Why They Get Naked: The Story Behind Femen

USER DISCRETION ADVISED… But if you’re offended then you’re missing the point.

What began with a few protests in the Ukraine has spread across the globe, wherever the powerful meet and the media gather to cover them. They were at it again at the most recent World Economic Forum in Davos, purposely getting themselves man-handled by beefy security guards. VOCATIV caught up with them a few weeks earlier, as they trained a group of able-bodied, new recruits in Paris.

Inna Shevchenko, a member of Femen, recalls one of her most harrowing experiences as a demonstrator. During a peaceful — and topless — protest against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the women were taken into a forest outside of Minsk and nearly killed. After Shevchenko came out alive, she realized baring her breasts for a cause was her calling, saying “this was the worst day in my life, but also the best day in my life.” Femen is still active around Europe. Just yesterday, the women of Femen were kicked out of Notre Dame, celebrating Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the Vatican.

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