The Don’t Give It To A Russian campaign in Ukraine is calling for the women of the beleaguered state to deny sex to Russian men as a response to the Russian Federation’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. While at first glance, this may seem like an ineffective and gimmicky approach to social activism, anyone who has ever met a Ukrainian woman should know that such sanctions, if enforced, would sting far worse than any economic embargoes the United States or the European Union could cobble together.
The concept is not a new one. Lysistrata, penned by Aristophanes in the 5th century BCE introduced the world to the first plucky band of celibate activists. The main difference being that, in the Greek comedy, the women were denying sex to their own husbands for the sake of peace during the Peloponnesian War. Of course, it being the olden days, the men would probably go and wage war anyway, and rape the women of their vanquished foes; but the Ancient Greeks– though they can be properly credited with many great inventions such as Democracy, Socially Acceptable Sodomy, and Gyros–cannot, amidst these great innovations, count the discovery of Plot Holes amongst them.
The unfortunate thing about this more modern incarnation of the political sex-strike is that Vladimir Putin continuously points to the small but visible minority of far-right nationalist extremists within Ukrainian politics when he attempts to justify his aggression as an effort to defend ethnic Russians, and there is no denying the anti-Russian sentiment that is present here. A provocative blue-balling campaign, if successful, would only reinforce a backward 20th-century conception of collective blame, and further the ethnic divisions within Ukraine. After all, the former KGB autocrat’s doomed salvage operation of Moskovite imperialism in the face of the continuous NATO and EU expansion is not the fault of your average Russian Romeo.
In the opinion of Gods & Services, this campaign accomplishes little more than keeping young people from finding love, and supplying a minutia of credibility to Vladimir Putin’s otherwise bankrupt arguments.