Gender challenges: not quite the same issue worldwide

Good point raised in this article. Challenges to equal rights are very country-special. And in Russia, our issues are definitely not to form feminitives out of normal words or having more female role models.

I was born in a family of a space engineer and … a space engineer. So it never came to my mind that there are things for boys and things for girls, and my dear dad is my role model maybe even to a larger extent than my dear mom, as many other men. I knew I can choose any job (except the ones requiring really brutal force, but we are not much interested in equal rights in loading-unloading the trucks, are we? The robots are the best in it). My school class (focus on Math and Physics) was full of successful female students (and not so full of successful male students, despite we were 10 and they were 20).
Later in МГУ — Moscow State University I’ve heard some teachers telling “but you’d better cook”, but that just made me angry and eager to prove that I’m strong in what I’m doing. When I’m ended up among 20 male and 2 female colleagues in my beloved lab (X-ray crystallography) where the ladies were banned for previous 20 years, I was just happy that I’m there (not that I thought maybe I’m there by mistake).
Throughout my (pretty successful) career in media and PR I never saw myself as a *successful young female* leader (I learned that I was the one only here in Europe:))) I felt like a person who goes where she wants to go and who has enough qualification and skills to be chosen for a certain job, that’s it. Делай, что должно, и будь, что будет.

And, living now in Germany and experiencing pretty closely Italy and Ireland, I should say that here this free choice based on strong personal will might be pretty much not the case. In Italy, you sometimes enter the bar (just in the middle of the day) to have coffee and you find yourself the only lady. OK, Italy, catholic and conservative, but my own office kitchen in Hochschule Rhein-Waal right now is not much different: 100% of the professor are men! My dear Chinese (young, female, professional) colleague working here in the investment business told that she often finds herself the only lady in the company of +10 male colleagues 30+. OK, I’m Sacha Borissova, I’m a weird foreigner from a country where there are bears in the streets, and I don’t care if they don’t like to see me in their bar/kitchen. But for their female compatriots that might be not so easy. And, yes, they need some female models to follow. Indeed, the president of our university is a lady, and there’s the sweetest and the coolest Fabiola Gianotti now as CERN president, that’s so inspiring even for me with my arrogance, if you want. But my arrogance comes from 100 years of the history of my country, where ladies are allowed to universities since 1917 (not since 70s, like in some very good US unis, pardon my French). Ladies here in Europe do not have that luxury and need to fight for their self-esteem, that’s fine!

I’m not telling that all is so good for a lady in Russia. But our problems are more about “glass ceiling” (the higher — the fewer ladies, just look at RAS) and maternity protection. This is what Russian female right activists have to focus on (as well as preserving what we already have, too). But I do not see them doing it: topic 1 is just too complicated, and topic 2 is wayyy to socialist, and we all have to hate our Soviet heritage if we are in a good society, right?

Всем любви и взаимного уважения, вот что.

10 may 2017

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