Hah! Viral Video of Woman Pouring Bleach on Subway ‘Man-Spreaders’ Was Paid Kremlin Propaganda
In September Russian law student Anna Dovgalyuk released a video of herself pouring a mixture of bleach and water onto men’s crotches across the subway in St Petersburg.
The men committed the feminist crime of “man-spreading.”
Obviously, the video went viral.
But now it turns out the video production was paid by the Kremlin and was intended to provoke anti-feminist reactions… which it did.
A young woman walks up to a man in a subway train and pours liquid over him from a plastic bottle.
The scene is repeated a number of times with different men who all react with anger and bewilderment. We are told that they are being punished for “manspreading”, i.e. for sitting with their legs wide open.
The video went viral worldwide after it was published by In The Now – an English language social media channel owned by RT (Russia Today), which addresses international audiences. It has so far been seen 6,4 million times under the headline “FIGHTING MANSPREADING… WITH BLEACH!” and with the comment “This is a pretty extreme way to combat #manspreading.”
The St. Petersburg-based online magazine Bumaga found and interviewed one of the men appearing in the recording, who said that he was paid for acting as a victim.
So, if the video is fiction, and if In The Now even openly states this – what is then the purpose of promoting the story to international audiences? What is in it for a Russian state media outlet?
Provoking a clash of extreme views
The key to a possible answer is found in the reactions the video has been able to spur.
In the comments section on Facebook, users express outrage against the alleged feminist activist, often in strongly misogynic language, with this comment as the most popular, gathering by now more than 14,000 likes.
remember that video of a Russian woman pouring bleach on men on trains as a way to stop manspreading?
turns out it was staged Kremlin propaganda intended to provoke anti-feminist reactions, and men in the video were paid to act as victim https://t.co/TeUQ1PjrqH
— Rossalyn Warren (@RossalynWarren) October 8, 2018