Is FEMEN the new face of “Feminism”?


Although Inna Shevchenko, the international leader of the FEMEN organization, stated that “The classical feminism is dead!, we are the new face of the feminism.”, the majority of the feminist organizations actually oppose her proposition and consider FEMEN movement as misleading. FEMEN is an Ukraine-based organization which protests the norms and regulations of ‘male dominant culture’ by using female bare breasted activists with slogans and flowers painted. The main objective of this organization is to promote law of ‘women’s law’ over patriarchy and impair the roots of ‘church’, ‘dictatorship’ and ‘sex industry’. They have protested Vladimir Putin in Brussels because of his dictator like management. In London 2012 Olympics, they have protested the participation of Islamic countries because of their strict regulation and exploitation of women’s right.  They also did a protest after the Sunday speech of Pope Benedict XVI in order to undermine the male-dominant, medieval mentality of the Church that shows no respect to women and their bodies.  Most of their protests are commonly reported by media because they use topless women and ‘sextremism’ which are still considered as taboos in many developed countries.800px-Femen_à_Paris_3

The founding principles of feminism basically relies on gender equality and as a ‘male’ human being, I find the current state of the world very absurd because we haven’t established an proper ideology which dictates that both women and men should have equal social, economical and political rights. But I think the way(sextremism) FEMEN convey their message is questionable. They are using sexuality of woman’s body to attract attention of the media although they are protesting against the sexual discrimination and exploitation of women’s body in popular culture like this advertisement. They defend themselves by saying that only ‘shocking’ things would draw the attention of media but by doing that they are actually being controlled by the male dominant culture’s interests: nakedness and breasts.

femenThey also follow a female-only membership policy and release statements which include hate speech against men. I think this is a contradiction to values that they support: gender equality and feminism. Therefore they are being criticized by other feminist groups and organizations. There are even Facebook groups like ‘Feminists Against FEMEN’ which states that FEMEN is casting a dark shadow on the ideologies of feminism by using sexist images in protest and making hate speeches against religions and men.

Greenpeace is a notable and well-known organization because of their brilliantly thought unconventional campaigns.  So in my opinion, nothing is wrong with using sextremist topless activists to convey their message because the required attention is not given to the women’s rights, even in the most developed countries. But I think if they abandon making hate speeches about religions and protest more politicians who violate women’s rights, they will gain more support from the majority of community, their movement wouldn’t be strictly punished for disrespectful criminal activities and they would be more suitable for being ‘the new face of feminism’.


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