Femen's literary obsessions

The protest group's founder, Inna Shevchenko, shares the books that shaped them

Arts+Culture Femen Day
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To celebrate our Girls Rule issue, Dazed have been running a series of takeovers. We've played host to Angel HazeStacy Martin and Petra Collins. Today we're rounding off Girls Rule with a day of content curated by female protest group Femen. Inna Shevchenko selects the activist group's literary inspirations, we chart the dA-Zed of female protest and FEMEN react to the violence in Kiev with their own manifesto for change. Keep checking our Femen Day page for more throughout the day.

Even though we were young and inexperienced when we started Femen, we knew that to fight a problem you first have to understand it. We were all sharing our emotions on the position of women in society but to move forward we knew we had to understand the backstory. A new generation of women is growing following the same rules of society that were formed by men not women. That is what Feminism about. That is why Femen is here.

Woman and Socialism by August Bebel

We call this our holy book. It's got everything you need to understand gender reality. Bebel explains how society was built in stages. He talks about how the position of women is always a wider indicator of societal freedom. This book was our necessary base to start building the Femen movement.

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The works of Karl Marx

Karl Marx's back catalogue is one of the most important for our movement with some of its Communist roots. The Communist Manifesto is a short and concrete list of objectives and goals, many of which we share. Communism is a humanist ideology that doesn't see gender differences in society. "Everyone has to study, everyone has to work, everyone has to be politically involved". This is what it teaches and this is what Femen fights for.

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God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens

This book and the fight with religion are both my personal passions and I believe it has to become a passion of feminism in every corner of the world. Hitch analyses how religion is poisoning everything. He breaks down each of the monotheistic religions, he gives examples of religious crimes against society that were committed from a long time ago up to the present day. The book highlights religion as a global problem and Hitch destroys the illusion that religion doesn't have as strong an influence as before. This is a book that that tells you why religion has to be fought. I dream about writing my own version of it one day.

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The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

The Feminine Mystique is one of many strong books written during Feminism's second wave. "The problem that has no name" is how Friedan describes women's situation – housewives who have house comforts, husbands and children are not happy. She unwraps the source of their unhappiness. 

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What Is to Be Done? by Lenin

This is an inspiration for strategists like us. Lenin is a master at explaining how to reach Communist goals. He teaches us that to fight for the economical development of the working class it has to be organized by political parties who can spread these ideas. Political involvement and education are the important keys to building an equal society. Lenin's talk of a Socialist revolution shares a similiar way of thinking to Femen as wour goal is female revolution. 

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