One of the reasons people protest is to expose their ideas to the world.

It seems to be working for one group of female activists -- at least the exposure part.

The group, Femen, is a group of women who, according to the organization's website, defend sexual and social equality with their breasts and "undermine the foundations of the patriarchal world by their intellect, sex, agility, make disorder, bring neurosis and panic to the men's world" (sic).

Femen claims to be in 17 countries and have more than 150,000 supporters -- the human kind, not brassieres -- and has recently gained attention for public protests against Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin, IKEA, and, most recently, the Vatican City, where police wrestled two topless women to the ground during a brief protest after cardinals went into the Sistine Chapel to start their Pope picking.

The group was founded in 2008 in Ukraine by a group of twenty-something women, including Anna Hutsol, Oksana Shachko and Alexandra Shevchenko, in part, to stop the country from becoming a hotbed for sex tourists and human traffickers, Slate.com reported.

Hutsol said the topless protests started because she and the other founding members felt that only "radical things can change the situation," she told Osocio.org.

FEMEN PROTEST PHOTOS (WARNING: NSFW)

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  • Femen: Female Activist Group Protests Topless

  • FEMEN Secret Service of Ukraine Fucked us up!

    FEMEN Activist poses topless with a hammer in front of the Secret Service Building. The Women's Movement is blaming the SSU officials of ...

  • Oksana Shachko - femen protest in Paris

    Description FEMEN | Source Flickr : http://flickr. com/photos/75958096@N05/8000662385 Oksana Shachko - femen protest in Paris | Date ...

  • FEMEN Swine Flu Panic Protest-3

    Description Ukrainian activist group FEMEN demonstrate underwear made from anti-infection masks at the Independence square in Kiev, Ukraine ...

  • FEMEN "Blue Bucket" topless protest-2

    Description An Interior Ministry officer detains an activist from the Ukrainian female rights organization "Femen" as she takes part in a ...

  • FEMEN "Blue Bucket" topless protest-6

    photo FEMEN / Taya Stetsenko | Source Flickr : http://flickr. com/photos/45312736@N07/4644753418 FEMEN "Blue Bucket" topless protest | Date ...

  • Femen à Paris 10

    Category:Topless demonstrations and protests by Femen Category:Demonstration by Femen in Paris (March 2012)Category:Photographs of topless ...

  • 2 years of FEMEN 5

    com/photos/femen/4515951675/ | Author FEMEN Women's Movement | Date 2010-04-11 | Permission http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ ...

  • Femen à Paris 11

    Category:Topless demonstrations and protests by Femen Category:Demonstration by Femen in Paris (March 2012)Category:Photographs of topless ...

  • FEMEN 15 oct 2012-i

    Description FEMEN protest. Ministry of Justice - France. josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. N05/8089841834 FEMEN 15 oct 2012 | ...

  • FEMEN 15 oct 2012-d

    Description FEMEN protest. Ministry of Justice - France. josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. N05/8089843071 FEMEN 15 oct 2012 | ...

  • FEMEN 15 oct 2012-e

    Description FEMEN protest. Ministry of Justice - France. josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. N05/8089843441 FEMEN 15 oct 2012 | ...

  • FEMEN 15 oct 2012

    Description Éloïse Bouton during a FEMEN protest. Ministry of Justice - France. josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. ...

  • 2 years of FEMEN

    com/photos/femen/4516587062/ | Author FEMEN (FEMEN Women's Movement) | Date 2010-04-11 | Permission http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by- ...

  • FEMEN - Paris-before

    com/photos/75958096@N05/8094875109 FEMEN - Paris | Date 2012-12-01 00:00:00 | Author http://www. flickr. com/people/75958096@N05 Joseph ...

  • FEMEN 15 oct 2012-f

    Description FEMEN protest. Ministry of Justice - France Manifestation des FEMEN devant le Ministère de la Justice français | Source ...

  • FEMEN - IKEA-5

    Description Femen protest againt IKEA in Paris, France. oct. 26 - 2012 josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. 8124568098 FEMEN - ...

  • FEMEN - IKEA-6

    Description Femen protest againt IKEA in Paris, France. oct. 26 - 2012 josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. 8124568306 FEMEN - ...

  • FEMEN - IKEA-7

    Description Femen protest againt IKEA in Paris, France. oct. 26 - 2012 josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. 8124550669 FEMEN - ...

  • FEMEN - Paris

    Description Femen action against rape in Paris, October 15. 2012. josephparis. fr/ | Source Flickr : http://flickr. 8094875689 FEMEN - Paris ...

  • Femen (6890664112)

    Description Femen à Paris 31 mars 2012. | Source http://www. flickr. com/photos/joseph_paris/6890664112/ Femen. Uploaded by tm | Date 2012-03- ...

But while the women protesters are topless, they are not bare-skinned. The group's members write explicit messages on their bodies to get their point across.

Femen isn't the only activist group that has found naked women to be an effective way of raising interest and awareness (and eyebrows).

An activist group called GoTopless.org holds a topless protest every August called Go Topless Day as a way to condemn what it considers to be hypocritical laws regarding bare-breasted women.

"People say women shouldn't go topless, that it's indecent," Go Topless.org spokeswoman Nadine Gary told The Huffington Post last August. "But indecency is not mentioned in the Constitution. Also, it was once considered indecent for women to vote, but that changed."

In addition, while the letters P-E-T-A stand for "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals," it could just as easily be an acronym for "Publicity Events involving T and A," since the group has started publicity campaigns revolving around attractive and scantily clad people -- usually women.

PETA executive Dan Mathews said the idea started with the "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign nearly two decades ago and naked protests have been a part of the PR game plan because it works.

"We're a very aspirational society and it makes sense for us to use attractive, vibrant people," he told AOL News back in 2011. "The press and public seem to respond to women and more than half of the people who visit our site click on the pictures showing attractive women."

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