Watch Pussy Riot Talk Feminism

Nadya Tolokonnikova says she's considered 'against the Russian Federation…because I call myself a feminist'

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Watch Pussy Riot Talk Feminism

Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova (aka Nadya Tolokno), joined by husband Pyotr Verzilov and collaborator Matt Kulakov, recently sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss the band's efforts to draw attention to police violence and other injustices in both the United States and Russia.

As part of that conversation, the Russian artists also discussed their views on feminism – "feminist" being a term that's often used to describe Pussy Riot, and one that played a role in Tolokonnikova's 2012 arrest and trial tied to her anti-Putin activism.

However heated the discourse about feminism may sometimes be in the United States, the term has an entirely different – and more sinister – connotation in Russia, as Verzilov explains in this exclusive Rolling Stone video interview.

You'll often hear "that feminism is evil, is a derogatory term, is an obscene word, and is against the values of Russians," he says.

Tolokonnikova says the court documents relating to her trial note that she is "against the Russian Federation…because I call myself a feminist."

That said, Tolokonnikova actually prefers the term "gender equality." In addition to fighting for women's rights specifically, she wants to bust traditional gender roles more broadly. "I want to fight for the right for Matt to wear a skirt" and makeup, she says. "Why not?"

Kulakov and Verzilov add that feminism shouldn't just be seen as a women's issue. "A lot of work to promote feminism has to be done not with women, but with men," says Verzilov. "Feminism should definitely not be exclusively a worry of women."