Sunday, October 25, 2009

Russian women

Ancient Greek writers recorded the existence in what is now southern Russia of a group of women who lived apart from men, spoke a language which men could not learn and were required to kill a male before they mated.

These were the Amazons of legend.

At least one sexually segregated society did exist in the Caucasus, but the myth of the Amazons probably goes back to an earlier matriarchal form of society of which only a memory remained.

There is some archeaolgical evidence to support the claim of Byzantine writers that Slavic women sometimes dressed like men and fought beside them in battle, but it is far from conclusive.

What these stories do confirm, however, is the power of the female image in the culture and perhaps the anxiety of men about that power
Or maybe a deeply buried aspiration on the part of women for agency

And of Russian women today?

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