In the last several months, the mainstream media has launched a tsunami of negative criticism towards FEMEN, an international group opposed to dictatorships, religious extremism, and patriarchal persecution of women throughout the world. Like the much beloved Pussy Riot, Femen attacks societal taboo and institutionalized status quo through provocative direct action, exposing their bodies, often withstanding violent assault by men in the process.
Despite the nobility of this struggle, many Western bloggers have condemned Femen for being mostly “white”, “elitist”, or even “racist”. While Pussy Riot retains popularity in the West for targeting malevolent president-for-life Vladimir Putin, similar actions against the Russian ruler carried out by the outcast Femen have been largely ignored. Those labeling Femen as religiously intolerant seem to have no problem with the action that landed Pussy Riot in prison. When members of that group staged a guerrilla punk show inside a Russian Orthadox Church, they attacked the institution and it’s followers alike in lyric form, singing: “Shit, shit, the Lord is shit! A preacher is on his way to your school, Go to class and give him your money!”
Femen has been crucified in Western press, whereas Pussy Riot remain the darlings of the world wide web. Yet Pussy Riot engaged in far more radical direct actions that the West has chosen to overlook. Prior to their incarceration, members of Pussy Riot engaged in public orgies and torched police cars. Not exactly the kind of civil disobedience Americans commend. Continue reading