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Why True Feminists Should Distance Themselves from FEMEN

Updated on March 23, 2018
Mamerto profile image

Mamerto I. Relativo Jr. is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. When he is not blogging, he does fiction writing.

As a geek politics is not for me. I mean I’m an engineer and not a political analyst. And I love my peaceful and relaxed online existence. I rarely touch those issues so I won’t stress myself. I mean just look at the country I’m in where politics basically ruined everything. It seems that I’m better off with knives, EDC gears, toys and anime though I have some brush with angry fans. And speaking of fans, there are great risks of getting mobbed by angry online supporters if they don’t like what I wrote if I do politics.

But sometimes I just felt that I need to get my voice heard.

Now as a man, I know that I should not touch the subject of feminism. Again those stuffs should be left to the experts to discuss. But sometimes I have this strange feeling that it won’t take an expert to see what’s wrong here. I don’t agree with my fellow men when they blast the feminist movements—in many ways. But after seeing this group FEMEN, I began to question my stance on feminism. I never really connected their approach to women’s rights and equality. At some point I thought that their movement is just one destructive circus that’s contributing to the decay of women’s fight for rights.

What is FEMEN

They are probably new to other people, for as of today they are still a minority compared to other movements. With that said FEMEN is a radical Ukrainian feminist group known for their topless protests. They intend to fight for women’s rights and they are against sex tourism, religion, sexism, homophobia and other topics concerning gender equality.

At least that’s what they claim.

FEMEN Disrupting Marine Le Pen's May Day Speech in Paris
FEMEN Disrupting Marine Le Pen's May Day Speech in Paris

I don’t want to sound to be a misogynist or sexist as after all I believe in gender equality. To be fair women could do a better role in certain fields than most men. I’ll take my hats off to empowered and courageous lady who proved that gender is just a word.

But in this case, this movement just went too far. And by the way to those who are hoping, you won’t see any of their topless photos here or else I’ll violate the terms.

They Are Founded By a Man

The main problem I have here is that it was founded by a man. You heard it right; the irony here is that these women will fight tooth and nail to eliminate patriarchy while their very movement owed its existence to a man. Though Victor Svyatski, the “father of FEMEN” no longer controls FEMEN now, but according to Inna Shevenko, a leading FEMEN leader, they sought his leadership when the group is still in its infancy.

Meet the man behind the movement.
Meet the man behind the movement.

As what I mentioned, a man founding a feminist group is not really a problem, but seeing how the FEMEN movement behaved towards men, it feels like hypocrisy in their part.

Their Topless Protest Could Backfire

The shock of their protest is an effective way to send a clear message to the public. This group won’t be ignored. Women won’t be ignored. The world will recognise women’s rights whether they like it or not.

But it could also fail miserably.

No one could forget the bemused smirk on Vladimir Putin’s face when Femen protesters “attacked” him. He was with Chancellor Angela Merkel in his visit to Germany when a bare chested woman came rushing in. Rather than to tell Putin that he is a dictator (and shout insults), I still can’t figure out the whole point of the “protest”. Inna Shevenko claimed it was a success, but I can’t see anything successful with that. The look on Putin’s face says it all. A protest should instil a powerful message, but as what Putin said on the interview, he loves it.

It seems that Putin is enjoying himself.
It seems that Putin is enjoying himself.

So much for a shock protest, and such failure is a proof that they don’t understand how men’s psyche works. I’m speaking on behalf of many men who have trouble taking their glance away from an attractive lady. We are genetically program to look at a woman’s body. We evolve to judge her health based on her curves and the size of her assets. The curvier, the healthier, hence she will bear healthier children. I’ll be making a separate hub on this, but I’m saying this because FEMEN’s topless approach will have a different effect in the mind of a common man. Chances are guys will only go to a FEMEN’s protest to look at the protester. Their minds are too clouded to see what these girls are fighting for. These protests could be just an open strip club for these men. Stripping to fight patriarchy will end up to please the patriarchy. To be short it is hard to get pass those assets to see what they are fighting for.

Close up of Mr. President's face after seeing a naked protester.
Close up of Mr. President's face after seeing a naked protester.

And then there are women out there who object to these forms of display. Simply staying topless is not for everyone the same way as what some men feel about taking their tops off. You are hearing it correctly. Not all guys love to go topless, me included. And how come that most of these ladies are white, attractive blonds?

Fighting Religion with Intolerance

In Ukraine, the movement never gained foothold. Inna Shevenko’s antics are one of those reasons. FEMEN fiercely objects religion, seeing it as a patriarchal tool of oppression. She once chained sawed a crucifix in Kiev, which turns out to be a memorial for Stalin’s victims. This earned her the ire of the majority of Ukraine as the act made it seems that she supports Stalin’s purge. Lately a female protester attempted to steal the image of a child Jesus in the Vatican. And they once posted a picture of their member, topless as always in turban, unibrow, false beard and crescents on her nipple.

You see this is not protest, it is mockery. Their acts are no different from religious fundamentalists, and the result speaks for itself. Note that not all women see their religion as a form of control. In fact for them it is guidance, enlightenment and salvation. Hence FEMEN got a lot of cold shoulders from their fellow ladies. At the same time Muslim women branded them as Islamophobic due to their anti-Islam antics.

They are certainly more empowered.
They are certainly more empowered.

As a Whole...

With criticism flying from all sides, and with their fellow feminist distancing themselves away from them, FEMEN would have hard time leaving a lasting mark. They did left a mark but not as what they intended. For me FEMEN needs to revise their approach so it will appeal to what women are fighting for, given they know what they are here for. And when they do it wrong, it will reduce feminism into a carnival.

Now feel free to bash me, just sharing my thoughts everyone.


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