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Unfiled October 16, 2003
Men without Women
By Edward Limonov Browse author

Men without Women, it is a title of Ernest Hemingway's collection of a short stories, most of which are somehow related to a war. First World War, if to be exact. Wars changed a lot from Hemingways time, women where awaylable at my wars which I lived and fighted in 90's. The only territory where women are unaccessable is prison territory.

Because they are unreachable, they are hated in prison. Their names are cursed, damned, soiled, caricatured and masturbated on. Women are regarded as genetically unfaithful, polygames, unstable, compulsive liars, dirty, always ready to sex with strangers, unmoral. All women of reproductive age for a prisoner are worst than prostitutes, they are animals. Very known Russian slang word "tiolka," was born in prison and later made its way out to the free world. "Tiolka" is a young cow, young animal. So a male prisoner treats all women as animals.

Freshly arrested, a prisoner not becoming a women hater overnight. In the first months he is tied up with a big world across the bars, he is receiving letters, once in few months he could see his wife or girl-friend through the thick glass of prison room for rendezvous. But with time those letters, smelling of perfume, more and more rare guests in his sell. Rendezvous, oh, once he is seeing blue bruises on the skin of the neck of his beloved creature. Across that dirty thick prison glass, only for a moment, but afterwords, he remembers blue bruises, powdered of course, because she is not a silly one, his beloved female. Those bruises, a prisoner knows are traces of some man kisses, left on the body of his wife! Not, not that, he is training himself to believe that he didn't see bruises, or they are left not by kisses. At next rendezvous, prisoner wants to start a conversation about origin of those blue bruises, "you know, honey, you are, seems to me, are...unfaithful to me?"

She was probably ready for that reaction. She explodes happily: "What?! You suspecting me of unfidelity, you?!" And she walks out. That was a trap for you, so she could stop those painful rendezvous, across a prison glass, that sweet lie in the dirty membrane of a dirty prison telephone, smelling trouble. But she still writes you letters telling you how selfish you are, how egotistical you, prisoner, are. One or two letters. Because she got tired of playing that awful part of prisoners beloved creature. Because her nature pushed her to fuck, to be petted and kissed by strangers. That it is your, prisoners fault that you got arrested and throwed behind the bars.

But some womens attention to prisoner lasted longer. I saw myself a letter from his beloved received by prisoner of penetentiary colony N13, Alexei, four days before his liberation. His girl-friend had been strong, faithful for five years. Then: "Don't make a search of me. Even don't try. I have a man, who loves me, and I am happy with him." Cold wind was blowing from Asian steppes near Volga, that small piece of paper in Alexei's hands was like a flag of capitulation, of defeat. Tall, young man of 28, always smiling before, was not like a beaten dog. "I don't understand," he repeated, "I don't understand, her previous letters during all those years were so sweet."

They are all traitors of men, sooner or later. Girl-friends, married with children, non-married. Children are reason for a longer and more sofisticated lie, not for fidelity. Women with children are covering their sex activities more carefully. Sooner or later prisoners discover harsh truth about their women. That is why they call them animal names, and Russian men call young women "tiolkas." Because at any given time Russian penetentiary system housing over one million men without women.

Only one type of woman is respected in prison. That is mother of a prisoner. Killer or robber, rapist or mass murderer, he is child of his mother. Mother is woman past reproductive age, so she cannot betray her son, she cannot deprive him of her body. Mother is an icon in prison. Prison songs dedicated to mother are numerous and the best. They are touching, melodramatic, and tragic. At the same time, interesting to note that prisoners are not moved by the mothers of their children, their wives are not respected by them. Old mother of prisoner very probably have something to do in establishing a Russian cult of Mother Russia. Mother Russia is also an old woman, who is past reproductive age. I think that most probable origin of Mother Russia is prison. Then Mother Russia spread to "free" Russian world. Other nations such as Yankees, Brits and French, have no cults of old women mothers. Where is Mother England? Mother America? As to French they worship a young republic - Maryanne with big tits.

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