You Probably Shouldn't "Send a Dildo to Vladimir Putin," No Matter What Facebook Tells You

After passing laws against "homosexual propaganda" in Russia and standing by while Gay Pride marchers in St. Petersburg were brutalized, Russian President Vladimir Putin is receiving international, and largely negative, attention. Most recently, it's come from as far away as the Russian consulate in San Francisco. Protesters on Wednesday, led by Scott Anansi Rossi, posed in front of the building 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

Despite the global attention, the event might have gone virtually unnoticed if not for a man calling himself Jonathan Krishna Puppy-Love continuing the momentum on Facebook, starting a group called "Send a Dildo to Vladimir Putin: 23, Ilyinka Street, Moscow, 103132, Russia."

Though such mail harassment 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. Perhaps this form of protest works better as a response to the overall sex-negativity of Putin's rule.

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. 

Stoli bought in America isn't even produced in Russia, though, and it is unlikely that we will resolve Putin's issues for him — he is far more likely to listen to a voice from the inside (of Russia, that is).