Putin’s War on Ukraine: Macro Authoritarian Toxic Masculinity and Domestic Abuse


Like all wars, Putin’s Russian aggression towards Ukraine, is an act of male domination: male supremacy and privilege as part of the patriarchal ideology of ownership and possession. The language of Putin’s war is the language of domestic abuse: male aggrievement and gaslighting through misinformation and victim blaming (you made me do it). Authoritarian Institutional sexism and misogyny, as witnessed in the rollback of Russian women’s (five years ago Russia decriminalized domestic violence) and Gay rights, at home, under the guise of authoritarian “family values”, is manifesting on the global stage through violence and aggression in response to Ukraine’s movement towards a historical “divorce” from the Russian fatherland. Let’s be clear, just as the most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she threatens or acts to leave, cutting off his link to power and control, Putin’s Russia is in an abusive relationship with the autonomy seeking Ukraine. Accordingly, as in men’s domestic violence against women, Putin’s aggressive/homicidal desire for male power and control will be on the backs of the most vulnerable- women, children, and the marginalized.

Moshe Rozdzial, PhD