The revolutionary icon Marianne is one of the major national emblems of France. Her image is displayed all over the French Republic and is one that represents Liberty and Reason.
From the beginning, Marianne was seen as a woman of the people, and one who wasn’t identified as being any one woman in particular. But in 1969 that changed when famous French women were used as inspiration in creating the features of Marianne – that first woman being Brigitte Bardot.
So, with Marianne being such an important figure to the French people, it’s not exactly a symbol with which you might want to fuck. But French President Francois Hollande, a breath of fresh air since the reign of former president Sarkozy, isn’t scared of stirring up controversy and doing so by trying to change the old way of thinking in his country.
Because it wasn’t enough to allow gay marriage in France (gasp!), Hollande and two artists, David Kawena and Olivier Ciappa, decided this year’s stamp would be inspired by one hell of a badass woman: Inna Shevchenko, founder of FEMEN.
Shevchenko has become synonymous with “outrageous” acts of activism to end misogyny and homophobia the world over. She is also most notably known for taking a chainsaw to a wooden cross to protest the arrest of Pussy Riot.
Despite the ignorance and threats being thrown his way, including a potential boycott of the stamp by some haters out there, Ciappa explained:
“I chose Inna Shevchenko as model, after days and days of trials and searches. She embodies the values of the [French] Republic best; liberty, equality, fraternity. Feminism is an intrinsic part of those values.”
Although Marion Cotillard was also in the running as a possible inspiration, we’re going to say that Ciappa’s choice really is the best one he could have made in this year of political change in France.
Shevchenko, who was just granted political asylum in France, tweeted her excitement: “Femen is on French stamp. Now all homophobes, extremists, fascists will have to lick my ass when they want to send a letter.”
Hold on to your knickers, haters of the world! This revolution is just getting started, and you’re in for one hell of a ride. Now go enjoy a lick or two of Shevchenko’s