TheDailyBeast (Full Story)
Russia's Single Women Tired of Country's Useless Batchelors. Anna Nemtsova reports on the glamorous Moscow girls who are giving up on their “useless” countrymen. Anna Shpakova is a beautiful Russian blonde. A professional dancer and the art director of Moscow’s new Leica Academy, she favors a wardrobe of black designer threads that hang gracefully on her trim frame. She is a fixture of Russia’s avant-garde art circles, and can often be found hosting hip gallery openings, welcoming visitors to photography exhibits at the Russian Academy of Arts, or teaching art students at the Rodchenko Photo School.
She lives in a cozy, artwork-filled abode on the pedestrian Old Arbat street, famous for housing the most expensive boutiques in town. She is independent and ambitious—at 17, she left home from a provincial city in Belarus to study psychology at Moscow State University. Now in her mid-30s, her life seems to be perfect.And yet, like so many Russian women, Shpakova has lost hope of finding a suitable mate among her fellow countrymen. (She has “not met a single gentleman among Russian men,” she says.)
The litany of complaints that Russian ladies have against their male counterparts is long: They smoke too much and drink too much. They cheat shamelessly and curse freely. They expect their girlfriends and wives to clean for them, cook for them, and to look like models. More seriously, they are often violent and feel threatened by independent, high-earning women.
The dating prospects are so grim, in fact, that Shpakova and many other Russian women of her generation are consciously deciding to stay single. Moscow alone boasts more than 3 million single women between the ages of 25 and 50, out of a population of 11.1 million (that’s three times the number of single Muscovite men). In Russia as a whole, there are 11 million more women than men, due in part to a century of bloody revolutions, gulags, and wars that drained the country’s male population. Add to that the fact that male life expectancy is particularly grim in Russia—on average, 59 years, as opposed to a woman’s 73 years, the largest gap of any country in the world—and you’ve got a serious demographic imbalance.
Still, the numbers of single men and women in Russia are roughly equal: 17.6 million single ladies to 17.2 million single lads. “That means that Russian women simply have no interest in marrying Russian men,” says Irina Zhuravleva, the head of Russia’s census department at the Federal Statistics Service. A single woman herself, Zhuravleva says she “never had any interest in marrying a drunk, to later suffer the pain of divorce and splitting [of] real estate.”