So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Femen by Galia Ackerman
Femen tells the story of the Femen radical feminist group that originated in Ukraine and has become an international movement based in Paris. Told by French historian Galia Ackerman this brief history also includes many sections written by the four major founders of the movement Anna Hutso, Oksana Shachko, Alexandra Shevchenko, and Inna Shevchenko. The result is both an objective look and a personal statement.
Femen is a nonviolent radical group opposed to women's oppression that uses the tactic of appearing at public meetings of major sexist patriarchal political figures with flower crowns on their heads and bare chests covered in brief feminist slogans like "Ukraine is Not a Brothel." They are radical in that their purpose is to disrupts events, so as to be arrested and removed forcibly by police, creating publicity for their cause.
The book tells the story of how these women met, became radical feminists, and built a movement in five years that drew world-wide attention. It explains how they developed their ideology and their methodology. There is an Afterword entitled One Year Later that tells of events in 2013 after the completion of the book. The book is one-sided telling Femen's history from the perspective of its leaders. While conflicts and criticisms are mentioned, the leaders are portrayed as they see themselves.


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