Came. Stripped. Conquered.
„We came, we stripped, we conquered“– they are widely known in keeping with that motto.
The Sunday Times headlined „sisters of the revolution- time to blow up your tops“.
Provocative paroles such as “SEXTREMISM”, “TRUST IN GAY” and “I’M FREE” written with blood red lip-stick on womens topless bodies…
…welcome at a new time of feminism, a new revolutionary movement named FEMEN.
Femen: ‘Go topless or Go home’
The Femen movement was created in Ukraine in 2008 to protest against sexism, prostitution and the exploitation of women in the former Soviet state.
Later on, the organization- founded by 18-20 years old female students- became internationally known for topless protests.
Some of the goals of the organization are: “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”.
Female rights in the Ukraine
According to Spiegel.de the Ukrainian Interior Ministry offers that there are approximately 12,000 prostitutes in the Ukraine. The country has become a favored destination for sex tourism.
Furthermore the article informs that “a recent poll conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) found that one in every eight of these prostitutes is a university or high school student.”
You might ask what’s driving so many students into prostitution? The answer is simple: high unemployment rates and low incomes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) offered that 1.6 percent of Ukraine’s population is infected with HIV.
That were some reasons which stimulated the founder, Anna Hutzol, not only to fight for female rights in Ukraine but also for liberation and a “global women’s movement”– worldwide.
Alexandra Shevchenko, another founder, argues: “There is an ideology behind protesting topless” but quickly added: “..but we realised that if we took our tops off and screamed loudly it was a good way to get attention,”
So what’s the secret and their intention behind those ‘naked’ facts?- according to their homepage – “..femen is sextremism serving to protect women’s rights, democracy watchdogs attacking patriarchy, in all its forms: the dictatorship, the church, the sex industry.”
In addition to their physical involvement they started to build up Femen-trainingscenter, sell merchandise and publish individual cases about women in order to enlighten on the female rights in society.
Friend or foe?
In recent discussions of different parties in the web, especially on one of them the „Neo-colonialism and it’s Discontents“-blog, a 24-old-psychology student deals with topics about feminism and socialism.
She posted about the controversial issue with respect to the beliefs of Femen.
On the one hand she likes- for instance- that Femen were the first feminists who focused on Muslim women. Their protest in Paris demonstrated their belief that the way most Muslim women dress is against feminism and against liberation.
On the other hand the student denounce that many feminists define liberation as essentially wearing as little as possible. That could become a problem due to the fact that every woman see liberation differently. She figured out that „Feminism can only succeed if we accept diversity. What works for them, should work for all women, everywhere.”
Physical force towards Femen’s members comes especially from catholics, certain members of ukrainian politic and the governement.
On Femen’s homepage you can find a photo where the topless members stretch their fists up to the sky with a serious look in their eyes. You notice how relevant their request is and so they call out for support:
“The magic of the body get your interest, the courage of the act make you want to riot. Come out, Go topless and Win!”
..and what might be your decision? Blow your top or button your jacket?