sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

January 29, 2012

How Femen Earned The Attention of American Media (Partial Nudity)

Filed under: journalism, politics, Ukraine — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:01 am

A while ago I wrote two soft core political porn posts about the Ukrainian topless protesters known as Femen.  The ladies are feminists and they protest everything from poor road conditions to Vladimir Putin, and, oh, sex trafficking.  At the time the group was not so well known in the States.

I got the sense that the girls were getting bored with Kiev.  Here they are participating in anti-Kremlin demonstrations in Moscow last December, and it kind of makes sense for them to be there since Putin has designs on Russia’s former “republics”.  Too bad a new Russian regime is likely to be nationalist and/or Communist — but that’s another matter.

Femen protest

In Moscow Femen undressed in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior pretending to be yurodivy, or a kind of Russian holy homeless who in olden days asked for handouts in front of churches and praised the tzar. Femen asked for the tzar to drop dead. Here they are getting arrested

And here they are a week ago are in Sofia, Bulgaria protesting family violence.  I’m not sure why Sofia, but hey, they are helping out their Bulgarian sisters, so it’s all good.

Femen topless fights

Fighting the good, sexy fight

And here they are protesting bankers in Davos a few days ago, and completely out of their depth.

Femen topless

Why Switzerland? Why banks?

Here is what John Hinderaker had to say about the girls.  Topless, yes, logical no:

The sad reality is that while the ladies of Femen may be fetching, they are not smart. It is highly unlikely that any of them is, as one sign proclaimed, “Poor because of you [i.e., economists, businessmen and bankers].” On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of the world’s population has escaped from grinding poverty only because of the efforts of frequently-despised businessmen and bankers.

The fallacy that these women have fallen for–the idea that wealth causes poverty–has been with us for a long time. It was exploded memorably by George Gilder in Wealth and Poverty, a book that I would recommend to the Femenistas. If they read it, maybe next summer they will disrobe at the Democratic National Convention.

According to the Russian periodical Ogonek, if a few years ago Femen specifically were poor, it’s because they made protesting their lifestyle.  Since the Ogonek feature was published, the ladies opened up an online shop.  I’m not sure how successful this venture is or who sponsors them these days, but somehow Femen has funds to tour Europe.

With this anti-capitalist protest Femen might have hit the goldmine.  These particular protests was noticed by the American news media while the group’s demonstrations on behalf of Iranian and Saudi women were largely ignored.  Femen figured out that sex sells.  If they are smart, they’ll figure out that anti-capitalism sells too and market their protests to Americans.

Femen anti-Iranian
Protesting a death by stoning sentence at an Iranian cultural center in Kiev. The sign reads “Murderers out of Ukraine!” Unfortunately, as protests go, this one was a dud

UPDATE: Linked by The Other McCain — thank you!



  1. They’ve inspired me to start a topless protest of my own. And I will continue to go shirtless until someone pays me to put it back on.

    Yes, it’s probably a form of blackmail but think of the children!

    Comment by Infidel de Manahatta — January 30, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  2. John Hinderaker is a lawyer.

    He has been a consistent supporter and frequent admirer of George W. Bush and once wrote that he is:

    A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another.


    Comment by u suck — February 22, 2013 @ 12:32 am

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