FEMEN (2013)
Artist: Vielles Chansons

Location: Clarion Alley in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA.
A Clarion Alley Mural Project


Considering Femen from the Perspective
Of Universal Human Rights

One is not born a woman, but becomes one.
Simone de Beauvoir

Although the Femen movement has been condemned for their modus operandi, Femen’s breast-unveiling campaigns are relevant and effective in the context of universal human rights (predominantly, Women’s issues) they strive to counteract. Based on one April 3, 2013 (International Topless Jihad)(I) demonstration in Paris where Femen protesters chanted slogans in support of Amina, a Tunisian activist, Femen has received the most rebuke since its inception. The intent of this protest in front of the Big Mosque focused on the oppressiveness of Islam’s dress code for women and specifically the harassment of their colleague, Amina, who was incarcerated for baring her breasts online with the slogan “fuck your morals.” At the entrance of the Paris mosque, Meriam (a Tunisian) and other French Femen activists burned a Salafist flag and revealed the slogans “freedom for women” and “Arab women against Islamists.” The peaceful protest prompted a criminal case and the activists may have received a jail sentence of up to six months.
This unfortunate deportment in the media has veiled (pun intended) Femen’s objectives and ideology that pertain to all women living in patriarchal societies, which comprises most of the women in the world with the exception of a handful of insignificant communities in Asia, Africa and the Hopi Native Americans. Women’s suffrage and activism have a long history and granted, they have made great strides in most parts of the world, however men still dominate and control the key positions in social structures such as government, corporations, professional organizations and military. Hence, the urgent need for feminist movements like Femen to advocate aggressively and...