Actor and feminist activist Emma Watson recently did a Vanity Fair shoot in which she showed off her boobs in a sheer top. Radicals were outraged and demanded to know why she was committing this horrendously misogynistic act.
Emma’s response? “Feminism is about choice.”
Let’s go back to the Victorian era. Women had little choice in what to do apart from marrying, reproducing, cooking and cleaning. They weren’t allowed to do most things men could freely- not just voting, but SMOKING and WEARING TROUSERS were staunchly off-limits. Feminism rose out of those circumstances to show this patriarchal society that women deserved far, far more.
Now the great-great-great granddaughters of these original feminists have reverted to the prudishness of their forebears. The radical feminist reaction to porn is nothing new- Andrea Dworkin and friends campaigned against the art alongside fundamentalist Christian groups in the 1980s- but now it seems all celebration of the female form is off limits. And that, in my opinion, is true sexism. Men can flaunt their chests all the time but Watson can’t? She is right. Feminism should be about a woman’s right to choose in all matters- what to wear, what to do, and yes, whether or not she should have an abortion. Body policing is about as UNfeminist as you can get!
(Quite hypocritically, I have noticed overlap between the porn-exclusionary feminists and the ones who elevate the vagina from reproductive organ to symbol of female empowerment. Baking vagina-shaped cupcakes for your 8 year old child’s class is alright but showing off no more than can be seen in a PG-rated movie isn’t?)
These people aren’t about choice, they’re about forcing their narrowmindedness on half of the world’s population. Remember when feminism was also called “women’s lib”? Emma Watson is liberating herself through the way she dresses! Liberation as a form of oppression- seems very Orwellian to me.
Happy International Women’s Day to everyone. My hope for the coming year is that these people realise that feminism is indeed about a woman’s right to choose.