Femen is a Ukrainian-based (originally) feminist group that evolved around 2008. Although their shock tactics have been used in the past, these young ladies take topless protests to new levels. Originally a protest against the sex trafficking of Ukrainian women to the West, they have evolved beyond that narrow window to now include a “what’s what” of the modern feminist agenda.
It is not so much that they bear their breasts, write slogans across their chests and wear flower garlands in their hair as it is other acts. That, they claim, is to draw attention to their cause because things like writing legislators and carry placards is just…boring! The following is a partial listing of some of their most infamous moments:
- they interrupted Paris’ Fashion Week by jumping on the stage topless and chasing the runway models;
- they interrupted a German edition of Next Top Model hosted by Heidi Klum in the same manner;
- they protested against the Ukrainian president outside the embassy in France- topless, of course, and publicly urinated on his picture (seriously- Google the pictures);
- they publicly defecated on the flag of ISIS;
- they ran topless through St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City and were detained but not before shoving crucifixes up their butts;
- they disrupted services in Paris’ famed Notre Dame Cathedral;
- they interrupted a Christmas mass in a German church by rushing onto the altar topless and re-enacting an abortion and then urinating on the altar.
By this point, you get the picture.
This group of women- which has chapters in several countries- has become the media darlings of certain liberal publications. They have received write-ups from the likes of Slate, Salon, The Guardian, La Figaro, CNN and others. The stories generally follow a similar thread: the writer disagrees with their tactics, the writer follows up with the inevitable “but,” the writer regurgitates their agenda and talking points, the writer leaves you with the impression that their cause is noble despite the tactics used.
That is until they actually did the unspeakable, as if some of those things listed above are not unspeakable. All was well and good while they directed their protests against the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholic Churches in Europe. But, when they managed to slip into a conference in Paris on women in Islam disguised as journalists only to rip off their shirts, bear their boobies with slogans and rush the stage did they finally cross the line to the liberal press. Articles in The Atlantic and Slate questioned the tactics more vehemently and said they were taking the protests too far. Female Muslim journalists accused Femen of exporting a form of “neocolonialism.” Said one Muslim female writer:
So my issue with Femen, and any other such organization, is less to do with the mode of protest, and more the gaze and rhetoric behind it. Femen purports to know, in an almost patriarchal way, what is best for these poor, oppressed women in the Middle East and Africa.
In other words, leave us alone and direct your bare nipples at those Western religions.
I will say one thing for Femen: they are equal opportunity offenders. Be it protests in the Vatican, against Putin, they actually had one in Morocco and Turkey, or against Islam, they offend with impunity. One supposes they should receive some form of perverted credit for that.
Summoning the misogynist in me, another thing they have going for them is their looks. These are all young, pretty women doing the protesting and chest baring. But alas, even that is by design. Femen received some of their biggest initial support from a man named Victor Svyatski. He is an American entrepreneur who founded an English language newspaper in the Ukraine. When the notion of topless protesting against the Ukrainian government was bandied about, Svyataski literally chose the women he most wanted to see topless. And the rest is history. Hence, we have a feminist group bitching against the alleged patriarchy of Western society literally auditioning their bare torsos in front of a man.
And after Svyataski was more or less banished from the movement- one supposes the feminists used the male to achieve their goals, those devious women- they lost some support and funding. Not to fear because George Soros entered the scene, albeit in a roundabout fashion, and started funding the group. However, they apparently used even this dumb man (literally, he really is a dumb man) and drew his ire when they announced they were opening a chapter in Israel.
There is currently only one chapter in the United States. Guess where? You got it- California and three of them were arrested for public nudity and disorderly conduct, but the charges were later dropped. Femen leadership is very upfront about the fact that they will be very active in the United States targeting conservatives, Republicans, and churches. They are, as we speak, training many young women from coast to coast.
Given their antics in Europe, one can expect the same here. My guess is that they will show up in Cleveland in July because the weather should be perfect for bearing one’s breasts on the shores of Lake Erie at that time of the year. And they may actually enliven a Congressional hearing or two. In either case, they are sure to be much more interesting- and prettier- than those boring hags in Code Pink.