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Femen Paperback – 18 Apr 2014

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (18 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745683223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745683225
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 945,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Femen and Everyday Sexism are two breakthrough movements to emerge in recent times, and they bring their own distinct ′manifestos′ in book form. Both confirm that feminism is no longer a dirty word among twentysomethings but also that the ideology manifests itself differently from their campaigning Second Wave predecessors."
The Independent

"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."
The Atlantic

"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."
The Guardian

"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."
Diva Magazine

"This account will inspire activists and inform scholars for generations."
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Femen is a feminist protest group which was founded in Ukraine in 2008 by Anna Hutso, Oksana Shachko, Alexandra Shevchenko and Inna Shevchenko, who are among its key members. They have attracted worldwide attention for a series of high–profile protests at key international events and currently live in exile in France.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Jenny VINE VOICE on 21 July 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Femen, a feminist group founded by young Ukrainian women, gained a reputation for topless demonstrations with supposedly inflammatory messages written on their bodies. This book discusses the founding of the group, takes a look at the background of the four key members and follows the movement up to roughly present day.
I was vaguely aware of the group and had a few questions. Firstly, I wanted to know why it was that it would appear only 'pretty' thin women went topless. How is this feminism/equality, if only a very specific type of women is allowed to symbolically 'free' themselves from patriarchy? A heavier activist does feature in this book but it is noted her body 'doesn't really fit the Femen image'. There are repeated references to how beautiful/pretty the activists are. Why? How does this add to the group's message? This is all the more confusing as at one point Femen bemoan the lack of female solidarity. Women of all shapes & sizes would surely be the way to go. That said, I don't believe standing topless with writing on your chest/stomach will change anything in the world anyway.
The group state that they want people to see 'our message,not our tits' but a) this is naive and b) at odds to their earlier explanation of being topless where they explain they are reclaiming their bodies from patriarchy, from the society that has been created. I can get behind this explanation in principal but at the end of the day, in Western Europe at least, young women going topless creates amusement and puzzlement, nothing more. Perhaps I am just too cynical.
I do admire the fact that the group addresses the controversial issue of their rumoured male leader, however even here the explanation is not satisfactory.
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By Roman Clodia TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Femen may be young, idealistic, sometimes naive, and unprepared for the complexities of feminist and capitalist politics outside Ukraine but they are passionate, utterly committed and frighteningly fearless - and for that they have to be applauded.

This book tells their story from their unsubtle `manifesto', to their life stories, and the history of their actions. And despite the way they have been dismissed publicly in the media, their actions have been criminalised, they have been personally attacked by shady `secret police' and now forced to claim political asylum in France - all of which are markers of the extent to which they have made an impact on the world political stage.

Not everyone either understands or agrees with their use of the naked female body as a political instrument but Femen are themselves aware of the dissention and show their own discussions and arguments about `sextremism' - these women might be young but they're not uneducated, unthinking or unaware of the potential contradictions in the way they appear.

This book gives a very good account of how this particular brand of extreme feminism cannot be untangled from the place from which it has been born: Ukraine is still deeply patriarchal and under the control of the church, women are regarded as `on the shelf' if they're not safely married by the age of 20, and feminism simply didn't exist. One of the most shocking facts I learned is that it's not just that people there are unable to buy books like those of de Beauvoir, Millet, Greer etc. which have charted the history of the western feminist movements, but that they don't even know they exist.

Inna, the leader of Femen, is still only 22 - the movement may have fallen apart for various reasons but there's no question that the struggle will continue.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A fascinating look into the lives of the four women who made up the original group. I cannot help but admire their determination and their principles, though I think their tactics are less effective in the west, where we have seen such protests since the sixties. I am a little disturbed that their politics seems to have shifter to the right, however, and freedom from exploitation, while admirable, seems on the back burner.
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By Sussman TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Femen is a radical small group of women advocating their theory of 'sextremism' and they are very 'media savvy'. For Femen the camera lens is to be embraced.

The book traces their origins from an Eastern European feminist protest group - founded in Ukraine in 2008 and now they seem to be mainly situated in France as well as some south American nations as well as having other affiliates in other countries. They advocate public actions and protests - through the use of their bodies and shock imagery - they call people's attention to their voice to stand for freedom, justice and women's rights. Since their origins their scope has widened to include, themes of poverty, religious institutions and dictatorships plus other topics of concern. Femen has a clear position on prostitution, as they say:

'there is nothing else but a domination of one gender through exploitation, force or lie. The ruling Patriarchy wants to legalise prostitution as a way to finally win the gender fight and make society accept women as sex-waitresses for the hungry clients that are men'.

Their narrative tells their story, from their 'humble' origins in a small Ukrainian town to their current lives in France. We learn about what they did and why they did it, how they were treated by former Communist states, and how they survived. This book is not a dry treatment of their inception and struggle; it shows us their game plan for their brand of active protest. They are a small group of devoted activists who say they really want to make a difference. However,there have been detractors notably such as Ms Tilly Grove who says in her commentary, in the Huffington Post, that
'UK Feminism Doesn't Need Femen's Imperialism'. A former member, from Tunisia, Amina Tyler left the group in protest citing what she saw 'a lack of financial transparency in the organization'.

Like them or dislike them, it appears that FEMEN will not be ignored.
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