Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine if he were a woman, Boris Johnson says

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin Photo by Contributor/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if he were a woman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson told German media outlets on Tuesday.

“You need more women in positions of power. If Putin was a woman — which he obviously isn’t, but if he were — I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has,” Johnson said. “If you want a perfect example of toxic masculinity, it’s what he’s doing in Ukraine.”

So, would Vladimira Vladimirovna Putin have left Ukraine alone? Maybe, but history provides no basis for that assumption. Female leaders appear to be just as bellicose as male ones, if not more so. Russian Empresses Elizabeth, Anna, and Catherine the Great all fought multiple wars during their reigns.

Johnson’s own country provides plenty of examples. Within his lifetime, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher waged the undeclared Falklands War against Argentina. British forces took part in around 50 international conflicts during the reign of Queen Victoria. Queens Elizabeth I and Mary I both sent troops to fight on the European continent.

In fact, a 2017 working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that, between 1480 and 1913, European queens were 27 percent more likely than European kings to wage war.

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