Ukrainian Women: Sex Strike Against Russian Men

“Don’t give it to a Russian” is the campaign of Ukrainian women, that uses the oldest historical protest trick. The most famous example of a sex strike in the arts is the Greek playwright Aristophance’ work Lysistrata, an anty-war comedy. The female characters in the play, led by the eponymous Lysistrata, withhold sex from their husbands as part of their strategy to secure peace and end the Peloponnesian War.

The Ukrainian initiative borrows its slogan from the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko’s 1838 poem, Kateryna: “Fall in love, O dark-browed maidens, but not with the Moskaly [the Russians],” according to the news site Global Voices. It encourages women to “fight the enemy by whatever means,” on its Facebook page.The campaign’s Facebook page “Don’t give it to a Russian” is selling T-shirts emblazoned with that motto — and a logo of two hands poised in a praying.

The goal of the campaign, according to one of the posts on their Facebook page, is to send a clear messages to Russian that they cannot take Ukraine’s freedom:

” All our female heroes, who agreed to be photographed in patriotic shirts, each had something of their own in mind… Do not give Crimea to a Russian, do not let a Russian capture your land, do not give money to a Russian or do not let a Russian win… Funny enough, sex came to mind last. What message would you send, if you put

The campaign’s Facebook page was written partly in Russian, which has raised questions about its authenticity. But one of the women who set up the page is Katerina Venzhik, an editor at the Ukrainian news site “Delo”. She lives in Kiev.

“We believe that in the context of military occupation of the territory it is silly to continue to assert that all men are brothers,” Venzhik told Foreign Policy. “What Russia is doing in Ukraine is terrible, but the world sees their actions primarily through the prism of the pro-Putin propaganda.”

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