A Moscow court will investigate whether Russia’s 2021 entry to the Eurovision Song Contest “insults Russian women”, following a campaign by a newspaper aimed at war veterans.
Written and performed by Tajik-born Russian singer-songwriter Manizha, Russian Woman has been hailed as a feminist anthem. The song tells women, “Every Russian woman/needs to know/You’re strong enough to bounce against the wall.” It goes on to mock social expectations from women: “You’re 30!/Hello?/Where are your kids?/You are cute overall/But should lose some weight/Wear something longer/Wear something shorter.”
Yet Veteranskie Vesti claimed the tune was “a gross insult and humiliation of the human dignity of Russian women” and filed a complaint against the 29-year-old star for extremism. “In view of the fact that the singer M.D. Khamraeva is, according to her own statements, an (ethnic) representative of the Tajik people, then this song actually quite predictably provokes conflict between representatives of the Russian and Tajik people, that is, provokes interethnic tension and enmity,” they added.
The Ostankino Investigative Department is now checking whether the song represents an “incitement to hatred or enmity”, one official told Russian news agency TASS.
Manizha, who has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees since 2020, described Russian Woman as “a song about the transformation of a woman’s self-awareness over the past few centuries in Russia. A Russian woman has gone an amazing way from a peasant hut to the right to elect and be elected (one of the first in the world), from factory workshops to space flights,” she said.