La mort de la féminité russe

Valentina Terechkova, première cosmonaute femme soviétique, première femme à être allée dans l’espace, vient de fêter son 70e anniversaire. Dans une interview, elle a fait part de son unique souhait : s’envoler pour Mars, même si c’est pour ne jamais revenir. Il s’agit du désir implicite d’une forme de suicide spectaculaire, pour une raison tout aussi spectaculairement prosaïque : la perte, vécue par des milliers de femmes russes de sa génération, du fondement existentiel de sa vie.

La génération de Terechkova, bien qu’elle ait couvert presque toute l’ère du règne soviétique, a été élevée dans la tradition russe de la féminité. Bien plus ancienne que le régime soviétique, cette tradition met l’accent sur l’esprit de sacrifice – pas juste pour les proches, mais pour de grandes causes comme la révolution, l’État, la science ou l’art – profondément hostile à l’accumulation d’argent et de biens matériels en tant que but de l’existence.

Après la perestroïka et l’effondrement de l’URSS en 1991, ces femmes n’ont rien changé à leur vie ni à leur attitude. Elles n’ont pas maudit ce qu’elles avaient glorifié dans le passé, ni embrassé ce qu’elles condamnaient autrefois. Elles n’ont pas participé à la privatisation de la propriété de l’État ni n’ont intégré le show business pour gagner de l’argent.

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