Where else can you eat lunch with Pussy Riot, sit next to Senator Gillibrand as she discusses her upcoming book with her publisher as Huma Abedin rushes by to grab more coffee? Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit is an annual event bringing together exceptional women from around the world to honor the countless women battling oppression every day.
Every hyped-up celebrity formed from the marble of a crisis represents innocent people whose voices have been silenced. Take summit speakers Pussy Riot, for instance. We in the West seem to worship them. They’re considered punk rock starlets who represent all the glory, all the guts of rebellion. They’re almost too good to be true, a Hollywood concoction. Given that they’ve dined with Madonna, were honored at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center with their own concert (to raise money for Amnesty International, and have made Stephen Colbert blush as witty guests on his show, one could even say they won the protest jackpot by getting arrested.
Behind all the glamour, all the media appearances of Pussy Riot, there are regular Russians whose names the world will never know who are rotting in prisons for practicing democracy. Why doesn’t Madonna dine with them?
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