RE: THE OLYMPICS BOYCOTT CONTROVERSY
The argument over whether or not to boycott the Sochi Olympics is, at root, an argument over the audience of protest. Supporters of the boycott say, Let's show Russia that its antigay witchhunt will cost it in both money and diplomatic capital. Those who oppose the boycott say, Come to the Games and use the opportunity to show Russia strong and beautiful LGBT people and the rainbow lag. The thing is, supporters of the boycott are speaking about addressing the Russian authorities while their opponents are talking about addressing the Russian public. But it is not the Russian public's deep-seated homophobia that lies at the root of homophobic laws; it is the fascist nature of the regime. Therefore, it is the Russian government and not the Russian public that we need to address. Addressing the Russian government by parading the rainbow flag, even if it is during the Games' closing ceremony, is worse than useless: it is harmful, because the flag then becomes just another decoration of the Olympic Potemkin village. This is why I think we need to fight for a boycott.
Since this statement was published on Masha Gessen’s Facebook page, she has gone on to attach her name to a list of signatories thanking Queer Nation for their boycott against Stoli (and other Russian products).
Just two months ago, Masha was being vilified in the gay media for calling gay marriage a hoax. Now she’s being lauded for supporting a boycott.
As many others have been pointing out, Stoli is really not Russian. The company is based in Luxembourg and the Vodka is made in Latvia.
Despite pressure by Queer Nation and others to have the owner and founder of Stoli, Yuri Scheffler, meet Vladimir Putin and have a conversation with him about the issue, it’s just not going to happen.
Ten years ago, Vladimir Putin tried to seize Stoli. Stoli's owner fled Russia for fear of arrest. Yeah you read that right: Putin is trying to throw him in jail and steal the company from him.
Queer Nation is aiding Vladimir Putin in his war against gays and against companies who want nothing to do with him.
If Queer Nation is really serious about civil rights in Russia, they should be lobbying leaders to take action when it comes to that country. Or is it that this whole thing is over their heads and just don’t know any better?