Russian Girls Jailed for Twerking, Putin Keeps Making Batshit Crazy Laws
Russia has some catch up to do when it comes to social legislation. In a place where feminism is still a dirty word and Putin prudishly shuts down gay bars, the Russian government is often ideologically antagonized by much of Western world. Not surprisingly, it’s only creating more conservative legislation. Bare with us as we tread through Russian conservatism. Here are a few of the most ridiculous current laws:
Twerk and Pay the Consequences
Yesterday, VICE detailed a crazy twerking scandal in Russia. Prudes became infuriated by the spread of the dance there after last April, when a clip of young girls twerking went viral. A special committee was brought together to investigate the video, which revealed the girls dancing in front of a World War II memorial. Given the country’s ever wary eye on the media and legislative stick up its butt, this one didn’t fly with Russian censorship policies.
Despite the video lacking any political parody or hidden innuendos, the girls were sent to prison for roughly two weeks. One of their mother’s even had to pay a fee for failing to “carry out measures to ensure the proper physical, intellectual, psychological, spiritual and moral development of the child.” Similar incidents have resulted in the same repercussions – brief jail time, fines, and a shaming wag of the finger from Putin.
Putin doesn’t want to get sexy with us
In maybe the most random and ridiculous law, last year Putin banned the production and selling of lace underwear in Russia. According to the law, undergarments must be at least 6% cotton based – you know, for “safety reasons.” Any underwear with less than the required 6% (even 5%) could lead to inadequate moisture absorption, and what could be worse than overly moist drawers? A few lace-laden women were not having it with the new legislation, and protested it vocally. A number of them were detained for demonstrations, and images of lace underwear in a side-by-side with brown soviet-style undies flooded Russian social media.
Keeping it PG
According to a law adopted roughly a year ago, any use of profanity in film, TV, theatre, and media comes with the consequence of a hefty fine – up to 50,000 roubles, or $1,400. Books require warning labels for profanity–which would honestly only entice us–and furthermore, all media is told to avoid sinful Western fashions and values. It’s a strange and oppressive law, especially coming from the homeland of Dostoevsky and Pushkin, two literary forces who loved themselves a dirty word. It’s also a shame, because Russian has some pretty fabulous curse words. To the ban on profanity and Western values, we say ebat that.
In the past few years, Putin has signed a number of anti-gay laws into legislation, all of which are directed towards “non-traditional” sexual ideas. The Russian LGBT propaganda law, or what is endearingly called the “gay propaganda ban” in the West, was adopted a few years back in an effort to “protect children” from the wild ways of nontraditional relationships and ideas contrary to quaint heterosexual family values. Offences are wide, varying, and super vague – and anyone guilty of a propaganda crime is forced to shell out some roubles or face jail time. Offenses include public display of LGBT symbols, participation in parades, and pretty much any kind of public same sex fun. Even athletes with rainbow painted nails at the Sochi Olympics got a tsk-tsk from Russia. It’s a pretty messy and obscure law, but we encourage you to check it out in full.
Russia definitely has some absurd laws. Whether they’re against something innocuous like underwear or socially progressive ideals, this breed of legislation seems to only stir the pot, and certainly causes unnecessary suffering. We hope to see Putin’s administration loosen up a bit on the social front, although it doesn’t seem likely. Even adding some lace to the top drawer is a good start.
Images via CNN, Washington Post, Inqueery, Elle