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Protest or porn?

Protest or porn?
Femen, Protest or porn?

FEMEN (Фемен) is a womens movement in Ukraine, founded in 2008, “To develop leadership, intellectual and moral qualities of the young women in Ukraine” and “To build up the image of Ukraine, the country with great opportunities for women”.

Femen, Protest or porn?

But what they are better known for is their protest tactics. Over the past two years, FEMEN have protested issues as diverse as access to clean water, the safety of women on public transit, and of course free speech and the exploitation of women — all while going topless and wearing traditional flower wreaths.

Begun by (now) 27-year-old Anna Hutsol/Gutsol (depends on the transliteration), FEMEN has gained some 15,000 followers. They now have ambitions of running as a political party in Ukraine.

Femen, Protest or porn?

But the core group of women live communally, surviving on donations from fans and admirers. (Anna is the redhead.)

Of course, they have their detractors too. But Hutsol counters,“There are other female organisations out there that follow certain methods, but no one ever writes about them. Let people condemn us. But they should also realise that in condemning us they’re discussing Ukraine’s problems concerning prostitution and sex tourism.”

FEMEN’s more recent shenanigans, however, seem more about getting attention for themselves than a great cause. They’ve been seen peeing all over Kiev to protest the lack of public toilets, and weighing in on the Putin birthday calendar debate.

It’s all lots of mad fun to watch from the sidelines, but is it any better than PETA’s exploitation of the sexual power of women’s bodies just to get attention? Is it the new feminism, or is it a reinforcement of women as sex objects?

Femen, Protest or porn?

In their own words, they are just trying to be heard in a brutally sexist society: “Our traditional flower wreathes are our trademark as much as our tits. In Kiev, there are protests and political meetings every day. How do you stand out from the horde? Well, you use what you’ve got.”

Femen, Protest or porn?

So, it’s basically “Look at my boobs! Now let’s talk about bigger issues…”

What’s your take?

Video message from FEMEN, for those who speak Ukrainian, after the break.

Advertiser:
FEMEN
Source:
Animal New York

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more
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