March 26: As Russian aggression on Crimea continues, some Ukrainian women are withholding sex from Russian men in attempt to “fight the enemy by whatever means”.
A group of Ukrainian women have set up a Facebook page — currently with over 1,700 likes — and created T-shirts with the slogan, Don’t give it to a Russian, as a means of protest.
The sex boycott echoes a larger embargo against Russian consumer goods, which encourages Ukrainians not to buy Russian products.
The concept of a sex strike is over 2,000 years old, when Greeks first performed Lysistrata, a comedy about Greek women withholding sex from their husbands and lovers unless they stopped the Peloponnesian War.
According to reports, the latest campaign borrows its slogan from the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko's poem, Kateryna: “Fall in love, O dark-browed maidens, but not with the Moskaly [the Russians].”
The campaign’s Facebook page is written mainly in Russian.
Last month, a group of women in Tokyo threatened to withdraw sex from any man who voted for front-runner Yoichi Masuzoe in the gubernatorial election, because he said menstruation made women unfit for government.
In 2003, the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace led a sex strike to end the 14-year Liberian civil war.
“Sex is known for being one of the most effective elements of drawing substantial attention to campaigns,” said Irina Rubis, who is a co-founder of the group. “[But] for us the slogan on the T-shirts is not about sex — this is a claim to protect our country from an aggressor.”
The shirts go for 250 Ukrainian hryvnia (about $23) and the group has had about 200 orders from its Facebook page, which has more than 1,800 likes since it was set up seven days ago. There have been other attempts to boycott Russian goods in Ukraine since Moscow began its annexation of Crimea last month.