Saturday, August 03, 2013

PolicyMic: Putin, Stoli Boycott, Dildos & Effective Gay Organizing

(Gays Without Borders dump Stoli at the Russian Consulate in Pacific Heights, June 5, 2007.)

Before we get to a through-provoking column at a group site, a reminder. On Saturday, August 3 starting at noon, Gays Without Borders and others will hold a protest at the Russian Consulate at 2790 Green Street in San Francisco. Please make an appearance.

Over at the PolicyMic site, writer Rachel Pincus takes note of my concern regarding the protest two days where a sex toy was used as a prop and an activist made light of and backed the death penalty against homo-haters:

Protesters on Wednesday, led by Scott Anansi Rossi, posed in front of the [Russian consulate in San Francisco] with enormous dildos and signs reading "Send Putin a Dildo." The protesters received significant press coverage, with the former photo apparently making the front page of a Swedish newspaper. [...]

Though such mail harassment [of sending sex toys] will probably never reach Putin's eyes (or any other part of his body) — Putin probably has more people opening his mail for him than Babeland has dildo varieties — the stunt opened up a debate over its ideological effectiveness, with blogger Michael Petrelis calling the protest "sex-negative" and "pro-guillotine" due to the fact that one protester made a sign saying "Gay Rigts [sic] or face the Guillotines!".

"To me, dildos are fabulous sex toys that bring much pleasure to men and women and I view the effort to send dildos to Putin as a form of punishment as sex-negative," Petrelis wrote yesterday. 

Petrelis's succinct statement also raises another question: what's inherently "gay" about sending a dildo, particularly with no verbal explanation? Plenty of straight women — and yes, probably straight men — use dildos. [...]

Other LGBT-rights protesters are encouraging people to boycott Stolichnaya vodka — or as a publicity stunt, perhaps dump it out at the consulate. "While the rest of the global solidarity movement for LGBT Russians is focused on questions of Stoli and Olympics-in-Sochi boycotts or staging Stoli dumps, the SF action was about sex toys and chopping off people's heads," wrote Petrelis in a comment on his blog, suggesting that such actions are more clear in purpose.

Come out at noon today and help raise the rainbow flag in outside the Russian Consulate, maybe dump Stoli into the gutter, hear a few speakers express solidarity with LGBT Russians and flex your global activist vocal chords! 

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