Roughly 20 FEMEN members – a feminist activist group – protested by baring their chests at the museum, chanting that their breasts "are not obscene" in support of the young woman.
Jeanne, a 22-year-old student, had brought attention to the incident on Twitter last week, after she was deemed to be wearing a dress that was too revealing:
“Arriving at the museum entrance, I didn’t even have time to get out my ticket when the sight of my breasts and low-cut dress shocked the agent in charge of checking reservations,” she wrote, originally in French, in an open letter with a picture of her wearing the dress. “She left, chanting ‘ah, no, that won’t be possible, that isn’t possible, that won’t work that’.”
Standing alongside classical nude statues, images and videos on Twitter showed that the women painted their torsos with slogans such as “obscenity is in your eyes”.
In their protest, Femen simultaneously showed the irony of requiring the covering-up of a low-cut top in a place that reveres naked statues as well as normalising women's nakedness in a group display.
The Musée d'Orsay said last week in a press release it "deeply regrets this incident".
Considering the recent proliferation of feminist thought and the (somewhat) increased societal understanding of the patriarchal system that condones objectifying women’s bodies, you might think something like this would not happen in Paris - a city often recognised for its arty scene and free expression-attitude.
While this showed that not only are women with breasts still constantly ogled, it’s clear solidarity is one good way to move beyond people’s obsession with women’s bodies.