Pussy Riot Vs. Trump: Becoming Woman To Resist Becoming Fascist

Dyer, Natalie; Mackenzie, Hollie; Teggi, Diana and de Vries, Patricia (2022). Pussy Riot Vs. Trump: Becoming Woman To Resist Becoming Fascist. In: Dolphijn, Rick and Braidotti, Rosi eds. Deleuze and Guattari and Fascism. Deleuze Connections. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 362–379.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781399505246-021


This chapter explores how protest punk rock group Pussy Riot reclaim the vagina in their songs ‘Straight Outta Vagina’ and ‘Make America Great Again’ by activating a non-normative and fluid feminist desire against the phallic micropolitical fascism emanating from former US President Donald J. Trump. Our analysis of these two Pussy Riot songs aims to conceptualise a feminist micropolitics centered on the pussy, a labial language and the multiple molecular becomings that such pussy politics generate. We eschew the trap of constructing a counter-penis concept, as Simone de Beauvoir warned (Appignanesi 2005). Instead, we imagine and interpret pussy politics by way of engaging with Pussy Riot’s songs in order to offer a politics of feminist resistance to the microfascist psychic economies at work in the Trump presidency. By relating to the Trump presidency through Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the Face Machine, this politics of feminist resistance activates the disruptive power of a fluid feminist subject. We argue that it reclaims the pussy’s multiplicity, fluids and flows both as a source of becoming and as an antidote to the microfascism witnessed today. We situate the music videos of ‘Straight Outta Vagina’ and ‘Make America Great Again’ as sources which stage a multiple and fluid feminist desire that intervenes in the toxicity of Trump’s Face Machine and allows for the possibility of ‘an “other meaning”’ inspired by Irigaray’s feminist ethics (Irigaray 1985b: 29).

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