13 November 2007

Pro-natalist Nationalism

I don't get it. It's an advert for the upcoming Duma elections with the instructions: "Vote for the future of Russia!" Now, to say that it's heteronormative, in a rampantly homophobic society, is a bit like saying, "It's a popular campaign in Russia." No surprise there.

But I can't figure out if it's an advert for voting at the ballot box, or in the sack. Especially since the government is on a big pro-natalist kick with the following poster slapped on walls all over the capital:

[Translation: The country needs you to set records! Three children are born every minute in Russia.]

Then again, this is the same place that brought us:

[Rough translation: Grow large, you strapping lad!]

Go, you breeders!

4 comments:

Rachel's Tavern said...

LOL! Their birth rate is really tanking. In fact, Russia is one of the countries with the fastest rate of depopulation, and since they're extremely xenophobic, the likely that immigrants will help with that problem is slim.

On another note, over here in the US, I have seen that story of the Siberian woman who gave birth to the giant baby. I think it was her 12th kid, and it weighed like 17 lbs. The pictures were all over yahoo. I wonder if the Russian govt, had a hand in promoting that story. That baby's picture was on Yahoo popular for months.

Seesaw said...

Depopulation is obviously present in many countries all over Europe, not only Russia. And everywhere people are getting more and more anti immigrants oriented, so who will work?!?

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

You know what I'd be curious about? A comparison of 1970s US/Western racialized rhetoric of the "population explosion" and present-day Russian talk of the demographic crisis. Obviously, it would be a comparison, i.e. they aren't the same thing, BUT there's an interesting way in which race, population and state-planning come together in countries/societies that perceive themselves to be "in decline." Or at least, that's my first-blush impression.

Rachel's Tavern said...

Yeah seesaw, the Europeans are going to allow their xenophobia to cause a demographic and economic crisis. They are not going to be able to maintain their expansive welfare states if they do not get more young workers into the economy.

My understanding from older demographic data is that Russia has a particularly accute problem with population loss. While they are not the only country with low birth rates--Japan, Italy, Germany, France, and some others are lower--they are also still experiencing a great of out migration among the native born. This is probably because their economy is struggling much more than the economies of these other countries.

Personally, I'm all for zero population growth, but population decline does not promote a healthy economy or society.

On the study, that would be interesting. Both the population growth rhetoric and the pronatalist rhetoric have similar tactics. I was struck by how much the pictures you put up above resemble the style of Nazi pictures.