Last Wednesday Dan Savage’s post Why I’m Boycotting Russian Vodka made news with a number of prominent gay bloggers, but was barely reported elsewhere. Since then many of Russia’s leading LGBT activists have stepped forward encouraging the boycott. However, critics claim the boycott has had little traction and prominent gay bars like the soon-to-close Splash in NYC just hosted a Stoli event yesterday. Does that mean that his call to boycott Russian vodka failed? I don’t think so.
It’d be great to see
gay bars stop serving Russian vodka, but even if the boycott falls short, Savage should be credited for raising awareness and fostering dialog. As John Aravosis from Americablog says, “the point of a boycott isn’t always the boycott itself…Rather, the boycott is a tool – a foil, really – to foment and galvanize public ire in a way that generates publicity…“
If the boycott temporarily drives down sales of Russian Vodka that’s fine – but what Savage and others really want is to get people talking about what is happening in Russia and have those discussions create pressure on that government to stop targeting the LGBT community.
Would you like to join the boycott? Here is a list of Russian vodkas currently available in the US: Dovgan, Gold Symphony, Standart, Hrenovuha, Kauffman , Kubanskaya, Moskovskaya, Narodnaya, Pyatizvyozdnaya, Putinka, Rodnik, Ruskova, Russian Standard, Shustov, Starka, Stolnaya, Youri Dolgoruki. The two best known Russian vodkas: Russian Standard and Stolichnaya.
You may also Tweet your support if you are into that sort of thing by using the hashtags #DUMPSTOLI and #DUMPRUSSIANVODKA.