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I often hear the phrase that "people are the same everywhere." This is true to a certain extent, but there are cultural deviations which make the world an interesting place to explore. If we are all the same no matter the country of origin, with identical societal behaviors and customs, there would never be a reason to leave home in search of enlightenment or exposure to something different. Based on personal experience, and being a female American writer in a predominantly male dominated Russian blogging platform, I can attest that mentalities and societal expectations are different, and this is particularly true when it comes to gender relations and demands.

Nothing confuses me more than to receive misogynistic or judgmental emails directed toward my physical appearance, clothing choices, or childless lifestyle. If the primary topic of my blog was fitness, fashion or something related to superficial concepts, then I would expect to be judged in such a manner, but this is not the case. I try to be a different type of female writer here - to focus on thought provoking topics and force people to think outside the box. I spend a lot of time writing texts and choosing words carefully, rather than simply posting half-nude selfies from the gym mirror all day as many of the popular female bloggers do. I think this narcissism is a real poison in today's society.

Why am I writing about this? Because it was necessary to remove yesterday's post, which was probably too personal in nature. I began to receive aggressive and angry emails from some male readers when I truthfully said that I live quite happily without a man. Why do I need to read such abusive and scary personal attacks from people who seem to be psychologically imbalanced? Yes, 90% of them are probably Internet trolls, but it's unsettling nonetheless. I love my readers, and almost every person who leaves a comment in this blog is a man, with rare exceptions. You're most often amusing and enlightening, but at times I simply shake my head in disbelief and frustration when we talk about the roles of women. For instance, look at this photo of one of the most popular American travel bloggers "Adventurous Kate", who journeys to all corners of the globe and writes about it in her blog. Can you imagine if such a photo appeared in LJ? There would be hundreds of comments telling her how ugly, fat and horrible she looks. Countless sofa experts would tell her how to eat, diagnose her health ailments, instruct her how to lose weight, dress better, fix her hair....

Yet, after reading her blog for several years and seeing many less than flattering photos, I've never once seen a judgmental comment of this nature (not even from a man). Why? Because the woman is intelligent, interesting, dynamic, travels solo, and shares her views of the world. A free spirit who has an opinion, and is not afraid to express it, even if her views are unconventional or controversial. Completely ordinary behavior for most American women. Btw, here she is fully clothed, and I admire her for showing an unflattering bikini pic, probably shot in horrible light and not staged or posed with a certain camera angle. On this topic, I saw a post recently by the most idiotic female blogger in my view - kiss_my_abs - who couldn't understand this new trend where females post REAL photos, showing their flaws and faces without make-up. You see, in the U.S., most people don't give a damn about what other people think of their clothing choices or appearance. We dress for comfort, not to impress strangers. If you don't like it, don't look. Very simple. And we are all flawed in some way, right? I certainly am, and never try to hide it.

kate1

Today, I read a thought provoking post from Sergey Dolya proclaiming, as many of you do, that Russian women are the most beautiful in the world. But this is not the essence of his story. The main point is that in Russian society many women perceive their beauty as their core asset and worth. Their sole objective is to catch a prince who will rescue them and provide a better life. In contrast, European women are focused on SELF-realization and fulfillment. It's absolutely the same in America. Women take steps to create happiness on their OWN, rather than depending on a man, or anyone else, to deliver it. Get an education, good job, financially support yourself so that you don't have to rely on another person for the basic necessities in life. I can't even fathom why this is such a difficult or radical concept to grasp. Yet many Russian men would call such a female a dreaded "feminist." I simply call us human.

So, I can say this is the most frustrating part of being a writer here on LJ, because I simply can't relate to these narrow views or demands of what a woman should be. It's a completely foreign and archaic way of thinking for a woman who was born, and spent her entire life, in America. Even my most intelligent and loyal readers sometimes leave comments like this:

"I think most women do not want to be educated. They'd be happy to have more money and things but not more knowledge for the sake of it.
Working day and night pursuing some idea is mostly a men's trait."

Most of the time I simply laugh at the stupidity of such comments, but this week I'm angered by them. Do you really think women are so stupid, materialistic and brain dead? I can honestly say these adjectives don't describe any of my female friends or colleagues. Perhaps I'm just in a bad mood, and being extra sensitive, but this is a topic that really frustrates and annoys me. It makes me want to leave this platform entirely, and go to another space where women are valued for more than simply having a pretty face or tight ass.

Next week, I'll return to travel stories, a more neutral topic. I hope everyone enjoys their last few days of vacation! Yes, a lot of words and text in today's post. Thanks to those who made it to the end! :))


Comments

( 233 comments — Leave a comment )
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mitya_laddyggin
Jan. 14th, 2016 01:58 pm (UTC)
I would put it in such way: why it's frustrating to be a thinking person on LJ. :)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:14 pm (UTC)
Good point. :)
(no subject) - 12xc33 - Jan. 14th, 2016 07:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mitya_laddyggin - Jan. 18th, 2016 09:03 am (UTC) - Expand
sergechel
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:10 pm (UTC)
Internet is a cruel place, ignore trolls and idiots - is my rule.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:13 pm (UTC)
This issue involves more than trolls. I think it's really a big difference in American and Russian cultures - gender expectations and roles. Perhaps as a man, you can't really understand it because it doesn't impact you. No offense. :)
(no subject) - sergechel - Jan. 14th, 2016 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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onkel_hans
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:14 pm (UTC)
"people are the same everywhere." ?

No, the Russians are the samest!
peacetraveler22
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:22 pm (UTC)
You have no idea about the maniacs who write and threaten me in messages. Why don't they do it in public, in the comments? Because they are cowards. It's really disturbing. :(
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(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jan. 14th, 2016 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eltelfo - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
selfmade
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:29 pm (UTC)
As with people of different cultures there are gender deviations as well. There are gender deviations common to all cultures and culture specific. So receiving misogynistic comments from Russian bloggers is normal (as in social norm). Somehow I assume you don't find stupid the way people dress or perform some rituals somewhere in India or Australia, but gender comments based on observations yet not aligned with your way of thinking is stupid.

Intuitively I think there are positive correlations between gender deviations and state religion, rep capita income and a few other factors.

I'm not sure if there are purely genetic gender driven differences in brain development and structure. I assume it can be. But that research would be considered "insensitive" and receive less or no funding in current politicized science.

sorry, gotta go.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:33 pm (UTC)
No, I don't find diverse cultures, ways of dress or opinions stupid. But I'll never accept, embrace or be comfortable with a society where women are treated as second-class citizens or merely as shiny objects to be played with or gawked it. We are more than that.
(no subject) - selfmade - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - buddhistmind - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
maksipes
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:38 pm (UTC)
o man.. if only I knew English well I could prove how wrong you are. I even could help you to change your life for the better.

Here's only some clues.
Men are good
Career and all similar things are sucks.
Children are good.
Catch a decent man
marry him
have a baby
don't worry
be happy
irisha8787
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:39 pm (UTC)
Haha! Good joke!
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 14th, 2016 02:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maksipes - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - maksipes - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - piterburg - Jan. 15th, 2016 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
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kremlin_curant
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:40 pm (UTC)
Shannon. Don't be so concerned about Russian women. So don't about the men.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:40 pm (UTC)
You're right, but I'm human. Sometimes I have emotional reactions to things when I shouldn't. I can't help it. :)
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Jan. 14th, 2016 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - f_l_o_e - Jan. 14th, 2016 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(Anonymous)
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:41 pm (UTC)
Shannon, I've been reading your stories for quite some time and it is only now that I decided to write a comment.
Being a person with no LJ, twitter, VK, etc. pages, I, probably, can't understand the core of the Internet-community problems. But what I see is this: there are a lots of people who fail behaving on the Internet territory just because they can say/ comment anything they want without looking into their interlocutor's eyes. I daresay such people can be found everywhere, and they are abundant in Russian Internet-communities. Try to avoid answering their comments because you can not stop their badmouthing and of course you can't improve their manners.
I personally want to thank you for your stories richly expressed with your own point of view. I don't have my own blog or something (that could be useful to communicate with you).

Julia.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:43 pm (UTC)
You're welcome, Julia! Thanks for the nice comment. Cheers from Washington, DC. :)
(Anonymous)
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:51 pm (UTC)
Дорогая Шеннон,
не принимайте интернет-выпады близко к сердцу.
Мнение отдельных мужчин относительно женских устремлений и целей - это всего лишь мнение отдельных мужчин)
Вообще, в меняющемся мире, когда исконная роль мужчины в обществе - архаичном обществе физической силы - уже утрачивает свое значение, им трудно приспособится и многие пытаются найти место, новое место - кто-то принимает это, кто-то, пытается сам себя убедить, что ничего не меняется, кто-то проявляет агрессию.
Им, мужчинам, сейчас сложнее, чем женщинам, будем проявлять снисходительность)
И во многом, все эти выпады, которые вас коробят, - издержки интернета. Умный промолчит, соглашаясь; не очень умный - напишет возражение или грубость. В реальной жизни, реальном круге общения, который сам выбираешь и создаешь - с этим не сталкиваешься.
В сети - увы, набегают...
peacetraveler22
Jan. 15th, 2016 12:57 pm (UTC)
You're right!
3seemingmonkeys
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:52 pm (UTC)
russia is evil, deal with it
peacetraveler22
Jan. 15th, 2016 12:57 pm (UTC)
"Evil"? This is not a word I would use to describe the country.
f_l_o_e
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:57 pm (UTC)
Right girl very pretty - sexy smile.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 15th, 2016 12:57 pm (UTC)
She has a great free spirit! I think it's her best quality, and as you know we smile much more in America. :)
moskitow
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
Shannon, I understand your frustration! I have the same feelings when I talk to my family and friends from Russia. I just also know that a transformation of views and lifestyle is possible.
I saw it first hand with my niece who moved here from Russia 2 years ago and lived with me for a while(she won a green card, lucky girl). She is not married an she was 26 at that moment so there was a huge pressure from all our relatives on her - "you have to get a guy!" And her perception of Mr.Right made me smile all the time. We were at the mall once and she was looking at some perfume, then she said:"I want a husband that would be buying me all the things I want!!!" I was like:"Really?" Long story short: she got a job (not the best one - just the call center for start), I helped her with getting a car and 6 months later she grew wings, entered MBA program at a university, moved to California and found an awesome job with a well established company. Now she is buying herself anything she wants and saying that she wants to travel more and not ready to settle.... just yet!
So I think that if women are in charge of their lives they act differently and don't wait for a guy to be their daddy and provide everything. I just don't know how to do this in Russia?
maksipes
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:25 pm (UTC)
I feel sorry for her. Once she wake up and realize that those stuff just rubbish and she doesn't have the loved ones and now it's to late to change anything. She will died alone in terrible grief.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maksipes - Jan. 14th, 2016 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
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myshli
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:05 pm (UTC)
I think most people do not want to be educated. They'd be happy to have more money and things but not more knowledge for the sake of it. Working day and night is mostly an ant`s trait.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 15th, 2016 12:59 pm (UTC)
Education comes in a myriad of ways, not only by getting a degree. In fact, most people in the U.S. don't have a college degree. The greatest education is life itself. :)
grihanm
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:06 pm (UTC)
Russian women may be prettier, than average, due to solely biological reasons. See, for several consequent generations, lots of Russian men were killed: revolutions, civil war, two world wars, communist's repressions, drinking habbits - millions men gone, perhaps more than anywhere. Thus, since there were more women than men - only the most pretty women had chances to leave offspring.

Edited at 2016-01-14 03:06 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 15th, 2016 12:59 pm (UTC)
Interesting theory. :)
logofilka
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:12 pm (UTC)
>>>I think this narcissism is a real poison in today's society.

In my opinion, what you describe is a pure sexism (more prominent in Russian segment of LJ).
andrey_kaminsky
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:51 pm (UTC)
Правильно!
Narcissism is a great thing, I'm using narcissism constantly and invariably pleased with it!)

Edited at 2016-01-14 04:10 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 15th, 2016 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - logofilka - Jan. 15th, 2016 03:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - logofilka - Jan. 15th, 2016 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 15th, 2016 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
krasnogorr
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:13 pm (UTC)
Это русская традиция - баба fuck мозг своего мужика, что бы тот встал и что-нибудь сделал, а тот героически лежит и ничего не делает, но бесится, что она fuck его мозг. Зато когда баба сама начинает делать, он вскакивает и награждает её эпитетами и ругает, какая она неумелая =))))

Это всё на правах шутки с долей правды.
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