A polling station in Russia got the shock of their lives yesterday when two female activists came to cast their vote topless. In the video below, you will hear a man arguing with a woman who happens to be the direct view of the camera. The woman repeatedly tells the man to turn off his camera and leave or she will call the police, while the man insists that he has the right to film and refuses to listen. 20 seconds into the film, the camera is directed at two women who cast their vote, remove their top and then say, “We are for a naked election” … or translated slightly different, “We are for a transparent Election”.
FEMEN applauded their act and quickly pointed out that they too had done something similar during Ukraine’s last election (pictures below). While the meaning behind the two protests were slightly different, the method was identical.
The two women and the man filming were interviewed shortly after the protest by lifenews.ru. The team didn’t say much, considering their point is clear as day, but they did mention that there was supposed to be a third girl who got scared at the last minute and decided against the action. Nobody was arrested so it is likely that the team will strike again, or quite possibly more Russians will join in on the action.
The West could learn a great deal from these brave women. While they are quick to criticize FEMEN and their copycats for degrading women, they fail to realize that it is only Western women who take such offense. While there are women in Europe and Eastern Europe that also take offense, their numbers are few. According to FEMEN, these brave women have done more to change the voting system in Russia than Putin’s entire opposition combined. While this may be a stretch, I definitely see where FEMEN are coming from.
Here are some images of FEMEN’s protest during Ukraine’s presidential elections two years ago. All images, as well as the reference to the original story, was found on FEMEN’s livejournal site.