One of the pleasures of visiting Russia is that there are just so many single women. It’s like they’re all on special offer. But then you get to thinking: ‘what’s wrong with all these girls?’
If you ever enquire why a woman isn’t married, you will always get the same litany of complaints about Russian men. ‘Oh, Russian men! Zey are all drunks. Zey ‘as no monnay. Zey ‘as no clue about ze gee spot. And so on.
The writer Tatiana Shcherbina (pictured) is scathing in depth. She writes:
Do you know what hell and paradise are like? They are described well in one and perhaps the only international anecdote: hell is British cuisine, French equipment, German bureaucracy, an American lover and the Italian police, while paradise is French cuisine, German equipment, the British bureaucracy, the American police, and an Italian lover.
There are many variants, but still without anything Russian. However we can describe hell without outside help. It is merely a consequence, a by-product of the activity of one infernal creature â€“ the Russian man.
Tatiana puts a lot down to history. The anihilation of men that began in Russia with the first World War and the Civil War continued through the purges of Lenin and Stalin to WW2 and Afghanistan. As a result, women became adept at bringing up families without any help. The only males around were sons who were prized, pampered and ultimately spoiled. ‘The son of a single mother is the deity to whom she makes her sacrifice, a tsar who should never trouble himself.’ This apparently is how the Russian son has grown up to be a waste of space as a husband.
To be fair, the single mothers of Russia – dubbed the ‘tank women’ by the poet Nekrasov – have brought it on themselves. But since history is irreversible, Russian women prefer to look for foreign partners. Tatiana writes:
Among the various natural resources exported today from Russia there is one which is unique â€“ the Russian woman. She could represent Russia in paradise. Loving, patient, unpretentious and hardworking, the Russian wife is valued all over the world.
She is smart and obliging and gives herself up to the world market trying to escape the nightmare of some Russian husband at home.
Hmmm. The flaw in the argument is, of course, that no one’s perfect and foreign men simply have a different set of faults as well as cultural and historical baggage. Tatiana’s idealisation of foreign men – not uncommon in Russia – is as false as many American males’ preception of Russian tank women as ‘cosy traditional wives’.
I came across this reality check the other day by Roger Wiegel.
In the past twenty years we as Americans have disconnected from everything in our lives except money. It started with failing to realize the importance of familial relationships and progressed to gender role confusion and reversal.
There are now no role models in the home. In many cases, men are no longer men, the protector and provider, and women are no longer women, the nurturer and caregiver. The man who is a strong head of household is now considered a dinosaur by our society.
What started the international dating scene were the people who were frustrated with the choices and felt an emptiness in their daily lives here in the U.S. The sad thing is that although Americans say they want relationships we are often just too busy, too preoccupied, and just too self-absorbed in many cases.
Many American men believe that they will find strong family structures with Russian women, when in fact there have been hardly any traditional family structures in Russia since 1917. Equally, girls looking for American husbands to take over the tank role will be disappointed. Do any tanking around the house in the US and you’d probably get put in the slammer by feminists.
It’s always amusing that so many East-West dates believe they will rescue each other from the local product. When really it is about the same as being rescued from the Titanic by the Hindenburg.