The Russian Vodka Boycott

A pointed op-ed by Mark Lawrence Schrad in today’s New York Times argues that boycotting Russian vodka because of Russia’s horrendous policies toward gays is an ineffective form of protest. Most “Russian” vodka isn’t made in Russia; more importantly, a boycott from the west fuels the Russian conservative fire, “Its gay community will be seen as only more alien — the opposite of tolerance and integration.” Still, there’s no denying the symbolic pleasure of thumbing one’s gay nose at images of the Kremlin on bottles of the clear stuff.

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