Sometimes, less is more.
That’s certainly the thinking of the Ukrainian feminist movement Femen, best known for its bare-breasted protests in its home country. Now it has brought its self-described “sextremism” to Paris, opening its first international training camp and wasting no time attracting new recruits, causes and attention.
On a recent sunny morning, seven young women stride purposefully toward the stone facade of France’s Justice Ministry. Suddenly they throw their coats to the ground. Slogans are painted across their bare bosoms; garlands decorate their hair.
“Justice screws us,” they yell in French as they unfurl a black banner that reads “Rape Club. This is Femen.”
On this day, the group is protesting the verdict of a recent gang rape trial where a few of the accused got suspended sentences and the rest were acquitted.
“Now Paris is not the capital of love but the capital of rapists,” says Inna Shevchenko, the Ukrainian leader of Femen. “Today we came here to demand to put in jail rapists, and we say that if [the Justice Ministry] will not change their decision against group rapists of two 16-year-old girls, we’re going to catch them and castrate them.”
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