Swedish Women Drop Burkas
A FEMEN Protest
Nudity has always been known for its shock value. Streaking (as a form of rallying or as an annual tradition) has been in existence for decades in several colleges, most especially in the United States. And nudity as a form of protest has been in existence since the start of the century. Animal rights campaigners, anti-war advocates, public nudity movements, and gender rights activists are examples of participants of such controversial protests.
Last Saturday, three women from the feminist organization “FEMEN” came in the Stockholm mosque and stripped off their clothes in protest.
With clenched fists in the air, they shouted in English:… “No to Sharia! No to oppression! Free women!” They stood bare-chested and shouting out their message before they were taken away by police.
Their actions, as well as the actions of FEMEN and all the other nude activists around the world have been denounced as immoral and indecent by religious organizations, as expected from the self-proclaimed conservative religious groups. However, their actions receive mixed reviews from feminist groups in other parts of the world. Some women’s activist groups denounce the act as a “reinforcement on the objectification of women”. An interesting note was said by one writer with regards to the actions of FEMEN as an act of “imperial feminism” and how similar (or different) it is with nude protests of women of colour.
Too often, African and women of colour feminisms appear as either lesser derivatives of a supposedly original Euro-American feminism or so utterly different as to not merit the label “feminist”. Meanwhile, women in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Togo, and elsewhere continue to use their bodies to oppose the predations of parties as diverse as Euro-American oil companies and multinationals, scientists and nature preservationists, local police, and other men in their communities—often effectively. But their protests rarely appear in media outlets in Europe and the United States, and when they do, only as exotic and unintelligible (if titillating) outbursts of despair. –Marc Mateo, OKAYAFRICA, Parallel Histories: Naked Protest and African Feminism
FEMEN’s method of protesting is not necessarily their own brand, as what they might want the world to see. Female nudity has been the protest of choice in North Africa and the Middle East to protest intolerance, inequality, and oppression. There is no smoke if there is no fire, and the mere fact that women all over the world, FEMEN and nudity notwithstanding, have been staging protests simply means that there is oppression and this is their method of shouting to the world of the atrocities they recognise. However, sometimes the sheer display of nakedness strips (no pun intended) the protest of the message they want to get across. FEMEN on the other hand believes that their nude rallies amplify the voice of the oppressed women. Whether one views these acts as hooliganism, uninspired unoriginal forms of protest, or an extreme cry for reform on the heteronormative patriarchy, the acts of FEMEN have definitely stirred the community. Stirred with what exactly, that has yet to be seen.
Note from hitchens67- All too often we see people fleeing what they call political oppression in their own countries. The Muslims especially, seem to come to places like Eastern and Western Europe and promptly begin stabbing their hosts in the back by trying to foment unrest in the very countries that gave them asylum! In the U.S it was the Tsarnyev brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon. The brothers’ family came here many years ago, took advantage of our welfare system and then their children utterly betrayed that kindness. In Europe, we see demonstrations against ‘Western’ ways with signs and pamphlets that are a complete slap in the face to the host nation. Unfortunately, most Western European countries are completely to the left of our Democratic Party so the Europeans sit idly by as their laws allow this cancer to fester within their borders and consume their sovereignty. Traditionally clad Muslim men patrol the sectors that their people live in and continually harass non-Muslims stating that the area is a Muslim area and the ‘Kufur’ the infidel, is not allowed to be there. These areas are within the host countries’ borders yet these thugs patrol it as if it were their own!
Europe needs to wake up and get rid of these troublemakers before they are forced out of their own countries. It is an affront to everything moral that these people are able to demonstrate against the laws that they find offensive in the land of their hosts, and to physically and verbally intimidate the citizens for not observing Muslim law! My hat off to these women to so boldly oppose these barbaric demonstrations by barbaric fools who claim to love peace with their extreme intolerant religion. Where is the religious morals that the believers say that we would not have without God? I believe that the opposition/atheists here are the truly moral people for finally standing up to these misogynist bullies! I only hope that this publicity will incite more people to publicly rebuke and push back against these anachronistic fanatics.