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Ukraine: “Undressing… With an Excuse”

Good Girl Gone Ukrainian explains her disappointment with what FEMEN, a Ukrainian “female protest group known for its provocative bare-breasted acts,” has evolved into over the years.

2 comments

  • One might add that there is no single feminist movement, so possibly there’s room for just-awareness raising groups to contribute in their own way, without the need to fit them into some preexisting theoretical or dogmatic framework.

    Civil society should be an ecosystem, a value-chain, we cannot expect one NGO to fill in all the niches, esp. if they are specialized in some aspect – and are doing it effectively.

    Apart from that, the issue of censorship is important: CNN has “covered” the naked breast in the FEMEN video they’ve republished, and YouTube says that the account of “FEMENmovement has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of our Community Guidelines.”

    So instead of transmitting the images (actual content of the news), we have both old and new media filtering the essential part of the free expression, regardless if you call it shock-tactic for awareness raising or performance art, downgrading the content to a hearsay level. Instead of showing what’s going on at the event, we have doctored “let _me_ tell you what they did” version.

    • You are right about no single feminist movement. When FEMEN appeared it was quite interesting to watch how they were going to combine feminist issues with approaches that many feminists would not exactly support, precisely because FEMEN stepped outside of dogma. Hence their arguments that feminism in Ukraine comes “combined” with short skirts and high heels (e.g. http://tinyurl.com/mtmpnu).

      I like your point about just awareness-raising groups. But FEMEN would have been one if they could stick with those few issues they originally picked up and kept “protesting” until someone else have taken the issues to the next level.

      As for CNN, I’d take your argument even further – they did a report exactly like tons of other reports that were produced by international media after FEMEN just appeared. So it was almost like “let me tell you what others have said they did.”

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