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Russia: Putin's Rape Remarks

White Sun of the Desert writes about rape and Vladimir Putin's sense of humor: “Russian humour, often thought not to exist, is very dry and often exceptionally dark. In many cases, it cares little for the sensibilities of those who are easily offended. This is, after all, a country which within living memory deemed half of its citizens criminals and threw them into icy labour camps. So my take is that Putin was simply making an exceptionally crude joke which would not cause the same offence to the Russian men in his entourage as it would to western journalists.”

2 comments

  • I love Russia and Russian culture, but one of the things that has bothered me for a long while is the view that Russians (male and female) often take towards women, and the rather nonexistence of a concept of sexual harassment. I tend to agree with the quote – Putin probably *was* just making an exceptionally crude joke, and it probably *didn’t* cause offense to those who were meant to hear it. But that shouldn’t make it okay.

  • […] When I first read this statement, I really could not believe my eyes. So I read it again, and again. But no, it was real. So imagine my surprise when I read that this could be an example of “Russian humour” (via Global Voices Online): I am more inclined to think that the manner in which a Russian would interpret such remarks is vastly different from how a westerner would.  Russian humour, often thought not to exist, is very dry and often exceptionally dark.  In many cases, it cares little for the sensibilities of those who are easily offended.  This is, after all, a country which within living memory deemed half of its citizens criminals and threw them into icy labour camps.  So my take is that Putin was simply making an exceptionally crude joke which would not cause the same offence to the Russian men in his entourage as it would to western journalists. […]

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