The Politics Issue : Pussy Riot. Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?*

I’ve no idea how many of you have been following the story of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk rock collective, and three of whose members face jail sentences for singing a song in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The song was openly critical of Russian Orthodox Church leader Archbishop Kirill, and also of Russian President Vladmir Putin.

Three women, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevitch, are currently embroiled in a case which could see them jailed for seven years.

At her recent concert in Moscow, Madonna revealed a message of support for Pussy Riot, and also vocally supported them.

The charge is one of ‘hooliganism inspired by religious hatred’. It looks like the sort of dreamt up charge even Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of the North Korean Incumbent, would chuckle at. The irony of a former KGB officer -Putin- being in control of a country now citing ‘religious hatred’ as a stick to beat an opposition voice should not be lost (although, granted, Russia’s ‘cohesive’ failed communist policies, regarding religion, varied from region to region).

Pussy Riot are also known for wearing, on occasion, balaclavas. I like this, having worn one myself in the course of my SL as…um…Supreme Leader of the SL Naturist Liberation Army 🙂 …which has some parallels to Pussy Riot’s situation (although obviously without the same, grave consequences, although I have been banned from some sims for being in opposition to the flakey, part-time, ‘naturists’ who have previously run sims. But the ‘Naturist Liberation Army’ is probably a story for another day. 🙂

Neither should it be lost on us that Patriarch Kirill, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, is a strong supporter of Putin, describing his tenure as ‘a miracle from God’.

Kirill was also recently ‘approached’, -‘greeted’ is how one Canadian newspaper reported it- rather than attacked, I think it’s fair to say, by a topless member of the Russian feminist grouping, Femen.

Amnesty International have described the women as ‘prisoners of conscience’, and many musicians in the west have expressed their support for them.

‘Patriarch’. Have we not, in the 21st century, finished with these labels of a patriarchal society yet? Apparently not.

So what has this to do with SL? What has this to do with naturism within SL? Very little, other than to highlight ongoing injustices against women around the world, often for no other reason than they are women. I took the opportunity to visit SL’s Russian Orthodox church and combine Pussy Riot’s balaclavas with Femen’s topless protests, to highlight the injustices faced by women around the globe, on account of their sex.


*post title refers to William Rees-Mogg’s ‘Who would break a butterfly on a wheel?’ Times’ editorial of 1967, following the ‘show trial’ of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, to which the Pussy Riot trial has been compared.


nb: The BBC is now reporting that the Russian deputy Prime Minister has launched a tirade against Madonna. Personally, I’ve never liked the woman’s clunky music, but reserve the right to support her in this support for Pussy Riot. A photo of the band performing in the cathedral is also included in the link. Please note that this will, due to circumstances, be the only ‘Politics Issue’ article published this week. Ella.