Chicks I Dig : The FEMEN Girls and Their Ass-Kicking Tits

If you’ve got a vagina and you’re a regular user of urban public transportation, then, chances are, you’ve been hassled (“complimented”?) by more than your fair share of winking bus-riders and metro molesters. And if such experiences have occasionally made you question your pairing of neon mini-skirt and four-inch heels, then this post concerns you particularly.

Fashion-forward club-goers and conservatively-dressed skeptics, fear no longer: the FEMEN girls are here to save you from unnecessary culpabilization.

These fiery Ukrainian feminists, known for their torso-flaunting protests and frequent trips to the police station, recently transformed Kiev’s underground into an active political terrain. Several topless crusaders ambushed the trains, sporting crowns of flowers and brandishing signs readingI WILL RIP YOUR BALLS OFF.” Take that, Joe Gawker.*

What? TITS! Like, OH MY GOD! Did you see that???

Yeah, well, get the fuck over it and keep reading your pocket literature until the commute ends. ‘Cause the first guy who takes his chance at a sneaky grope will have around 300 fed-up females to answer to, and that number only includes active members located in the capital. (Estimates report around 15,000 international followers.)

More than just pissed off at your average creeper, the leader of FEMEN, Anna Gutsol, is definitively opposed to the legalization of prostitution in the Ukraine. Her organisation’s dialogue has been mostly geared toward criticizing and publicizing the country’s sad and lonely battle against sex tourism and bride-shopping, which pose a grave threat to the security and social status of many Eastern European women.

But the movement carries an important message for the rest of us, as well. This kind of societal corruption stems from centuries of sexist attitudes and practices that, unfortunately, continue to impact many aspects of women’s lives today, all around the world.

Even if you’re not one for dabbling in debate and activism, there are some simple questions that we can ask ourselves on a daily basis. What right do any of us have to judge or ostracize others based on the way they dress themselves? Rather than calling a woman a slut because she enjoys hot pants and knee-high boots, let’s engage in some intelligent critical analysis. Let’s be aware of the ways that women’s assets are depicted, exploited, appreciated, modified, worshipped and shamed in media and in the rest of the public sphere.

For a while, now, I’ve seriously lamented our lack of freedom to let those suckers breathe. The four-month peak in my nipply anger took place when I was a senior in college. During this period, I refused to wear a bra. And despite the fact that I’m rather humble in the breast department, let me tell you, many of my peers were not happy campers.

My friends, first of all. (“Jesus Christ, K, we’re going to the supermarket, not a Hooters interview. Cover yourself up, for Pete’s sake. No, really. Pete’s got a hard-on.”)

Secondly, the girls I don’t know. (“Dude, like, who does she think she is? Obviously she believes that putting herself out there like a whore is the only way she’ll get attention.”)

This was around the same time that I started reading Bust magazine and decided to cut off all my hair. Ah, young warrioress that I was.

Anyway, before I start to really digress, I’m going to go ahead and wrap this thing up.

For more information on FEMEN’s bosoms, magic tricks, and naked parades, check out this link, which will take you to a series of articles written by Marina Galperina, my huge, hardcore crush among the amazing writers over at ANIMAL, worth checking out if you haven’t already. Or, for info from the source, go to the official FEMEN livejournal page (written in Ukrainian).

Would any of you dare to bare it all to challenge the haters?


Your Kitty (au naturel)

*Yes, that was an easy swipe at Sarah Palin. I get my kicks where I can.

37 Responses to “Chicks I Dig : The FEMEN Girls and Their Ass-Kicking Tits”
  1. Anne says:

    I’ve gotten all kinds of bullshit for dressing the way I like. My country has a looong way to go in terms of equality of the sexes. Honestly, I don’t expect things would change in my lifetime. But fuck the naysayers, I do what I want!

    Also, I do like to go bra-free most days. Thank goodness for nipple tapes.

  2. Thom says:

    I don’t think I could pull off that kind of protest, sorry. Also, I think a lot of Metro riders would be preeeeetty upset.

  3. MaryJane says:

    Heyy! Thanks so much for your lovely comment :)
    Glad u like my posts…

    Also I wanted to let u know I’ve posted a few more, have a look!


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  4. Samantha says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA “The four-month peak in my nipply anger took place when I was a senior in college.” This sentence!

    To be honest, I think these women are being pretty extreme, and not necessarily in an effective way. I like the idea behind what they do, but I’m not convinced that it accomplishes anything, being all fire and brimstone (and boobs). I know everyone talks about slut-shaming and basing women on how short their skirts are, and that TALKING about dismantling stereotypes is supposed to help, so I suppose they’re doing a good job of getting people to talk about them. I DON’T REALLY KNOW! I mean, what can you do?

  5. Svitlana M says:

    I’m from Ukraine, and the thing is there that unless you do something outrageous- nobody will care what you think and will continue to do what they want. You can scream as long as you want: don’t touch me, or don’t even look at me if you don’t like it- people just don’t care.
    I love my country, but half of the male population there are plainly retarded. And it’s all based on your looks- if you don’t have money to buy nice clothes- you will have no friends. Very sad, I know.

    • yourkitty says:

      Thanks for your comments, Svitlana – it’s wonderful to have you to report from the Ukraine and tell us what’s really going on! Your insight is greatly appreciated. :)

  6. Svitlana M says:

    By the way, I also can’t stand that I can’t wear a shirt without bra in USA. What’s up with that? Everybody is freaking out, at least I can do it in Ukraine. LOL

  7. Kevin says:

    For the record, Kara, I don’t think I ever noticed that in college. Or maybe I did, and just didn’t care.
    I don’t think it should be a big deal if girls do or don’t wear bras. I don’t think it’s right for people to call someone a slut just because they don’t wear one. Though I do think one must expect a certain amount of attention if the decision not to wear a bra is made. Such is life.
    I agree that it’s unacceptable for women to be groped like that, though I wonder how much good this protest did other than simply make women who agree with them feel empowered. My biggest issue with most protests is that I simply don’t see most people changing the way they act in response to them, though clearly there have been successful movements in the past. If only there were some objective way to know for sure whether certain protests would affect what they’re protesting.

    • yourkitty says:

      I couldn’t tell you if any men were inspired to change there behavior in the metro, or if prostitution has decreased since the movement started. But when you say that this may have “simply made women who agree with them feel empowered,” I completely agree. Except, without the “simply.” I think that is the best result they could have hoped for, because offering women confidence and support is the first step to changing unequal power systems. :)

  8. Kevin says:

    P.S. I’m thinking about starting a new blog. Would you recommend wordpress after using it?

  9. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel. On one hand, I do want women to have the right do what they want, wear what they want, and do so without judgment. On the other hand, I think, “Is going topless the most effective way of doing it?”

    For that, I’m glad for Svitlana’s comment– it’s easy to think one way or the other without thinking about how society functions. In the states, I’m not sure if it’d be as efficient, because the individual voice has a lot of power. But in a country where that may not be the case, it may be the most efficient way of making change.

  10. Rachel says:

    Come to London! People NEVER EVER talk to anyone here on public transport. It’s practically forbidden. I made the mistake once…never again.

  11. Judy Hamouie says:

    enjoyed the content of this post.

    FEMEN sounds like an awesome organization. def interested in learning more about them!


  12. This form of protest is way too aggressive for my taste and, frankly, very masculine in its approach. It is insensitive to people with children–the sign even more than the nudity, to women who may have suffered sexual abuse, modest people, and so many others. I can’t endorse it at all.

    • yourkitty says:

      I agree that it’s a very agressive approach. Your use of the adjective “masculine” is very thought-provoking, as well; I’ll have to mull that over for a while.
      When it comes to offending those who have suffered sexual abuse, I’d have to disagree. Many of the women in this organization have been there, and this is their way of reclaiming possession of their bodies and voices. And when it comes to children… well, I think I’d be okay with exposing a young daughter to naked breasts and even some vulgarity in the hope of improving her chances at equality – and personal security – as a woman.
      Also, I think this needs to be taken in the Ukrainian cultural context. For that, I am thankful for Svitlana M’s enlightened commentary above.
      Thanks for sharing your opinion, I love to hear (and consider) other people’s views. :)

  13. Rita says:

    I don’t always wear a bra, I feel that some tops and dresses work better without a bra and are less shocking that way. I don’t think anyone notices that I’m not wearing it, either.
    Don’t get me started on the guys at public transportation, usually I talk back. The other day I had to teach a guy that if he was going to hit on me he’d better be polite and start with a “good evening”, instead of “sexy, let’s have dinner”.
    And the good thing about living in Portugal is that everybody always has something to say and always gets involved. A guy makes a nasty comment at you at the bus, he’ll get everyone around you telling him to shut up and stop being disrepectful.
    These FEMEN girls are doing a kick-ass job, you can’t change mentalities unless you go bold and shocking on your approach.

    • yourkitty says:

      I completely agree! Thanks for your insight – that’s great about people supporting other women in Portugal. Just another reason I’d love to visit that country. :)

  14. Miss Addict says:

    Can I hug you! I mean really?Pretty please if thats ok with you! I rage and jump up and down and feel generally outraged a lot and most people I know look at me and sigh and say 1 of 2 things “Its just the way things are ” or “If you/she dresses like that what do you expect!” and it drives me up the wall! This practically had me fist pumping and jumping up and down (in the good way)! THANK YOU!

  15. Jason says:

    check this out:
    Maybe Ukraine should have the same policy if it’s that bad. Here’s my take on what you wrote:

    – I’ll never understand a feminist who is against legalized prostitution. I understand her perspective, but legalizing it would empower women. Instead of (some of) them being held against their will by cruel pimps profiting off of THEIR bodies, hookers would be free to use their bodies as they choose, and not living in fear of their pimps or the cops. Since it would be legal, pimps would have no incentive on enslaving their hookers, as the whole industry would be much more transparent and regulated. I’m not making this argument because I frequent hookers (paying for sex is just sad), but this sort of policy would help all parties involved, including the government who could then tax it.

    – Men use the word “slut” more appropriately than women do towards other women. Women call other women sluts because they’re a) jealous because they don’t have the goods to show that she does, or b) they’ve been conditioned to follow a sort of unspoken dress code that the other is violating. Men call women sluts when we have actual evidence, i.e. ” Yeah she’ll sleep with anyone, what a slutty slut slut.” The obvious exception to this would be hookers, who dress to get noticed because, well, that’s the unspoken hooker dress code.

    In summary, let’s not play dumb. Women know what men want, and they dress accordingly. Cover up or don’t, but don’t bitch when you dress to get noticed and do. The whole “well I don’t dress this way for other people, I do it for me and I like it” is horseshit. Your double D’s are hanging out so you can use them to your advantage, you go girl, but don’t pretend you enjoy wearing jeans two sizes too small and painful high heels when I know you’d rather wear loose fitting sweats and sneakers. As for the groping, a quick knee thrust to the balls will put an end to that. No one on the train will judge you for it, especially if you yell “STOP GROPING ME!”.

  16. xololaorange says:

    Well, maybe it’s because of where I live, but no one in Miami makes a big deal of girls going without a bra. There are a lot of surgically enhanced boobs around here that defy gravity, but the scary thing is when they’re on someone old enough to be my grandmother. I frequently went without a bra in college, and no one ever said anything. There were some days I made conscious decisions not to wear a bra, and then there were other days that I just forgot to wear a bra. I don’t know how this happens that I “forget” to wear a bra. It’s not like I forget to wear pants or forget to brush my teeth. I guess it’s just the subconscious femenist in my speaking.

  17. Richard H. Davis says:

    Interesting that women who have numerous sexual partners are called “slut,” which has a bad connotes immorality, but men who have numerous sexual partners are called “players,” which connotes a lack of seriousness, but not so much immorality. I find the male fascination (including my own) with breasts to be nothing shot of amazing.

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