Eight women went topless through Notre Dame Tuesday to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in France. The women are a part of FEMEN, a pro-feminist, anti-anti-gay organization whose motto is "Sextremism." FEMEN held the demonstration to mark the final hour of the "homophobic Pope," who they labeled as "fascist" and "the head of the Catholic mafia." After the women disrobed and rang bells housed within the church, security quickly forced them out of the cathedral. They continued their impassioned demonstration just outside.
Will flaunting one’s breasts in Notre Dame have any effect on the Catholic Church’s stances on marriage and homosexuality? Absolutely not. Will it lead people to consider the beliefs that underpin orthodox Catholic theology and secular society, why they are at odds, and what can be done to reconcile them? Also no. The FEMEN protesters violated a sacred space to make the point that they liked neither the Pope nor his policies.
To protest Russia’s incarceration of Pussy Riot, FEMEN demonstrators used a chainsaw to cut down a memorial crucifix to the victims of Stalin’s purges in Ukraine. On the FEMEN website, various topless women are displayed as one scrolls through the pages. Highlights include a woman holding a baseball bat while a white liquid drips from her bottom lip. Another holds a scythe that is dripping blood while she proudly holds up a castrated pair of testicles. The group has few male members.