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Nov. 19th, 2014 02:11 pm
taelle: (Default)
[personal profile] taelle
 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bullypulpitgames/night-witches - this company makes a computer game about the Night Witches regiment. I don't play computer games, but it's Night Witches - I went to read. ... and now I am thinking. Specifically, thinking about the sexism and feminism angle in their description.

My first instinctive reaction was "no-no-no, stupid Americans pushing their contemporary political concerns into our history". But. WWII here is this huge lump of unprocessed and unreflected history with only the clean and heroic bits - and I don't know when it will be processed. I have this plan going on the backburner, to read English-language books on Russian history just to have outside POV to help me think.

There is a book in Russian (I've no idea whether it was translated into English) about women at war, which I always mean to read but am afraid to - it's mostly accounts of women who went to war, and I have read _some_ real-life accounts so I have an idea about how depressing it would be; and I have met a lot of people who say that it's a tendentious and biased book to make our heroic history look dirty, and it was NOT LIKE THAT and better read Soviet-published memoirs of heroic women who volunteered and everyone in their regiments treated them as a little sister.

And, of course, once I started thinking I remembered reading memories of sexual harassment of women on the frontlines (and, one of the bits from the aforementioned book I did read - and it struck me very much - how women returning from war to their towns and villages were often shunned, because everyone believed they were whores - what else they could have been doing among so many men?)

I still don't believe in _sabotage_ which is mentioned in the game description, though: that would have been a shooting offense.

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Also, hello to the new people!  All this is kind of inspiring me to write more.

on 2014-11-19 05:02 pm (UTC)
charis: MIKI from Sound Horizon (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] charis
... history in general is such a tricky business. It always makes me sad when I want to read ALL THE HISTORIES but can't find them, and nine times out of ten it's language barrier ... in part because while I'm sure there's bias everywhere, if you can read from different angles it helps to filter that down.

(I watched a Soviet-era series on WWII in the east, partly because my grandfather and his brothers were part of the Czech regiments that fought with the Soviet troops then (and specifically because I was looking for information about Dulka Pass, which I didn't find anything on, grump grump) -- and I watched it after a whole slew of Western-centric WWII documentaries, and it was pretty interesting to see the other end a bit. I wish there were more translations, and a broader spread of them where you can find them. Or that I could just learn ALL the languages.)

Also, this reminds me that I keep wanting to look up stuff about the Night Witches. Adding that to my never-ending research list again ... XD

on 2014-11-20 07:11 am (UTC)
alasse_irena: Photo of the back of my head, hair elaborately braided (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] alasse_irena
Historiography is a tricky business, and there's a tendency for people to go looking for clear-cut answers: Was this person a tyrant or a hero? Was this battle a victory, or a tragedy?

And the best answers are usually somewhere in between. And finding them involves reading *everything*. I should learn more languages. My understanding of Russian history is probably shockingly biased, and I have no idea...

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