Femen: Why the Nudity?

Why the Nudity

The issue here is more than women being treated as mere objects, as the popular imagination seems to assume on first inspection. It is about who controls the objects and defines them. This is fundamentally what democracy addresses. Freedom of the object. Historically, control has been the domain of men (patriarchy), who have in the long run, controlled the woman’s place in society and through this has played a major role in defining female sexuality.

The point of the nudity is this.The women decide when and where they expose themselves – and of course they get attention. Here, Femen are exposing the Ukraine government that is exploiting the availability of beautiful women in the Ukraine to attract tourists. The government are defining who and what owns the body-object. This is exploitation. The point of democracy is fair and equal access to control of the object and of oneself by oneself. Femen (and feminism) demand democratization of the object, their bodies, in the form of equal rights, which brings us back to the nudity: the purpose of the display is that Femen are a group of women who want to have democratic control over the availability of their bodies, the defining of their sexuality, and the exposing of their bodies, something which should not be decided by the government or any other kind of authority based on their values or for their profit and gain.

I salute Femen! I believe that the violent and negative reactions against their activism and protests are abhorrent, and expose the blatant presence and signs of the oppressive, ideological mechanisms embedded within the public conscience of the ‘herd mentality’; of physical and ideological regimes in place to ensure that the body-object is not democratized. It is indeed a shameful sight to see that so many people fail to see this while invoking violence and negativity towards Femen, and really, women in general – that violence against women is still acceptable if it is somehow validated by the sponsorship of authority. For even if it is about being just naked, what is so bad about being naked after all?

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