Why Did FEMEN Protestors Disrupt A Muslim Conference?

This past Sunday, two FEMEN activists were dragged offstage at a Muslim conference in Pontoise, France after jumping onstage topless to protest the event. The women, 25 and 31 years old, whose names have not been released, had the message ‘Nobody Makes Me Submit’ and ‘I Am My Own Prophet’ written on their breasts. After taking the mic from the two speakers and shouting various phrases to the audience, several men came to drag them off.

FEMEN, the group responsible for the extremist protest, was founded in Ukraine in 2008, in order to address issues with sexism in Eastern European culture. Their goal is complete victory over patriarchy through their ideologies of sextremism, atheism, and feminism. They use naked attacks and naked acts of extremism to protest institutions of patriarchy and repression of women.

This most recent protest at a Muslim conference discussing the role of women in Islam, has taken the internet by storm. The women were taken in for questioning but have been released as there will be further investigation into the attack, as their tactics and methods of spreading that ideology suggests a pro-violent and militaristic approach. In an interview with Broadly, Miriam admitted that their methods might even be alienating towards women of Muslim faith. “It’s possible,” she said. “But we do have a very specific type of direct action.”


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