Senator Ben Cardin, the more feminine of Maryland’s two senators met with Russian’s Pussy Riot on May 6th and called them “heroes”. “Pussy Riot met for a half hour with lawmakers, who later lauded them as heroes. The group included Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who chairs the U.S. Helsinki Commission, a federal panel that monitors human rights in dozens of countries.”
How many fans of Pussy Riot’s zany “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s erudite and moving closing statement were equally thrilled by her participation, naked and heavily pregnant, in a public orgy at a Moscow museum in 2008? That performance, by the radical art group Voina (Russian for “war”), was meant to illustrate how Russians were abused by their government. Voina had previously set fire to a police car and drew obscene images on a St. Petersburg drawbridge.
Stunts like that would get you arrested just about anywhere, not just in authoritarian Russia. But Pussy Riot and its comrades at Voina come as a full package: You can’t have the fun, pro-democracy, anti-Putin feminism without the incendiary anarchism, extreme sexual provocations, deliberate obscenity and hard-left politics.