Whether they are enemies of democracy and freedom like Putin, Erdogan and others; whether they try to deflect our ideas like some journalists allied with dictatorial regimes or patriarchal institutions; whether they try to hijack the merits of our ideology or simply don’t want to understand it, FEMEN wants to give them something to think about. So we have published our official manifesto, the FEMEN theory, or at least its first draft.
Our “little red book” was published in France in March and a Spanish version will be unveiled next month, with more languages to follow. It is designed to provide an ideological resource, a wake-up call for the political elites, and an instruction manual for future FEMEN activists.
The FEMEN manifesto is addressed to “all our fighting sisters.
“To the new generation of women that will have to fight to never again be ashamed by the genitals they carry between their legs and work for a world of justice and equality.
“To all the anonymous heroines throughout the world, those who rise against violence, inequality, oppression, humiliation and injustice. To the women who resist by a refusal, a shout, an image, a word or a gesture. To all the women who raise their chin, lift their breast, and wave their fist.
“To us all, proud, brave and victorious.”
As a real political statement, the words complete and reinforce the images that made us well known across the world. Considering that the action is impossible without the idea and the idea is useless without action, we expose the thinking behind our deeds, to offer an extract of the hours of discussions that agitate our international headquarters and ignite our training sessions, allowing our audience to read the theory behind the slogans, the passionate conviction under our breasts.
The world’s economic crisis is clearly exposing inequalities as a modern global reality, at a time when 1% of privileged people are ruling 99% of the population, when the level of respect you deserve depends on your nationality, when your opportunities are identified by your gender, when society is separated by dozens of elements such as borders, ethnicities, religions and political ideologies. Thus FEMEN highlights “equality” as a fundamental point of its ideology and stresses its absolute importance for our future changes:
“From political consciousness arises commitment, from commitment arises action, from action arises revolution.
“FEMEN’s ideology is an absolute, the quest for an ideal society freed from the binary and gendered conception of human relationships, in which one could consider himself equal to any individual. We seek to go beyond individual issues and cross cultural, political, national and religious specificities. We seek to emancipate women and men from the sexist mold that is imposed upon them by our society. That our relations are governed by a single principle: equality. We proclaim human beings’ indivisibility.
“FEMEN is a feminist movement and therefore humanist, which is part of the struggle against the exploitation of one group by another. As soon as we legitimise power relations, we establish a violent power struggle that is behind the most intolerable inequalities.
“We place women’s liberation at the heart of our engagement, but also the fight against racism, homophobia, the extreme right, fascism and religious fundamentalism in order to continue to travel the paths of this utopia. We declare the fight against every form of domination as a necessary condition to any possibility of the existence of an egalitarian system.”
FEMEN conducts a non-stop resistance against patriarchy and an active opposition to its major manifestations: dictatorships, religions and the sex industry, wishing the disappearance of these anti-humanist institutions rather than their reformation.
FEMEN declares that “Women don’t need reforms, they need a revolution. One does not reform a flawed system, one destroys it.
“Dictatorships with their vertical hierarchy, authoritarian and violent organisation of society which still appears to me a modern issue as Putin proves it, should be globally demolished, destroyed, erased and banned rather than simply sanctioned by a few or orally criticised.
“Beyond repression and overall denial of individual freedoms, the authoritarian state is based on an economic and social domination of the figure of the Father [patriarch]. The supremacy of the single or many “leaders” at the head of the State extends across the family and the intimate. The maintaining of women in economic dependence, the control of their bodies and their sexuality and the replacement of education by propaganda are part of the ideological and political tools used by authoritarian regimes to ensure their stability. It is because patriarchal ideology and dictatorships complement and feed each other that their reversal is a major challenge of feminism.”
The religion problem
Furthermore, what could be a bigger challenge to feminism and humanism in general society than religion? The main opposition to our rights on our bodies, the denial of women’s sexual freedom and gay rights, the threats to freedom of speech.
For this reason, FEMEN “makes no difference between religions that differ only by the names of their divinities, their representations, their sacred places, their rituals and institutions. We apprehend them through what they have in common: the principle of submission to a dogma. Denying the existence of any system based on relations of domination of an individual or group upon another, FEMEN’s fight cannot be satisfied by the consensual attitude towards religious institutions. Far from us is the will to tackle the precious freedom of thought, that we moreover vividly defend, we fight all religions in what they are consistently create competing undemocratic society models in which hierarchy and absolute obedience are the key words.”
We seek a better understanding of our intentions, both by our supporters and sceptics. Therefore, the FEMEN manifesto can become a bedside anti-bible for all feminist revolutionaries throughout the world, ready to engage in the struggle.
If FEMEN believes in the power of frontal action, sometimes spontaneous, in the street, collective and reckless, we are invigorated by an absolute ideology, constant and incorruptible.
If the history of the world was made through its great revolutions, democratic, social and sexual, can we not legitimately think that we also deserve our feminist revolution? The one that would end the oldest and deadliest oppression, that of patriarchy on women? This revolution will highlight the greatest genocide in the history of mankind and destroy the infernal machine that murders women because they are women.
“You who are women, unite, revolt, be responsible for your condition, the condition of others, and the condition of the next.
“We are half of humanity, we possess a quarter, we die twice more. But we are a formidable force and our union can change everything. We are brave, strong, enduring, and determined, let’s be ready to fight. Let’s be ready not to suffer for what we are, but to suffer for what we want.
“Let’s take our responsibilities now, Let’s fight, Let’s not accept anymore, Let’s not be afraid anymore, Let’s revolt!”
This manifesto is affirmation, we are resistance.