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I didn't think I could still be surprised much by bad behavior in a government body but a visit with a colleague from the Maidan Alliance from Ukraine yesterday changed that. Check out their video "A Banana Republic Forever?" to see what good government groups like Maidan Alliance have to deal with....we are taking a look about ways in which Common Cause might partner with them. I think I'll be able to be more constructive once the shock wears off.
Having recently returned from Kenya I ran across some news that a woman had shed her clothes in protest of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta being relegated to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Later I learned that the Minister of Special Programs Esther Murugi declared she would lead women in a group striptease if they sentenced him...I asked colleagues there what the connection might be between women undressing and keeping Kenyatta from facing trial for his alleged role in the fomentation of violence in Kenya following the elections in 2008. She said that in Kenya, a women's dignity was the most important thing she possesses and by behaving this way she is demonstrating how important the issue is to her. I suppose it makes some sense but somewhere in my mind I was suspicious about whose idea this might really have been.
Then earlier this month, as I follow some of the politics in the Ukraine having collaborated with groups there over the years, I see the organization FEMEN pictured above using their somewhat naked bodies for all kinds of protest from fighting prostitution, unequal pay, maternity leave, corruption in government etc, etc. Their leader, Tatiana Kozak, believes that women's bodies are used for commercial purposes all the time (hard to argue with that) and that they are simply using them to fight injustices, stating "Our only weapon is beauty." I could definitely make a good argument against that, but they have unquestionably increased the "exposure" of their issues.
So is this just a trend outside of the US I wondered? And then....just yesterday i see the PETA ad...a former playboy bunny, mostly naked on their magazine cover, with a quote, "Id rather go naked than wear fur."