“Our mission is protest, our weapons are bare breasts.” That’s the rallying cry of topless Ukranian feminist group Femen, which has staged countless protests against sexual and political repression. But a new documentary, debuted at the Venice Film Festival, reveals that the group’s founder and prime mover is a man.
The Independent reports on the film, titled “Ukraine is not a brothel,” which “outs” one Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the radical group. The documentary’s director, 28-year-old Kitty Green, notes that Svyatski — who is listed on the Femen website as a “consultant” — is actually the movement’s “founder and éminence grise.”
It’s his movement and he hand-picked the girls. He hand-picked the prettiest girls because the prettiest girls sell more papers. The prettiest girls get on the front page… that became their image, that became the way they sold the brand.
Until now, the full extent of Svyatski’s relationship to the group and its nubile protesters has been a jealously guarded secret. The film, however, claims that it was Svyatski who sent Femen activists on one of their most terrifying missions. to Belarus where they were arrested by secret service agents, stripped (redundant?), humiliated, and abandoned in a forest close to the Ukranian border.
The documentary credits Svyatski with having keen organizational skills but questions his influence over the group, a realization that Green admits was slow to dawn on her. The Independent’s Geoffrey MacNab writes:
Only gradually did she become aware that Mr Svyatski was pulling the strings behind the scenes. ‘Once I was in the inner circle, you can’t not know him. He is Femen.’
‘It was a big moral thing for me because I realised how this organisation was run. He was quite horrible with the girls. He would scream at them and call them bitches.’
Initially, Svyatski resisted appearing on film but eventually demurred, telling the camera, “These girls are weak.”
They don’t have the strength of character. They don’t even have the desire to be strong. Instead, they show submissiveness, spinelessness, lack of punctuality, and many other factors which prevent them from becoming political activists. These are qualities which it was essential to teach them.
But they did have T & A, a detail not lost on Victor Svyatski, who admits starting Femen “to get girls. Perhaps yes, somewhere in my deep subconscious.”
Is that how the young people are describing their sexual urges these days?
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