Religion has Waged War on Our Vaginas, Breasts and Abdomens


By Inna Shevchenko


We live in a time and place where everyone, religious or not, regardless of nationality and origin, is a walking target for religious extremists moved by dogmas.

A time when far-right nationalists, capitalising on fear and the terrorist threat, spread more hate and discrimination against minorities, especially Muslims.

It’s a time when those whom are supposed to be our allies turn their backs as part of the regressive left and leave the criticism of religious extremism to xenophobes. And when, to my personal deep sadness, some women endorse values created to oppress them with so-called religious feminism.

It is a time when tools of religious oppression and violence are defended in the name of culture, tradition and, with special cynicism, in the name of liberty and free choice.

A time when progressive societies give up in front of religious lobbies and sacrifice human rights (and too often it is women’s rights) on the altar of political and religious correctness.

But at this time, I celebrate freedom of conscience and if for that I have to burn in hell, it will be a pleasure.

I celebrate women’s rights, creativity, strength and solidarity – and denounce the greatest obstacle for feminism which is organised religions. Every day, words pronounced in the Vatican, in Mecca, in Jerusalem, in churches, mosques and synagogues across the world emphasise women’s inferiority.

Every day, a new headline informs us about violence committed against women either because they wore a skirt in Saudi Arabia, took off their hijabs in Iran, went to school in Pakistan, aborted in Poland, demanded divorce in Israel, because they changed their beliefs or simply fell in love with someone.

Despite the wish of my parents, I did not become a doctor, but I nevertheless recently studied anatomy. Alongside my comrade and young writer Pauline Hillier, we published a book in France that studies the anatomy of women’s oppression by the three main monotheist religions and their institutions.

In our Anatomie de l’oppression, we show how religions oppress women through their body, by penetrating each part of it – each organ – with patriarchal views, rules and demands.

Religious institutions have waged a war on our vaginas for centuries. With the cult of virginity and motherhood, they deny women’s sexuality, and even sometimes fanatically cut clitorises, crippling around 200 million girls and women alive today.

Read more:

Femen Merchandise

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