I’m sorry about the weird disposition of the text , it doesn’t work when I edit it :/
I’m sure you all know this protest group, but here’s a small description:
Femen is a feminist group from Ukraine. Their three main fights are women’s right (equal representation in politics, they fight against prostitution, equal salary …) democracy (they fight against the Ukrainian authoritarian president Viktor Ianoukovytch and the lack a freedom of expression in this country) and the impact of religion in politics and social issues (some members consider the group as an atheist group but we also know that a lot of members are religious , especially women in Muslim countries ; but we can at least consider Femen as a secular group). Here’s their logo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Femen_Logo.svg It symbolize the letter Ф (the first letter of Femen in Ukrainian) with Ukraine’s flag colors. But it also represent breasts, because the particularity of Femen’s demonstrations is that they are made topless. The group was repressed so violently (some members have been reported to have been beaten by Ukrainian police and putted in prison for no legal reason) that they had to move from their country. They asked a political asylum to France and they have since their headquarters in Paris. Femen has several international branches and the more active one are in Russia, Tunisia, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, France, and of course Ukraine.
The controversy about this group is about the nature of the demonstration. The more obvious issues some people have with Femen is their nudity when they demonstrate like when the went in front of Putin, Merkel and Hollande. Some people say that fighting for women’s right and especially against prostitution naked is dumb , uselessly shocking and a bad publicity for feminism. A lot of their demonstrations are also blasphemous or at least really disrespectful to religion. They degraded Notre Dame Cathedral’s bells, they destroyed a public cross in Kiev. In the church called La Madeleine they simulated an abortion (with “Christmas is canceled” written on their bodies, so we can easily imagine who they were pretending to abort) in response of catholic demonstrations against abortion.
There’s countless others Femen’s demonstration I could have talked about but the ones I picked are representative of what they fight for and why there’s such a big controversy about the group.
I’d like to have your opinion. Obviously I don’t think I’ll find someone on TA against women’s rights, democracy and secularism, but I’m interested in your thoughts about their methods. When it comes to demonstrate and shock to make things change, in what seems to me like a legitimate fight, how much is too much?
I’ve already heard about that before, and the argument seems valid to me. I’d still like to see a survey about that.
Who needs a study? Why not go to Feminism is for Everybody (Facebook group) and just ask? You'll find sex workers there as well as feminists who have sex worker friends.
I think (sex worker rights is) a good idea in countries like USA, but as you said it, the situation in others ones like Ukraine is completely different. I think ban prostitution there could be a good thing, at least as a transition.
Obviously, it only works where one can trust the government to enforce the rights, so you may be right.
There are some pretty bizarre things that go on behind the scene. Though it's difficult to verify the claims. There's at least one documentary on them.
I had a 'Murican moment. when I saw your title, I thought you'd misspelled FEMA. lol.
Nudist, Atheist, Feminists. Do they have any positions for Gay Men, because this sounds like my kind of mayhem.
Do they have any positions for Gay Men, because this sounds like my kind of mayhem.
The protest in Notre Dame was a rally for marriage equality in France (which later became the law in that country) in the aftermath of Pope Benedict's resignation, so I would give a thumbs up to the FEMEN position on gay men.
“Bye-bye Benedict!” and “No more homophobe!” cried the activists while beating bells with sticks, to “congratulate the world” on Benedict XVI’s stepping down. The cathedral’s security eventually took all the Femen members outside by force, but the activists remained outside shouting "In gay we trust!"
“FEMEN is congratulating the whole progressive world with the resignation of fascist Benedict XVI from the place of the head of the Catholic mafia. It’s symbolic that today is the day of voting on law of same-sex marriage in France. The ex-Pope was a fierce opponent of gay marriages. FEMEN applaud the complete capitulation of the middle age homophobia! Pope go to the devil! Viva common sense! Viva freedom!” reads an entry on the movement’s Facebook page. (source)
Pope Game Over. lol. More like, "Pope 2.0: PR Darling."
What strikes me about Femen, is that their nude demonstrations force people to see their bodies, exposing the heart of their political weakness and ironically, that which they see as their best chance to have a voice. Women are often led to believe their only or their best source of power lies in their sexual appeal. When you have no other effective access to political power, I can see why you would use your body to give voice to your political aims.
I don't know if their tactics help their causes. I don't think they're out there changing minds, aside from strengthening already existing beliefs.
My two cents.