Femen Strikes Again!
Femen Strikes Again!
On Tuesday the 10th of February, three topless women from the protest group Femen jumped on the car of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF Chief, as he arrived to testify for his “aggravated pimping” trial in France.
The women had slogans written on their chests and appeared to be hurling insults at the car, before being rounded up by the police.
Dominique is the most high profile of the fourteen that are accused and in the three-week trial. He had three days to defend himself against organizing prostitutes to attend sex parties with him in Paris, Brussels and Washington. If found guilty he could be sentenced to up to ten years in prison.
During the trial Strauss-Kahn will come face-to-face with two of the women involved, during questioning. He has denied knowing that the women he took part in sex parties with were prostitutes. In an open letter to the court, which was read out by the judge, Strauss-Kahn stated that he “committed no crime, no offence.” He also stated whilst in the witness box that the parties he had attended were “few and far between,” with none of the “wild activity” of which he is accused. When asked by the lead judge Bernard Lemaire if he was aware the women at the parties were prostitutes, Strauss-Kahn responded “no”.
Strauss-Kahn defended himself stating that he is merely a libertine who engaged in orgies with consenting adults and that he did not know that the women who were attending the parties were being paid.
The judges argued that Strauss-Kahn could not have been ignorant of the fact that the women were paid and as he provided the use of his apartment for the parties. Prostitution is legal in France however, procuring – the legal word for pimping which includes encouraging , benefiting from or organizing prostitution – is a crime.
Femen is a feminist protest group that was founded in Ukraine in 2008, although is now based in Paris. The group demonstrates against sex tourism and prostitution. This one of many of Femen’s protests since its establishment. In October 2014, two protesters poured wine over their chests in front of Milan’s cathedral. The protest was against Vladimir Putin’s visit to Milan, where he was expected for a world summit. The message was to “Stop ignoring Ukrainian bloodshed,” which was written on the women’s torso. The protesters told AFPTV that they were protesting because they “believe that welcoming a killer, a person who is killing a whole nation right now – and this Ukrainian blood is right here, is on us – shaking he hand, is ignoring the torture, the big killing and the war in Ukraine that is started and supported by Putin.” In December last year, a Femen activist, snatched the baby Jesus figurine from St Peter’s Square’s nativity scene on Christmas Day, she was held in a Vatican cell awaiting trial for “disturbing the peace, obscene acts in a public place and theft”. On her torso she had written on her “God Is Women”. She was later freed, however was ordered never to set foot again in Vatican City state, including St. Peter’s Basilica, or on other Vatican property outside the city state’s walls.
Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation.