The Russian Judge, the Sexual Harassment Case, and Some Questions

By now, you may have heard about the Russian judge who said that sexual harassment is needed for the continuation of the human race.

Here is a Russian news source that a kind member of the Russian community “Feministki” dug up for me.

I noticed a couple of things: the judge is reportedly female. The name of the judge has not been published. The “100% of professional Russian women harassed by their bosses” statistic is not properly cited, nor was it properly translated into English.

The following is the translation from the Russian:

Up to 100% of Russiann women could be considered victims of harassment, if we use international standards in assessing the concept [of harassment].

How did this get twisted into the following?:

According to a recent survey, 100 per cent of female professionals said they had been subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses

Are the news sources citing separate (yet, in another way, oddly similar) statistics?

Please note that hardly any other Russian newspapers and websites picked up this story. We only found one other one so far.

However, this isn’t to say that the story is entirely bogus. I’m sorry to say, but it feels sadly familiar.

Especially if we consider the fact that the Russian government is busy fighting a demographics crisis. Then again, did the judge merely utter a few words that are in line with the government’s policy? Or are the judges’ words, whether true or untrue, an example of the implementation of said policy?

It’s an interesting question, and if you have any more information, or an opinion to share, please do so in the comments here. I’ll appreciate it.

P.S. The English-language media also mentions that this is only the third woman to bring a sexual harassment case in Russia. This simply isn’t true, based on the original articles. One case mentioned involved four women bringing charges against one man, for example. The Russian piece goes on to say that around three hundred people a year lodge complaints (not the same thing as a court case, obviously) regarding harassment with Internal Affairs each year.

P.P.S. Interestingly, the article mentions that one of the reasons why sexual harassment is a problem in Russia may be due to the fact that while the Criminal Codex talks about sexual harassment, the Job Codex does not, which makes cases harder to prosecute. Zoya Khotkina, author of the book Sexual Harassment at Work is quoted that it would be “easier to control harassment through the workplace, rather than through the courts.”

9 thoughts on “The Russian Judge, the Sexual Harassment Case, and Some Questions

  1. I just wrote a blog about this too. I was fascinated to find out what, if anything, Russians were saying about it…Where did you find out that the judge was female?
    So how do you feel about it? As a Russian?

  2. Thanks so much for your comments. That damn Telegraph article has been driving me crazy because it’s such shitty sensationalistic journalism that then cheapens a very real problem. Thanks also for the link to the Sovershenno Sekretno article. I tried to find a Russian source for the Telegraph piece (it was clearly not an original piece of journalism, given the wholesale lack of sources) but couldn’t. Glad your pal helped out.

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