Tag Archives: conservatism

Conservative perversion update

Remember our frank little chat about the perverse practices of the “traditional values” crowd? Well here’s a little update for you. It seems that a conservative homeschooling advocate has thrown in their vigorous defense of child molester Josh Duggar onto the ever-growing pile.

So let’s see, what do we have now?

-Russia’s family values warriors approve and defend bigamous marriage between underage girl and middle-aged man

-Anne Applebaum and her husband’s infamous defense of child rapist Roman Polanski

-Josh Duggar and his defenders

Obviously the purview of this blog limits us to the most prominent famous cases, but anyone who wants to dig deeper will finds dozens of cases of tough-talking conservatives going easy on rapists and child abusers.


The ugly reality of “traditional values”

Having been abroad since early 2006, I became disconnected with American pop culture, falling behind the curve and only learning about things via the internet, often late. For example, I looked up Duck Dynasty only after it kept coming up in news just because I was confused by the name. At first I jokingly thought it was some kind of animated show set ancient China but with ducks instead of people, but when I learned the truth, it was more horrifying than I could ever imagine. I think that was the moment I realized how fortunate it is that I am so disconnected from the world of American television.

The Duggar family was another thing I had the misfortune of learning about thanks to the internet, and it only confirmed my convictions about American TV. When I first heard about them I could not for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to watch a show about Christian fundamentalists with too many kids. They barely crossed my mind again until recently, when a totally unsurprising child molestation scandal brought the family into the news.

I find it hard to believe that this family has produced only one pedophile. I think it's time we call Chris Hansen.

I find it hard to believe that this family has produced only one pedophile. I think it’s time we call Chris Hansen.

What is key to remember about this case, wherein one of the sons was found to have been molesting underage girls including some of his sisters, is not so much what he did but the family’s response- i.e. they covered it up for over a year and had the perpetrator talk through his problem with a man who is now serving prison time for possession of child pornography. Takes one to know one, I guess.

If it just ended there, I’d say the whole thing is typical and move on, but of course various conservatives have been putting their feet in their mouths, calling the Duggar boy’s sick crimes “mistakes,” and admonishing the press for airing the family’s dirty laundry. To me this just serves as another perfect example of what “traditional family values” actually means. Allow me to explain.

Conservatives, in almost any country, love to talk tough about punishing people, especially for sexual crimes. “We should just shoot the rapists and the pedophiles! Then the others’ll learn!” Chances are you probably have heard something along those lines. Personally I think it would be better to, you know, stop those rapes or molestation incidents from happening in the first place, because you can’t undo crime, but I guess I’m just a limp-wristed, bleeding heart liberal or something. Anyway, the point is, Mr. Traditional Values knows how they dealt with this in the “good old days,” and he thinks we need to return to that.

Except he doesn’t know. See when things like child sex abuse and rape actually happen in conservative, patriarchal societies, if often goes entirely unreported and unpunished. Far from taking the pedophiles out back and shooting them, the typical historical response seems to be quietly sneaking them out the back door and never discussing the issue again. Remember the scandals that rocked the Catholic church? People forget that the issue wasn’t the priests in question, but the fact that the church knowingly and willingly covered for the perpetrators, shielding them from justice. That’s a far cry from burning somebody alive, isn’t it? Take a look at the conservative reaction within the Duggar family. Where are the calls for street justice a la the Toby Keith song “Beer for my Horses?” All we see are apologetics and defenses, including one claim from a Duggar family member who says we’re really all child molesters at heart. Speak for yourself there, buddy.

Conservatives, both in the US and in Russia, love portraying progressive societies as degenerate, and they point to things like sex abuse scandals or rape cases as being proof. The technique is totally dishonest, because first, the media exaggerates crime all the time, focusing on sensational crime usually involving strangers when in fact the most likely rapist, kidnapper, killer, etc. is usually going to be someone close to the victim. Second, and more importantly, conservatives are basically “cheating” by taking advantage of the “availability heuristic.” In a more progressive society, things like rape and child molestation are big news. Reactionaries will use this to “prove” that modern or urban societies are somehow more degenerate, implying that in their own “traditional” societies this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.

The problem is that it does happen, frequently, and the perpetrators often get away with it. All these horrible crimes happened just as often and usually more so in the past, but they weren’t reported because the more conservative values of those times encouraged people to cover them up. “Was little Johnny molested by an older cousin? Let’s make sure those two are never alone and never speak of this again. Mary says she was raped by the neighbor?! Could she have led him on? What was she doing over there alone, at that hour?” Truth be told a lot of these attitudes, especially in regards to rape, are still quite common today. But which side of the political spectrum is pushing to help rape victims report crimes and fighting the tradition of victim blaming, and which side is terribly interested in what the victim was wearing, whether she had been drinking, and more concerned about not ruining a fine young athlete’s bright future as opposed to seeing justice done?

Russia, which about two years ago suddenly discovered it was a bastion of “traditional morality” to the surprise of many, is another perfect example of this phenomenon. While Russian politicians talk tough against consenting homosexuals, they defended the potentially-forced, polygamous marriage of a 17-year old girl to a man who’s nearly in his 50’s. The kind of sexual escapades that go on in Russia wouldn’t just make a normal person blush, it should make them red with rage. I’m talking massive sexual abuse in the group home system, prostitution exploiting orphan girls, etc. Yet the Russian government has never been too keen on doing anything about that. Far from it- they’re more concerned about repressing consenting LGBT adults and making sure children stay in those group homes instead of being adopted by countries which tolerate said LGBT people. “Russian girls being forced into sexual slavery? You know those are just naive, stupid girls with no education. They probably got involved in that willingly for the money.” Those words pretty much encapsulate what I heard dozens of times, from Russian women no less, when this topic came up. Incidentally, throughout all his Ukraine crisis I have never seen Russian or Ukrainian nationalists ever address this problem. If the topic ever comes up, each side insists that it’s the other side’s women who are prostitutes, and that are totally willing at that.

One would think Islamic societies actually put their money where their mouths are, but even then you’d be wrong. Rape and forms of prostitution are common in these societies, only it’s even worse because there the victim is pretty much assumed guilty and liable to the severest forms of punishment. It’s almost as if the more conservative you get, the worse it gets.

In fact that’s basically the truth. Conservatism is about trying to preserve the past, though typically an ideal past that never existed. American conservatives dream of the 1950’s they saw on Leave it to Beaver, i.e. a fantasy, totally unaware that teen pregnancy in those days was actually higher than it is today. Child abuse was hushed up because it was a “private family matter” and nobody wanted to “air dirty laundry.” If we go back further, to the 19th century, we see that while society was indisputably more religious, things like alcoholism and prostitution (including underage prostitution) were rife. Cities like New York, London, Manchester, and yes, Moscow, were home to hundreds of brothels, operating openly in various states of legality or de facto legality. In fact, at the opening of the American Civil War, Washington DC entertained gathering US armies with no less than 400 brothels, so many that local newspapers published reviews, recommendations, and warnings about them. Middle and upper-class women might have been chaste, but their future husbands got their practice with prostitutes long beforehand. Hey if that sounds bad for you fans of “traditional values” out there, I’m going easy on you. In the Middle Ages people got into some really kinky shit.

When we compare progressive societies to “traditional” ones, insofar as the latter are actually traditional at all, we see that in terms of justice being served and crime being prevented, a progressive society will come out on top. Obviously if society encourages rape victims to speak out and press charges, it’s going to look like we have more incidences of rape, if only because it’s being widely reported. But if we encourage this, and rape victims start getting justice more often, over time potential rapists might think twice about committing the deed, with the knowledge that they are far less likely to get away with it. By contrast, conservative societies that shame victims of abuse and prefer to keep things “in the family” enable and favor perpetrators, be they they pedophiles or rapists.

With that in mind it is hard not to have deep pity for the victims of Josh Duggar and the poor teenage bride in Chechnya. No doubt while the parents were covering up their son’s deeds, they probably interrogated his victims and possibly made them feel responsible for the crime that was committed against them. Likewise that bride was probably being told how lucky she was to be married to a man of such a high position, position being very important to survival in today’s Chechnya. She has no doubt been instructed on her “duty” as a woman. As infuriating as these things ought to be to any 21st century human being, we must never forget this ugly reality whenever we hear the hypocritical blather about “traditional values.”


Off-topic: Generation gap

When it comes to cliche op-eds these days, the main staples tend to be America’s going to collapse like Rome, there’s a new Cold War with Russia, and millennials are screw-ups because they were always told they were special and they got trophies simply for participating. It’s that third, slow-news-day, filler editorial I’d like to tackle in this off-topic post today.

First of all, I staunchly maintain that I am not a millennial. I am one of the last Gen Xers, if you want to get technical about it, and I insist you do. Indeed, many anti-millennial rants lump me in with “Generation Y,” but there’s one crucial detail the writers of such rants omit when they do this, namely, they forget that they are complete and utter morons. I am in my early 30’s and have very little in common with someone who graduated college even a few years ago. I often find examples of a total generation gap even when talking to someone who is but three years younger than I. Yet though I don’t consider myself part of Generation Y, AKA the millennials, I do know what they’re going through when I see no-talent hacks attacking them for their supposedly coddled upbringing. If you happen to be a millennial and you’re confused because you can’t remember your high school teachers chucking trophies at you simply for turning in your homework, read on. I’ll let you in on a little secret- It’s bullshit. Mostly.

Take a seat and let me tell you a little story. I come from a very conservative background. I spent a part of my formative years in a very conservative, religious environment in the beginning of the so-called “Culture Wars” of the 90’s. If you’re a politically moderate American, and if you’re considering only domestic policy, you probably remember Bill Clinton as being a president who presided over a more-or-less healthy economy, but who had a number of indiscretions and was economical with the truth from time to time. Welfare reform and NAFTA are a couple negative spots on Clinton’s record as well. That is not how we saw things in my household or in the churches I attended. No, Bill Clinton was a Communist sympathizer, drug runner, and pervert, while his wife was a lesbian who practices witchcraft. Clinton’s administration was a sign of the end times; he would open the door to an invasion of foreign UN troops who would then go door to door confiscating our precious guns. Christianity would be banned, replaced by some kind of pagan Earth Mother cult. Suffice it to say, I know what it’s like for those Russians who get their news from the TV and buy into the alternate reality it creates.

Obviously these ideas were not uniformly represented among the sources of news we listened to. Rush Limbaugh and other talk radio hosts were usually careful to steer clear of outright murder accusations against the sitting president. They were also hesitant to go in for the UN-related conspiracy theories, especially in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which brought militia groups and their beliefs into the national limelight. The more radical stuff came from The 700 Club with Pat Robertson, and the prophesy-laden sermons of televangelist John Hagee. In general though, most of these broadcasts had one thing in common, something which tends to be an integral part of any form of reactionary or conservative propaganda. The trope has no name that I’m aware of, so let us refer to it here as the “shock reel.” The shock reel is a list, either in print or in a speech, which contains a number of anecdotes and claims that are intended to shock and outrage the audience. An old favorite for the shock reel is any story involving a particularly unusual or outrageous performance artist. You chain these stories together and ask your audience, “What is our world coming to?”

Among the shock reel bogeymen I remember from those days was something called “outcome based education.” Growing up I would hear that some public schools, always in some other state, were experimenting with all sorts of new measures intended to bolster children’s self-esteem. High self-esteem was supposedly deemed supremely important by the crystal-gazing, ex-hippies who had supposedly taken over the government once Bill Clinton seized the White House by being legally elected. What all this self-esteem-oriented education entailed was the elimination of letter grades or grades which signified failure. How students felt about their work was taken to be paramount. This was constantly contrasted with education in “the good old days,” in this case of the baby boomer generation, which supposedly focused on the “Three R’s” of “readin’ ritin’ and ‘rithmatic.” The fact that the very concept of the “Three R’s” is based on the expression of an obviously illiterate dipshit seems to have been lost on that poor, misguided baby boomer generation, but I digress.

As I was going through school, roughly grades 5-11 I remember continually hearing about how public schools were supposedly dumbing down their curricula to focus on building self-esteem. And yet for some bizarre reason, the schools I went to weren’t participating in this nefarious scheme, even though they were at times in different districts. I also did attend one year at a private Christian school, and cannot say that the level of education was any more advanced than what I experienced in public schools. In fact the Christian school was worse because they constantly injected their politics and Biblical literalism into our lessons. Don’t even get me started on their sex education program.

Aside from that year, of course, I was mostly educated in public schools and I graduated from a public high school. During that time I kept hearing about how ridiculously easy school had supposedly become, but again, it always seemed to be other schools. I won’t say there were not problems with our curriculum, especially in the field of history, for example, but in retrospect I can say that I had a pretty damned good public education and I’m also quite certain that it was superior to that of some of my baby-boomer relatives who kept telling me how dumbed-down my schooling supposedly was. I’m not going to name name’s but at least one of these Rhodes’ scholars revealed as late as 2009 that they didn’t know who the United States was allied with in the Second World War, i.e. the war that individual’s father actively participated in. Of course there still are plenty of intelligent baby boomers, obviously, but the point here is that education is an active process in which the individual bears much responsibility for their own results. Most of my education took place out of the classroom, on my own initiative.

The point I’m getting at here, dear millennial readers, is that I believe you when you say you didn’t get a trophy just for participating in field day. I know that you didn’t get a perfect grade in history just because you could properly match the name George Washington to his portrait. I know this because before they started ganging up on you, they were ganging up on my generation. That’s right- they used to say the 80’s kids were the screw ups. We were constantly told that we were special, our self-esteem was paramount. At no time did these people ever think about who was responsible for this. After all, who were our parents, our teachers, etc.? They were all baby boomers. That right there should help dispel any myths you might have about the wisdom of that self-entitled, shrill, world-fucking generation. Let me tell you something else, millennials. There was another generation that was supposedly “lost” even before that. The press kept lamenting the youth, saying that they were far too interested in drugs, drinking, and sex to amount to anything useful. Then that generation came of age and fought in this little scrap you may have heard of called World War II. Or then again maybe you haven’t; you are millennials after all.

For the non-millennials- give the kids a break. There’s nothing wrong with having a laugh at the expense of youthful naivety or ignorance, but before you go writing several pages about how stupid Generation Y is, you might want to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row too. Also keep in mind that the people who are actually responsible for the sad state of TV, movies, and pop music that is geared toward a millennial audience are themselves much older, often boomers. That goes double for parents. If your average millennial in their early to mid 20’s has an over-inflated sense of self-worth, who is the culprit? Most likely it is the parents who filled their head with self-esteem building, “positive thinking” nonsense. If this generation truly is doomed, there is literally no one we can blame other than those who raised it and shaped its entire world. Maybe it’s you who should have been told you weren’t special or gifted. Maybe you were the ones who needed a big red F.

Something for Everyone Part II: Conservative values

Introduction to this series

Russia – a land of traditional values!

Alright folks, this article comes with a few disclaimers.  First, in case you don’t want to read through the introductory article linked above, the gist of this series is that Russia’s foreign audience media tends to portray Russia in a wide variety of contradictory ways, so that people with radically different and indeed, diametrically opposed ideologies can somehow end up seeing Russia as some kind of representative of their views, a potential ally, or in some cases a promised land where all is right with the world.

I decided to start with the conservative/right-wing side of the coin for several reasons:

-Russia’s press and leadership often make this claim.

-Western right wingers from somewhat mainstream conservatives to full-on neo-Nazis often believe that Russia is a promised land of “traditional values,” in contrast to the degenerate, chaotic West which is due to “collapse” any day now, just as such reactionaries have been predicting for decades now.

-Left wing supporters of Russia often admit or at least know that their views are not common in Russia, ergo they tend to see Russia as a useful ally against their own governments as opposed to a model to emulate.

-I would say that few leftists are attracted to Russia by a belief that their ideology is better represented there. On the other side of the coin, many conservative or right-wingers often flock to Russia to live for long periods of time, drawn by the false belief that if they come here they will find women desperate enough to ignore their social ineptitude and actually have more-or-less consensual sex with them a wonderland of traditional values where they will finally be really appreciated and understood(hopefully by women who don’t have many options in life).  Typically they end up disappointed on all counts, but some of them manage to maintain their fantasy through the magic of self-delusion.

For these reasons I figured dispelling conservative ideas about Russia should take first priority. Partially because I’d rather not see more of these perpetually angry, maladjusted people coming here and attracting more of their kind, and partially because as much as I may obviously revile their beliefs, I’d actually prefer that they aren’t duped by false hopes into thinking they’ve found some sort of paradise into which they can assimilate, only to end up massively disappointed. My experience has been that right-wing ideas are often a product of youth and inexperience, and I’d much rather every young man(let’s face it, they’re always male) better himself by gradually getting acquainted with reality as opposed to getting a rude awakening after changing their whole life and betting on Russia to be their own personal paradise.

This leads me to my next disclaimer, which is even more important. In this article I’m going to be pointing out a lot of things which happen in Russia that contradict the idea of a country which is ruled by “traditional values” of the sort supposedly held by most American and Western conservatives or reactionaries. As I bring up some of these topics, such as the abortion rates in Russia for example, the reader should not assume I am making any kind of personal moral statement about these facts. The topic isn’t how Russia measures up to my moral standards, but rather those of conservatives and fellow right-wing travelers. I also need to point out that the values discussed here obviously won’t perfectly conform to every type of right-wing ideology, but on the other hand I won’t suffer any ridiculous accusations of “straw man!” I was very conservative, even radically so, up to the point when I decided to grow the fuck up.  I’ve read thousands of pages in right-wing literature, including stuff that would make your average liberal Alternet writer faint. I may not hit your ultra-specific, contrived, ideology-of-the-week which you synthesized from discussions on the pseudo-intellectual internet forum of your choice squarely on the head, but the issues I’m going to bring up definitely resonate with right-wing people in general. Let me make this absolutely clear- When I bring up a particular fact, please don’t assume that I am approving or condemning it. This is not a platform for airing my moral values or ethics. I am merely saying that these things happen and I am implying that these facts may strongly contradict what is considered to be conservative or traditional values.

Lastly, I realize that the ultra-Russophiles, particularly the non-Russian Americans which may or may not have ever spent any significant time in Russia, are going to get about halfway through this list of myths and facts and scream, “RUSSOPHOBIA! RUSSIA BASHING!” No, you neckbearded, drooling moron, this is not “Russia bashing.” This is not a list of things I bring up when someone talks about Russia. This is only what I bring up if someone wants to portray Russia as a land of good, wholesome family values in contrast to a “degenerate West.” If anyone makes that claim, it means we get to open the books so to speak and see if said claim measures up to reality.

Alright enough with the disclaimers, on with the show.

Myth 1: Russia has less “consumerism.” People put spiritual and family values over material benefits.



Okay allow me to explain. This idea about Russians is just an example of Western fetishization of “Eastern peoples”; similar stereotypes exist about people from India, East Asia, etc.  Usually the people who hold such beliefs don’t have any overt hostility toward the people they are stereotyping. Quite the opposite they often show great admiration. This doesn’t change the fact that it is fetishization, and more importantly it is wrong. I don’t mean just morally wrong either, but wrong as in incorrect.

This fetish can be held by left-leaning people as well as right-leaning, but in this article I’ll deal with the latter point of view for obvious reasons. I’m not sure how this stereotype about Russia got started. It’s hard to remember my thought processes so many years ago, but it seems to me the idea might stem from the observation, in my case direct observation, that Russians seem to have far less and yet we can see plenty of evidence that there are happy Russians. Therefore it follows that if Russians can be happy and seemingly satisfied with less “stuff”, they must value other things more.  That was the idea I got having lived in southern Russia at the age of 16.  Boy was I wrong.

As I moved to Europe and started encountering Russians before my return, I was dumbfounded by the brand awareness of Russians. Even several years into my time in Russia I was surprised at the regard Russians have for brand names. I come from a major American city and before I returned to Russia names like Lacoste, United Colors of Benetton, and Louis Vuitton were simply not part of my vocabulary. The average Russian on the other hand can rattle of brand names like an expert, and they hold them in extremely high esteem. Me I’m happy with Chinese knockoffs be they shoes or electronics.

The amount of money people will spend on things is absurd as well. I remember one of my ex-girlfriends whose biggest dream at the time was to buy this bag that was $600. For a fucking bag. Yes it’s real leather, but leather from what, a unicorn? And that brings up another point about consumerism. In case you’re wondering, fuck no, I did not buy that girlfriend the bag or any other presents. But realize that there are many young women in Russia who will give their body to the most butt-ugly, dirty old man simply for the sake of jewelry, name-brand clothes, and shoes. Now yes, this sort of thing happens in every country, even the leading developed countries such as Canada and the US. The difference is that in Russia it’s often treated as perfectly normal and logical, whereas in the West this is known as “golddigging” and it’s compared to prostitution. While this is by no means exclusive to Russia, it totally dispels any nonsense about Russians putting material values on the back burner or being “less consumerist.”

Indeed, the Russian attitude towards brands, “elite” products, and paying through the nose for less is by no means unique. I’ve heard people describe the very same attitude in various developing countries and the logic explaining this phenomenon is quite sound.  Most Americans and other Westerns come from the so-called “middle class.” Middle class Americans tend to brag about what kind of bargain they got. If they buy name brand, they want you to know how little they paid for it. It’s not owning the branded product that counts, but rather getting brand-name quality at what seems like a cheaper price. In developing countries or countries like Russia which suffered economic catastrophe, this middle class mentality doesn’t exist. There are indeed many families or individuals in Russia who started out in dire straits during the 90’s, only to survive and live on to be very successful today. Expensive brand name products and luxury sports cars tell everyone how successful they are. Excess, not consumer savvy is what matters. Whatever the case, it’s obvious that Russians as a whole love all sorts of products and gadgets, particularly from Europe and America. Shops often advertise “Italian footwear,” “German medicine,” “jeans from the USA,” etc. Moscow and other cities have massive shopping malls and any one of them puts the malls of my home town to shame.

Now at this point the right-wing Russophile is probably pounding his fist on the table and screaming, “But that’s the fault of the West! America rammed consumerism down their throat!” First, calm the fuck down. Second, no. For one thing, if you make that claim you are essentially negating any claim that Russians are less “materialistic,” “consumerist,” or whatever. More importantly, it’s simply not factually accurate. Take a look at this page which tells the story of the first McDonald’s in Moscow, which opened in 1990. People lined up for six hours just to get a taste of the food sold by this American icon. Guess what- McDonalds remain extremely popular in Russia. Pretty much any time of day they are packed, and the atmosphere is frantic. Same goes for consumption of American and Western products like Coca-Cola or Nike. Realize that these businesses invest in Russia and export their products here because it is profitable to do so, period. And not a single US or NATO soldier ever set foot on Russian territory to force Russians to consume Western products. The love of foreign goods pre-dates the collapse of the USSR by many years in fact.

So no, Russia is at best just as “consumerist” as any Western country, if not more so.

Myth 2: Russia is a more moral society

No. Russia, like many other countries, suffers from massive corruption. This is no secret to any Russian person you meet, and even presidents Putin and Medvedev have openly acknowledged this from time to time. When it comes to everyday people, corrupt behavior and law-breaking is taken as a given of doing business or sometimes sheer survival. Now on the one hand, solving this problem is no easy matter because it is essentially a major collective action problem. Individuals or groups in society which decide to fly right risk getting seriously fucked by those who decide to stick to their old ways, and they may have an incentive to do this simply because they see others starting to play by the rules, thus creating an opportunity to gain an advantage.  Having said this, corruption largely entails stealing, stealing which usually leads to the purchase of expensive Western products and other material goods, by the way, and I don’t think it’s over-simplistic to say that a society where stealing is so ubiquitous as to be seen as normal cannot possibly hold the moral high ground.

Myth 3: Okay, Russia at least is more traditional in terms of other morals. You know…ahem…er…sex.  

Ha ha! No. Wrong again. Here Russia is much like the self-righteous American south, and for the same reasons. See Russia doesn’t have comprehensive sex education, and the Orthodox church has successfully blocked any attempts to change that. And as is the case in certain American states and many other countries which have the same “values,” so too are teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases a major problem in Russia(and many former Soviet/Eastern European countries).  Teen pregnancy usually leads to the burden of raising the baby being put on the parents of the father or mother.

Young, frustrated American males are often duped by a number of sources into believing that Russian women are the perfect mates. They’re insanely beautiful, but unlike all those “dirty sluts” grinding away with stupid jocular douchebags in the clubs, they’ll more than happily listen to your rants about how immigrants are screwing up your country and lazy, welfare-abusing freeloaders are the real reason you’re working at Best Buy. But more important than any of that, unlike those “spoiled Western sluts,” they will have sex with you!

Allow me to break your heart and tell you the truth about your ideal Russian wife. Yes, it is true that things are more “traditional” over here. The problem is that most people who frequently use the word “tradition” as though it’s a good thing typically have no idea what is traditional and if they did, they’d be shocked, justifiably so.  Yes it’s true, women often expect men to pay for their dates. It’s also “traditional” for women to use this to their advantage. It’s funny how you often see misogynists these days complaining that chivalry is dead just because those spoiled Western women won’t let them pay for their meals, but then on the other hand women are “privileged” parasites for getting free meals and drinks from men if they don’t “reciprocate” with sex. Sex in exchange for food and drink- that’s chivalry! But I digress.

Other “traditional” behaviors you might encounter may include:

-Ordering the most expensive things on the menu because she know’s your paying.

-Spending copious amounts of your money.

-Deliberately getting pregnant so as to trap you.

-Cheating on you because the basis of your relationship is economic/immigration related.

-Flipping the fuck out over the stupidest reasons.

See it turns out that “tradition” means that the “traditional woman” finds a way to entrap the man into marriage. Young Russian men seem to be aware of this as well.  “Tradition” means strict gender roles which in practice leads to relationships based on manipulation, cold-hearted calculation, deception, and subtle resentment. Those “spoiled Western women” are looking better already, are they not?

Now let me make something absolutely clear. I’m not saying this applies to all Russian women(thought it does to a lot), but if one doesn’t have Russian language skills and experience that is what you will most likely encounter if you’re the type of guy who comes here seeking “superior” women. Admittedly this is anecdotal, but all the successful Russian-foreigner relationships I know of including my own, the man spoke Russian and had spent several years in Russia before meeting their long-term girlfriend or wife. We all have plenty of experience dating in Russia and we can spot the bad ones a mile away, sometimes before they even say a word.

While we are still on the topic of sex, keep in mind that this is a country where it’s considered acceptable for men in their 30’s to cruise for girls of about 17 or even 16. I assume it’s considered acceptable based on how openly I hear Russian men talk about it. Now to be sure, the age of consent here is 16, but I don’t think this means its morally acceptable for mature men to troll for teenage girls even if they are considered “legal.” I’ve been told that many states in the US have 16 as the age of consent, but I’m not sure that an American man in his 30’s hanging around outside a high school or shopping mall would be able to use that defense successfully when confronted by police. The difference between can and should can be very wide at times.

Myth 4: Russia is “pro-life”

Russia, like most former Soviet countries, has one of the highest rates of abortion in the world. Even with the massive, unconstitutional power the Orthodox church wields in this state, they have made little impact in changing the status quo. Good thing too, because history shows that banning abortion doesn’t actually reduce the rate of abortion. Turns out that the best way to reduce abortions is a combination of easy access to contraceptive plus comprehensive sex education.

Myth 5: Russia is proud and nationalistic, and this is good for some reason!

It might seem odd that I’m listing this as a “myth,” because I myself have frequently said that nationalism is widespread in Russia. But you have to understand that lurking just beneath the surface of that nationalism lies grave mistrust, hatred towards other Russians, as well as self-hatred.  In this sense it’s no different than our American “patriots” who constantly tell us that half of America consists of lazy freeloaders.  This sort of patriotism is merely skin-deep; Russia is a highly atomized society, and this creates a lot of alienation that makes people want to feel like they belong to a larger group or community. If you speak to enough of these people or watch them argue, however, you will see that they often show little trust in nationalist figures or leaders, who they often suspect of working for the government. This is natural skepticism and a good defense mechanism.

In short, America is a nation which espouses individualism but is very collective. Russia espouses collectivism but is highly individual. Both nations would probably benefit if they learned to accept reality.

Myth 6: Russia is very religious

Russia is religious in the sense that people say they are “Orthodox” or Muslim or whatever. But if you’re a conservative Christian brace yourself for a shock. If you go hang out with a few American Southern Baptists somewhere in the US, for example, you can be pretty certain that you’re not taking a trip to a strip club. In fact you might not even see them drinking alcohol. In Russia however, don’t be surprised to learn that many people consider it normal for married men, including fathers, to pick up girls when their wives are away or failing that, go to a sauna and order some prostitutes. Oh yes, American Christian fundamentalists struggle with temptation and end up giving in all the time. The thing is that they do struggle, and when they fail they feel bad about it.  In Russia it’s enough to simply wear a cross around your neck. Lie, cheat, steal, fuck. It’s all good.  This wouldn’t be so annoying if these people didn’t occasionally give speeches  about how important their faith supposedly is to them.  Look, I was raised in a Christian fundamentalist upbringing. I know what it means to fear eternal damnation. I am by no means saying that Russia is completely amoral, but I will say that there are a lot of “religious” people here who don’t act as if they actually believe in hell.

Myth 7: I love Ron Paul, ergo Russia is awesome!

I really didn’t know how to characterize this last bit. Libertarians often differ from mainstream conservatives yet they still tend to be rather conservative socially on virtually every issue save for legalized weed. It’s a cliche to find a libertarian who is an outspoken atheist yet for some unknown reason is extremely opposed to abortion or gay marriage. I have to include something about libertarians in here, however, because it seems RT loves libertarians and libertarians love RT.

I get it, libertarians. You love Russia’s state-owned media enterprise because it gives you a product which you subjectively value far higher than that of the American market-based media. I know you love how RT has stories about your beloved Bitcoin which is sure to end the Fed and which is the only other thing besides gold which has value. But I’ve got some bad news for you.  Russia is full of government intervention, state-owned enterprises or partially state-owned enterprises, and basically the entire Russian system is the opposite of what you libertarians claim you want. Do you know why this state of affairs exists? It’s because one day in the 90’s, Russia was libertarian paradise. What commercial laws existed were practically unenforceable, and the government wasn’t even able to collect taxes. Rather than becoming a rational, Randian utopia, the country sank into chaos and was only saved by re-nationalizing enterprises and strengthening the role of the state. Oh yeah, Bitcoin isn’t legal in Russia either.  Sorry.

Myth 8: One more thing about family values

The family is held as sacrosanct in Russia, or at least that’s what you hear people say. Reality is a different matter, however, if you spend enough time in the courtyards of the city. It’s not uncommon to see a father pushing his baby in a stroller, bottle of beer in hand. Mothers too. At night, past eleven, young fathers and mothers will gather in the playgrounds to drink, smoke, scream, and fight, sometimes while their young children play nearby. I’ve observed this behavior consistently for over four years in one neighborhood and not once have police ever been called despite loud arguments, physical fighting, and sometimes incoherent screaming.

Family values!

Family values!


I had to cut this short because if I did not, this one article could be a stand-alone book. I realize that this sounds really grim, and yes I am compiling some of the worst things about Russia in one article. Like I said before though, it’s the “paleo-conservatives,” American Eurasianists, Team Russia fanatics, and even Vladimir “Christian values” Putin himself who opened the door to this examination.  The Netherlands doesn’t go around screaming about traditional Christian values, so they don’t get the same treatment. Don’t make claims you can’t back up, pure and simple.

Perhaps someone could claim that all of this doesn’t matter because at least Russian society espouses traditional values and an ideological bent which appeals to that particular individual. If you’re that individual, however, I must ask- Do you even care if it’s real? Is it enough for you to see the outward image of a state that claims to uphold values you believe in, while the reality of everyday life in that society is the complete opposite?  If that’s all you want, maybe this is a good time to start rethinking your “values” if not your whole worldview. I am an extremely left-wing person and I can tell you that I would not go to bat for some state simply because it hoisted a red flag and claimed to be socialist.

Finally, if we just ignore all this pesky reality and assume that Russia is a traditional conservative country, is that even good? I mean it’s been this way since 1991, and Russia has yet to become a real economic power in the world. It had a shot a few years ago but according to the finance ministry thinks aren’t looking too good at the moment and time is running out as other nations figure out ways to compete with Russia in the natural gas market. While it might seem simplistic, have you ever noticed that countries which are highly traditional tend to be extremely poor, and those which are far more liberal tend to be the richest? It’s not that liberal values make a country rich, but usually vice versa. Governments and ideologues who can’t offer their people higher standards of living and opportunity fall back on vague, abstract ideas like “tradition,” or “spiritual values.”

Yes, yes, I know all those foolish, tolerant liberal countries will surely collapse any day now, but depending on where you start Russia’s has about 23-25 years, and the liberal Sodom and Gomorrah countries still enjoy far higher standards of living while Russia is floundering. Better hope they collapse real soon otherwise this will start to look embarrassing!

Fools! You'll see! The degenerate West will collapse in the next few years, while Russia's new Eurasian empire is rising! Alexander Dugin has predicted it! I can't wait to leave this filthy, slut-filled shithole of a country so I can move to Russia! My great-great-great-Grandfather was half Polish, meaning he was Slavic, meaning I am Russian. I will return to my ancestral homeland and assimilate into the superior Orthodox culture! Bleeeargh!!!

Fools! You’ll see! The degenerate West will collapse in the next few years, while Russia’s new Eurasian empire is rising! Alexander Dugin has predicted it! I can’t wait to leave this filthy, slut-filled shithole of a country so I can move to Russia! My great-great-great-Grandfather was half Polish, meaning he was Slavic, meaning I am Russian. I will return to my ancestral homeland and assimilate into the superior Orthodox culture! Bleeeargh!!!