Why sextremists are attracting the wrong supporters
By Iloradanon Efimoff, Contributor
Femen is a militant feminist organization, labelling themselves as “sextremists.” They protest topless (and bra-less!) for a variety of issues. As you can imagine, the commenters on their Facebook page range from horny boys to angry men, and from supporters to fanatics.
There are many things to criticize from this movement—the fact that it is overwhelmingly young, thin white women is one.
However, I do think these women are incredibly brave. I can imagine it would be quite difficult to be naked in broad daylight in front of strangers. In fact, cliché nightmares surround this idea. I also think they are fighting for several good causes: they have protested for gay rights in Russia, and against child marriage and pedophilia in Iraq.
Now for the whole breast thing… What does that really mean? Many of their slogans, which they paint upon their bare bosoms, say things like “naked war!” or “free woman!” So what’s the big deal with being naked?
While they fight for (mostly) noble causes, their message is probably not getting across. As my fellow feminist friend, Sarah Khan, mentioned to me, “People forget the point of the protest and only remember to ogle.” I’d have to say I agree with this opinion. Being naked is pretty taboo in Western society, but that’s how it is. Bare breasts are necessarily a part of that naked taboo, but even more so, because they’re so hyper-sexualized, at least in Western cultures.
So, even though flailing them around may be liberating, it doesn’t seem like it would get a memorable message across. Individuals will probably remember seeing breasts as opposed to the words written on them. I do think that sometimes drastic measures are required to get messages across, but being naked is probably not the best tactic in the current era. The female body is so objectified and sexualized that the underlying message of freedom and liberty probably doesn’t reach many people—and probably won’t. Society has a long way to go before it can take naked women seriously.
That being said, sexism in society is a very important issue. It affects everyone and should be treated seriously. So check your privilege, and think more about the message than the delivery.