Is This ‘a Feminist’ Exposing Herself to Students During a Field Trip?

Claim

A photograph shows "a feminist" exposing herself to schoolchildren on a field trip.

Rating

Decontextualized

Reporting

In late July 2019, the following tweet appeared, claiming that the following image shows a “feminist” exposing herself to children on a school field trip:

The poster claimed — without any additional citation or context — that the photograph shows a school trip gone awry. However, in response to requests for additional information about the image, he demurred:

I seriously have left wing people in my mentions asking if there’s context for a fat old woman flashing a bunch of school age boys. No you ridiculous nuts there’s no more context. The context is leftism is eating your brain. You don’t flash kids. Ever. For any reason.

Commenters seemed to assume across the board that the image was captured in the United States; one iteration claimed the photograph was taken in New York City. Subsequent blog posts re-asserted that the individuals shown were schoolchildren.

Commenters on the original July 25 2019 tweet noted that the image was from an event in Estonia — context that seemed to have been left out of the tweet and earlier replies:

Well since you don’t like the USA maybe you should go to ESTONIA so you can protest this art exhibit. NO AMERICAN FIELD TRIP IS GOING TO ESTONIA!

At that point, the original poster said that it was sent to him by a “follower from Estonia”:

Oh and it was sent to me by a follower from Estonia who was upset by it.

Other commenters noted that context for the image was difficult to come by due to language barriers — but a reverse image search led to a July 2 2019 article about the events shown in the image, and a rough translation reported that the photograph came from a Saturday night opening of an art exhibit in Estonia — not a “school trip”:

[In June 2019] at the opening of the exhibition “Naine ja naine” (“Woman and Woman”) an unbelievable incident occurred in Pärnu : at the end of her speech, the artist, feminist and LGBT activist Mare Thrall took off her dress and remained [unclothed]. Thus, the woman expressed her protest against the works of the artist Marco Mäetamma. According to feminists, in his works there is violence in the image of the female body. During the performance, Thrall covered the works of Maetamma with sheets with anti-sexist slogans, and she hung a large piece of fabric on the door of the exhibition hall with his paintings, which she wrote “No” but ”can not be an excuse for sexism”.

Another July 2019 news article, this one in Russian, reported:

Estonian feminist artist has demonstrated the real beauty of the female body

An unbelievable incident occurred at the opening of the Naine ja naine exhibition (Woman and Woman) in Pärnu: at the end of her speech, the artist, feminist and LGBT activist Mare Thrall took off her dress and remained [naked].

Thus, the woman expressed her protest against the works of the artist Marco Mäetamma. According to feminists, in his works there is violence in the image of the female body. During the performance, Thrall covered the works of Maetamma with sheets with anti-sexist slogans, and she hung a large piece of fabric on the door of the exhibition hall with his paintings, which she wrote “No” [and] “cannot be an excuse for sexism.”

The woman in the image, artist Mare Tralla, posted about the images on Facebook in June 2019; a gallery listing described the event as its “26th International Nude Art Show ‘Man & Woman,'” making the shock around the photograph seem that much more manufactured:

Tralla uploaded a video of her June 2019 protest to Vimeo, in a clip titled “No ‘But’ Can Be Used as an Excuse for Sexism!” That video clearly shows that the context of Tralla’s nudity is a protest at the opening of a specific exhibition for what was described clearly in advance as a “nude art show.”

A viral tweet claimed that a “feminist” undressed in front of schoolchildren on a field trip without any context for the claim. That photograph was actually taken during a Saturday night protest at an Estonia gallery in June 2019. Most still images and video of the protest showed adult gallery-goers, not children. Additionally, the exhibit Tralla protested was billed as a “nude art show,” meaning anyone who brought young people would have already been aware there would be nudity. Context was omitted to a point so severe that later iterations of the rumor included the claim that the photograph was taken in New York City.