behind the headlines

Some fuzz about Archpriest Vsevolod Tsjaplin's call for a new dress code for Russian women

Saturday, January 29, 2011 · Category Religion · comments 0


Russian women national dresscode

In the letter posted on the 18th of Janaury 2011 on Interfax Religion the archpriest Vsevolod Tsjaplin replied after massive feminist protest for his call for a nationwide new dresscode to battle the short-term marriages that turn into divorces, destroying the lives of children, leading to loneliness, insanity and a lifetime disaster.

What's wrong with the archpriests opinion?

Dressed like a hooker

First of all it is not just Russia. I travel around quit a lot and whether you walk the streets of Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, Boekarest, L'viv or any Russian town in spring, summer and even late summer, autumn, as a man you find your eyes having problems staying focussed on the road ahead of you. Everywhere a part of the female population these days tends to get dressed in ever shorter and "hotter" outfits that seem to be an invitation for "sex-on-the-spot". When you look a bit further into advertising, but even the way the "Russian and Ukranian Army" is dressed these days, I wonder who's to blame.

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Russians selective use of Religion

Although the Eastern Orthodox Church may be regarded as one of the most sympathetic religions, Russians tend to be very selective about what the Orthodox Church asks or tells them to do. It depends much on how it fits their needs at the moment in time.

From my own past experience I recall a relationship where we had a great holiday and I even paid her a visit after getting invited, yet at a certain point in time due to a small issue regarding "sounds" and "being heard" I was suddenly redirected to the street. What we did - having sex before marriage - was a shame and an inexcusable sin against the sixth commandment. I was told we made the biggest mistake ever like the sixth commandment was suddenly higher ranked than any of the other 9. The only way to make things right was to get married on the spot which may be a better justification of the Russian problem with short-term marriages and the destruction of family life raging through it's society.

It was the same woman who would go dressed in a long white dress with a hat to visit an ancient Church and pay tribute to God, while wearing nothing underneath because "it felt better without bra and panties because of the tremendous heat" and she was after all a "nature loving human being". I called it hypocrisy, which was basically the last thing I could say.

Position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue

Vladimir Vigilantski, spokesman of the Patriarch, said the dresscode would not enter official Churc documents. He did however suggest the possibility of a "social contract". If a woman would know that people will look at her with distrust, making her into a paria, she might think twice to dress up like so many do these days.

About archpriest Tsjaplin

Archpriest Vsevolod TsjaplinArchpriest Vsevolod TsjaplinIn the opinion of the archpriest clothing is not regarded as a private matter. In the past the archpriest has suggested the opening of special Russian-Orthodox nightclubs where religious men and women could meet for a good conversation to get to know each other better. In that sense the archpriest may be regarded as a more "conservative and traditional man".

Religion being used as opinion for the masses?

Yet it is interesting to see how religion - only 20 years ago almost completely banned from public life in Russia - is being rediscovered as "opium" for the masses, introduced and used by politicians. In this way I tend to believe that the Orthodox Church is undoubtedly back in sight and using it's renewed power to enlargen and brothen it's influence into Russian public life.

The new leaders can be found everywhere in front of the Church during important religious days. Just a short while ago we were confronted with pictures of President Medvedev visiting the Jordan River and being splashed with it's Holy water. Yet, 20 years ago, most of them were fanatic communists who wanted nothing from religion. Suddenly they have seen the light and have become devote Christians living life based on the Bible.

What will the future hold?

As a man I am not yet worried about boring summers and I believe the way one dresses doesn't tell all about the person. The way one dresses however may be a way to hide or disguise another feature which one rather not tell or show. And about those Russian women? A Russian woman going out the door without make-up and being properly dressed, is almost an impossibility without wanting to generalize. And last but not least: I do believe the Church has it's role in our world as the last beacon of integrity although the image has definitely been damaged by sex scandals in the Catholic Church.


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