The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Power is not uni-directional, but forms a more complex structure than a straight line.  Femen make use of their assets and the tittilation of the media to draw attention to issues affecting women.  Roman feminists thanked Femen for drawing attention to sexism in Italy.  At first when I heard of Femen, I thought "they need to take their fight to islam, but they probaby won't".  The very next interview I heard with them, they said that that was near the top of their list, but that it is going to be very dangerous.

If you don't watch Russia Today, then you will have missed them.  And if they can get me jumping out of my seat and shouting "go, girls", then I think the rest of you will appreciate their efforts too.

I love this image on their home page:

Here are images from many of their other confrontations.

Our history in the west could have been so different in the past 30 years if we'd had these kinds of feminists, instead of Germaine Greer and Maryam Namazie.  Our feminists were in fact the direct ideological descendants of the suffragettes, who were only interested in the vote for middle class (property-owning women) rather than democracy and universal suffrage (and a host of other issues affecting women). 


Tags: Articles, Collected, Femen, feminism, zwomen

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Replies to This Discussion

Femen has attracted worldwide attention for its ‘topless’ approach to the feminist cause.

While its provocative protests have certainly won it the media spotlight, some argue that this self styled ‘sextremism’ is counter productive and naive.

For this edition of I-talk our guest is a founder of the group, Inna Shevchenko.

euronews: “Inna, Femen is now an internationally recognised brand, but are you not concerned that people remember you going topless, but don’t necessarily hear the message?”

Inna Shevchenko: “You can look at our breasts as long as you want. But, while watching our breasts you cannot ignore the message written there. Our breasts are talking, our breasts are screaming, we have transformed our naked bodies into a political instrument. We have given the world a new meaning of women’s nudity. And now this is a political instrument, this is my political weapon, and on my breasts I have written a message I want you to hear.”

euronews: “OK, but then at one point, I guess that message, your instrument, is going to become mundane, because people are going to start saying ‘Oh there’s Femen, they are taking their tops off again’. Is that not a concern?”

Shevchenko: “I think sometimes people expect more from Femen than our mission is. Our mission is to create a discussion, to reveal the problem, to show the truth, to take the masks off those who are wearing masks. This is our mission. We’re not a political party, we don’t see ourselves as politicians. We are street activists. What we are doing is we attack our enemies, we attack those who believe in patriarchy, those who have a patriarchal opinion about women and the position of women. We face up to them in their own backyard, where they don’t expect us to be, and in this way we are breaking the rules of patriarchy. What we are saying now is we are fighting and we are women.”

euronews: “We’ll you’ve certainly provoked a lot of interest, and we’re going to go to our first question.”

Alex: “Hello, I’m Alex and I’m from England, and I was wondering why feminism and the religious tradition can’t work together in parallel?”

euronews: “Are you against all religions?”

Shevchenko: “Yes. Where religion starts, feminism ends. We are definitely an atheist movement, we are an anti-religious movement, but I don’t want anyone to think we are anti-faith. I don’t care how many times people pray during the day. But I do care when they tell me how I should live my life.”

euronews: “Three activists from Femen have been jailed in Tunisia. Euronews does not in any way condone their imprisonment, but do you not think that you are going to have to adapt your message to the culture you are conveying that message in?”

Shevchenko: “I think that anyone should understand, the point about Femen is, it doesn’t have anything to do with different cultures. It’s not about that, we’re talking about universal human rights. What we are doing is we are saying to the world that there are no different human rights for Arab women, and a different type for European, and a third type for America, for example. What we do is, we spread universalism, we say we have the right to control our own bodies, everywhere, in any culture, but it doesn’t have anything to do with cultural differences.”

euronews: “But then, you know, some people want to control their body differently, some time ago you said ‘better naked than the burka’, but, you know, some people actually choose to wear the burka, do you respect that?”

Shevchenko: “I would say that, we are not calling on everyone to take their tops off. What we are doing is we are asking the world, if we, being women, have the right to do it if we want to. And how does the world respond? They put us in jail. They arrest us. They kidnap us. Your question regarding the burka – I will accept, we always accept – you have a choice. But, up to now, in this world there are women who are obliged to cover themselves, like in Iran, in Afghanistan. Tradition means up to now they have to. We are going to point that this religion was nothing because they are trying to cover women they are trying to hide them.”

euronews: “But the ones who choose to, it’s fine, you will say OK, so you’ll respect women’s choice to wear the burka. Even nowadays.”

Shevchenko: “Definitely, yes, of course. But it’s a question as to whether it’s a choice or not.”

euronews: OK. We go now to our next question.

“Hello, my name is Yasmina, I am Belgian, and I have a question for you. Femen women who appear in the media are often blond, thin and good looking. I wanted to know whether there are some specific criteria to be part of Femen, to convey your message of freedom.”

euronews: “This is a question we got again and again. Is it a criteria, do you have to be good looking, do you have to be young?”

Shevchenko: “I think you will never find an ex or current Femen member who will tell you ‘yes I went through casting’ or something like that. It’s nothing to do with appearance. It’s about physical and moral preparation. Femen accepts anyone. Any woman can join Femen. You have to be trained – we are trained very well – we are trained physically, trained morally, and if we do one of the actions we have to train before the event. But it doesn’t have anything to do with colour of your hair, or the size of your ass, (I’m sorry).”

euronews: “So who are your oldest members then?”

Shevchenko: “Our oldest member is 64 years old, she’s Ukrainian and she does topless actions.”

euronews: “OK. So a lot of feminists are saying that your message is very exclusive, and anti feminist.”

Shevchenko: “The Femen form of feminism doesn’t exclude other forms of feminism. We are not saying ‘yes this is the only way’. We are saying that, for us, this is the way. For those who are doing actions, for those who call themselves Femen. This is how we arrived at this idea. We worked for two years in Ukraine, practicing the classical form of feminism – including me. And what we realised was, no one wanted to talk to us. They just ignored us. And we got to the point where we had to act. Because, for example, look today at feminism. We have a strong theoretical side, but what about the street, what about the practical side? We are trying to add this to feminism. This is where the place of Femen in feminism is. But it doesn’t exclude other forms.”

euronews: “Our next question is from Ireland.”

“My name is Lucy, I am from Ireland, and I would like to know why the attacks on Femen have become more frequent lately.”

euronews: “Has Femen been attacked more recently?”

Shevchenko: “Every time that we find we have a new enemy, of women in general, of women’s liberation, of course we get attacked more and more. For example today I woke up because of an SMS [text message] that I got. It said ‘die’. And I thought to myself ‘good morning Inna’.”

euronews: “Are you frightened?”

Shevchenko: “I’m not sure if this is the right question. I just forget about it.”

euronews: “Really? You are not frightened for your own safety?”

Shevchenko: “You know I would say that everything that we do is always a personal choice. And fear is a choice as well.”

e*uronews:* “You are a courageous group, but you’ve also been in situations that have been quite frightening, for example in Belarus, can you tell us a little bit about that?”

Shevchenko: “Yes that’s true. It was the first time we were nearly killed doing a Femen activity. It happened at the end of 2011, in Belarus. Three activists – I was one of them – were participating in a demonstration against the dictatorship in Belarus, against [President] Lukashenko. After the demonstration, we were kidnapped, and for the next 24 hours we were in the hands of real killers. They took us into a forest, we were tortured there, they cut my hair, they put oil on us, they they were playing with fire around us, they tried to imply they are going to kill us. And for 24 hours we were in a situation where we did not know minute by minute if we were going to die. And in that situation, yes, you ask yourself, ‘what does this really mean?’. It’s not about being a martyr, it’s not about being prepared for anything, even death. But I would say that although we were nearly killed, I still didn’t see myself as a victim. Because I was analysing the situation I was in, those men they were doing those crazy things to us… why ? Because we told the world the truth. That’s it.”

euronews: “Inna Shevchenko, Many thanks for joining us.”

You can check on our website, or follow us on social media to find out who the next guest on I-talk will be.

Then send us your question, on video or written format, and we’ll try to pass them on to our guests.

FEMEN is coming

the bare-breasted feminist group who want London women to go topless in the name of political protest

London has been warned: the FEMEN army of “sextremists”, as they call themselves, is on its way. Sitting at the movement’s European headquarters in Paris, Inna Shevchenko, notorious for her bare-breasted exploits with a chainsaw, is planning a cross-Channel offensive. “London is absolutely ready for FEMEN and FEMEN is ... almost ready for London,” she says with a considered nod, like someone weighing up an opponent while relishing the idea of a good scrap.

Wherever and whenever the action, it will not involve the chainsaw, which is sitting charred and partially melted on the table in front of us, the casualty of a recent suspected arson attack on FEMEN HQ.

Nor will it involve Shevchenko, 23, who, having only recently been granted refugee status in France, is unable to leave the country. “Still,” says the blonde Ukrainian, cheerfully: “We have been contacted by British women who want to be activists and we have trained one already. We are looking to organise a team. Strategically, London is one of the important countries for us.”

To name but a handful of FEMEN’s recent actions, the militant feminists known for thrusting their slogan-daubed chests in the faces of political correctness, religion and anyone representing male “dictatorship” have ambushed Russian president Vladimir Putin and former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi; burned a Salafist flag in front of the Great Mosque of Paris in support of a jailed Tunisian FEMEN militant, and staged a “Pope no more” protest in the Vatican.

Of FEMEN’s impending assault on London and Britain, Shevchenko will not give details, but suggests the fight will centre on the “Islamic oppression of women” and its symbols “the veil and sharia law”. She has no truck with political correctness.

“I watch the BBC and see intelligent women and ‘Muslim feminists’ — an interesting concept in itself — argue they are free to wear the hijab. But their words hide the fact that millions of other Muslim women are obliged to do it. I don’t agree that it’s a choice,” she says, her voice crackling with anger.

“People accused us of being anti-Islam, anti-Christian ... we are not, we are anti-religion. All religion. People say ‘Why do you protest topless, it is hurtful to our religion’. Well, women’s breasts are a clear symbol of women’s fight. We have reclaimed our bodies.

“I hear the news of women’s oppression in places like Egypt and I feel a huge need to take off my clothes and show my body as a political statement. And we have clearly touched a nerve because the FEMEN movement is growing around the world. I cannot travel to London, but FEMEN is coming ... soon.”

London, you have definitely been warned.

Femen are being castigated now as "Feminazis" and "jew haters" by the ideological purists at Harry's Place.

They have no problem with a Femen supporter going from "far left" to "far right", because of who has stood next to her.  The west's liberal deserve to be islamised.  They are so intent on schism for schism's sake, whilst muslims have the sense to focus their hostility on subjugating non-muslims first, then when they've achieved that, they will start on schismatic violence.

Topless Femen protesters invade Islam week ;

Well done those Ladies !  when are EDL going to do the same over here ?!

Femen get their tits out in Turkey over the elections there.

Hurry up Harry make a big hoo haa about a Femen leader reading Mein Kampf.  Actually, we should all read it, together with Mao's red book etc, if we are to be properly educated, but its pretty boring stuff.  But then again, HUH don't want us to be educated.

However, I note that they say nothing about Mein Kampf being a best seller in the Islamic Middle East.  You've got to hand it to these Lefties, they know how to protect their yellow necks from the real threats.

This photo of the Femen protest has many layers to it.  Notice how relaxed the Hijabed women is, when you might expect her to be shocked.

But the reality is, her sexuality is already 'a field waiting to be ploughed by the man', so there's little to shock her in that area, even if someone hasn't already cut her clit off.

More importantly, if you look at this photo strategically, the Femen woman is most probably not a mother, and probably without a supportive partner as well.

The Muslim woman has one child already and looks like another on the way; plus she has a husband to back her up.  I love the Femen activist, but in the long term, she's clearly out-gunned.  That's probably why Mrs Hijab looks so relaxed.

And if you haven't read the islamic Mein Kampf (the Koran), then they denounce you as an ignorant islamophobe.

Strange how those who haven't read Hitler's Mein Kampf are allowed to have an opinion on Hitler, yet those who haven't read the Koran are not denounced as ignorant, provided they claim that Mohammed was a man of peace who never hurt a fly.

Alan Lake said:

Hurry up Harry make a big hoo haa about a Femen leader reading Mein Kampf.  Actually, we should all read it, together with Mao's red book etc, if we are to be properly educated, but its pretty boring stuff.  But then again, HUH don't want us to be educated.

However, I note that they say nothing about Mein Kampf being a best seller in the Islamic Middle East.  You've got to hand it to these Lefties, they know how to protect their yellow necks from the real threats.


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