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Myths and facts about Slavic Women.

How are Ukrainian and Russian women really?

by Marina Fedorova

Beautiful Ukrainian Woman

Ukrainian & Russian women are full of attention, they do not try to make a professional career, they are undemanding and dream only to be good housewives.

Absolutely NO.

Ah! A well-known myth about a beautiful and undemanding Ukrainian woman (or Russian), whose dream is to submit to the lovely western husband (understand here the desire to be engaged in domestic life and children only) and who will sacrifice herself for her husband and her family! Listening to some people the impression is created, that she is almost a perfect woman!!

How can we speak about “Ukrainian or Russian woman“ when there are 80 million of them? How do we compare a young girl who is living in Moscow and spending 30% of her budget on her make up and the woman deformed by the life of heavy work, pregnancy and abortions? 

How is it possible to compare girls who are not interested in politics, but dream to make good money and a fifty year old woman, paralyzed by this double standard from communism?

However just as the painted "nested dolls" (called “matryoshka”), covered with all the same decoration, not looking at generations and social circles, the term "Russian woman" has some true facts behind it.

First of all it is necessary to point out the difference between girls - inhabitants of the big cities as Moscow, Kiev or Saint Petersburg where the mentality is rather close to Europeans and girls - inhabitants of towns and villages, which are under a bigger influence of Russian news media about the western life.

Lets look closer why Europeans and Americans consider the Russian (Ukrainian) woman, so deeply devoted to family values.

Myth number one.

Russian or Ukranian woman are good, full of attention and undemanding.

According to the Ukrainian & Russian mentality the woman should be married (by the way the exact translation of the words “ to be married” for the woman, from Russian and Ukrainian language, is “to be behind (for) her husband "), to give birth to his children, to treat and to care about him.

The first care of the Russian girl is to be a wife of someone, to be "behind someone". It is fair, that she will search for the father figure in her future husband and it is fair, that she thinks that she will not be able to overcome obstacles in her life by herself only. So girls get married frequently very young, right after high school. Very often her husband offends or deceives her. An average Russian man needs a mistress to approve his prevailing position; it is an attribute of him. A principle of boasting in front of his fellow workers and friends: a lot of the Russian men say that they are happy in their marriage, love their wife and children, but at the same time, recognize that they have a mistress, even a few. But the wife maintains everything, because she is proud of the status of being a spouse. Without the husband, the female position in society is considered below the status of the married woman.

In conclusion, there is an image of the Russian or Ukranian woman - she is good, full of attention, does not try to make a professional career and undemanding: it is actually a fine misunderstanding, because this situation for the woman is a compulsion but not a considered choice!!

But the mentality has changed for a few last years in Ukraine and Russia and now the Slavic woman finds out, that the family is not concentrated on her husband only, but on her needs also: she works as well as her husband, she brings up children, prepares food, keeps in order an apartment, washes clothes etc... She understands finally her independence and her strength: the Russian woman starts to protect her rights.

Some Ukrainian women turn towards foreigners because they think, that foreign men will be more attentive to them, that they will always listen to her opinion, that they will be more responsible, and that they will not drink as much as Ukranian or Russian men. According to their vision of the foreigners, that husband and wife are the partners, and men are helping to bring up the children. A lot of Russian and Ukranian women do not think, that the Ukrainian or Russian husband can understand these sorts of problems or remain true. 


Myth number two.

Russian (Ukrainian) girls do not try to make a professional career.

If Ukrainian women (or Russian) are not such careerists as their western sisters and are often missing on the best positions at work, it is only for the simple reason: in Ukraine & Russia it is rare, that the woman occupies interesting posts, unfortunately, and very often they are victims of discrimination, are poorly paid and almost never get the opportunity to have a good career.

It is important to understand that if your girlfriend held a high position at work in Ukraine she will be possibly miss it after spending several months in your home.

Never have had any pleasures of a fascinating and profitable professional career.

Ukrainian girls are logically less careerists, than western women: this choice however, is more a compulsion imposed by a man's dominant society, than deep belief; each person adapts to a society inside which he or she lives. Your future wife, in time, will probably want to work and have a successful career. 


Myth number three.

Ukrainian & Russian women are dreaming to be good housewives.

For Slavic woman to be just a simple housewife it something like an unapproachable luxury: in their country they would work and at the same time have to the homemaker, and in most cases without help of electronic household devices such as a washing machine, a microwave etc.

Clearly, being in another country it is natural for them to be engaged in the housework if they do not work.

Slavic women of our matrimonial agency have in general a good educational level, real human qualities and are very dynamic: this is logical because the desire to marry a foreign man and the native country for this marriage is a long and difficult way, which needs a lot of qualities: so they are ambitious and also the most of them are hoping to find work in their new country and not just have a role as housewife.

In the end we want to mention, that the majority of Ukrainian & Russian ladies, want to marry the foreigner for love, recognition and respect, that they are ambitious and have already shown some force of their character, they want equality. They certainly will be precautionary and true spouses, but by no means - dependent!!

The majority of Ukrainian women (or Russian) want to leave their country and to marry a foreigner.

NO. The marriage between Americans and women from Eastern Europe has become today a theme frequently mentioned by radio, TV and magazines. According to the media all women from Eastern Europe wish to leave their countries and marry men from Western Europe or Northern America. It is absolutely incorrect, because there are thousands of Russian ladies, wishing to marry western men and also tens of millions that are happily married to Russian and Ukranian men.

If a Slavic woman is married a Slavic man she will not divorce him to marry a foreigner even if conditions of her life are awful. According to statistics, only 0.5% of single or divorced Russian women wish to marry a foreigner.

It is quite overwhelming that the majority of Ukrainian & Russian women even if they could find a husband, a lot of them don’t want to leave their country and would rather stay closer to their family and friends.

The Ukrainian ladies, who want to leave their country, do not make these important decisions thoughtlessly, and the ladies of our matchmaking agency understand that you assume: they should leave their family, friends and move to a country where they do not know anyone, except for you, they will not hear their native language and will be completely dependent on you in the beginning. But they are ready to sacrifice all this for the sake of a man, whom will manage to win their heart! Please do not try to have an illusion that you the brave knight in shining Armour are going to rescue these ladies from infernal life! It is very far from reality. These ladies live sometimes in difficult conditions from your economic point of view, but they are proud women and they love their native country. They are brought up well and they are clever. And they know, that thousands of men from all over the world are attracted to them!

A character of Ukrainian & Russian women is different from the character of the western women.

YES. Life conditions and the status of woman in Eastern Europe make their character on some points different from women of Western Europe.

It is connected certainly with Slavic culture and a standard of living in the ex-USSR. Let's look at this question point by point their differences and their origins. Do not forget however, that each person is unique!! 

1) In general Ukrainian women (or Russian) show much more patience and tolerance than the western women because in Russia the main thing in the family is dependence and mutual aid!

Really, Russian families are built on this principle of dependence: Russians are very much attached to the family members. >From this attachment they are obliged generally to their life conditions: the majority of Russian families have small apartments where they live in common 2 or 3 generations. During the Soviet epoch people could not buy an apartment, which was given free-of-charge by the state during all working period (everyone should pay only a maintenance and electric fee). Norms of granting were very strict: 5-8 square meters for each person!

The family with 2 children of a different sex could only have an apartment containing approximately 2 rooms with 30 square meters (kitchen, bathroom and a hall, are not taken into consideration). A divorced woman with one child could have only a one-room apartment. Today everyone can buy an apartment and the state certainly does not give an apartment free-of-charge. The problem is that to buy an apartment it is almost impossible for the majority of Russians because of their salary (the Russian average monthly salary is equal to 50 US dollars). To live in small apartments with your parents and children demands from each member of the family a good amount of compromising and respect of the family rules, in particular, and life in the community, in general.

Everyone has his own borders of patience and tolerance but for Russian women resistance is much more. The situation in human relations, which will seem to Western European woman intolerable, will not be the same for Russian woman. If we compare this position to the thermometer, we could tell, that at the Western woman’s thermometer is only up to 30 degrees and the Russian woman’s thermometer is much more than 90 degrees!! This explains that Russian women operate more easily, than their Western sisters; with conflicting situations in family life and that American-Russian marriages are stronger. The Russian woman will not allow her personal attitude to reach a threshold of irreversibility. It does not mean, that she will give in to you and you will be always right. She will handle difficulties between you and her and will reach her purpose peacefully and less complicated: the result is more important in her eyes than the way of its achievement. And you will not notice at all, that she already has received what she wanted! 

2) Russian women in general have absence of trust in themselves and are more dependent on their husbands than the western women: for this they are obliged to the fact, that for decades they were victims of sexual discrimination and absence of respect from a man's part: their honor was frequently ridiculed. Besides, the Russian society does not except women playing the leading parts in all aspects of life. 

3) Russian girls are more feminine than the Western women: while the western girls frequently wear the same trousers and t-shirts, as their male friends, the Russian woman is not afraid to wear high heels on a glaze of ice or to wear a skirt in cold weather. Russian women are always trying to take care of their appearance, even if they don’t have money. In the winter they stay elegant, without doubts they wear thin stockings. For work, Russian women put on the same clothes as American women put on when they go to a party.

Russian girls are using makeup much more than American and Western European women. However it is fair to say, that in Russia, some of the women are using makeup “too much” and they look like painted dolls. 

4) Ukrainian women are more traditional in distribution of roles between sexes, than young Western women.

For the first time a comparison was made between young women from Eastern Europe and Western women on this theme (approximately 2000 women between 13 and 25 y.o. were questioned). The international questionnaire, which has been created by Anna Stetsenko from Institute of Psychology of the University in Bern, has shown, that Russian girls have, as the purpose of their existence, to find a partner and to have children as for young European girls their career is more important. In Switzerland, both girls, and boys picked in order of the importance: 1) the partner, 2) career, 3) children and the house. Meanwhile, and in spite of what some might think, it does not mean that Russian girls want to be dependent and will be subordinate to her husband. 

5) Russian girls reject the Western feminist model, preferring to reconcile love, family and successful career. In Europe and the United States woman’s magazines always ask: “what woman should do – to make a career or to have children?” While Russian women (under her obligation), make well with both these things: they, from generation to generation, care for their family and work outside the home: the women of Russia are doctor, drivers of a trolley bus or they work as a police. And the same time they bring up their children and keep house for their family.

Ukrainian women (Russian) can read, write the English language.

NO. Ukrainian & Russian women in general have a good level of education and have a school base of foreign language (frequently English), but have no necessity to use it in daily life and they do not practice what they were taught. To read the letter in English takes a lot of time for them and if they receive a few letters at the same time, we will be not sure that they will have time to read them all! The letter written in Russian will be read 100%. The same concerns their answer to you: it will be necessary for them on the average all day (7 or 8 hours) to write two page letter! 

If you use the translator, be sure that you don’t do a direct translation of your brilliant and smart letter which being translated into Russian will be hardly clear and will seem silly. Automatic electronic translation is awful: if you doubt, try to translate a phrase from English to Russian and then from Russian to English, you will see what it resembles: “nothing”.

The same goes with the telephone conversations: they do not speak English very well, usually, and a phone call will not serve the purpose for you, it will be only for an exchange of several words. Also your dialogue will not be rich and you will not find out much about each other (only your telephone company will be pleased).

Therefore we casually offer services of written and Skype bilingual translation for our clients, if you wish to establish qualitative dialogue between you and your correspondents and to avoid catastrophic misunderstanding.

Ukrainian girls (and Russian) are adapting to a new country very fast and easy and do not feel "nostalgia".

NO. Within the first months Ukrainian & Russian girls feel some "nostalgia": they miss their family and friends, they ask themselves many questions and cry sometimes. Do not think, that in the beginning of her living in a good life condition can make her easily forget all that she liked in her country. To arrive in an unknown country where she does not know anybody except her husband and it will be impossible to communicate because of her language barrier, extremely complicates her life and is a source of stress. She will be absolutely dependent on you (in the first months) and she will not be self-assured. But she will not want to go back to her country, because she knows that decision to marry a foreigner is not an easy choice. And her main purpose is to create a family and her desire will succeed, it is more than nostalgia for her country. Our experience has shown, that in general Russian girls quickly start to speak and understand the English language (on the average through 5 - 6 months) and become more independent; they adapt gradually to the new conditions of life and are very happy that they have created a family. 

The present psychological transition between a new family (with you) and her former family (her relatives who have stayed in Russia) is done in general at the end of the first year: she will feel in depth of her heart, thus henceforth her family and her present life are in her new country.

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