Even while feminism has a long history in Russia dating back more than a century, not everyone in the nation agrees that it still exists today. How is one of the most contentious civic movements faring?
Russia Beyond takes a closer look.
Late fall in St. Petersburg, with St. Isaac’s Cathedral in the background, and a stunning girl. She delivers a brief statement about a “disgraceful phenomenon – the disrespect of women” while indifferent people pass by.
This is the beginning of a video manifesto by 19-year-old feminist Anna Dovgalyuk entitled, “What’s under my skirt?” In the video’s next three minutes her companion on the metro pulls up her skirt, showing off her underwear, while the text at the bottom of the video talks about “upskirting” (taking pictures under a woman’s skirt in public places), and she notes that Russia, alongside Japan and the U.S., is a world leader in terms of the number of women subjected to such humiliation.
On behalf of all the women who have been the victim of “upskirting” creeps, who capture photos and footage without the target’s knowledge. The private images and clips are then often sold on the internet to fellow perverts. Anna claims that she made the controversial video because of it.
Although she lacks the authority to alter the legislation, she claims in the video’s description that she intends to use her “video manifest” to call attention to the issue. Dovgalyuk posted her manifesto on YouTube and dedicated it to all men who like to peep under women’s skirts, “on behalf of all young girls who have become your victims.” “Look! And don’t come near us,” the video says.
The response to the video in general was unexpected given the escalating tide of sexual harassment claims. Most commenters didn’t understand the message regarding women’s rights and disrespect. But there were many expected responses, such as “I hope this movement catches on,” which almost proved that she was playing into the expectations of those who promote the objectification of women. While some could counter that she’s simply giving upskirters what they want while making their work easier.
A popular comment on her video, when translated, reads, “Girls will be girls, they can’t think of anything else except showing their @ss,” as Anna caught backlash, accusing her of only doing this for attention.
Ignoring any point she is attempting to make, others are quick to compliment her beauty and her “thigh gap.”
She was surrounded by people who probably didn’t want to view the spectacle, including parents of young children and those who value modesty and disapprove of public obscenity, even if many males appeared to love it.
Unwanted or inappropriate sexual advances are considered sexual harassment. It incorporates sexually explicit language and/or actions and many people, including Anna herself, believe that skirting is a sort of sexual assault and harassment. Skirting is something that Anna is fighting against.
Watch the video below for more details: