Any Russian men hoping to strike it lucky with their neighbouring Ukrainians will have to sidestep a new boycott called "Don't Give It To A Russian". The campaign, which has a brilliant poster at the heart of it (read: two hands clasped together to look like a vagina), is a more light-hearted part of a very serious appeal from Ukrainians to boycott Russian goods in protest at the country's invasion of Crimea.
According to Global Voices, the campaign takes its name from a line in Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko’s 1838 poem "Kateryna", which states "O lovely maidens, fall in love, but not with the Moskaly [the Russians]".
Don't Give It To A Russian went viral in Russia after a photoshopped image of much-derided opposition leader Valeriya Novodvorskaya wearing the shirt made its way around Twitter. The text below reads "with one photo, Valeriya Novodvorskaya has killed the entire Ukrainian sex boycott at its core". Unfortunately, many Russian bloggers have also called the women behind the campaign "prostitutes", which suggests that they don't entirely have a solid grasp on what exactly a sex strike entails.
Nevertheless, the campaign is going full steam ahead and is even selling T-shirts on its Facebook page to support the cause. Katerina Venzhik and Irina Rubis, a high-profile Ukranian journalist and businesswomen respectively, have both been spotted in public wearing the T-shirt.
There's some concern that this is a PR stunt, although in the campaign's defence, there is a long and storied historical precedent for sex boycotts. In the 411 BC Greek play Lysistrata, women withheld sex from their husbands and lovers until they agreed to end the Peloponnesian War, and it actually worked out in their favour.
Ukraine is no stranger to sex strikes, too as recently as a few years ago, Femen once tried to get the wives and girlfriends of the Ukranian cabinet to do the same in order to protest sexism in government, although their campaign didn't gather much steam. Maybe "Don't Give It To A Russian" will succeed where Femen failed?
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