Sara Winter, 24, is a summa cum laude graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, the curriculum of which featured an abusive father and brother, exposure to drug abuse, a stint in prostitution, a painful abortion, and the thick darkness of despair.
Winter is a pen name. It befits the harsh experiences she has undergone. Her real name is Sara Fernanda Giromini, and she became the face of FEMEN in Brazil. She got herself in the papers and in jail, having been arrested more than a dozen times.
FEMEN is a feminist-activist group founded in the Ukraine in 2008 by Anna Hutsol. (In 2013, Australian documentarian Kitty Green outed a Victor Svatsky as the group’s financial svengali.) For her part, Sara quickly identified with FEMEN’s cause, particularly with its anti-male impulses and its passionate support for unfettered access to abortion. She was soon trained in the group’s form of guerrilla street theater, which consists mainly of a) ambushing politicians (like Russian president Vladimir Putin) and Christian leaders (like retired Belgian Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard) with screamed-out rhyming epithets; b) showing off their womanly assets, which are festooned with graffiti slogans; and c) generally attract media buzz (as much to FEMEN itself as to its pet political causes).
Sara eventually left FEMEN and later abandoned the whole feminist enterprise. She put her shirt back on for good, and went to the trouble of apologizing on YouTube for any offense she caused. The witness of a few kind Christians and—perhaps more importantly—the birth of her son in the fall of 2015 led to such an unexpected transformation.
She is now pro-life, anti-feminist, and a grateful recipient of the unpredictable grace of God. Her new book is titled, Vadia, Nao! Setes vezes que fui traída pelo feminismo. While some English media outlets translate “vadia” as bitch, in her interview with me Sara explains that vadia is really Portugese for slut or whore. It’s her way of taking the slur back by domesticating it. The subtitle is essentially, “The Seven Ways I Was Betrayed By Feminism.” I’ll let you know when the English version comes out. She says it will be within a few months or less.
My Catholic Answers Focus podcast interview with her this week reveals some shocking information about FEMEN, including her claim that the group not only abuses its own members (such as the ones deemed too unsexy for the cameras) but it also routinely covers up the crime of pedophilia. At one point in the interview, as I was asking her about how her abortion affected her, she thought she heard her infant son stirring. The interview halted for a bit. It was a false alarm, but I wanted to keep it in the interview because it’s a sweet moment, courtesy the providence of God. Share with your circle of friends.