Samokhvalov's interview with Evgenia Tarasova

Tinami Amori

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Reading this thread is so odd to me: first, I was not offended by the "wife" reference at all.
In the original question (in russian) the term was "ideal wife". to me the word "ideal" is not same as "perfect".

In the russia's context, Samokhvalov was simply trying to start a conversation by "breaking the ice" and giving Zhenya a compliment. "Ideal wife" is figurative for a combination of qualities: beautiful, kind, loving, patient, enduring, supportive, forgiving and flexible. Samohvalov was trying to say that's how he sees her in this partnership and instead of listing all her positive qualities, said "ideal wife".

He is not necessarily "sexist", he just used a term that comes from a "sexist society" or "traditional values society". Zhenya did a good job replying that she'd rather be a perfect/ideal athlete... :lol:

Moscow is NYC, St. Petersburg is Boston, but even with more culture...
I don't see this comparison.. (having lived in all 4 cities). If we have to use USA's cities, more like NYC vs. San Francisco, but none of the listed were ever "country's/state's capitals" and that is a factor... It could be compared to Milan/Rome vs. Florence..... or Tokyo vs. Kyoto... But really, given the Mos vs. St. Pete specifics and history, there is NO equivalent..
 
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Japanfan

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Reading this thread is so odd to me: first, I was not offended by the "wife" reference at all. To me, this reference stands for Zhenia's dedication, loyalty, putting happiness of the family (aka her skating) above all.
You are assuming that a 'wife' has a certain character.

The days when being a 'wife' meant being putting oneself last and being subordinate to one's husband are over in at least some parts of the world (have been for about 50 years). (Some time ago I saw a list of things a wife should do when her husband came home from work that was published in the 1950s in a magazine. The last was: Remember, his problems are always more important than your's :eek:).

I'll add that a male figure skater can also be loyal, dedicated, and put skating above all else.
 

Japanfan

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He is not necessarily "sexist", he just used a term that comes from a "sexist society" or "traditional values society". Zhenya did a good job replying that she'd rather be a perfect/ideal athlete... :lol:
But the gendered terms used in a sexist society reflect sexist norms and practices. The terms are one of the things that support and perpetuate sexism. In my view, the comment made to Zhenya was sexist. And I agree with you that her reply was right on the money.

I'm reminded of another gendered phrase I have either heard Russian skaters or posters here use: The woman is the neck, the man is the head. To me, it's totally sexist and means: the woman manipulates, the man does the important work (i.e. thinking) and gets the credit. And the 'manipulative woman' is a loaded and largely negative construction of women. It should also be acknowledged that 'people' manipulate when denied the opportunity to wield power directly.
 
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Tinami Amori

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But the gendered terms used in a sexist society reflect sexist norms and practices. The terms are one of the things that support and perpetuate sexism. In my view, the comment made to Zhenya was sexist. And I agree with you that her reply was right on the money.
Here is my take on this...

I lived first part of my life in Russia, and the constant messages that "woman's ultimate goal is to become a wife and mother" bugged the living daylight out of me and never changed my life plans to live for myself without children or family, and i mentioned it many times in various forms.

However... It's a russian interview, for russians, between two russians. If Zhenya or russian readers are not offended, then good and let it be... :D as long as they don't apply their values to me, give me advise on how to live, or issue laws which affect me socially or financially.... But if they want to praise among themselves an "ideal wife".... then it's not my day to supervise them.. :lol: except for maybe making a joke about it.
 

Michalle

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This is a really interesting discussion - Tinami, your point makes sense, however at the same time I think because Evgeniya does seem to react somewhat negatively to the comment, saying she'd rather be known as an ideal athlete, it takes a way a little from the cultural relativism argument. So that makes it seem fairer to comment on it, while still keeping in mind what you've said.
 

Tinami Amori

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This is a really interesting discussion - Tinami, your point makes sense, however at the same time I think because Evgeniya does seem to react somewhat negatively to the comment, saying she'd rather be known as an ideal athlete, it takes a way a little from the cultural relativism argument. So that makes it seem fairer to comment on it, while still keeping in mind what you've said.
This is how it looks to me. He is a journalist, and she is not a simpleton. Verbal sparing is part of charm in social flirtation, for russians on a certain level. He said "ideal wife" and she replied "i'd rather be ideal athlete". They both came out sounding clever, and in "good humor", creating a charming "rapire".
 

sus2850

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Charming? I also thought his „ideal wife“ comment could have been a way to get her to comment on the break up with Vladimir. Do you think he would have used that opening if they were still together? To me it sounded offensive on that level as well (we do not hear his voice, he might have wanted to console her - you will find someone else - but to me this would be condescending then).
But her answer is really great.
 

Japanfan

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This is a really interesting discussion - Tinami, your point makes sense, however at the same time I think because Evgeniya does seem to react somewhat negatively to the comment, saying she'd rather be known as an ideal athlete, it takes a way a little from the cultural relativism argument. So that makes it seem fairer to comment on it, while still keeping in mind what you've said.
I'm reminded of when a group of individual female athletes - all blonde IIRC- competed in the same sport (cycling IIRC) did really well at the summer Olympics, bringing home some serious hardware.

For some reason they were in a certain Canadian city (maybe one or more of them came from that city) and the Mayor hosted a reception for them. The major couldn't help but comment on how delightful it was to be in presence of such young beauties! Try as I might, I did not succeed in explaining why this was offensive to a man with his own sexist issues.
 
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Vash01

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This is how it looks to me. He is a journalist, and she is not a simpleton. Verbal sparing is part of charm in social flirtation, for russians on a certain level. He said "ideal wife" and she replied "i'd rather be ideal athlete". They both came out sounding clever, and in "good humor", creating a charming "rapire".
Did you mean repartee (you used the wird rapire which I didnt find in the dictionary. May be itbis a Russian word?). In any case I got what you meant. I think some people are taking it way too seriously, applying American culture to a pair of Russians. I found the rest if the interview much more interesting than the opening remark, which was just that.
 

Japanfan

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I think some people are taking it way too seriously, applying American culture to a pair of Russians. I found the rest if the interview much more interesting than the opening remark, which was just that.
Evgenia took it seriously enough to correct the interviewer.

I take your point about applying American culture to Russia, but if doing so calls out a sexist remark, it is not necessarily inappropriate. A lot of people in the world look to the US to lead the defense and fight for human rights/women's rights (much less so under Trump obviously, but that's another subject). And just because sexism is culturally normalized (as it is everywhere to varying extents) does not mean that women are unaware of it, and take offense at it.

The point is that calling Evgenia an "ideal wife" diminishes her accomplishments and in so doing, is offensive. IMO. It puts gendered/feminine qualities ahead of her athletic accomplishments as a person. Can you imagine anyone calling a male pair skater "an ideal husband"?

It would be the same for any women who had a successful/remarkable achievement. Can you imagine if someone had said that to the two women who won the Nobel Peace prize (in 2017 IIRC)?

Heck, I would certainly have bristled if anyone ever told me that I would be an ideal wife and mother. Fat chance of that happening, however. :D I never bothered to cook or clean a house properly until I was in my 30s and my mom did not teach me those skills, as she was determined I not be fated to housewifery, as she was in the Post WWII era.
 

Michalle

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I think the other reason it is slightly jarring is because it's how he opens the interview. If it was a comment that flowed more naturally out of their conversation it might seem more like witty banter/repartee, but it's the first thing he says to her before she even says anything. I don't think it's the hugest deal on earth, it's just interesting. Of course it also affects things that we can't hear the tone of the speakers too (assuming this was an in-person interview).
 
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Some strange German figure skating blog wrote that Tarasova/Morozov are married and have now decided to break up off-ice, but still skate together. And this is being discussed and promoted on a FB group and the nitwits there are totally resistant to facts and logic which is sadly making me mad.

To clear this once and for all: Are they married?^^
 

muffinplus

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Some strange German figure skating blog wrote that Tarasova/Morozov are married and have now decided to break up off-ice, but still skate together. And this is being discussed and promoted on a FB group and the nitwits there are totally resistant to facts and logic which is sadly making me mad.

To clear this once and for all: Are they married?^^
Wtf, did Tarasova have a secret baby too :lol: #tessavirtuesekretbabyblog
 

Amy L

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Some strange German figure skating blog wrote that Tarasova/Morozov are married and have now decided to break up off-ice, but still skate together. And this is being discussed and promoted on a FB group and the nitwits there are totally resistant to facts and logic which is sadly making me mad.

To clear this once and for all: Are they married?^^

I wonder if there is some kind of cultural mix-up. Since they were living together for years, they would have been considered common-law married. Russians who knew them (especially older ones), could have called them "his wife", "her husband", or "bride" and "groom". There's no Russian word for boyfriend/girlfriend, they just say those words in English. So someone could have said "Zhenya broke up with her groom" and that all got lost in translation, which turned into a story of them getting divorced, even though in reality they were never legally married.
 

Tinami Amori

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I wonder if there is some kind of cultural mix-up. Since they were living together for years, they would have been considered common-law married. Russians who knew them (especially older ones), could have called them "his wife", "her husband", or "bride" and "groom". There's no Russian word for boyfriend/girlfriend, they just say those words in English. So someone could have said "Zhenya broke up with her groom" and that all got lost in translation, which turned into a story of them getting divorced, even though in reality they were never legally married.
- "Common-law marriage" in Russia means non-religious yet officially documented or registered marriage. At one point the term was used, not legally but "conversationally", for "cohabitating". Women often use term "common-law husband" to make their "cohabitation with a man" sound more legitimate to society, and sometimes men do also, to make their ladies feel more secure.
- Because of a lot of confusion, legal and social, with the term "common-law", in the last few years, or last decade, the Russian legal system is trying to distinguish between "non-religious/common-law" marriage and "cohabitation without official registration", and the official legal term for such is: (незарегестрированный брак - unregistered marriage).
- In this interview Zhenya honestly said "we just don't live together anymore" which could mean two things (of the same nature). that they do not live in the same apartment, or that they are no longer in a "sexual relationship". In colloquial Russian it is more polite to say "мы живем вместе" (we live together) than to say "we have a sexual relationship/we sleep together". In either case - they are not a couple off the ice.
- AFIIR Zhenya said in several interviews that she is not yet planning to get married and have family/children.. There is one published summary of some of her comments to the press...
https://uznayvse.ru/znamenitosti/biografiya-evgeniya-tarasova.html

RUS: Евгения также призналась, что пока не собирается заводить семью и выходить замуж, а хочет сосредоточиться на занятиях фигурным катанием и поддержанием прекрасной физической формы.

ENG: Evgeniya also admitted, that at present she is not planning to start a family, to take a husband (get married), but wants to concentrate on figure skating, and maintaining a great athletic form.

Did you mean repartee (you used the wird rapire which I didnt find in the dictionary. May be itbis a Russian word?). In any case I got what you meant.
it's from italian slang, meaning to "captivate".
From Vulgar Latin *rapīre, from Latin rapere, present active infinitive of rapiō, from Proto-Italic *rapiō, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁rp-i-, from *h₁rep- (“to snatch”).
rapire
  1. (transitive) To kidnap or abduct
  2. (transitive) To captivate
captivate
  1. To attract and hold interest and attention of; charm. quotations ▼
  2. (obsolete) To take prisoner; to capture; to subdue.
 
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Tinami Amori

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Парень/девушка were perfectly fine back when there was much less English used, are these not used anymore?
мой Парень/моя девушка - mу young man (lad)/young lady (maiden), was and still is used (afaik), but mostly by school and college students, or younger people, it would be odd for a 30+ year old to call his mate a "maiden" or a "lad". Also these terms do not indicate if there is a sexual relationship and not just dating/seeing each other.

I personally can not think of a proper word in russian to describe a man i am not married to, do not live with, but have a relationship with.... i really can not find a proper word. "Boyfriend" is not any better either ... sounds too high-schoolish.. "Lover" is too limiting for the scope of the relationship.... "возлюбленный/sweetheart" is too cheesy.. There needs to be a term for "companion" which includes all aspects of relationship.
 

hanca

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мой Парень/моя девушка - mу young man (lad)/young lady (maiden), was and still is used (afaik), but mostly by school and college students, or younger people, it would be odd for a 30+ year old to call his mate a "maiden" or a "lad". Also these terms do not indicate if there is a sexual relationship and not just dating/seeing each other.

I personally can not think of a proper word in russian to describe a man i am not married to, do not live with, but have a relationship with.... i really can not find a proper word. "Boyfriend" is not any better either ... sounds too high-schoolish.. "Lover" is too limiting for the scope of the relationship.... "возлюбленный/sweetheart" is too cheesy.. There needs to be a term for "companion" which includes all aspects of relationship.
Doesn’t Russian language have a term like ‘partner’? Here if someone is talking about a man/woman they have relationship with and are not married to, (no matter whether they live with that person or not), they often say ‘my partner’. Even though it doesn’t spell out they have (sexual) relationship, everyone understand what a partner means.
 

Tinami Amori

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Doesn’t Russian language have a term like ‘partner’? Here if someone is talking about a man/woman they have relationship with and are not married to, (no matter whether they live with that person or not), they often say ‘my partner’. Even though it doesn’t spell out they have (sexual) relationship, everyone understand what a partner means.
in my experience: in Russian "partner" means business/project. Outside of Russia "partner" is often used by same-sex couples.

I guess Zhenya can safely call Morozov "partner" now.. :D
found some vids of her
- when she skated singles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZoXlsMJE4g
- when she paired with Chudin (to me he looked better than Morozov.. :lol:)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuWTumJNzGA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqFZMgQeISY
 

Japanfan

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in my experience: in Russian "partner" means business/project. Outside of Russia "partner" is often used by same-sex couples.
Heterosexuals also use the word 'partner' commonly - not only when they are not married, but also when they are.

Also, words can evolve in terms of meaning - so 'partner' could evolve in Russia?

Are there relatively few unmarried, cohabitating couples in Russia, in which case they wouldn't need to use the word 'partner' to describe themselves? Or, is the power of the church that is preventing such couples from coming forward in terms of giving their relationships a name?
 
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PRlady

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My husband and I had the same problem in English and Hebrew. We were way too old for boyfriend/ girlfriend. Lover is too explicit and companion makes it sound like a seeing-eye dog. We used partner in English and partner-in-life in Hebrew but to our generation that sounds like business or same-sex relationship.

So we got married. :p
 

Tinami Amori

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Heterosexuals also use the word 'partner' commonly - not only when they are not married, but also when they are.
I've heard that too.... but in situations where a person using it wanted to specifically underline that they are more than "lovers or a typical family", that they are "partners in everything", that their relationship is special, above the "typical".

Also, words can evolve in terms of meaning - so 'partner' could evolve in Russia?
I don't see it happening too soon in general population, given the society is currently putting emphasis on "traditional family dynamics/roles". But... i have no doubt some people use it.

Are their relatively few unmarried, cohabitating couples in Russia, in which case they wouldn't need to use the word 'partner' to describe themselves? Or, is the power of the church that is preventing such couples from coming forward in terms of giving their relationships a name?
I don't have statistics.. But in my experience (since i returned to russia for work/business in 1990's) that there are many "unmarried" couples and families. Partially because many men (yes, "many") have 2nd families, and even 3rd families with their mistresses. They would not divorce their wives for a number of reasons, but have other relationship, with children and home-settings. These "wife-mistresses" would be terribly offended if these men did not call them "wife" in the social circle where they are received.

As to couples who are not officially married but in an exclusive relationship... Well, given that many women in Russia still consider "official marriage" to be the norm (and a form of "acceptance"), would prefer to be called "a wife" even if not married... But i am sure more "progressive couples", the few that there are, might use "partner" ...

The issue of calling your spouse a "partner" is not a new issue, it has been discussed in Russian circles. Here is an article that google-translates pretty well..
https://angliya.com/2015/07/16/wife-or-partner/
In a nutshell:
- "Partner" is more for business
- Most women consider "marriage" a status symbol. "Partner" negates the idea of "wife".
- Women are proud to be called "wife", means they are selected by their man for the ultimate commitment...
- Russian women who move/live abroad get annoyed with "western" use of "partner" for a relationship..
etc...
 
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Tinami Amori

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So it's only men who do the selecting - women just receive their offer?
check the "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" shows in gender-equal progressive North America... no matter who does the selecting, it is still the man who proposes .. :smokin:

I am sure there are cases in Russia when women propose, i am sure it's rare, but it happens. What's more frequent, is a man happy with "just seeing each other" or "just living together" arrangement, and a woman is hinting or asking to tie the knot, and sometimes sets it as a condition "marriage or goodbye. you've benefited from free services enough".. :D

... and then there are women who don't want to get married, and men do the chasing.. :lol: but it's less frequent than in reverse.
 
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Tinami Amori

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I would rather be boiled in oil than watch those shows!
i don't watch them much either.. but in any society, still, it is more common for a man to propose, and for a woman to want and wait for the fact of proposal. it's not a law... it's not across the board and a "must", but it is still the norm for more people than not.. (not that i like it)..
 

Japanfan

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i don't watch them much either.. but in any society, still, it is more common for a man to propose, and for a woman to want and wait for the fact of proposal. it's not a law... it's not across the board and a "must", but it is still the norm for more people than not.. (not that i like it)..
I agree that it's still the norm, and I too don't like it. I don't even remember how Mr. Japanfan and I got married, but I think it was a mutual decision. He most certainly did not get down on his knees. I would not have liked that.

Another norm I don't care for is changing one's last name to one's husband's name. I kept my last name, although it's still a man's last name. I just didn't like the idea of being 'Mrs. anyone - especially Mrs. his first name/his last name, which I find rather invalidating.

Funnily enough, I'm not a big fan of the institution of marriage. My first reason for getting married is that I figured that the guy might be less likely to bugger off - which has turned out to be true in my case (25 years married).

The second reason was that I wanted to give one hell of a :rockstar:- which I did.
 

Mad for Skating

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Yup. They are struggling technically and mentally. Also, their personal break up changed things on the ice. Whatever chemistry they had before is gone. Given their artistic struggles, losing that something extra didn't help.

I didn't realize their relationship was that serious. I am sure when they split, it was a major change.
I think they were dating for 5 or 6 years, so no wonder it was so hard for them. However, James/Cipres and Hubbell/Donohue are just fine skating after a romantic breakup, so I hope T/M can get there too.

Sigh, they were a really cute couple though...

Personally, I do feel like their chemistry on the ice has changed. They've never been a very emotive team, but there was some kind of youthful energy/sweetness about them in their first senior years, especially in their "Glam" SP. "Charm" might not be the right word, but there was something.

Right now, I'm just feeling nothing from them in terms of a connection. I think this article explains why. Between their off-ice breakup, their fights during training, and Evgenia's lingering regrets over the Olympics, it sounds like things have been tense.
I agree 100% with this. When they were young, they were still unpolished, but they had this quirky sweetness that just felt comfortable. It felt almost like a cute Disney Channel movie. I miss that.

IMO, starting the interview with 'you'll be a perfect' wife is insulting. Maybe it doesn't cross across that way in Russian?

When the interviewer later elaborated by saying 'how feminine you are', it bothered me too. It suggests that a female pair skater who is 'less feminine' in terms of the perception of what 'feminine' means is somehow inferior. Megan Duhamel is an example. I would never think of her as 'unfeminine' in terms of my understanding of feminine, but she has spoken about her body type, which differs from the typical pair girl. And she is a feisty and aggressive woman, qualities that might not fits the traditional 'gentle and kind' notion of feminine.
In general, I think pair skating women these days are the most feisty, aggressive women in the sport, and I love it. Wenjing Sui, Aliona Savchenko, Ksenia Stolbova, and of course Duhamel all have that fire and I don’t think it makes them unfeminine at all. Evgenia does present herself as kind of a “Cinderella” on the ice (I don’t have a better word for it), but she’s strong in her own way and I don’t like how they portray her as a docile little doll.

Fortunately Tarasova sees this and is not marking rash decisions like Stolbova did.
IIRC, Klimov wanted to take an indefinite break, and Stolbova decided she didn’t want to wait around for 2-3 years only for him to say he didn’t plan on coming back anyways. Fedor wanted to retire and become a coach. Ksenia has the right to make her own decisions and take risks. But since you hate Aliona for doing the same thing, it only makes sense. Funny, I thought you couldn’t get enough of Stolbova/Klimov a few years ago...

Outside of Russia "partner" is often used by same-sex couples.
I’ve always thought that was weird. I’m a girl, and if I ever date a girl, I would want to call her my “girlfriend”. “Partner” sounds like a euphemism, and the person I love shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. Okay, gay rant over.
 

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