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Raping turtles and kidnapping children: Fantasmatic logics of Scandinavia in Russian and German anti-gender discourse


This study examines the social, political, and fantasmatic logics involved in the production of contemporary discourses about Scandinavia as a symbolic site and imagined place of sexual and moral decay and as a gender dysphoric dystopia by actors in the global anti-gender movement. Empirically, we draw on a rich digital archive of multi-modal media texts from an ongoing research project on anti-gender movements in Russia and Germany – two countries which provide particularly poignant examples of sites in which this mode of anti-gender propaganda is currently on the rise. In the analysis, we explore the discursive workings of a particularly prominent node in the material – that of the vulnerable child – and show how this figure is construed and instrumentalised to add urgency and fuel outrage among domestic audiences in Russia and Germany.