Pussy Riot solidarity protests: Topless lady with chainsaw cuts down massive crucifix in Kiev

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157 Responses to “Pussy Riot solidarity protests: Topless lady with chainsaw cuts down massive crucifix in Kiev”

  1. Mitchell Glaser says:

    That is probably the best piece of street theater I have ever seen.

    • latelatelateshow says:

      So, I take it you think it’s cool to cut down other people’s religious symbols? That’s rather rude.

      • Mitchell Glaser says:

        No, I actually don’t. I don’t think they are going to accomplish their goals by attacking the Church. I was commenting on it’s effect purely as theater, which I think is very real and moving, though I can’t say I completely understand what the message is supposed to be.

        • Johnny Come Lately says:

          “I can’t say I completely understand what the message is supposed to be.” 

          Welcome to the world of FEMEN protests.

        • latelatelateshow says:

          OK, yes I see your position. It makes sense. But at what point does the appreciation of a certain group’s street theater become uncomfortable or offensive. For instance, what if you were a member of Greenpeace and what if an anti-Greenpeace “street theater” group began interrupting Greenpeace’s activities (for whatever reason), by assaulting Greenpeace activists on the street and waving signs. In other words, when does street theater become US vs THEM or un-artistic. Or is all street theater always worthy of appreciation?

          I can appreciate the beauty of the woman with the chainsaw happily grimacing and chopping down the cross. But on the other hand, it’s a very messed up and intrinsically wrong thing to do, in my view. The anti-Yippie police actions in Chicago 1968 could be seen as lovely street theater, after all the riot police handled their batons with such artistic might. Personally, I see all this Pussy Rioting media hype as a farce. Pussy Riot will end up being interviewed by Barbara Walters on “OSCAR” night, mark my word. Octomom times three. A media sensation. Seth McFarlane is speaking up in defense of them fer chrissakes. What respectable protester wants Seth McFarlane on their side?

          • Mitchell Glaser says:

            I think your examples are not well chosen. Nobody is interfering with anybody else here, though there is some destruction of property which I do not support. But large-scale police brutality, such as in Chicago 1968? There is not the smallest comparison to what these women did. To call a police riot theater is like calling a war an overseas vacation. You have twice leaped from what is clearly protest to the use of violence. Are you accusing Pussy Riot of doing that?

          • thecleaninglady says:

            It is safe to assume that street theater ends where assault starts. 

            So no, police beating, shooting (bullets, gas, water, sound, microwaves whatever) at or even touching people in any way is street theater but simply assault.

            I hope this is a clear enough distinction.

            As for destroying religious symbols or other uninhabited property, I can stretch the performance part to include it.

            Religious symbols and other advertising forced onto people’s personal space (mind-space is also personal space) in order to influence their thinking or worldview without agreement ought to be a fair game.

            Or, as Banksy put it: “Any advert you see in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. “

      • Robert Drop says:

        “So, I take it you think it’s cool to cut down other people’s religious symbols?”
        In general, no.  In Russia right now, with this particular religious symbol?  Absolutely. (Now if someone would just get on that…)

        • toyg says:

          Except this is in Ukraine. 
          It’s like Canadians were cutting down some Mormon thing to protest against President Romney.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            And…?

          • toyg says:

            So I guess it falls in the “in general” category, wouldn’t you agree?

            (oh, and this nesting limit in Boing Boing is *incredibly* annoying. You should do it like Hacker News does.)

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Feel free to tell Disqus to change the way that nesting works. If I set it to unlimited, we’ll end up with comments that are one character wide.

          • Xyzzy says:

            I’d think that there would be the option to include at least 1 more nesting level beyond this…?  I think that 3 levels is the same setting STFU, Parents uses, and their comment area is horizontally perhaps 1/2-1/3 the size of yours; it looks okay there, the paragraphs just tend to take up more vertical room.  :)

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            This is a full-width thread. Most of them are only about 60% of this width.

          • benher says:

            @Antinous_Moderator:disqus You would dare to interfere with the singularity?

      • voiceinthedistance says:

        It’s not their fault that they couldn’t find any wooden effigies of Putin to chop down.

      • Petzl says:

        That religious symbol is a now a co-opted symbol of Russian neo-fascist oppression.  Sorry, but it has to go.

        • Teresa Nielsen Hayden says:

          The crucifix doesn’t have to go. That symbol’s been around a long time, it’s not going away, and it doesn’t belong to the Russian neo-fascists. 

          Cutting it down as a protest is abysmally stupid, since it implicitly awards the neo-fascists ownership of a very powerful symbol. If you want to keep the other guys from using it, the thing to do is adopt it yourself as an emblem of protest.

          The other reason not to cut it down is that there are people all over the world who’ll be alienated and offended by that action, no matter what excuse is given for it. Quite a few of them are in Russia and the Ukraine. 

          It may make a dramatic photo, but as political tactics go it’s just plain dumb.

          • templarsmonochromata says:

            So, by that reasoning, if religious fundies are your great satan and personal bugbear, you advise adopting their symbols and attempting to associate yourself with them?
            The cross as an emblem of my protest against christianity, for instance?
            Thats just plain inconsistent.

            No, this is done as a response to the unfair sentence handed out to the P-Riot, and twenty foot giant crosses are hardly humble, impersonal and unoffensive to all; 

            I agree, the destruction of property is unethical.
            Giant hu-ju-symbols from any cultures religion, placed in a dominating fashion on a landscape however, seems to me like an Icon of the Institution, associating one with the other, and implying you, the individual, are of lesser value than the need to bend knee to the authority of the icon, and by extension its agents, in church, academia, government and business, whoever they may be…

          • llazy8 says:

            When religious symbols are imposed upon people in public spaces, they are no longer neutral.  They are political, basically just another flag.  

      • Sirkowski says:

        I think that’s cool.

      • Chris Just says:

        Yah I do! It is time religious zealots mind there own business and quit getting in to politics! They need to hide in there churches and quit telling others how to live. You speak of how it interrupts activities, religious people try to force there wills on to others every day and stop people from doing what they want to. So why should anyone respect them or the church?

  2. A very powerful gesture. The images are archetypal; I’m reminded of the runner in Apple’s “1984″ commercial releasing the hammer.

    Free Pussy Riot!

  3. Navin_Johnson says:

    Didn’t the church call for clemency?…

    • Brainspore says:

      Well… yes and no.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      After baying for their blood. It was a cheap PR move once they were certain that they’d be sent to the gulag.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        Fair enough. My interest is more in the reaction by The West. I don’t have much sympathy for the church, particularly when the particular church has a lot of power or is intrinsically tied to it, as it seems with the case of Putin.

    • Petzl says:

      It’s just not conceivable that any call for clemency was sincere. The sanctity of their holy male religion and the sanctity of their holy male egos have been ravished by this obstreperous female punk band.  Their punishment must be swift and severe.

    • Dlo Burns says:

      That is irreverent to what Putin had decided.

  4. I live up north of seattle, and we have protestors all over the place for a lot of different things. I great up here thinking protestors = hippies (not that I don’t love them) with a sign. I find I am vastly more interested in protests with chainsaws, making an irreversible point by chopping something down. 

  5. Bender says:

    I don’t understand the moderating process here. My comment was that I didn’t think it was a good idea, which is my opinion, and will probably be against most rah rah chop stuff down comments that will undoubtably be posted here. Second, I said “Nice boobs though” – a cynical comment, recognizing their cynical (but very smart) strategy of getting this story posted everywhere. 

    • ChicagoD says:

      “will probably be against most rah rah chop stuff down comments”
      There’s your problem right there. Also, just because she did this without a shirt on doesn’t mean you get to notice her breasts.

      • abstract_reg says:

         Um… I think that is defiantly a part of what it means.

      • Quiche de Resistance says:

        I think if you miss the boobs, you’re definitely missing part of the protest.  You get to notice her breasts because she is intentionally shirtless as part of the message; if don’t get to notice you don’t get it.

        It’s obviously part of the message that this woman is releasing something that women are traditionally told to keep covered, unless they are told to expose them by the likes of the sexist assholes like the “Girls gone wild” troglodytes.  Keep them covered as men have demanded, or expose them as other men have demanded.  She’s defying the concept that men should control what women can do and show for purposes defined by men.

        She is an attractive woman with a beautiful body, sure, but if what you notice and feel compelled to comment upon is “nice boobs” you probably don’t get it either or at least if you get the protest you feel the need to add the little caveat that the boobs cannot be displayed without men getting stimulated or offended, thus rendering the female body down to men’s wants or needs.

        I love the entire statement, but I don’t agree with the specific target in this case. Though I will readily admit I don’t know the extent of the Orthodox church’s involvement so I might clearly be wrong about the appropriateness of tumbling the crucifix.

        • BombBlastLightingWaltz says:

          It is sad a tree or bush was injured to make this statement. Kind of ironic how inconsequential vegetation is within the greater scheme of real importance.  

          • Peer Bentzen says:

            A tree was indeed injured to make a religious statement. Later a religious statement was cut a few feet shorter…

        • Quiche de Resistance says:

          BTW, I don’t mean to be so holier than thou.  I try to be better than it, but I have my own ingrained sexist streaks.  

          The only reason I didn’t post “this is the droid I’m looking for” on the R2D2 shorts quite attractively displayed and posted a while back on boing was that of course somebody has already knocked that rolling curveball out of the park.

          I claimed the so called “fat” cookie eating blonde had the BOOM.  Combating sexist stereotypes with other sexist stereotypes, DERP.

          So I obviously am guilty too.

          And to ladies who like the boobs, I won’t presume to plot your feelings and motivations in this whole mess.  Sorry if I left you out above.

    • Saltine says:

      Cynical? Read Lysistrata. Women have for a long time used their bodies, sexuality, and shame as a tool of social critique/protest. Sexuality is powerful. Would it be more acceptable if it were “make love not war?” Of course, it’s not that simple. The baring of the breasts is a statement about amorality, anormality, and anomy, acknowledgement of the breaking of or the bankruptcy of the social contract.

      • Bender says:

        I can’t disagree with you at all, and women should use whatever means they have to protest. But when called them”cynical” I was speaking of their probable (although I’m not a mindreader) attitude towards the media’s motivations to publish or not publish these images.  

      • Preston Sturges says:

        “It’s not Lysistrata.  I like it, but it’s not Lysistrata.”
        -Tom Servo, Mannos-Hands of Fate

  6. ChicagoD says:

    I’m starting to get the distinct feeling that I don’t really understand the Pussy Riot issue at all. I thought it was about making fun of Putin and being arrested for it. That seems to really not be an issue for the shirtless woman cutting down a crucifix in a different country . . .

    • duc chau says:

      I think you need to do a little MOAR research.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          They’re sticking it to Putin (in this case) and by extension RUSSIA, which is why Western media, lifestyle liberals, and conservatives alike are all on the bandwagon. If they were attacking hierarchy/power in the same way in the U.S. (or West) they’d be crushed by law, media and public opinion.  Bet your ass on that.

          • ChicagoD says:

            I think the six likes on this comment are a testament to the “this is like KONY” comment below. Well done.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          The Nikitin NYT piece is spot on btw. It puts into words exactly what I’ve wanted to say without coming off as not supporting these women, or defending the bad guys. A number of people have been kind of gently trying to point that out for days now…  It’s like KONY all over again…

          • ChicagoD says:

            Sayeth Nikitin: “Because what Pussy Riot wants is something that is equally terrifying, provocative and threatening to the established order in both Russia and the West (and has been from time immemorial): freedom from patriarchy, capitalism, religion, conventional morality, inequality and the entire corporate state system. We should only support these brave women if we, too, are brave enough to go all the way.”

            Oh. OK. Well, two years is still too long. And throw the Paula Bunyan here in jail for destruction of public property, but no blasphemy charge.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            It’s like KONY all over again…

            Really?  Pussy Riot defenders are trying to push through laws to kill gays?  I must have missed that part.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            @Antinous
            I’m talking about the media frenzy and boutique cause aspect, Pussy Riot and their protests are a-ok with me. The Western reaction, particularly by those how seem to otherwise have no interest in injustice or their political aims, and by corporate media,*that* interests me. You may recall that criticism with how the whole Kony thing was playing out in the media was met with earnest outrage as well.  Why Facebook friends who otherwise complain about people being ‘too political’ post little Pussy Riot memes on the same day that South African police shoot dead 34 striking miners.  This kind of media dissonance, and why it angers people so to even mention it interests me..

            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/opinion/the-wrong-reasons-to-back-pussy-riot.html?_r=1?utm_campaign=X&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

            http://exiledonline.com/crime-pussy-riot-the-russian-soul-world-war-iii-how-pussy-riot-troupe-got-the-exile-censored-in-2008/?utm_campaign=X&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            You may recall that criticism with how the whole Kony thing was playing out in the media was met with earnest outrage as well.

            It was met with outrage because the problem was several years out of date and the solution involved allying with a repressive government. Focusing on Western media reactions to protest rather than on the content of the protest itself is narcissistic, privileged concern trolling.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            The outrage was by over earnest commenters, and it was directed at people who were skeptical of Invisible Children’s motives from the get go, people who turned out to be right….

            Focusing on Western media reactions to protest rather than on the content of the protest itself is narcissistic, privileged concern trolling.

            The NYT article addressed the same thing I did.  I have not said one thing against the protestors or Pussy Riot, or talked about the woman’s ‘boobs’ for that matter..unlike others. The media storm around this and the way this works politically vis-a-vis West vs. Russia is legitimate subject matter for examination. The “privileged” part is too laughable and odd to even try to comment on. 

        • greebo says:

          From the NYT piece:
          “what Pussy Riot wants is something that is equally terrifying, provocative and threatening to the established order in both Russia and the West (and has been from time immemorial): freedom from patriarchy, capitalism, religion, conventional morality, inequality and the entire corporate state system.”

          It might be terrifying to the established order, but nowhere near as terrifying as what the established order is doing to our health, wealth and ecosystems across the globe. So, I guess I’m supporting Pussy Riot for the right reasons! We need some (more) of this high profile protest in the West too.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’m starting to get the distinct feeling that I don’t really understand the Pussy Riot issue at all.

      Putin has resurrected the church as a tool of state to consolidate his power for the rest of his life.  The head of the church is alleged to have links to the KGB and has enriched himself by using the church’s tax-free status to build a quasi-legal cigarette importation empire.

      The Russian church is a religious institution in the same way that Scientology is a religious institution.

      • ChicagoD says:

        I thought that was it, but the New York Times piece makes it seems as if Putin is just today’s despot and the Orthodox Church just today’s tool. Their protest is much more fundamental than Putin or the Church. It is  “freedom from patriarchy, capitalism, religion, conventional morality, inequality and the entire corporate state system.”

        It would be tremendously difficult to get this from most of the coverage, or shutter, from their celebrity supporters.

      • Brainspore says:

        Anybody know if this particular crucifix has any connection to the Russian Orthodox Church or the Russian government? The articles I read don’t say.

        • Bevatron Repairman says:

          It’s not even a Russian Orthodox crucifix, I don’t think.  It’s a standard-issue Catholic one.  Eastern Orthodox churches use a more ordained cross and tend toward painted icons rather than statutes (although not completely).  Mayhap it was just a target of opportunity by someone who didn’t much care to make a more specific point about the Russian church.

      • toyg says:

        Except this is in *Ukraine*, and as others said, that looks like a standard-issue christian symbol.

        I loathe the post-Soviet resurgence of eastern churches like your next atheist, but this Pussy Riot stuff seems really, really idiotic to me. It works “mediatically” because it translates well to middle-aged dreams about rock/punk that media-people themselves hold dear; many hacks are currently living vicariously through PR (what an apt abbreviation) right about now, and it suits foreign policy as well, so let’s all have a circlejerk!

        Large Western churches are as corrupt as their Eastern counterparts (or indeed their Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist or Shinto bedfellows), but similar protests in the US of Holy A would be met with even more furore than what Putin is currently dishing out.

        It’s all about specks and beams, people. Specks and beams.

  7. TrevorSweet says:

    Seems pretty indefensible to me. How will this help Femen’s or Pussy Riot’s cause?

  8. The adolescent boy and anti-authoritarian in me are overjoyed by this spectacle.

    What do you shout for safety in a situation like that, anyway?

    “SAV-IOUR!”

  9. wysinwyg says:

    Well this ought to calm things down.

    Bender, “Nice boobs though” has at least two interpretations depending on the tone with which it’s read.  I’m pretty sure that’s your problem. Irony isn’t always as obvious to the audience as it is to the author.

  10. MertvayaRuka says:

    I couldn’t care less what she’s wearing or not wearing, this is epic no matter how you slice it.

    Yes I went there.

  11. stasike says:

     Why does she need to offend countless Christians, who had nothing to do with putting Pussy Riot into jail? Extremely moronic act IMHO.

    What Pussy Riot did was pretty tasteless too, if you ask me. It did *not* deserve the punishment they received, but it doesn’t change the fact that they did things that were grossly offensive to numerous believers (beside Putin).

    • ratkingkong says:

      Maybe because Christians are amongst the world leaders when it comes to oppressing women?

      Just a thought.

    • Saltine says:

      Read the manifesto from the trial. Get some clue about why the attack on the church has something to do with Putin. Once informed, you can more safely say “moronic” without the accusation rebounding upon yourself.

      • ChicagoD says:

        Damn. Putin took Ukraine over? I better go tell the Ukrainians I know that they’re Russian now.

        I read the closing statement. I can’t really see how cutting down this crucifix is furthering that statement. The closing statement was actually pretty specific to the cathedral they went into, not crucifixes across the Orthodox world, as near as I can tell.

    • foobar says:

      You do not have any right not to be offended.

    • Forced2Register says:

      she has also been beaten by Italian police when protesting (topless) in Vatican City agains Sharia law and religious oppression of women

  12. Johnny Come Lately says:

    So wait, is it okay to desecrate a memorial to the soldiers of Kiev who lost their lives in WWII because it has a religious imagery, or because she has her tits out?  

    I’m not a fan of overbearing religiosity but this is bullshit. 

    • Brainspore says:

      The article I read said the crucifix “served as a memorial to the victims of Stalinist repression and the famine of the 1930s.” So they probably could have picked a target that was a more direct symbol of the church officials who supported the initial prosecution or the government that carried it out, but social uprisings can get pretty messy sometimes.

      • foobar says:

        That seems rather on the nose. The Church, by taking Stalinist actions, can no longer represent opposition to them.

      • Johnny Come Lately says:

        Ah see, I got my info from English Russia. Either way I think destroying memorials is wrong, but it seems especially wrong when it’s done by a group whose entire agenda seems to be latching onto whatever cause they can use as a vehicle to garner the most attention. Funny how you rarely ever see any out of shape or conventionally unattractive women at these FEMEN “protests”. 

        http://englishrussia.com/2012/08/17/108296/#more-108296

        • Cel West says:

          Yep, those women, only after attention. Bitches.

          You have to be thin and pretty to be treated like a person half of the time as a woman in Russia… being topless is a protest against beauty standards there, just as fat activism is (among many things) a protest against subtly different standards here.

          • Johnny Come Lately says:

            You’ll note that I never called anyone “bitches”. My cynicism toward FEMEN stems primarily from the fact that their agenda comes across as very loosely defined and I’ve never seen a type of protest from them that didn’t involve nudity. At least when PETA uses nudity as a form of protest it’s a rare event and the purpose of their demonstration is clearly stated. Seeing as it’s happening far, far away from me my information might be diluted at the source. I eagerly await a unified statement from FEMEN representatives that doesn’t involve desecrating a war memorial.

    • Saltine says:

      Maybe it has something to do with militarism and state power being sanctified by the Christian church? Maybe it was just a conveniently public and wooden cross? Note: the issue at state with Pussy Riot was not about “overbearing religiosity” but the Putin regime whitewashing itself by appeals to nostalgia and the Russian Orthodox church. Cutting down the cross makes sense to me, but it doesn’t seem sensible, reasonable, in that it is in many ways incoherent with what Pussy Riot is protesting. But it is, after all, a punk movement we’re observing, and punk is not known for its systematic thought.

  13. I hope she gets the hell out of there before she ends up dead or in jail.

  14. kP says:

    Safety First:
    0) It’s good she is wearing eye and hand protection
    1) Long hair and powerful machinery is a bad combination
    2) Cover them legs – kevlar chaps are good for that

    then Protest Protest Protest!

    • Your second item was literally the first thing I thought… wow, that’s gonna make a mess of her scalp when her hair gets caught.  (Having had long hair caught in a power drill many moons ago)

    • bcsizemo says:

      I didn’t notice the breast thing until the end…all I could see was the lack of PPE (not that I wear chaps, but at least some jeans) and her horrific cutting skills.  At least it was a smaller end Stihl and not an 80cc+ workhorse.  (Of course she could have put it on the ground in a quarter the time if it was.)

  15. NateXT says:

    FEMEN  are controversial and have got their knockers alright but this time they’ve really boobed.

  16. abstract_reg says:

    Chopping down a crucifix is a super-powered symbol; thing is it won’t win many allies. Plus it is destroying a culturally (and perhaps historically) important monument.

  17. Preston Sturges says:

    The Femen group is photographed so professionally and some of the women have the naturally photogenic quality of professional models that  I have to wonder if they aren’t some sort of state approved operation to prove the secret police aren’t rounding up every last dissident. 

  18. Donald Petersen says:

    I couldn’t help but notice that Our Lord appears to be viewing His descent with some alarm.

  19. Warren_Terra says:

    Um, wha? I’m no fan of Christianity – but I’m not a fan of gratuitous property damage, either. And shouldn’t a protest in support of Pussy Riot really be about state power and lack of democracy (especially in Russia, but obviously not limited to there), not about smashing the churches and nudity?

    • ChicagoD says:

      Smashing nudity? That could be taken at least two ways.

    • Brian Cain says:

      You can take those boobs when you can pry them from my cold dead hands.

    • AwesomeRobot says:

      Putin is pretty strongly tied to the Russian Orthodox Church. 

    • andygates says:

      I’d argue that a crucifix is a symbol first and property second; it’s only the physical nature of the thing that makes it property damage.  And people are way, way, too caring about stuff.  ;)

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      And shouldn’t a protest in support of Pussy Riot really be about state power and lack of democracy (especially in Russia, but obviously not limited to there), not about smashing the churches and nudity?

      The church was revived solely as a propaganda arm of the government.

  20. mesocosm says:

    I like that she cut down a memorial to victims of autocratic regimes to protest an autocratic regime. 

    • MertvayaRuka says:

      I don’t think the past victims are going to somehow be more dead in the absence (likely temporary) of a monument. I think the current living victims of an autocratic regime might be a higher priority.

      • mcheshire says:

        By this thinking it would be alright to destroy a holocaust memorial because the victims couldn’t be any more dead and anti semitism still exists. I’m not a practicing Christian but I still find this reprehensible.

  21. mobobo says:

    brave women taking a stand – good on em. hope they get the hell out of dodge before being sent to the work camps.
    what is up with the shooping to (I guess) hide her nipples on some of those photos?

  22. Keith Roper says:

    She’s doing it wrong.

    Everyone knows lumberjacks wear suspenders and a bra.

  23. naught_for_naught says:

    Here’s what I find most disturbing about these images:  the hair.  It’s hanging down into the saw - a real recipe for disaster.  This should be a warning to all anarchists, SAFETY FIRST.

  24. BWJones says:

    OK, fine… make a statement, but 1) targeting and destroying symbols what others believe regardless of what or if they are shared beliefs is tres uncool.  2) targeting a memorial to victims of Stalinist repression and those that died in the resultant famine is doubly uncool.  To me, this is not so much a statement or protest so much as it is an attempt to grab some attention.  Lame.

  25. Raggle Fock says:

    I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care about this. Is it: 1.) Chick with a chainsaw 2.) Boobs! 3.) Kiev OR 4.) Cutting down a crucifix

  26. peterblue11 says:

    this is where geek-ism goes wrong. u see boobs and radical behavior and think its cool and right. but its not. its lame, stupid and not thought through. 

    i call it hipster-protest

  27. Teller says:

    It’s really simple. The chainsaw represents the male penis as a destructive object best typified by Putin. The crucifix represents organized religion which Putin is unwittingly chopping off at the knees. The woman’s breasts represent the usually hidden and prized power of male-defined femininity now boldly shared publicly. And the body art, either in tattoos or magic markers, represents some extra cash injected into the capitalist system. 

  28. Noah Vawter says:

    If you get a chance, check wikipedia’s page on Femen.  The Ukraine has already replaced the cross three days ago.

  29. rocketpjs says:

    So we can get our knickers in a twist for a (possibly unaffiliated) but obviously mediagenic protest vs. Putin because they chopped down a powerful symbol.  Fair enough, though I always get annoyed at how quickly people rush to dismiss any kind of protest as irrelevant/stupid/disrespectful.  This happens much faster when the protesters, on any topic, happen to be women. The fact that they are smart and know how to get media attention is not, in fact, a point against them. 

    How many people who came on here to express their dismay/get the vapours over the cutting down of the cross have ever spent any energy whatsoever worrying about the fate of political dissidents in Putin’s Russia (or their analogs in Ukraine)?

    It struck me as a massively powerful expression of dissent from within a culture that those of us on the outside can only understand by inference.  These are women who are utterly rejecting the system they find themselves within, at no small risk to themselves.  They are in a nexus of church, state, poverty and sexism that more or less defines what they are and what they can be.  If I was in that position I might start chopping down crosses and joining punk bands as well.

    Sheesh, we’ve got massive economic dislocation happening everywhere.  People on the margins tend to radicalize and the nature of their protests are very much a function of the culture they spring from.  There is a reason that protest happens differently in China than in the UK or in Ukraine.  This looks like a big finger to the people in power in Ukraine specifically and the region in general.  It has much more potency that it would where I live, where the Christians are generally sweater vest wearing nebbishes, and much less that it would in some other religions or cultures. 

  30. RJ says:

    Three minor points:

    First, what a lovely pair. Acts of protest mean almost nothing to me, as I’m a cynical and hateful person. But she’s worth watching, anyway. While I was watching her, however, I couldn’t help but notice a couple of other things.

    The bar on that chainsaw is too short for the job, which makes the task needlessly dangerous. A short bar can violently kick back and do some impressive damage in a moment’s time, potentially maiming or killing her.

    Lastly, her hair should have been tied back. Wouldn’t that be awful to scalp or blind yourself with a gas-powered saw? If the blade hit her neck on the way up, her adrenaline rush would ensure she bled out in three or four minutes. That would be a waste of life, especially for one as idealistic and be-boobed as hers.

    • B E Pratt says:

       Re:  “The bar on that chainsaw is too short for the job, which makes the task needlessly dangerous.” Uhm, might I point out that this IS Russia, after all (q.v. ‘Chernobyl”).

  31. robcat2075 says:

    Is that even a real pic? It looks contrived.

  32. lorq says:

    Contrary to others commenting that it’s offensive to cut down a cross, I believe the whole point here is that the cross has lost all its value.

  33. More defacing of religious structures please. 

  34. Trent Baker says:

    This was a poorly thought out gesture , the woman was clearly not wearing the proper safety gear that you should when using a chainsaw, she could have been injured badly.

  35. spacedmonkey says:

    Fucking awesome!

  36. thompson says:

    Not gonna lie, I’m pretty offended by this.  And no, not by the image itself.  I’m offended by the idea that because the monument in question contained a Christian symbol that it’s okay to vandalize someone else’s property to make your point.  The protesters could have very quickly erected a cross in a visible, public place and then sawed it down to make their point.  Instead, for me at least, their intended message was overshadowed by another message entirely — that it’s okay to disregard the rights of members of another group if your cause is good enough.

  37. Mitch_M says:

    It wasn’t her crucifix to cut down. It was a memorial to victims of repression under Stalin. 30 days with work release privileges and 40 hours of community service, please.

  38. hakuin says:

    just WHY do christians, muslims and jews hate women? Is it a desert thing?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      You realize that Hindu areas of India have some of the highest rates of violence against women in the world?

  39. Someone teach that woman to make a proper notch and back cut!

  40. MaTTLoughlin says:

    You know what? At least, she did something. And I’m sorry, but any protest with boobs in it is a better protest.

  41. TheMudshark says:

    While I always appreciate Femen footage, isn´t this missing the point? I thought the whole Pussy Riot thing was about political oppression not religious symbolism.

    Edit: Well, maybe about both. Pretty sure it won´t help their cause though if the cause is anything else apart from “get attention”.

  42. Jac says:

    The only thing I am not okey with is that this particular crucifix was erected to commemorate the people murdered by the soviet russia’s secret police NKVD which later was transformed into KGB

  43. Paweł Kwaśniewski says:

    Pointless – I don’t see how is this going to help anything or anyone.

  44. benher says:

    Ahahahaah!! Wendy O’ Williams would be proud, as am I! This woman is my hero!!
    The “Oh boo hoo! How inappropriate!” lamentations make me laugh almost as hard. 
    A response is a response, actions cause reactions. 
    If they don’t like their silly control symbols being decimated maybe they shouldn’t have fucked with those girls in the first place. 
    I don’t get BoingBoing, weren’t there a couple former punks on here at some point?

    • thompson says:

       Geography lesson for the day:  Kiev isn’t in Russia.

      History lesson for the day:  Ukrainians who died at the hands of the Soviet security apparatus didn’t jail Pussy Riot.

  45. Don Darkes says:

    This is reminiscent of The French Revolution where Marie carried the flag with one bare breast exposed.

  46. Yeah, because the protest piece is all about her boobs. . . 

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