Several determined protesters from the Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN publicly demonstrated against the World Economic Forum this week; the annual WEF meeting was held at the exclusive Swiss resort of Davos. These brave activists have become known internationally for their topless protests against sex trafficking, corrupt religious power and oppressive sexism. Some of their stated goals include inspiring others to actively revolt against entrenched patriarchal institutions, as well as encouraging more women to become politically aware and socially active.
These feminist warriors have frequently incorporated humor and nudity into their demonstrations to help push their agenda and draw more media attention. FEMEN activist Galina Sozanskaya explained why topless protests are one of the diverse tactics that the group utilizes in their activism:
”Many criticize us for our methods, calling them too extravagant and immoral; but we understand that this is the only way to be heard in this country. If we staged simple protests with banners, then our claims would not have been noticed.”
Breasts as Bombs
Much like the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot, FEMEN activists have frequently been charged with “hooliganism” and “desecration of state symbols”; some members of this outspoken organization have also been violently assaulted. After a 2011 protest in Belarus against the disputed presidential election of Alexander Lukashenko, three female demonstrators from FEMEN were abducted, blindfolded, taken to a remote forest, then doused with oil, forced to strip and threatened with being burned alive, before being violently attacked and abandoned in the wilderness.images by Johannes Eisele via the Seattle PI