The idea of a sex strike by women in order to bring men to their senses is as old as the ancient Greek play Lysistrata, which depicted Greek women withholding sex in an attempt to force their husbands and lovers to end the Peloponnesian War. A group of women in the Ukraine, according to a recent story in Global Voices Online, are using the strategy to strike back at the recent Russian occupation of the Crimea with the slogan “Don’t Give it to a Russian.”
The campaign to deprive Russians of the charms of Ukrainian women has produced a t-shirt that depicts two hands folded together with the suggestion of a vagina and the slogan. There is a Facebook page with a few hundred followers. The sex boycott is part of a larger boycott of Russian consumer goods being advertised on billboards along Ukrainian highways.
The reaction to the campaign, especially from its targets, Russian men, has been one of mockery and crude derision. “Prostitutes” is the most common insult that has been hurtled at the organizers of the sex boycott.
Thus far the Ukraine has been powerless to resist Russian incursions, including the occupation of the Crimea and its annexation to the Russian Federation. Its military is outclassed and its economy is dependent on Russian oil and gas. International support for the Ukraine has been tepid at best.
A sex boycott alone could be seen as symbolic resistance, even if it became widespread; women in other countries joining in to express solidarity with their Ukrainian sisters. At this point, it may be the only effective type of resistance the Ukraine has left.