‘“And don't dispute with fools”: Men, women, and society’ references Pushkin's view of the poet as conflicted by having to live both in the world of mysticism, art, and religion, as well as in the banal sphere of high society. What was the place of women in high society? Why were they seen as ideal readers? How important were salons? and how influential were literary journals? What is feminine language and how did Pushkin use it? Was Pushkin aware of the feminism of his day? What was the status of female writers, and was it possible for them to achieve critical notice? The ‘big four’ Russian poets are identified and discussed.