy nor good attitude. You get demands and sex. That’s all.
FEMALE-VICTIM: It looks like BDSM.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: I don’t think woman in Russia can be independent in BDSM. BDSM is a culture around male desires, where female plays a role of a fetish. It’s not normal in Russia to respect people. Everything that is related to my longing for domination I try to off-load in public activity. I used to practice BDSM before the public activity and it helped me not to be afraid of man afterwards.
FEMALE-VICTIM: How did it look like?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: There were meetings-performances. But you need information to do it. I used to beat them for instance. A man writes that he likes to be beaten with a wooden plank. Why not to beat someone with a wooden plank if you have a lot of aggression. You don’t feel sorry for him, he is just a man.
Most of them wanted to have sex and I enjoyed that they were not getting it. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody…. why not, though?
You need to find an interim situation and abandon children for a while. He is not going to take care of them. You have to establish relations with your parents; I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for you. You have to separate from each other in several stages. I think it’s a good idea to start some sort of a new relation.
FEMALE-VICTIM: But I like a male body.
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Male body is pleasant but it’s not safe. Why do I have to look for a man, for a sexual pleasure? I don’t see the difference between relations with a person and a self-pleasure. It’s a much stigmatized point of view though, because self-pleasure is generally much stigmatized.
FEMALE-VICTIM: What’s wrong with it?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: People think it’s wrong and you need to have sex with a man for the affirmation of your social status.
This is attraction to him personally; it’s a complexity of dependences. It’s a result of emotional violence; you don’t get enough of his attention and normal attitude in other areas and this is the only territory where you can get something similar.
It makes sense to talk to other women who were leaving in several stages because everybody leaves in several stages.
Before you are able to leave it’s strategically important to understand how you are going to afford yourself and where you are going to live.
As soon as you understand it you can leave.
You depend on him. All intensive relations with dysfunctional element result in dependence. There maybe people who just have sex and don’t leave each other, and it’s OK and they don’t exhaust each other with fights and humiliation; they just have such an intensive sex.
I don’t know such people.
There are forums for codependent women. Codependency is all the same, it’s all about self-accusation, attempts to control the situation that don’t work out, attempts to get a reword thorough other things, including sex.
You can use this time as long as you are formally with him to devour just like a shark what you have. It will be more difficult to do it later. No doubt, he will start setting other people against you. Because you were doing one thing and it’s important for him to free scene for somebody else and to hire another person instead of you. And people will be against you because you are a woman.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Do you think that men attribute to sex additional meanings?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Unfortunately, when it comes to men the older I get the more additional meaning I see. They originate from them. For me anal sex is a violation of my boundaries. Any penetrative sex is a violation of my boundaries. Most of my girlfriends don’t have penetrative sex, it’s a very common thing, and they just don’t talk about it. When I got to know all those women I thought, “poor men, how do they stand such women.” I got to know feminists the next year and they explained me that violence is not a victim’s fault.
You have to read books. For example “Overcoming dependence”.
It’s about alcohol dependence but any dependence is the same. People who are against the government have dependence on anger. Some people are into intensive practices, this is inevitable. Some women practice self-violence, those who are less hardcore and less successful. Those who are successful abuse others; children for instance.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Does a man try to dominate always and everywhere?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: Let’s take Socrates and his wife who would ride on his back. He was such a philosopher, starry-eyed, and she was a very practical woman with a rolling-pin. She would beat him whenever he said something smart. In fact he was still a boss, she was serving him; she had some power but very little. In fact that power is aimed at controlling him and holding him.
FEMALE-VICTIM: What can be done on this issue?
LESBO-PATRIARCH: There should be a law that whenever an emotional violence occurs you can report it to the police. And such report would mean something. There is problem with a usual belief in the leftish environment that calling the police is something wrong because they’re cops. And you become a police accomplice. It’s what other women accuse the RESCUE-AGENT* of. The Despot-Tyrant-Rapist has beaten her; he has almost broken her nose. It was not the first time he beats her and breaks her nose, he almost broke her arm but she wrote the report and then she took it back. Because she did not feel herself strong, she did not know us yet.
* Here we are dealing with a different RESCUE-AGENT* and Despot-Tyrant-Rapist than characters of this research.
The Regional RESCUE-AGENT denounces the LESBO-PATRIARCH
RESCUE-AGENT: When you looked at him did you have an impression that everything he says is right?
FEMALE-VICTIM: When you talk to him you have an impression that he is right. He told me that he didn’t have a penetrative sex, that he had several partners, and he was absolutely happy.
RESCUE-AGENT: As for him being happy is a big question mark for me.
He is a specialist in solving psychological and other problems of people. He’s not a guru of human relations though, it’s not true.
People should take responsibility for their lives themselves. But it’s tough. It’s easy to say: love yourself it’s just cool, it’s hard to do it in a real life though. Take responsibility for your life. That’s all! But in fact it’s a whole system of taking decisions yourself year by year without looking back at 150 persons. Or looking back but doing it deliberately.
It’s not what the Patriarch is doing. He is solving your problems for you.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Does he try to replace a person you are leaving?
RESCUE-AGENT: In fact, yes.
FEMALE-VICTIM: I think he can easily endear himself to a woman with his gentle ways and charisma.
RESCUE-AGENT: Sort of a seducer.
FEMALE-VICTIM: When I came in I saw beds everywhere, in the kitchen, in a living room.
Patriarch told me, he doesn’t do BDSM anymore; he has relations with several women, about 3 at the same time. They are at good terms with each other.
RESCUE-AGENT: Did he tell you that some of his lovers don’t talk to him and don’t participate in his exhibitions? Because it’s true!
And it’s not about your preferences, it doesn’t matter are you lesbian or bisexual, he acts like a swine and it drives you mad.
FEMALE-VICTIM: What is his swine behavior about?
RESCUE-AGENT: it’s about mixing up his private and working relations. Imagine a person who organizes an exhibition depending on his relations with artists. Fuck, it’s weird. And when he has an argument with someone he says, “I won’t invite you here because we fell up and you didn’t come to me to apologize, and because you don’t sleep with me anymore.” It’s a typical male behavior in the world of film or theater like “the one who will fuck with me will get the best part.” He is not that influential here but it’s just the same.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Was it the same with you?
RESCUE-AGENT: It was the same with me. He acted like a guru of my life, it looked natural.
He treated me badly, all that sex was just wrong, but the thing is that we had really a friendship relation, we were really close, and as soon as he could control my every step it was over.
FEMALE-VICTIM: That was you who quit it?
RESCUE-AGENT: That’s right, because I didn’t want the Patriarch to know about everything, and his advices were really creepy, I didn’t trust him anymore and didn’t want someone to decide my life.
And then he stopped inviting me to his projects and when I suggested something myself I could feel that we didn’t have love-friendship relations anymore and he wouldn’t promote my projects everywhere, although a year ago he would have taken my pieces to his exhibitions which was far-fetched and totally wrong and nobody asked him about it. I could feel it clearly: that’s how he punished me. It was palpable. He almost marked me as “not his chick” and he was not going to invest in me.
FEMALE-VICTIM: For how long did you have a relation?
RESCUE-AGENT: For 2 or 3 months. When the Patriarch establishes a relation like this it feels really uneasy after a while. Because you don’t know what does he want? I couldn’t understand, “does he want to help me or is he hitting on me or just wants to talk because he is lonely?”
The Patriarch really wanted to part me with my man. It flattered him that I chose him. His lover made friends with me, she was probably jealous.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Did you have a penetrative sex?
RESCUE-AGENT: He would show me lesbian dramas. We would watch TV-series.
That’s how I understood I was heterosexual; I thought OK, now I’m doing it, I’m not very much into it but it’s not bad and I can please someone.
He is too feminine for me.
FEMALE-VICTIM: He positioned himself as super innocent.
RESCUE-AGENT: How people position themselves can hardly match at least in 30% with what they are in reality.
He has some strange lovers with whom he has innocent relations. Fits of hysteria and sorting things out all the time. He has a girl with Asperger’s syndrome which was really weird, close relations with an autist is super weird.
Maybe it’s possible to establish good and cool relations with the Patriarch but at the beginning you have to hit him.
FEMALE-VICTIM: What do you mean?
RESCUE-AGENT: I mean the person has to hear a feedback on his behavior, it is really useful.
He just can’t admit that he needs intimacy. The intimate relations.
FEMALE-VICTIM: The Patriarch told me, that art and science is all he needs!
RESCUE-AGENT: No doubt, sometimes sex encumbers but saying that we will do art and science and will be all fucking happy, common! We can all go to live in a cave. He really shuffles with us.
He doesn’t want to get involved in your problems, he has his own, and he is afraid of solving them but he is always easier to help somebody else to understand their situation. He is ready to divorce people and settle everything down. He works as the instrument. It’s creepy. When you deal with somebody else’s situation you feel yourself as a king.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Was he stressing some topics?
RESCUE-AGENT: Surely, codependence!
FEMALE-VICTIM: Rather relation with you mother and your man.
RESCUE-AGENT: The Patriarch represents a crazy sectarian psychotherapy.
I’m gloating, it must be a joy of liberation, he doesn’t have influence on my life anymore; even if he advises me something, and I won’t know what to do, I will just laugh.
FEMALE-VICTIM: At the beginning he did have a power over you though?
RESCUE-AGENT: He did, definitely. Now we found a jerk that is not such a jerk as another one and we are going to move to the lower level of jerkness. He has a charisma. But now he is totally confused. I think so. People would come to him open-hearted looking for sympathy and willing to do something with him together. And he would fuck those people in different ways but the scheme was more or less the same.
He treated like this friends who were ready to do something for him participating in his projects for free.
He really has charm and charisma, sometimes you feel that he is interested in you and things like that but now he is almost alone. Those who stayed with him are totally disabled and they can do nothing themselves. They need his support for every step they do. How can you be happy at their place?!!!
I’m not a single case; it’s not that I’m a bad regional RESCUE-AGENT who got offended. There are 10-15 people like this, pretty much. There are quite reasonable people. He behaves himself ugly building some dirty hierarchies.
FEMALE-VICTIM: Was it through sex with everybody?
RESCUE-AGENT: Not with everybody.
Almost with everybody.
That’s the point; there is an idea that sex is a power. It is a power. When you sleep with someone, especially with a woman… Of cause, the Patriarch likes power, he likes to rule. Because when you sleep with a man it’s a power over you. And when you fuck a woman, especially a woman with kids it’s even more vulnerable category. That’s why she a priori thinks you are shit; she will surely worship you for a penetrative sex you granted her. He got power and it’s a power available to him and he is using it, what the fuck!!! He is abusing a lot of people like this.
The problem is that he mixes it up with work.
Does it look like a happy life? Does it look like a cook and happy life?
It looks like a person hasn’t handled his troubles and offers himself as a sexual object to everybody who appears to be around. There is no another way of communication. Just fucking.
It’s not that I totally dislike him. I’m grateful to him to some extent.
There was a friend who helped me and it was not a fake support like we’ll hook you on us and you’ll crawl after us.