I had this idea in my head for ages, like ever since I first heard this Beyonce song. 👌😩💦💦💦
But then I thought maybe I should do more than just post a picture. Like, maybe talk about something important.
First, a disclaimer. I have no love for Putin and I never will, but I do love Russia and I do love my character. She has never represented Putin, but rather, the dynamic ruling body of Russia throughout all of history. So if and when I talk fondly of Russia, don’t think it’s because I support the policies of the current leader.
Russia is by no means a perfect feminist; You could even argue that the lyrics I’ve quoted are inherently misogynistic. Even so, it was always important to me to portray Russia as this ultra-strong being whose feminity is core to her identity. That is, she doesn’t denounce feminity for the sake of strength. To her, the two are not contradictions.
There’s this kind of pitfall writers can fall into where they think strong women should vilify their womanhood. It reinforces the faulty idea that feminity is weakness and masculinity is strength. Even though I play up Russia’s “machoness,” I almost always draw her traditionally feminine. That’s because physical strength and feminity are not mutually exclusive. Russia chooses both. The country historically depicted as a brutal bear shamelessly loves makeup and nice dresses and has a fierce maternal instinct. Feminity does not hold her back, it makes her stronger.
I could go on but I’ll stop it here. I have a couple other ideas for posts like this where I talk about what influences by character/world building so maybe I’ll write more in the future. Who knows!