Feminism | Posted by Eloise Bouton on 06/10/2015

It’s Hard to be a Topless Feminist in France


Many people probably think France is a feminist-friendly country. My experience as an activist with the international feminist organization Femen has taught me that this is not the case. I’ve found that fighting for equality is costly and protesting topless for women’s rights — as I have done — is not only unfairly considered exhibitionism, but has had a damaging effect on my life.

I joined Femen — a feminist organization whose members protest topless — in April, 2012. This organization was born in Ukraine but established a presence in Paris in September, 2012. The Paris branch has been led by Inna Shevchenko, but I helped build the group.

On December 2013, I posed topless at the Catholic Madeleine Church in Paris to support abortion rights. At the time, …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 01/31/2011

Femen: How Ukraine Does Feminist Protesting

Femen Ukraine

Femen Protesters

The relationship between feminists and our bodies is a complicated one. Where as our general goal is to have ownership of and the ability to make choices about our bodies, we’re stuck in a society that wants to take that control away. We’re bombarded with images of exploited bodies every day. We’re told what our bodies should look like (the anatomically ridiculous stick with giant balloons attached to our chests) and what we should do with them (be sexually available but, for the love of God, not slutty. But not prudish either).

The feminist body conundrum is perfectly exemplified by the Ukranian organization “Femen.” Essentially, Femen is a feminist group of about 300 women who believe the best way to spread their aversion to things like …

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