The advertisement said that during the World Cup, women who successfully wore World Cup children will win three million rubles ($47,000) in prize money, and they will be able to eat Burger Whopper Burgers for free throughout their lifetime.
When the ad came out, public opinion was awkward. The Russian public expressed anger and demanded that Burger King immediately remove the advertisement. According to a Russian feminist organization on social software Telegram, “This advertisement reflects the society’s perception of our women”.
Whether it is advertising or the media, Russian women are portrayed as “sex predators looking for prey.” The pro-Kremlin media described how Russian women “seduce foreign fans” and how to talk to them.
“Moskovsky Komsomolets” published a report entitled “Love’s trick: Russian beauty charms foreign fans”, and the Russian sports media website championat.com also published the title “How Russian Beauty Tempts Foreigners” Articles.
According to a video posted on the video site Youtube, a Russian state television host stated that “hundreds of vamps are pouring into Moscow” to meet with foreign fans. The sports media website Championat.com has also set up a daily review column, commenting on “the most beautiful World Cup beauty.”
In the country of Russia, feminism has little voice. The major TV stations in Russia rarely discuss gender equality issues. Even if programs mention feminism, they will be criticized as “Western ideology attempts to denigrate Russia’s traditional values.” It seems that Russian women rarely counter this.
Russian activist Alyona Popova told that the Russian women generally lack confidence. “If a man yells that a woman is just a body, finds a reason for sexual harassment, and condemns a victim of a domestic violence, saying that it was precise because of their actions that led to violence, then women think that these phenomena are normal, “she says.
Popova mentioned a recent case concerning sexual harassment by Leonid Slutsky, a member of the Russian parliament. Slutsky was accused of sexual harassment of multiple journalists. Although the public was very angry about this, Slutsky did not step down. The Congressional Ethics Committee believes that all charges against him are not upheld.
A video shows a group of Brazilian fans singing a vulgar song in Portuguese, next to a Russian woman who apparently does not understand Portuguese. This video has caused public outrage in Brazil, but almost nothing has stirred up waves in Russia.
In the video, the Russian woman has been smiling. She also tried to sing along with the Brazilian fans, but she did not realize that this song sang was part of her body. “I guess she thought these foreigners promised to take her to foreign countries.” A Telegram user joked.
Some Russians initiated proposals on the Internet. They called on the authorities to punish these acts and have already collected 2,500 signatures. The identity of some people on the video has been locked by the Brazilian media. Popova complained that Russian law seems to encourage foreigners to “freely materialize Russian women.”
Although Russia tried to legislate after the Slutsky scandal, Russia currently has no legislation on sexual harassment. “We should fight for women to have a new image in the media. But now the situation is that our media has been wrongly portraying women’s images.” Popova said.