Russian Porn, Oligarch Edition: The Book of Olga

Wife porn

Wife porn

Posted by Irresponsibility

Its apologists say pornography doesn’t objectify women. I refer them to the recent Observer Woman article Just another day in the life of a Russian oligarch’s wife… about Russian oligarch Sergey Rodionov and his wife Olga.

The feature publicises The Book Of Olga, which features her stripped in a poses described as “extraordinarily explicit and shockingly pornographic.” It is not – as some bloggers have suggested – a loving husbandly tribute to his wife’s fabulous figure. It is a £300-a-pop homage to rape culture. It is nothing more than spousal abuse with a thin veneer of art.

How else can you interpret Olga’s flat recollection that she was “afraid… and very uncomfortable,” doing her first nude shoot?

Photographer Bettina Rheims articulates her subject’s resignation. “Olga never seems to really care about anything: she neither agrees nor disagrees with it and she does not seem to take pleasure from it… somehow she was not involved.”

Sergey makes grandiose claims that the pornification of his wife is about “the freedom of a woman who dares to appear the way the artist sees her… [and] the freedom of a man who is sure in his feelings.” Olga’s alleged freedoms remain elusive. She goes shopping in the Middle East and Paris, she wears designer clothes, she’s photographed being “ravaged by a lobster.” She is not, it seems, free to say no.

If she were actually free it would threaten Radionov’s masculine birthright: to have an attractive, ego-boosting piece of chattel whom he can publicly humiliate in order to augment his own status. He hopes she will continue posing nude not because it empowerfuls her but because, “It perfectly confirms my privileges.”

That is porn’s dirty little secret: it always confirms male privilege.


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2 thoughts on “Russian Porn, Oligarch Edition: The Book of Olga

  1. Pingback: Not Rape - Not a Difficult Concept « Irresponsibility

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