Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meanwhile, in Russia

Sexual harassment at work is just fine, because it guarantees the continuation of the human race. That was the conclusion of a judge:

Sexual harassment okay as it ensures humans breed, Russian judge rules
A Russian advertising executive who sued her boss for sexual harassment lost her case after a judge ruled that employers were obliged to make passes at female staff to ensure the survival of the human race.

By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
Last Updated: 1:12PM BST 30 Jul 2008

The unnamed executive, a 22-year-old from St Petersburg, had been hoping to become only the third woman in Russia's history to bring a successful sexual harassment action against a male employer.

She alleged she had been locked out of her office after she refused to have intimate relations with her 47-year-old boss.

"He always demanded that female workers signalled to him with their eyes that they desperately wanted to be laid on the boardroom table as soon as he gave the word," she earlier told the court. "I didn't realise at first that he wasn't speaking metaphorically."

The judge said he threw out the case not through lack of evidence but because the employer had acted gallantly rather than criminally.

"If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children," the judge ruled.

Since the end of the Soviet Union only two Russian women have won sexual harassment cases in court, and a recent survey showed that 100% of the interviewed female professionals said that they had been sexually harassed by their bosses.

My general impression is that open sexism is pretty much the rule in Russia.