This week I have been told that I’m not a feminist, that my fight is not real. I have been told that people don’t believe my slogans any more, that my ideas are fake. I have been condemned for fighting male domination in my life, for fighting the patriarchy.
The Australian director Kitty Green spent one year with Femen activists in Ukraine shooting a documentary that is showing at the 70th Venice film festival. The film, Ukraine Is Not a Brothel, is a history of Femen. It shows a crucial paradox of the movement, one that has now become a scandal. It concerns one of the men interviewed in the film, Victor Svyatski, who proclaimed himself the leader of our feminist movement. It has become an unwelcome surprise for our supporters, and, of course, more fodder for those who criticise Femen.
So, after having read many articles written by journalists who have not yet seen the film, I am now making Femen’s response, leaving no space for the fantasies of Femen’s enemies.
Yes, Svyatski was part of the Femen movement. He is not a founder of Femen, nor a creator of our topless strategy and ideology. But he did lead the movement some time ago. This story is not so much about how the movement was born. It is rather the story of how the struggle began.