"Fake Peace."

A topless protester aligned with the radical feminist group Femen charged President Donald Trump's motorcade as it proceeded down the Champys Elysees in Paris and was tackled by police Sunday​.


The woman, bearing the words "Fake Peace" scrawled across her chest, shouted at passing cars in the middle of the street before authorities apprehended her.


Trump, along with other world leaders, was in France to take part in ceremonies marking 100 years since the end of World War I, the Associated Press ​reported.

Police detained three Femen activists for "sexual exhibition" during the ceremonies.


Femen, who claimed responsibility for the stunt, is known for employing shock tactics in pursuing its stated intention to promote women's rights.


In the past the group has confronted former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, gone topless to protest human rights violations in Turkey, and ​attempted to steal a baby Jesus figure from the nativity scene at Vatican City.


The self-described "sextremists" define their mission as "fighting patriarchy in its three manifestationssexual exploitation of women, dictatorship and religion." 


The organization was ​lauded on social media by liberals such as ardently anti-Trump Twitter personality Brian Krassenstein.

But not everyone was so taken with the group's methods.

Critics of modern-day feminism, and in particular of its more ​radical exponents, charge the movement with having devolved into all-out ​misandry and losing its loftier, more significant focus on achieving equality for women.


"Feminist commentary routinely puts the nastiest possible spin on male behavior and motives," wrote journalist Cathy Young in The Washington Post in 2016.


Young opined that such uncharitable framing does little to make men "sympathetic to the problems women face." If Young is correct, it is perhaps understandable why many people have trouble seeing past the intentionally abrasive antics of extreme feminists like Femen to the merits of the broader movement.


Feminists might counter that the role of feminism is not to make men comfortable and that the movement is explicitly about rejecting patriarchal appeasement. They might also point out that Femen is not exactly representative of mainstream feminism.


As a practical matter, in light of Donald Trump's success, feminists might be wise to heed Young's observation about the unprecedented gender gap between voters in the run-up to the 2016 election between Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "To some extent, these numbers reflect policy differences. Yet it is not too far-fetched to see the pro-Donald Trump sentiment as fueled, at least in part, by a backlash against feminism," Young wrote. 


"And while some of this backlash may be of the old-fashioned 'put women in their place' variety, there is little doubt that for the younger generation, the perception of feminism as extremist and anti-male plays a role, too."


There's also a more humane reason for feminists to consider a more conciliatory approach. Young ended her 2016 piece by averring that "our fractured culture is badly in need of healing — from the gender wars as well as other divisions." 


"To be a part of this healing, feminism must include men, not just as supportive allies but as partners, with an equal voice and equal humanity," she added.


Juan Leon is Pluralist's managing editor. He can be reached @juanemel


Cover image: A woman is detained by police after protesting President Donald Trump's motorcade on February 11, 2018 in Paris, France. (Screenshot from Twitter)