Uh, You’re Probably Gonna Want To Re-Think That Job Offer in Moscow. No, Seriously. I Mean It. Don’t Go. Run.

“I think I found the folder I asked you to get.”
A post-Soviet “survival” technique, according to the courts

As many know from the viral video of a Russian newspaper office worker gone bonkers and attacking co-workers and cubicles, doing the daily grind in one of that country’s corporations seems pretty doggone rough. But just how terrible it can be for women is something we’re only now finding out: According to the Huffington Post,

A woman seeking to become only the third woman ever to successfully bring a sexual harassment case in Russia was dealt a shocking rebuke when the judge threw out her case, ruling that sexual harassment is actually necessary for the survival of the human race:

She alleged she had been locked out of her office after she refused to have intimate relations with her 47-year-old boss.”He always demanded that female workers signaled to him with their eyes that they desperately wanted to be laid on the boardroom table as soon as he gave the word,” she earlier told the court. “I didn’t realize at first that he wasn’t speaking metaphorically.”

The judge said he threw out the case not through lack of evidence but because the employer had acted gallantly rather than criminally.

“If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children,” the judge ruled.

(He may have been completely serious, albeit evilly so: As the International Herald Tribune recently reported, via Foreign Policy blog, President Vladimir Putin has become so concerned about his nation’s population drop-off he’s put in a ten-year program “offering financial incentives and subsidies to encourage women to have more children.”)

Russia’s sexual harassment standards make redress almost impossible, but it represents decades of Russian culture only now coming to light. Says the UK Telegraph, “Since Soviet times, sexual harassment in Russia has become an accepted part of life in the office, work place and university lecture room.”

Indeed, similar things have been said about the United States, at various points. However, the sheer quantities of Russian abuse stagger the mind. According to a recent survey cited in the Telegraph, all Russian women at a certain level,

100 per cent of female professionals said they had been subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses, 32 per cent said they had had intercourse with them at least once and another seven per cent claimed to have been raped.

Eighty per cent of those who participated in the survey said they did not believe it possible to win promotion without engaging in sexual relations with their male superiors.

Women also report that it is common to be browbeaten into sex during job interviews, while female students regularly complain that university professors trade high marks for sexual favours.

Only two women have won sexual harassment cases since the collapse of the Soviet Union, one in 1993 and the other in 1997.

And, to top it off, “Human rights activists say that Russian women remain second-class citizens and are subjected to some of the highest levels of domestic abuse in the world.”

I wonder: Is this one reason why the Russian-U.S. mail-order bride train seems to only go in one direction? Whatever language your nation speaks, or whatever your traditions, change and elevate the way you treat women, or rot and die without firing a shot.



#1 Bob on 09.25.09 at 6:59 am

Well, that’s just yet another bunch of propaganda from the US/UK trying to brainwash you into hating everything non-western. I’ve been in Russia and there’s absolutely nothing even close to what the article describes. Note how there’s feminist movement in the US which the US males now pay for by being jail at a slightest whim of a woman (she only has to cry rape/abuse, they don’t even verify the fact).

#2 Brooke on 04.30.11 at 7:07 pm

I can’t believe this! Well I can, that’s the sad part of it.
No one would “cry wolf” if it’s concerning an issue as serious as this.. this makes me want to be a human rights activist!

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