On "Eastern European Women"

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/29/pull-the-cart-out.html


Woody Allen did not stipulate male or female Eastern European when, in “Love and Death”, his film character got “so depressed, he tried to commit suicide by inhaling next to an Armenian.”


I don’t know that I would characterize that as out of nowhere. Of course the stereotype has been there for a long time.

But more recently this refrain about Eastern European women (and occasionally East Asian women) has been a huge part of the whole Alt-Right thing, along with its European far right nationalist equivalents. Eastern European women are claimed to be more racially pure. More traditional. More supplicant. And less spoiled by Muslim/Black cock and the fiending for it that education, rights, and liberal politics apparently inspires in all women (and I’m not just being crass there, that’s an actual argument/theory these people put out). In a lot of ways its the original point of connection between the online white nationalist, new misogynist/pick up artist, and counter enlightenment movements that formed the core of the Alt-Right and runs straight through the current crop of European nationalist fascists.

Like wise Eastern European nations, especially Russia are fetishized as a sort of white nationalist/supremacist play ground. Nations that are forming a bulwark of strong counter democracy against various browns invading the West’s women. Its all deeply deeply weird and gross. I’d be deeply suspicious of anyone pushing this particular stereotype these days. As its not your usual casual bias and lazy generalizing these days. Its an intellectual plank in the new fascist movements.

ETA: I’ve also never much understood the stereotype. The Eastern European women I’ve known, and there are many. Are fucking hard. They’re in charge, and they’re not taking your shit. In all the Russian, Georgian, Ukrainian, Hungarian and what have women I’ve known over the years I would never think to describe any of them as supplicant breeding stock. I imagine you might get hit.


I feel like the hidden lesson in the proverb is: Avoid Serbian men. They have no idea how to drive.


Rachel Dratch coined the brilliant phrase “Stetl bod” to describe the large bust/short stature body types of her maternal lineage. It is such an evocotive image that I now cannot help but think of that phrase any time I hear the words “Eastern European woman.”

I do find it irritating and idiotic that many social ills are supposedly easily cured by introducing/importing the “right kind” of woman (usually submissive). Whatever culture, women are still people, trying to exist. We are not accessories or solutions. Ugh.


Was it a cab driver?

My Grandma was born in Central Texas, but spoke with a Czech accent and certainly embodied the short little fast talking European grandma stereotype.


I don’t get to exposed to this article’s perspective much, but I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting.


we’re becoming world-class sultanas

This is amusing to Britons


There is definitely a weird Catch-22 where people will be proud of some stereotype associated with their heritage, but then also be offended by that stereotype in a different context. “Serbian women can pull a cart out of the mud” is a good encapsulation of that: she’s strong, but like a draft animal.

It sounds like a horrible stereotype, but as someone who grew up with several Armenian friends, I can say there is a tendency for Hye men to get stinky faster than other ethnicities, and they would generally admit it too (in fact it was an Armenian friend who first explained it to me, “yeah man, I can’t help it, it’s like how some guys get 5-o’clock shadow an hour after shaving, just gotta stay on top of it.”)


I see that as less than ‘weird’ and more like ‘interesting’: Context and culture is all.

Diet, possibly? A Midwestern American could smell bad to someone who was brought up in Japan.


I missed it. If the article is good you don’t notice the faux amis and the homonyms.

When it comes to Slovenians, just remember that this is the tiny country that declared UDI, kicked the backsides of the Serbs and joined the modern world. And now they have a mole in the White House.


Much of this thread so far…

But Jasmina’s work is always great to read.


I knew someone in college, not sure if he was Armenian but definitely of Eastern European descent, who would have BO within minutes of getting out of the shower. Had no idea it was either a common thing or a stereotype until just now.

Some Germans might also chuckle. But usually, these are sold as ‘Sultaninen’ over here.

Fun fact: friend of mine once got lost in translation and had to ask in a round of Dubliners how these undried raisins were called in English.

The Irish were definitely taking the piss, then. Or so I heard them whine.

I saw that picture you posted, and what came to mind is that somebody wants their cart left in the mud. :wink:


Although there are some diseases which give people a scent the scent of recently washed folks is mostly due to what they have been eating.

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anecdote alert!

Once upon a time I happened to spend six months in a place with practically no access to either processed or junk food, and which was also swelteringly hot. Initially we all sweated a lot. Or a lot, depending on your preference. And we stunk.

After a week or two the sweat still flowed freely, but the smell had gone.

Either we’d gotten used to the smell, which is possible I guess. The general conclusion though was that after a couple of weeks of a reasonably healthy diet the various preservatives and what-not had worked their way out of our bodies.


I LOVE garlic. But when I do indulge… my friends can tell just from what’s being exuded from my skin.


Don’t lump all of Eastern Europe together, Armenians are not Slavs like Russians/Serbs/Poles/Bulgars/etc., culturally they have more in common with Syrians, Lebanese and Turks, but they are unique ethnic group.

I now regret bringing this up.