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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Topless protesters storm Heidi Klum's TV model show
31 May 2013

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Two activists of the Femen feminist group protest on stage during the final of Heidi Klum's (R) "Germany's Next Topmodel" TV show in Mannheim, southern Germany on May 30, 2013.

AFP - Two bare-breasted female protesters burst on to the stage at the final of Germany's Next Topmodel TV show, hosted by the German ex-supermodel Heidi Klum late Thursday.

As the finalists appeared with Klum, two Femen feminist supporters, one with "Heidi Horror Picture Show" written in English across her naked chest and stomach, stormed on stage, N24 rolling news channel showed Friday.

"Did I just see breasts in front of me, or did I dream it?" Klum, who turns 40 on Saturday and was clad in a cut-away bubblegum pink dress, said after the brief interruption. Security personnel swiftly cleared the protesters out.

Based on America's Next Top Model, the German version is broadcast weekly, following the ups and downs in the contest to pick a potential new model from among around 20 hopefuls. But the show's popularity has declined since its launch in Germany in 2006, and there has been growing criticism that it portrays an image of women based solely on appearance.

Source: France24.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:09 am 
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Femen presents documentary on topless movement at Venice
4 September, 2013

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Femen presents documentary on topless movement at Venice

(ANSA) - Venice - Ukrainian feminist group Femen presented a documentary on the history of their political movement and trademark topless protests at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday.

Director Kitty Green held a press conference for the documentary called, ''Ukraine is not a brothel''. Green remained clothed, but she escorted six topless activists wearing the slogans ''Ukraine is not a brothel'', ''Naked war'', and ''Women are still here''. Two of the movement's leaders, Inna and Sasha Shevchenko, told journalists, ''We Femen have escaped from Ukraine and we are happy to now be here in a safe place''.

''(Leaving) was necessary, because politics and the Ukrainian secret service were attacking us very hard. Now our headquarters are in Paris and we have 10 other offices in the world,'' the leaders continued.

When asked about Victor, a figure in the documentary who appeared to maneuver Femen's actions, the Sasha said, ''Victor has not been a part of the movement for the last year. He did not found Femen. He was one of the few male components, and when Femen began to be more popular, he thought he could take up more space, perhaps because he is a man''. ''Dealing with a person like him made us realize even more how necessary it is to fight the patriarchy,'' Sasha explained. ''We are no longer under his crazy power, and now we work among women,'' Sasha concluded.

Femen was founded by Anna Hutsol in Kiev on April 10, 2008, initially to protest Ukrainian women being duped into going abroad under conditions that led to sexual exploitation. At first the group's protests were performed in provocative, skimpy clothes, but toplessness rapidly became its trademark after a Femen protester's toplessness received massive attention in August 2009 demonstration.

Femen's causes have also expanded over the years to include sexual tourism, religious institutions, sexism and other international and national topics.

Source: ANSA.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Femen founder issues rallying cry for recruits as ‘sextremist’ organisation launches in UK
by Adam Withnall
Thursday, 24 October 2013

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The “sextremist” organisation Femen has begun recruiting British women to sign up to its “naked army” in the UK.

Britain will become one of 11 countries with an active Femen base, as part of the ongoing expansion of the Ukrainian movement which boasts that it will “break the patriarchal system with our breasts”.

Writing a guest blog in the Huffington Post entitled “Why we’re launching Femen in the UK”, founder and leader Inna Shevchenko said the group only goes to places where “we’re called upon by women”. “British women have joined our naked army, saying ‘we need Femen in the UK’,” Ms Shevchenko writes. “Prostitution, laws about immigration, Islamic extremism in UK will not escape Femen's naked massacre now. Whether it's Derby's Al-madinah school or Buckingham Palace, Femen will always find the way to be where it's needed.”

She warned that the new branch of activists will be “extremely provocative”, and said: “Now, more British women will be trained and prepared as sextremists. The streets of London will be occupied by our naked bodies painted with our political demands and our colourful flower crowns. Feminism is coming back on the street. Suffragettes are replaced by Femen!”

Ms Shevchenko has been in London recently to promote a documentary made about the group’s activities, and she told The Observer that a particular issue of concern in the UK is female genital mutilation (FGM). She said: “No one is talking about FGM in England. People assume it is too violent and extreme to exist here, that it only happens in Africa and the Middle East, but the UK has some of the highest levels in the west.”

Femen was founded in the Ukraine in 2008, initially as a national feminist group. It became an international movement when Ms Shevchenko was forced to “run away from dictatorial Ukraine”, she says. It made international headlines when the mastermind behind the group was “outed” as being a man, Victor Svyatski.

Femen has predominantly made its name with high-profile topless protests against official bodies and individuals. In recent weeks they have infiltrated Paris Fashion Week and the Spanish Parliament, and wages war against a broad spectrum of “oppressive institutions such as the sex industry, dictatorship and religion”.

Source: The Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Felt vaginas, confidence-boosters and lots of affirmation - a feminism conference in 2013: who actually attends?
By Radhika Sanghani
28 October 2013

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Some 'vagina handicrafts' on sale at the conference... Photo: Charlotte Barnes

This weekend saw the fifth 'Feminism in London' conference. An intrigued Radhika Sanghani went along for Telegraph Wonder Women to find out who turns up and what's on the agenda.

Hundreds of women – and a smattering of men – are packed into an auditorium at the Institute of Education. At first sight it looks like an extremely popular student lecture, until you realise that MP Caroline Lucas is sitting at the front on a panel and that the audience ranges from crying babies to women in their seventies.

They are all here for Feminism in London 2013 – an all-day conference that describes itself as “an explicitly feminist event including workshops on female genital mutilation (FGM), labiaplasty and human trafficking as well as practical sessions on activism and assertiveness”. You could be forgiven for assuming that this was an event going to be full of militant feminists who paid £10 each to wave angry banners and discuss heavy topics – but actually it’s full of families on a day out and friends just doing something different on half-term Saturday.

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One of the roundtables at a workshop during the conference

“I just thought it would be really nice to bring the kids along,” says a smiling mum holding the hands of a boy, six, and girl, eight. “I want them to be more exposed to feminism and realise how relevant it is to their lives. It’s nice for them to meet other kids – and for me to meet their parents.”

The kids look happy enough playing with the vagina-related artwork, which includes an artistic interpretation of menstruation and some plaster vaginas. There is even a crafts stand selling vagina-themed handicrafts. Getting into the swing of things, I consider buying a felt vagina ring (for the finger), but chicken out at the last minute.

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Radhika tries on the felt vagina ring...

The kids are left upstairs in a crèche while their parents try out the different workshops available. I dip in and out of a workshop for teenagers entitled: ‘What’s so good about being a woman?', one for male feminists, and then another aimed at helping women become more confident and assertive. It seems more like a school fete than the hardcore feminism event I had expected.

Even the speakers do not take themselves too seriously. Caroline Lucas, former leader of the Green Party, jokes about Prime Minister David Cameron “coming out of the closet” as a feminist, saying: “It was probably after a very long pause as he looked out of the window, for inspiration, and realised he was a feminist.”

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Her imaginary scenario draws laughter, and there is a sense of camaraderie about being a feminist. I feel at ease in the auditorium, and in the workshops I visited, but I specifically avoid the workshops on FGM – which is given the misleadingly light-hearted name ‘Vagina!’, the ‘No to Page 3 campaign’ and militarised male violence.

They are topics I very much sympathise with, but from glancing around the crowds outside, it seems they attract more feminist activists than the curious feminists like myself. Instead, my favourite workshop is a drama one to help women become more confident, and the participants are mainly girls like me – young professionals in their 20s or students. They mix happily with the mums and older women, such as Raga Woods, 72.

She is dressed in a green turban with leaves poking out of it and is inundated with younger women flocking over to compliment her clothes. The grandmother of six tells me: “I had an instinctive feel I should be here. I feel us crones have a lot to give to the younger generations. We need to be unblocked by coming to things like today where we talk and laugh together and affirm ourselves.” She leaves the event surrounded by new friends, like a Pied Piper of feminism, while I go off to Pret for coffee. I don’t leave feeling particularly ‘unblocked’, but I have had a day filled with talking, laughing and yes, even, self-affirming. My only regret? Not buying that felt vagina ring.

Source: Telegraph UK.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:57 pm 
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International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you
by Jenn Selby
Saturday, 8 March 2014

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“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.” Creative Commons

It is astounding how many females in the public eye reject the term ‘feminism’ today.

Just this week, Lily Allen threw the very notion of the word under a metaphorical bus when she questioned why ‘there was still a conversation about feminism’ in the year 2014. “Feminism. I hate that word because it shouldn’t even be a thing anymore,” she told Shortlist in an interview to run alongside her guest edited ‘How To Be A Man’ issue of the magazine. “We’re all equal, everyone is equal. Why is there even a conversation about feminism? What’s the man version of feminism? There isn’t even a word for it. Menanism. Male-ism. It doesn’t exist. Fast-forward 100 years: ‘Yes, I do believe men should be treated equally,’” she added.

Similarly, Katy Perry famously rejected being labelled “a feminist”, but admitted she does believe in “strong women”. Beyoncé, she of “Independent Women”, “Who Run The World [Girls]”fame is another who stopped short of being associated with the word feminism because she believes the word is “quite extreme”.

Then there are those like Carla Bruni, who say things like this: “[My generation] doesn't need feminism. There are pioneers who opened the breach. I'm not at all an active feminist. On the contrary, I'm a bourgeois. I love family life, I love doing the same thing every day.”

Others labour on the “I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist” side of caution. Sarah Jessica Parker. Demi Moore. Madonna. All women who should know better. All women who, almost certainly, would change their minds about “feminism”, what it means and how painfully relevant it still is today if they read these shocking statistics on equality in the workplace, sexual violence and genital mutilation.

“We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad,” writer Caitlin Moran rightly exclaims in her counter-Allen guide, How To Be A Woman. “When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, ‘What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good sh*t GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?’”

Well, we still think this. And we still think that International Women’s Day is as important now as it ever has been. To celebrate, we’ve eschewed the misunderstood musings of the modern-day mainstream in favour of empowering quotes by feminist icons, past and present, from around the world. Yes, like Katherine Hepburn. Like Anais Nin. Like Malala and Hillary Clinton and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Still don't think you want to be a feminist?

Madonna
"Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots cause it's okay to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading cause you think being a girl is degrading"

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Kurt Cobain
“Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there”

Katharine Hepburn
“I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I've just done what I damn well wanted to, and I've made enough money to support myself, and ain't afraid of being alone”

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Betty Friedan
“No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor”

Emmeline Pankhurst
“I want to say to you who think women cannot succeed, we have brought the government of England to this position, that it has to face this alternative: either women are to be killed or women are to have the vote”

Nawal El Saadawi
“They said, “You are a savage and dangerous woman. I am speaking the truth. And the truth is savage and dangerous”

Margaret Fuller
"It is a vulgar error that love, a love, to woman is her whole existence; she is born for Truth and Love in their universal energy"

Germaine Greer
“All societies on the verge of death are masculine. A society can survive with only one man; no society will survive a shortage of women”

Naomi Wolf
“A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience”

Rebecca West
"I myself have never able to find out precisely what a feminist is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat"

Aung San Suu Kyi
“In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued"

Margaret Atwood
“Does feminist mean large unpleasant person who'll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings. To me it's the latter, so I sign up”

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Julie Burchill
"A good part - and definitely the most fun part - of being a feminist is about frightening men"

Susan B. Anthony
"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand"

Margaret Sanger
"No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother"

Sylvia Plath
"Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both"

Hillary Clinton
"I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life"

Lena Dunham
"The idea of being a feminist—so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex—but what feminism is about is equality and human rights. For me that is just an essential part of my identity. I hope [Girls] contributes to a continuance of feminist dialogue"

Bette Davis
“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch”

John Legend
“All men should be feminists. If men cared about women’s rights, the world would be a better place”

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Mae West
“Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from”

Jane Austen
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives”

Gloria Steinem
“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle”

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Sheng Wang
“Why do people say "grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding”

Anais Nin
“I hate men who are afraid of women's strength”

Barack Obama
“We stand with women by fighting for economic security, protecting access to health care and supporting women’s leadership across the country"

Elizabeth Warren
“I have a daughter and I have granddaughters and I will never vote to let a group of backward-looking ideologues cut women’s access to birth control. We have lived in that world, and we are not going back, not ever”

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Malala Yousafzai
“In Pakistan, when we were stopped from going to school, at that time I realized that education … Is the power for women, and that’s why the terrorists are afraid of education”

Janis Joplin
"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got"

Virginia Woolf
"As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world"

Source: Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:44 pm 
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Sexual harassment: Cat-callers face fines in Buenos Aires
8 December 2016

Forms of sexual harassment in public in the Argentine capital could now land perpetrators with a $60 (£47) fine.

Cat-calling and other types of harassment are seen as normal by some in Buenos Aires, but the city council voted on Wednesday to draw a line. "Direct or indirect comments referring to a person's body" are among offences which could attract punishment.

Argentina has seen an increase in campaigning by women to change the way they are viewed by society. The rape and murder of 16-year-old Lucia Perez in the city of Mar del Plata in October prompted widespread outrage. Thousands of women marched in protest and many staged strikes.

One of the main groups campaigning against violence against women in Argentina, NiUnaMenos (Not One Less), says a woman is killed there every 30 hours simply because of her sex. Such crimes are seen by many as arising from cultural tolerance of disparaging attitudes to women, including casual harassment.

The Buenos Aires law against harassment takes in offences including making images of genitalia without consent, unwanted physical contact, pursuing someone, and public masturbation and indecent exposure. Offenders could also be made to do community service. The law envisages public education campaigns, too, to try to change attitudes.

"Some forms of sexual harassment in public are accepted as a traditional part of our culture," said Pablo Ferreyra, the lawmaker behind the bill.
"That should not be a reason to tolerate this abuse."

President Mauricio Macri received relatives of victims of sexual violence at the presidential palace in November. But he was himself criticised by his daughter after once suggesting that women liked to be told: "What a nice ass you have". He later apologised.

Source: BBC

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