What message is Milo Moire’s act sending?

Pic Credits : Cosmopolitan

Pic Credits : Cosmopolitan

Milo Moire, a Swiss artist, is known for her nude performances and using her body in her art. 

Over years, many of her initiatives have brought her in the limelight and have also left her arrested.

Her voice and expression are different. She has walked nude in a museum with a child and has clicked nude selfies in front of Eiffel Tower. She has painted herself and stood on the streets to support crime against women. All without a piece of thread. In her latest one in Europe, she invited the public to touch her private parts for thirty seconds. 

The message on her mind – Women’s right to not be touched without consent.

Give women equal rights. Agree to that.

Provide a safe space for women to live without fear. Agree to that.

Accept breastfeeding in public. Agree to that. 

Don’t shame menstrual blood. Agree to that.

In my mind, a good effort should yield a measurable result and there should be some way to also measure the impact. When acid attack victims set up a cafe, they wanted to not let their identity fade because of their looks. They wanted to be a part of the society and their efforts continue to have a positive impact. The cafe has given these women independence and clients visit these cafes. 

As I think more and more about Moire’s performance, the lesser sense it makes to me. Walking half nude in public and inviting others to touch is vulgar. More so, connecting that to women’s rights is illogical. 

Using a camera to catch actions. What does that mean?

Putting the videos up on the website. Why?

Asking people to pay if they want to watch an uncensored version? This is the part I call business. An act of selling porn videos. How is that women’s right?

I have spoken of freedom of expression on this blog many times. We have seen a multitude of campaigns that speak of women’s right. We have seen many women coming together to spread a message about social issues. An activist has to understand the difference between what’s freedom and what’s not. 

I am no expert in defining expression or what an art like this means. But if instead of supporting, a person calls up the cops to have you arrested, something is not right.

An act like this will become the talk of the town and an office gossip. Will people talk about the message? And if the message is lost, isn’t the purpose lost? 

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  1. Just came this post of yours through Ravish Mani, and shocking came to know about this thing.
    I have nothing to say about such stunts which people do. I find all this disgusting. There can be a better way to create awareness then walking nude and doing silly acts in public.

  2. Yeah, I’ve known about Milo for a whlie now simply because of her stunts. I find it appaulling that she considers herself an “artist”. Frankly, she was unknown before she started to do show up in public naked under some half baked reason in the name of conceptutal art. You pretty much nailed it when you questioned the video taping of these fondles or grabs and then having to pay for the uncensored version! Ug. What a step back for women’s rights and liberation.

  3. I think it is crazy. Makes no sense to me. I sometimes wonder if these people do it as a publicity stunt or just to be written about.

  4. honestly I think the “artist” is the only one that sees any message in her behavior beyond come on and touch and look cause I need attention. Disgusting and doesn’t do a damned thing to change someone’s attitudes the way she professes to want.

  5. Interesting stunt. I had never heard of this lady until I read on your blog. While she seems to have the right intention to protest against something which is not right, I am not sure the way she has used to protest is right.

    I mean in the race to go topless and all, wouldn’t the main message about women’s rights / safety etc. get lost somewhere?
    Aseem recently posted…Book Review: Mrs FunnybonesMy Profile

  6. This is an interesting stunt and way to put across the message that women should not be touched without consent. On one hand our body is our body and we can do whatever we want with it, but it certainly does not give others the right to touch it. On the other hand, some of us reckon the body is more of a private space and it should be concealed. Milo is certainly garnering attention…but it is appearances that attract one’s eye and you wonder do they think beyond that. Insightful thoughts, Parul.
    Mabel Kwong recently posted…Why Mental Illness Is Stigmatised in Asian Cultures: My Struggle With AnxietyMy Profile

  7. Super . I have not heard about this woman till I read about her in your post. On the face I wondered why is she doing this and yea I have seen the video too. I thought the fact that she is wearing that box with mirrors all around so that when you get onto the act one can also see himself in the mirror . But I could not find a logical conclusion to this. There are several ways in which one can spread the message but if the message is not understood by many then whats the use of the act. Thanks for raising this. Keep blogging

  8. I must admit I haven’t heard of her before this. From what you’ve said, I guess I can see what she is trying. I have no problem with women going topless because I think it’s a bit hypocritical that men can do it but women can’t. I guess in terms of touching genitals, I think I get where she’s coming from regarding the consent issue — she’s allowing people to touch her. I think it would have more of an impact though if she stood there naked and said NO ONE was allowed to touch her. I think then, it sends a louder message about consent.
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  9. Her intentions may be right, but the way she is projecting them is not something which a society like ours would accept. There are others modes of fighting the cause for equality choosing a proper channel which doesn’t bring lot of questions and controversies is what a true fighter would do…

  10. I’m not sure if this helps or if people go beyond to see and understand what she wants to spread as the message…But then I guess every bit counts..I’m not comfortable with nudity either but for so long we have tried to fight keeping in mind everyone else’s comfort..Maybe it’s time we make people uncomfortable and awake them from their stupor..But that’s just what I think..

  11. I’ve read several times about women stripping in the streets to raise attention for a cause. They seem to find it the easiest way to bring attention. But this act has gone a tad too far. I’m wondering the same, will the message or purpose remain? I fail to understand it.
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  12. Just privileged to be born in a country which has gender neutrality and tolerant laws. Imagine doing something similar in our own country. She would be arrested, debated about, some morchas and will finally come on to reality shows and then step onto Bollywood.

  13. AIDA is the communication model.. this sort of thing is great at getting attention, but the rest of it is debatable-as in, getting action on what the purported objective is. Dubious, at best.

  14. I completely agree with you. While being nude in public requires courage , it also smacks of crassness and vulgarity. But honestly sometimes it takes shocking acts to highlight certain issues. However , I won’t do this not endorse it.

  15. I don’t think there is a message. And I don’t think anyone, male or female, should value their bodies so little that they would invite the public to touch. The “ick” factor of this is off the charts for me. This type of touching should spring naturally from love or great affection, and needs to be earned through trust. It should never be a public thing.
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  16. I haven’t read about it as I am not following news recently. Her actions doesn’t make sense to me either. She might just want to be on tv and newspaper for some hhtime on headlights. Obviously, People won’t take the message serious if conveyed in this way.

  17. I really think there is some effect here since people are shocked into talking about this form of performing arts where they use thier art to convey messages. And almost always it leads to the question why? I feel art has its own forms of expression. Yes, it does gross me out when I see some of the art expressions but if, even one person thinks or changes due to this then its worth it. I doubt that the message is her main objective, it’s more about her expression. She associates a cause to it maybe because that was where the origin of the idea lies. That’s how I view it 🙂