FEMEN: Will the Real Activists Please Stand Up?

I’ve no idea why FEMEN rustle my jimmies as much as they do, but they do. Every time I see another one of their stunts, I want to strangle every girl involved.

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a feminist. I went to an all-girls high school. I had feminism, suffragettes and general female gender superiority shoved down my throat for six years. I even won the Jan Aveyard’s ‘Girls Can Do Anything!’ award in year ten – I still, to this day haven’t figured out why I won it, except perhaps that I was a good all-rounder academically, and had just scored my black belt. Anyway.

I’m an equalatist. Anyone can do anything. That kind of thing. Exclusive man-hating and whinging about being objectified and treated as sex objects – please. Shut. Up.

FEMEN, a European feminist group, like to use sextroversy to get their point across. They aggressively run around topless with stupid slogans written across their bare breasts. Things like ‘WE ARE NOT MEAT’ and ‘FACISM IS SLAVERY’. Don’t get your knickers in a knot, ladies.

Now, I’m all for women embracing their sexuality and flaunting it. One of our strengths, as little as we like to admit it, is the fact that we know how to pop our hips in just the right way and smile suggestively enough to get what we want in the world. Basic peacocking. Don’t talk to me about being objectified. I’ve worked in pubs and nightclubs as a bikini waitress. I’ve been behind the bar when stripper shows and fitness competitions were on. Please, give me a male crowd over a female crowd any day. The men are always polite and nice – subdued because their girlfriends have their balls in an iron grip. But put a decent looking, half naked man on the stage? Women become disgusting, rabid animals. They grope. They catcall. They call the girls behind the bar sluts. It’s a girls night out, though, so it’s okay to treat those men on stage like pieces of meat, right?

Adult women's obsession over sixteen year old Taylor Lautner? Oh, that's perfectly fine! Switch their genders and suddenly it's offensive.

Adult women’s obsession over sixteen year old Taylor Lautner? Oh, that’s perfectly fine!
Switch their genders and suddenly it’s offensive.

FEMEN’s style just irks me. They protest being objectified in European countries, who are among the most progressive when it comes to gender equality- uh. Did someone forget to give them a history lesson? That fight’s already won, ladies. The only reason you’re upset about girls being told to sex themselves up is because you want to slut-shame them. Ladies, we are our own worst enemies.

What really gets me, though, is the fact that the girls FEMEN gets to strut around with nonsensical crap written across their tits – are paid. They are promotional models, paid to protest. I don’t know about you, but to me, that a. defeats the purpose of protesting and b. is not authentic protesting. That’s why all the FEMEN girls are young, attractive and slim. FEMEN actively seeks out attractive young ex-sex workers to protest exactly what they’re perpetuating.

Not all of them are terrible. Amina Sbiou in Tunisia, who posted topless photos of herself a few months ago, with ‘my body is my own and not your honour’ scrawled across her – I genuinely salute her and her cause. She was recently arrested for defacing a cemetery and carrying pepper spray. But she actually has cause to protest. She is protesting the secularisation of the state and the lack of freedom she has over her own choices. I also love just how much her father supports her – he says he’s proud of her, even if she does act a little rash.

Amina: you go girl.

Amina: you go girl.

FEMEN, of course, sent three European girls to picket outside her court case by brandishing a sign stating ‘FUCK YOUR MORALS‘. Yes, because being disrespectful towards the major religion in the country you’ve been allowed to visit is completely the right way to go about being heard.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t feel that running around being overtly sexual is the best way to be taken seriously. Want to make change? Gain the respect of the people you want to help change. Don’t alienate them. Start the dialogue at home. Educate yourselves. Grow. Learn. Gain positions of power through your intelligence, strength and determination. If you want to protest utilising your sexuality, don’t hire people to protest for you – do it yourself.

But most of all, be the change that you want to be in the world, and don’t allow anyone else to take away that freedom of choice from you.

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