On March 28, according to Russian press reports,19-year-old Polina Dvorkina shot and killed her father at their home in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, then headed to a nearby kindergarten intending to kill as many boys as she could.
Thankfully, three teachers at the school, all of them women, wrestled her to the floor and confiscated her gun before she got a single shot off. She was arrested shortly afterwards, allegedly confessing to the murder of her father and outlining her plans to massacre boys at the kindergarten. She is still being held.
Right now the story is only being reported in the Russian press, and I’m doing my best to assemble an accurate account of Dvorkina’s attempted mass killing based on Google-translated news articles from possibly unreliable sources — and discussion of the events on Reddit, where antifeminists have seized on the story as evidence that feminists want to kill men.
In all that follows, please attach an “allegedly” to pretty much every detail I give because it’s not always clear from the press accounts where the information is coming from; it seems to mostly come from anonymous police sources and the three teachers who stopped the attack before it started.
Here’s some of what I’ve found in the press coverage:
- Several days before the attempted massacre, Dvorkina applied for a job at the kindergarten but was rejected, which she blamed on discrimination against her as a woman. Apparently she was not really interested in a job but used the visit to scope out the layout of the school in preparation for her planned attack.
- “Dvorkina” was not the teenager’s birth name. Evidently estranged from her parents, she changed her name from Sofia Kechina to Dvorkina, a sort of homage to radical feminist Andrea Dworkin (though Dworkin, of course, never advocated violence against men or boys). Dvorkina reportedly sees herself as a feminist who believes that men, unjustly, “have all the power.”
- Dvorkina was armed with a shotgun and several dozen rounds of ammo. It’s not completely clear how she managed to get her hands on the gun as she is too young to legally own one. She reportedly had been planning the attack for two months.
- Dvorkina’s mother, Natalia Kechina, is a local TV journalist.
There has been little discussion of this story on the English-speaking internet. But you don’t need a translator to understand the message of this thumbnail for a Russian-language video on YouTube.
Over on the Antifeminist subreddit, one of the few English-language forums discussing the case, the regulars fantasize about the authorities roughing up Dvorkina.
“In Russia they treat feminists harshly,” Optimal_Wendigo_4333 writes. “I hope they facilitate her the same way.”
“Torture her,” added tylcolisse.
Radiant_Original6968, meanwhile, reports that comments elsewhere on Reddit
are full of people making excuses for her and claiming she’s not a feminist but feminism is where these ideas to kill men sprouted in her head. They always claim people like this aren’t feminist despite the movement producing so many people that act this way.
But that’s the point: there aren’t “so many” feminists behaving like this. This is the first one I’ve seen since Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol more than half a century ago; by contrast, mass shootings by incels and other antifeminists are so common its hard to keep up with all of them. And of course the incel killers areall lionized not only by other incels but also by more than a few antifeminist ideologues.
Though Dvorkina does seem to consider herself a feminist of some sort — changing her name to the Russian version of “Dworkin” is a pretty clear sign of this — it’s not clear who or what radicalized her to the extent that she was ready to kill very young boys. We can fairly safely assume that Dworkin’s writings increased or at least reflected her anger towards men — but of course Dworkin, however angry her writings often were, never argued for violence against men.
Indeed, I would argue that Dvorkina, and any other self-proclaimed feminists who support or engage in this sort of violence is not actually a feminist at all. As Wikipedia notes, feminism “is a range of socio-political movements and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes.” Obviously no vision of true equality includes the desire to kill men; the hashtag #KillAllMen is a not-so-great joke, not a statement of intent. And Dvorkina is a monster, not a feminist.
Note: If any of you know Russian, please take a look at the various Russian sources for this post to see if I’m accurately reporting what they say. If you don’t speak Russian, you can do a search for “Полина Дворкина” and use Google translate to get rough English versions of the articles you find.
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