Friday 9 January 2009

Vladimir Putin in the eyes of woman: A bumpkin

Okay, in her article for the Berlin-based newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, journalist Tissy Bruns does not call Vladimir Putin a "bumpkin".

Instead she writes about Putin (own translation):
These days, the TV allows us to throw a glance at a Russian Prime Minister who acts in public as if he has never had a mother telling him how to behave in the presence of women.
In other words: The way Putin acts is the typical standard male behaviour, showing off his maleness, his power, his ignorance of women as equal partners.

Bruns continues comparing Putin's behaviour towards Angela Merkel with the behaviour of other very male leaders:
Between Putin on one side, and Bush, Schroeder, Sarkozy on the other, there is a subtle distinction which Western democracies require from their politicians while a guided democracy à la Russia doesn't. [...] What makes this subtle distinction? In the democratic public space, women hold power; in Russia they don't.
I think this is largely optimistic when it comes to the role of women in Western democracies, but I would not object to the interpretation when it comes to Putin's behaviour.