ISBN: 978-0-745-68325-6 June 2014 Polity 240 Pages
Bare-breasted and crowned with flowers, perched on their high heels, Femen transform their bodies into instruments of political expression through slogans and drawings flaunted on their skin. Humour, drama, courage and shock tactics are their weapons.
Since 2008, this 'gang of four' – Inna, Sasha, Oksana and Anna – has been developing a spectacular, radical, new feminism. First in Ukraine and then around the world, they are struggling to obtain better conditions for women, but they also fight poverty, discrimination, dictatorships and the dictates of religion. These women scale church steeples and climb into embassies, burst into television studios and invade polling stations. Some of them have served time in jail, been prosecuted for ‘hooliganism’ in their home country and are banned from living in other states. But thanks to extraordinary media coverage, the movement is gaining imitators and supporters in France, Germany, Brazil and elsewhere.
Inna, Sasha, Oksana and Anna have an extraordinary story and here they tell it in their own words, and at the same time express their hopes and ambitions for women throughout the world.
Table of contents
A Movement of Free Women: Preface by Galia
Part I: The Gang of Four
1. Inna, a Quiet Hooligan 3
2. Anna, the Instigator 13
3. Sasha, the Shy One 24
4. Oksana, the Iconoclast 34
Part II: Action
5. ‘Ukraine Is Not a Brothel’ 43
6. No More Nice Quiet Protests 68
7. Femen Goes All Out 89
8. In Belarus: A Dramatic Experience 105
9. Femen Gets Radical 117
10. ‘I’m Stealing Putin’s Vote!’ 122
11. Naked Rather Than in a Niqab! 128
12. Femen France 150
13. Our Dreams, Our Ideals, Our Men 161
One Year Later: Afterword by Galia Ackerman 168
"With Femen, we are dealing with something new ... Its activists are charting a new route for public discourse about women and religion, and making it an unabashedly universal discourse, venturing into realms where they may be hated, and they may yet pay a high price for this. But that they have gotten people talking, even shouting and crying, is undeniable, and it is good; only through debate and discussion, sometimes painful, often unsettling, will we progress."
"Femen’s aims are straightforward, broad and radical. A war on patriarchy on three fronts, calling for an end to all religions, dictatorship and the sex industry."
"Part manifesto part biography this is Ukranian protest group FEMEN in their own words. Currently exiles in France, the four key members outline their objectives and sextremist tactics. A timely look at their 'non-violent but highly aggressive' topless brand of feminist activism."
"This account will inspire activists and inform scholars for generations."