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  • "Я с этими людьми в один автозак не сяду": солидарности и конфликты в феминистских инициативах Петербурга

Article

"Я с этими людьми в один автозак не сяду": солидарности и конфликты в феминистских инициативах Петербурга

This paper deals with Petersburg feminist initiatives, analyzed in the frame of solidarity approach to identify the main lines of value-cultural attractions and conflicts. The research is based on twenty-eight interviews with Petersburg feminists aged between seventeen and thirty-nine years old. The interviews
are complemented by thirty-two days of participant ethnographic observation. The empirical material was collected from 2015 to 2017. The study is built in the frame of a qualitative paradigm of social analysis, and
is based on reconstructions of the informants’ experience. Particular attention is paid to personal field reflections, including those related to the development of my own feminist identity. Despite the fact that women-related questions have been active in Russia since the mid-nineteenth century, the current conservative domestic context is not favourable for the development of feminism. At the same time, grassroots feminist initiatives are growing, the participants of which not only define the goals of their struggle in different ways, but also follow different criteria in determining 'us' and 'them' in the feminist field. The analysis here shows that, despite the existence of an active agenda that unites feminists, informants have varying views on its interpretation. On the one hand, an emphasis is placed upon protecting women’s rights; on the other hand, there is also a focus on counteracting all types of discrimination. Particular attention is paid to the gender regime in the activist communities, which is most often defined as blocking joint resistance to the dominant conservative discourse. Moreover, defining 'safe space', as well as the perception of commercial sex, are important lines of feminist discussions. At the same time, the acceptance or denial of certain values is not built on a binary opposition of 'for' or 'against', but in heterogeneous continuums of solidarities.