Archive for November 18th, 2010

Good Times That Haven’t Happened Yet, But Will

Nobody Paid Much Attention

In the old Soviet Union, Ukrainian women were considered the most beautiful in all the Russian empire. As is often the case with such things, this caused the women themselves more problems than not. And things haven’t changed much since the Union disunited, and Ukraine set out on its own.

Ukraine is today one of the largest “exporters” of women in the international sex industry. Women who freely choose such work are one thing, but many Ukrainian women have been lured into the trade under false pretenses, or are more or less forced into it for economic survival. Many are minors; some are simply slaves. Of an estimated 500,000 Ukrainian women who migrated to Western Europe in the late 1990s, an estimated 100,000 wound up in the sex trade. Ukraine itself has become a prime destination for those involved in “sex tourism”; the sex trade in Ukraine now rakes in $700 million per year, more money than the company makes that supplies the nation with natural gas.

An activist group of Ukrainian women traveling under the rubric Femen is not happy about this. “This is insulting to us and it harms the country’s image, since we’re increasingly becoming a country of destination for tourists whose sole purpose is to have sex with our women,” says Femen’s Anna Gutsol (pictured above, on the left).

Of late, Femen activists have, counterintuitively, begun protesting against the country’s treatment of women by staging demonstrations where they appear topless. Who knows—it may work. It has already embarrassed the hell out of Vladimir Putin.

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When I Worked

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