Dear Russia: Please Don’t Imprison Feminist Punk-Rock Mothers

What do old conservative politicians fear most? Apparently, brightly colored, feminist punk rockers in tights.

That’s why three women from a Russian, feminist punk collective were arrested in March for performing a ‘punk prayer’ against the re-election of Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral.

I don’t know how much you follow feminist punk rock bands, but this one is worth putting on your radar. They’re called Pussy Riot, and they’re causing a storm right now in Russia and around the world. The group is known for staging impromptu political performances in colorful dresses and tights. Oh, and they cover their heads with neon balaclavas. They are quite the spectacle.

The women were arrested on charges of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred, according to Al Jazeera News.

Pussy Riot performed their stunt two weeks before Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in March’s election, when five women dressed in brightly coloured miniskirts and balaclavas took over a pulpit of the Christ the Saviour, Moscow’s main cathedral for less than a minute.

They high-kicked and danced while singing a song pleading “Virgin Mary, drive Putin away!”

Their trial got under way on Monday, and seven years imprisonment are what’s at stake. The women at first denied their connection to Pussy Riot, in keeping with the band’s emphasis on anonymity. They then began a hunger strike and are now pleading not guilty, in the defense that they did not intend any harm.

The group may be rowdy, but they are artists first and foremost, and censorship of this sort is unacceptable. Many around the world, including Madonna, Pete Townshend, and Sting, have called for the women’s release.  More pressing, though, than the need for freedom of expression is the fact that two of the women are mothers of young children. They’ve been held already for five months, with seven years looming over their heads. All for staging a creative and extremely brief protest in a church.

My opinion, for what it’s worth: Artists should not be arrested for expressing strong political beliefs in creative and harmless ways. Young mothers should not be imprisoned and kept from their children for expressing said beliefs.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section!



  1. I just read that in today's trial, Russian prosecutors called feminism a "mortal sin." At some point, you've just got to laugh. I mean really, it's kind of hilarious that three women with a guitar appear to be posing such a threat to the Russian government.