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Nov. 17, 2011, 11:03 p.m. | Editorial — by Kyiv Post

Kyiv Post

By protesting everything, the FEMEN women's rights group actually protests for nothing. The embarrassing FEMEN show went international last week, when a handful of the publicity-crazed group exposed their breasts in France, Switzerland and Italy.

The movement began in 2008 when a group of female students started protesting Ukraine’s prostitution problem by dressing provocatively and marching through central Kyiv carrying signs reading “Ukraine is not a bordello.”

FEMEN’s intentions appeared good: They brought international attention to a serious issue that the Ukrainian authorities do little to solve.

But that is where the problems started. With no sense of irony, some of the women appeared to enjoy the attention that their breasts were drawing, and reduced the number of clothes they left on.

They became publicity-obsessed showgirls who nowadays seem more interested in putting on a performance more worthy of a tawdry strip joint.

They have protested everything, from Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving alone to International Monetary Fund Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged sexual infidelity. They have even protested a city ban on hanging laundry from balconies.

But when you protest everything, you protest for nothing, particularly if the protest is simply an anarchistic bearing of the chest. They are now hurting Ukraine’s image as much or more than helping any social cause.

The nature of news journalism, particularly in the age of the Internet, means that photographs of these protests will always be popular as they generate clicks.

But women of FEMEN, it’s time to wake up: People are not clicking to look what you are protesting about. They probably don’t even notice.

The Kyiv Post has covered FEMEN since its inception. But we are rethinking these decisions as we have grown weary of their actions and wary of the members’ aims.

We will continue to write and publish photos about FEMEN when we find their actions newsworthy, but they are increasingly less so.

Moreover, it’s not clear who funds this group’s ambitious schedule of appearances or the aims of the financial backers.

If FEMEN would get back to their original mission of bringing attention to important causes, rather than just to themselves, we’ll be glad to keep covering them.
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Anonymous Nov. 17, 2011, 11:17 p.m.    

Isn''t it sad that the Femen not yet developed into a political party?

Ukraine has such a need for politicians with some soul.

The Femen women surely show that they have this feature, so exeptional in Ukrainian politics.

We can see a situation that, if the parliamentery elections will take place, (which looks far from sure yet becasue af the unpopularity of the government), the people have no clue as to which politician to trust. It will be extreme difficult to find candidates that are not either worn out politicians or technical candidates for the Regions.

I is for this reason that if the Femen would be ready to bear real responsability, they could develop into a beacon of hope for the future of the country.

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Anonymous Nov. 22, 2011, 12:10 a.m.    

Ha-ha! I already envision bare-breasted Prime Minister and bare-breasted members of Verkhovna Rada! Are you kidding!?!

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Anonymous Nov. 17, 2011, 11:21 p.m.    

FEMEN are about self promotion. It has become a business that promotes sex Tourism not opposes it. Ask them Who paid the costs for their visit to Italy? Media outlets are now paying them to bare the breasts for photo opps. The message has been lost in its delivery. They no longer represent a cause just self promotion, like a cheep sleexy dance troop.

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Anonymous Nov. 17, 2011, 11:25 p.m.    

Bare breasted women for hire. If they want to protest then do it without selling sex to promote their cause. What is their cause anyway. Apart from showing their groots. If they are in fact being paid/sponsored for their protests then this should be exposed.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 4:51 a.m.    

Well, I noticed that they always keep their panties on during their protests. If the girls find a serious issue which deserves more attention than the rest, they'll have to be prepared to show their clitorises.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 6:05 a.m.    

KP is correct about FEMEN and they are themselves to blame ...they have (had) great potential because of the originality of using breasts for political purposes, unfortunately they have degenerated themselves into a cliche by being everywhere and protesting everything! Rather than become a valuable political force they have sunk into irrelevance.

This is a pity because they did have a way of attracting attention but the tactic is loosing its shock value and becoming mere yiddish schlock.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 10:28 a.m.    

For me, they &quot;jumped the shark&quot; when they protested Ukraine's medal count at the recent Winter Olympics. No, they actually did. Unbelievably stupid self-promotion.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 5:39 p.m.    

First, I find it very ironic that the Kyiv Post should be curious about the funding for Femen when they never showed the least interest in finding out if any groups (from either side) outside the Tymoshenko courtroom were being paid.

And so what if some of the girls enjoy the attention that their breasts are getting; is there something wrong with that?

They are still getting publicity for important causes all over the world and I agree with the one poster who says they bring some well-needed enthusiasm to Ukraine. My only gripe with them is that sometimes they are too cynical.

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Anonymous Nov. 21, 2011, 3:01 p.m.    

Who is funding them and who helped them get to Italy? Follow the money trail and you will know more about their politics for hire stunts. The western tabloid's 'page three' love this sought of stuff, The main problem is it promotes Ukraine as a sex tourist destination. If you think showing your tits works then don't you think women all over the world would be doing just that. It about self promotion not social values.

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Anonymous Nov. 22, 2011, 4:16 p.m.    

Jed Sunden, ex-owner of Kiev Post funds them.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 6:01 p.m.    

Ummmm.... former KP owner Jed Sunden is a known financial supporter of FEMEN... oooops

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 6:05 p.m.    

Everyone knows they are strippers. What's the news? They do not even know what they are protesting they strip for stripping sake. Only in Ukraine would this silliness happen. They promote more sex tourism by their actions and relish it. The organization was founded by a woman after her French boyfriend slept around on her with other Ukrainian girls. So she channeled her angst into this strange affair. It is pointless but humorous and part of Ukraine's international image.

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Anonymous Nov. 19, 2011, 7:02 a.m.    

When they stripped in the audience of the Pope after a mass in Rome, they pretty much looked like idiots and lost whatever little sense of respect they had. Typical of Ukraine. Nothing new. The amazing thing is that the idiot western ukraine diaspora look like even worse fools for supporting them.

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Anonymous Nov. 21, 2011, 3:25 a.m.    

Agreed. They are nothing but tasteless whores.

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Anonymous Nov. 21, 2011, 2:56 p.m.    

Apt from your description I prefer to call them Vitsn's (Ukrainian Transliteration) I find myself in agreement for the first time.

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Anonymous Nov. 22, 2011, 7 a.m.    

You look like a Soviet fool for attempting to blame the misdirection of FEMEN on the support of the Ukrainian diaspora. The diaspora does not support FEMEN turning into nothing more significant than a disgusting &quot;Girls Gone Wild&quot;. However you are just as disgusting for falsely accusing the diaspora.

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Anonymous Nov. 22, 2011, 4:26 p.m.    

You are right, Kyiv Post, the mindless rush to protest everything - even in NYC, where the Femen-USA &quot;branch&quot;, 2 girls, put on a ridiculous, unnoticed show in &quot;support&quot; of Occupy Wall Street - ruins their credibility.

Up until recently, however, they have been just about the only ones in Ukraine with the guts and courage to stand up and tell it like it is about Ukraine.

On the last &quot;Big Politics&quot; show, towards the end, the Femen girls showed up, theoretically to engage in the discussion part of the show.

Instead, Poyarkov, Kolesnichenko, and Kiss-ass-ilyev sat there, in a judgmental and demeaning manner, belittling the Femen girls. Koleshnichenko, in particular, didn't know what to say, so he used the old derisive tactic, and spouted more sovok mafia propaganda.

It demonstrates that the sovok mafia thugs do not know what to do with these girls.

It also demonstrates the absolute chauvinism towards women in Ukraine - women just aren't &quot;people&quot; in Ukraine, they shouldn't be allowed to speak out, according to the sovok mafia thugs.

However, blaming Femen for the ills of Ukraine, which is being done by the sovok mafia thugs, is like blaming the victims for Stalin's repression.

It is clear that these girls want democracy.

It is also clear that the sovok mafia thugs in power don't.

Even though they've made some mistakes by their willy-nilly protesting, my vote is for Femen - and not the sovok mafia thugs who are killing Ukraine, literally and figuratively.

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Anonymous Nov. 22, 2011, 5:02 p.m.    

By the way, on that same Big Politics show, Vadim Karasyov was also one of the panelists.

Karasyov is one of the pretty darn good analysts in Ukraine.

He correctly stated that the prostitution is in the Parliament - not on the part of the Femen girls.

In fact, the biggest obscenity in Ukraine is its village idiot president.

And that is followed by the obscenity and prostitution that occurs in Ukraine's Parliament.

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Anonymous Nov. 23, 2011, 11:44 a.m.    

FEMEN is getting big sponsorship money and you can be sure that this money is not coming from inside Ukraine. Quite a few of these &quot;womens rights advocates&quot; are former hookers who used to hang out at the River Palace and Premiere Casino. They are getting paid good money to portray Ukrainian women to the world as a bunch of crazy bimbos.

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