Russian society is a hybrid one: on one hand the traditional family values - like getting married and starting a family relatively early, buying a flat and everything else what comes together with that - are very deeply embedded in the ways people plan their life. Yet in big cities this social order has shifted and people are trying to adopt the European lifestyle. And as a consequence some interesting patterns appear.
To find some answers I decided to go through the stages of a typical Russian man’s life.
On the shoulders of a Russian boy from the very beginning lays quite a big responsibility.
To be strong, to drag the bags of moms and elderly, not to cry, not to fight, not to…lots of „not to“.
Later - more. Later it is much more about „have to“. Your girlfriend got looked at weirdly - you have to protect her and kick the bastard’s ass. If not - you are a coward.
You have to keep up with the drinking games. If not - you are a weakling, a looser.
You must have lots of stories: that girl and the other girl and you did this and that.
And maybe at some point a boy went to the army. And then he was shown there what is it to be a real man: a man that doesn’t cry, doesn’t feel, a rock of a man, an iceberg of a man. A man who protects the nation and a man who shows the weak how to be weaker.
Or maybe a boy didn’t. And not to go there, to escape - he married his girlfriend at the very early age. And his relatives showed him what is it to be a real man. To provide for a family, to buy a house or a flat. And his wife is ambitious and she doesn’t want to work. And he is expected to make babies and fast.
And then he has a family and a house, and a wife, and she wants a fur coat. And a boy-man finds a lover. And then finds another lover. Or maybe she is 20 years younger and listens to his stories and sucks his dick more willingly. And then the other lover wants a fur coat too.
And a boy-man feels that there is still some things to show to the world. And he goes back to his work and maybe he loves his work and he changes the world.
A Russian man generally is resourceful and quick-witted: give him an impossible situation and with a little bit of charisma and out of the box thinking he will find the way out. Maybe not a long-term solution, which will make happy everyone around. But a totally legit solution for "here and now".
Or maybe he truly deeply hates his work. And he comes back home. And it is a winter and the wife still wants a fur coat, or a car or new shoes or a new house. And the heart of Russian boy-man maybe goes tough because of this injustice. It is time to toughen up when you turn 25.
„A man needs to pay!“
„A man needs to be trapped!“
„A man needs to be a man!“ - would an average Russian woman say.
A Russian man wants to be loved, but he wants to free - as he is not allowed that from the very early childhood. And in the end, can he be free? He also wants to be taken care of. A Russian man misses the true beauty and he wants to talk about the eternal, about the soul and connection. Or maybe he wants just to chill with his mates and watch a football game.
There is a long list of behavioral patterns that are expected from a Russian man. And to liberate himself from this ever tightening circle of obligations there is something to be done. But what is to be done?, asks himself a Russian man.
And then maybe it turns into an eternal self justification.
And then maybe every new woman is landmark, a confirmation of the masculinity, or of the masculinity concept, that sets such high standards which are almost impossible to fulfill.
A Russian man is impeccable in his courtship. He will promise and give generously: flowers, dinners. Everything for his princess!
I am a man! Am I a man?
Yet with the responsibility that is opposed onto a Russian man comes the power as well. He will provide, but he will ask for something back. A woman must know how to cook, a woman must be always beautiful, a woman cannot be flirting with other men, a woman needs to wait at home and always be ready.
A Russian woman traps a Russian man but in ends up being trapped herself. Is there an exit from this self-perpetuating loop?
And a Russian woman is often ready to be trapped. So she cooks a lot. And here is the trick: she cooks a lot of greasy food and a Russian man gets fat at a very young age. So a Russian woman can keep him only for herself.
And then maybe hardcore drinking comes in the game. It is a popular escape, even if not for everyone.
„A man needs to be a little bit more handsome than a gorilla, but he needs to provide and be reliable“, - used to say my grandmother.
Or maybe everything what I wrote here are ignorant clichés.
And truly there are so many Russian men, who are loving, loyal, strong and caring, and handsome, and smart. And nothing like the stupid clichés I have collected here.
And also it might be said, that this applies to men in general.
But it is not the point.
The point is, growing up as a man in Russia is quite a difficult task.
- Dear, I am scared to go home alone
- So, did you bring her home?
- Yeah, guys, freedom now!
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