In Russia there has been a lot of controversy over hyper-masculinity and the Russian Orthodox Church. These quotations are from essays written by Ukrainian university students and are illustrative of how homosexuality is perceived throughout Eastern Europe:
“In my opinion, homosexuality is directly a sin, because at all times and in all nations that feeling was condemned […] Despite the Declaration of Human Rights, I do not understand this right; I do not understand this ‘love,’ ‘friendship.’ For me it’s disgusting and unnatural. My friends also do not accept homosexuality. It evokes in them laughter or irritation.”
Another student went on to state that,
“My father commented to me (when he saw a gay pride parade in TV-news): ‘Oh, those poor and unhappy people.’ In my mind, the concept of ‘homosexuality’ [гомосексуалізм] is very exotic for our Slavic society. It is difficult for us to explain it, due to differences of our traditions and customs. That is why ‘homosexuality’ is situated outside of our traditional world view.”
The Russian Orthodox Church holds close to its heart the belief that homosexuality is a sin and not worthy of respect or recognition in Russia, that only heterosexual men and women are worth noting and living “normal” lives. This system of beliefs and laws throughout the country is incredibly detrimental to men in the country as this is another aspect in their lives they are being suffocated, and it is one of the most private aspects of a life as well.
Heleen Zorgdrager writes in the International Journal of Philosophy and Theology that,
“A factor that influences the public attitude towards homosexuality in post-Soviet society is the change in gender formations. The economic transition to a market economy had a more catastrophic effect on men than on women, to such an extent that social scientists speak about a ‘crisis of masculinity’ in Russia today. Many men have gone through a loss of status and struggle with their male identity. They are dying earlier, drinking more, and the crime and suicide rates for men are much higher than they are for women.”
This is an issue for men, they are no longer able to behave in the ways they were raised and taught to and no longer know how to behave in the world. Hyper-masculinity is a worldwide issue affecting our entire population. Stand together and liberate those that feel oppressed by this system, make a difference.