Ukrainian-based feminist movement FEMEN is in action again: on Friday 27. September bare-breasted ladies showed up at Nina Ricci fashion show in Paris. With the slogans "Model don't go to brothel" and "Fashion Dictaterror" drawn on their bodies, two young women made an attempt to stop the catwalk but were quickly removed by the security.
FEMEN activists became notorious for their unusual form of protest: each of their actions looks as a staged performance where the women appear topless and bodypainted in public places shouting slogans. Initially the movement's goal was to attract public attention to the poor situation in the field of women rights in the Eastern Europe, but soon they have broadened their sphere of interests. FEMEN launch their actions all across Europe protesting against the policy of the Orthodox Church in Russia, women opression in Muslim communities in France or the authoritarian regime in Belarus, among others. The abuse of young women in model and beauty industry is also one of target themes of FEMEN activities: in spring 2013 their activists rushed on the stage of the reality show Germany's Next Topmodel, accusing the show of promoting false ideals for women.
Still FEMEN are not solitary in launching protests-performances: in Russia art-group The War became famous or their outrageous actions in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, not to mention notorious "punk-prayer" which led the members of the group Pussy Riot to prison.
Protests-performances definitely attract attention but are they really effective? Can they be taken seriously or merely as hooliganism? FEMEN activists were imprisoned numerously for their scandalous behavior, Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years of prison. The officials try to eliminate this kind of movements. But are they a real threat?
What do you think of FEMEN and similar to them movements? Do protests-performances take place in your country? What is the officials' reaction towards it?
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