My Favourite Activists

This year I have been excited to learn about an up and coming French Feminism activists group called ‘Nous Sommes 52’. I, also, got the opportunity to interview them- but more on that later.

What makes this activism collective different is their approach to social media and online information. You might recognise their sploof of Trump’s administration voting on female reproductive rights? Featuring Hillary Clinton surrounded by women and doing the same for male ejaculation rights.

This approach to activism which mixes humour and hard-hitting visual material has been fundamental to their impact during the recent French presidential election. When looking at their Facebook or Twitter it is not clear which candidate they are endorsing. However, their slogan ‘Nous Sommes Puissantes’ leaves nothing to the imagination. Put simply this translation states ‘Women are Powerful’. This sense of female collective is reinforced in their name, which references that in France 52% of the population is female. And as anyone interested in business will know, 52% is the magic ratio for being in charge.

In particular, with their recent campaigns, they have been trying to counteract the percentage of young female voters who intend to abstain in this election. This is where their use of social media is essential, because their target demographic is increasingly internet-dependent for receiving news.

When I had the opportunity to interview them, we talked about the power of nudity, Donald Trump and the future of activism (they have asked for anonymity, but ensure their advocate represents the views of the whole collective):

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being reliant on your online presence for activism?

“Social networks are the most efficient way to address issues directly to the people, with no filters. All French women’s magazines are owned by men or by media groups only interested in targeting consumers for their advertisers. Female nudity or partial female nudity is a problem for most of the social networks, and we believe that female nudity is a great source of female empowerment.”

2. What was your experience protesting Donald Trump in Paris in February?

“It was good to be part of this global moment of female power. It was also great to see that women are still the bastion that fights pernicious ideas, engage, and act, all in great spirits and humour.”

3. Your organisation is very young. What are the difficulties with encouraging support new young Feminists and those looking to become more involved?

“To many feminism has a bad name: an old-fashioned thing of the past, unsexy etc. So, we sometimes need to remind what feminism is all about: the right for women to fully own their body and to have equal rights. Young women all relate to that. And a great many of them are seduced by the way we use humour as a tool and generally like to reverse situations to show how stereotypes can be unfair.”

Thanks to ‘Nous Sommes 52’. If you’re interested: http://www.noussommes52.org/ (great merch and info), or, https://www.facebook.com/52lecollectif/