Abstract

This essay will explore a different aspect of the meanings attributed to the activist group FEMEN that has hitherto been underexplored, the utopian. While critics question the effectiveness of its bare-breasted demonstrations, their assumptions remain based upon a logic of cultural dualisms that prevent an interpretation that may restructure the problem beyond an either/or logic of radicalism or co-optation. An application of the utopian, as theorized by Lucy Sargisson, will illuminate the import of FEMEN’s protests within the parameters of utopia as process rather than product, and a utopian impulse that erupts and threatens to disrupt accepted structures of thought based on binaries. This conceptualization of utopia allows a new type of consciousness-raising for both the feminist and nonfeminist audience because it shifts the perspective from a goal-oriented approach to one of social function by redirecting the issues raised by the analysis of results to a vision of a better world.

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