Truth is, everyone needs to be more tolerant. Everyone.
Aren’t most of the world’s problems because of intolerance?
Would we have to fight for rights and freedoms if everyone was more tolerant?
Why does it bother anyone who you love?
The colour of your skin?
The shape of your body?
Whom you choose to worship?
That someone has special needs?
What you choose to listen to or watch?
Why does choice intimidate some many people?
Just their need to control?
When I first heard the name Pussy Riot I thought they were a punk band.
So I read Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen (Riverhead Books/Penguin) in the hope of understanding the situation. Well-written and painstakingly detailed, it made for fascinating read.
I don’t always get performance art, I’m way too plebeian for that. However, I understand the need for artistic expression.
The women from Pussy Riot are part of one of the Russian art collectives who call themselves Voina. They stage performance art, often as a form of protest.
Their performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow went viral. Was it tasteless and a slap in the face of religion? Absolutely. Although I rather think that was their purpose.
Russia gives them ample material to protest.
LGBT rights regressing rapidly.
A wealth gap like the space between planets.
Barely existent women’s rights.
Maybe Georgia and Ukraine could give us some insight into how the Russian government feels about, you know, rights.
Whether or not you agree with civil disobedience or the way this group or others protest, it gets attention. I disagree they should be jailed, separated from their family and friends, brutalized, beaten, persecuted, and maligned just because they don’t agree with the people in power. Also, it really just, well, proves their point.
Every country has its problems. Democracy seems to be creeping into twilight around the world, soon to join the dinosaurs as fossil fuel. When we don’t stand up for something, we really do seem to fall for anything.
Sadly Russia is not unique in intolerance, grinding of rights and freedoms, and overenthusiastic authoritarianism. Putin is just really, really open about it.
It’s easy to pick on Russia, they have those cool accents that make everything sound sinister and we’re kind of programmed by James Bond flicks.
Tolerance would do us all well.
As long as you’re not hurting anyone…then who are you hurting?