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Maria Arbatova, a modern Russian feminist writer.

Russian women-writers

Maria Arbatova

Maria Ivanovna Arbatova (born Gavrilina) was born in 1957 in Murom city, Russia Arbatova is her pen name, which became official last name in 1999.

Arbatova is a successful playwright and author, prominent TV presenter, a public figure and a Russia's leading feminist intellectual.

Maria Arbatova has been a non-conformist from a very young age, she never was a memmber of Komsomol, used to be an active hippi, being a school girl attended a "School of a young journalist" at Moscow State University and later became a student of University Phislosohical department, which she left due to "ideological" pressure as she says.

Arbatova graduated from Maxim Gorky Literature Institute and is a playwright by profession. She also studied psychoanalysis and attended underground psychoanalysis training. Arbatova was a leader of psychological adjustment club for women and has been providing individual counselling since 1996. She was a newspaper reviewer for 5 years and a popular TV talk show "Ya Sama," expert and permanent commentator introduced as a "feminist". Arbatova is now a radio presenter of a Radio Myak 24 human rights program "The right of keeping it real". She is also the leader of non-governmental organization "Club of women interfering into the politics"

Arbatova is a member of "Union of Writers of Moscow" and "Union of theatre workers of Russia" as well as the author of 14 plays staged in Russia and abroad more then 20 books and 70 articles.Her play, "An equation with two unknown quantities," caused a stir in its time because it dealt with abortion - a commonplace affair in everyday life, but a taboo subject in public.

Arbatova is a prize winner of numerous literature and drama contests in Russia and abroad. She was awarded the medal for "Medal for Serving the Motherland" from the national Charity Fund, silver and golden "Peacemaker Order" from the the Peacemaker alliance, the gold medal of Cambridge bibliographic center "for the input into drama of the 20th century".

Despite her hippie years and literary background, Arbatova lived much the same life and shared the same problems as most Soviet women. Her first marriage to a singer Aleksandr Miroshnik broke up, so she had to brigh up 2 twin sons by herslef. Her second marriage to Oleg Vitte could not survive Arbatova's political activity and State Duma elections she took part in.

Arbatova's feminism is not an exclusive banner to be raised by women only, it is more of a social philosophy, a platform for the changes she thinks would make for healthier individuals and happier marriages.

Arbatova thinks that Russian feminism has a special national flavour. She says: it is more feminine than in the West. She says: "On the whole, Russian women tend to present themselves more through clothes and makeup," she explains. Partly, its due to constant shortages of decent clothes and makeup they experienced in the Soviet times. Partly, it's because so many men perished in Soviet gulags and World War II "sowing a myth about men's super-value," that women had to work hard to attract the attention of those who survived."


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