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Femen was founded and is controlled by a man. Exactly zero people are surprised

Femen, aka, CLASSICAL FEMINISM IS DEAD ALSO LOOK AT OUR BOOOOOBS, turns out to have been founded and controlled by a man named Victor Svyatski. Outed by Australian film-maker Kitty Green, she says: “It’s his movement and he hand-picked the girls. He hand-picked the prettiest girls because the prettiest girls sell more papers. The prettiest girls get on the front page… that became their image, that became the way they sold the brand.” I swear I don’t want to go all “I TOLD YOU SO SUCKERS” but seriously. We talked about this. We talked about the fact that the whole point of Femen was to capture the male gaze, thereby capturing the attention of the media. We talked about the fact that we should be skeptical “anytime anyone makes...
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Is This Feminist? And Other Relevant Questions

This post was originally published on J.A. Martino’s blog, What a Radical Notion!, and was reprinted with permission from the author. Oh, FEMEN and your feminist boobs. Your uniformly thin, smooth-skinned, whole, mostly white, two-breasted naked torsos are just so subversive, and lard knows there’s no other way to get the media to pay any attention to you! Guh. But this post is not about FEMEN, necessarily, because lots of people have been saying whatever I would say about them for years now. Read here! And here! And here’s what I wrote about Slutwalk, and here’s what I wrote about hookup culture, in which you could just replace the actual subject with “FEMEN” and voila! Reconstituted. In the immortal words of everyone’s favourite spinster aunt: If the liberal peen...
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There is a wrong way to do feminism. And Femen is doing it wrong

I was grateful to have been invited to join a conversation about the future of feminism that looked specifically at the tactics of Ukrainian protest group, FEMEN on Al Jazeera English‘s show The Stream last week. Inna Shevchenko, the leader of Femen International and Chloe Angyal of Feministing.com were guests on the show and the producers invited feminist bloggers Chrissy D, Ariana Tobin, Sara Yasin, (who are all the best, fyi), and myself to bring in critical perspectives and questions. You can watch the show in it’s entirety here: The show was pretty packed, discussion-wise, and the producers did a great job of trying to include a wide variety of perspectives on FEMEN’s tactics. That said, there is A LOT more that could be said around some of the...
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The new face of feminism is boobs

I’m sorry but I am so freakin done with Femen. I mean, to be real, I was done with Femen the moment Femen’s boobs were plastered all over the media by horny young Occupy enthusiasts, but this quote really solidified the fact that these ladies are little more than a clueless distraction: “We’re the new face of feminism,” Shevchenko said. “Classical feminism is dead. I think French feminism needs our new feminism.” Look. I KNOWWW y’all are excited about whatever you think feminism is. I know you are stoked on all the attention you’re getting. I believe that you care about women’s empowerment (whatever that is) and the causes you are fighting for. But, seriously.  What the fuck is this? Diversity of tactics, ok. But “classical feminism is dead”...
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It's International Women's Day; are our foremothers rolling over in their graves?

It’s hard not to heave a big ol’ feminist sigh on International Women’s Day. But, in many ways, I think that’s just fine. International Women’s Day isn’t intended to be a celebration, from my perspective. Rather, it is a reminder. A reminder that we still need an International Women’s Day. Across the world women are fighting for their rights. They are fighting for equality, for workers’ rights, for reproductive rights, they are protesting poverty and raising awareness about violence against women. Strangely, many Westerners like to imagine that we inhabit an egalitarian society. I’m not sure where they’re looking, but from where I’m standing, we still have a lot of work to do. On Friday, Jarrah Hodge covered the Vancouver and District Labour Council’s annual International Women’s Day Dinner....
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The naked protester (or, how to get the media to pay attention to women)

Nudity as a form of protest wasn’t invented by PETA. Events such as the World Naked Bike Ride uses nudity as a way to protest “oil dependency and to celebrate the power and individuality of bodies,” 600 environmental activists went naked in 2007 to protest global warming and even as far back as the early 1900s, the Doukhobors, a Russian pacifist religious sect, held nude protest parades. So I wouldn’t go so far as to say that nudity was useless as a tactic in social movements. Lately the Ukrainian protest group, Femen, has been getting a lot of attention. Why? Well, they’re beautiful, thin, young women who are mostly topless. They’re described alternately as a “women’s rights group” or a “feminist group,” as they campaign against issues such as...
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