It's International Women's Day -- a day to celebrate female voices, talents, skills and strength. You will hear a lot of people today saying how far women have come, seeing as a woman is in 10 Downing Street, a woman can be anything she wants to be.
Well, that would be true, except we apparently can't be sexual beings while simultaneously being feminists.
If you've gone on the internet in the past week, you may be aware that Emma Watson, best known as Hermione from the Harry Potter films, chose to pose semi-topless for Vanity Fair. To be clear -- she didn't go full-frontal for the magazine. While she was topless, she covered her chest slightly with a woven stole, not a nip slip in sight.
The shoot, by Tim Walker, was gorgeous, and Emma looked amazing. But sadly, this picture negated any work she's done for UN Women or any of the times she's battled being sexualised as a teenager by the media -- because wanting to look a bit sexy in one of the world's biggest mags while championing women's rights is hypocritical.
That was the view taken by noted authority on feminism Piers Morgan, who said that Emma 'didn't do herself any favours' with the topless shoot. He also called her a 'feminist fraud' because in a 2014 interview for Wonderland, Emma said she felt 'conflicted' watching Beyonce's self-titled visual album as it 'felt very male, such a voyeuristic experience of her'.
However, if Piers had read the interview longer than the paragraph widely disseminated on the internet, he would have seen Emma go on to say: 'The fact she wasn't [performing for husband Jay Z] for a label, she was doing it for herself and the control that she has directing it and putting it out there, I agree is making her sexuality empowering because it is her choice.'
Now, I'm in no way arguing that Emma Watson is the perfect feminist, nor am I arguing that I am. There are elements of white feminism that need to be tackled. But Piers wasn't attacking Emma for not advocating for intersectionality, or for ignoring sex workers, or trans women, or any issues in feminism that should be addressed. He was attacking her for something he does himself -- belittling sexual women.
Piers did that when he called Kim Kardashian a 'slapper' for wearing fishnets under her jeans for a selfie. He did that when he said 'RIP feminism' when Kim and Emily Ratajkowksi posed topless while flipping the bird (incidentally aimed at people hating on women's sexuality, thus completing the circle of brain-numbing idiocy). He did it when he called Susan Sarandon's cleavage inappropriate, he did it every time he made a vile comment about Madonna and her age.
Tweeting about Emma Watson, he wrote: 'It's Emma who is dictating how other women should behave re feminism and nudity, not me.' I haven't yet worked out if this is blindly stupid or is a sublime work if irony.
While I'm using Piers as an example (because let's face it, there's many of his golden tweets to choose from), these aren't opinions limited to him off Good Morning Britain. They are the opinions of every man who salivates over women they deem acceptable, before calling them a slut, slag or whore for daring to own their sexuality. Kim Kardashian naked pictures leaked? Yeah, that's ok. Kim Kardashian posing naked in her bathroom and tweeting it from her own account? Slut.
On Good Morning Britain, Piers said of Miss Watson: 'For us guys on the outside looking in, we're trying to work out what women think feminism is.'
Well, Mr Morgan, let me try and help. We want equality for women of all races and sexualities, we want no pay gap, we want safety, we want to be able to walk down a street without feeling intimidated, we want control over our bodies.
And we want to be able to have sex, wear short skirts, show off our tits if that's what we want to do -- some of us have really good cleavage, and why shouldn't we show that off? We want to wear make-up, or not wear make-up, not be forced to wear heels in the office or wear stilettos everywhere we damn well please. We want to be able to like sex and dress how we want without having those things used as a defense for men who have hurt us. We want to be able to embrace our sexuality -- without it being dictated to us by a man -- while fighting for our equality.
And we don't want the definition of feminism to be defined by a man who takes down women at every chance he gets.
That's this woman's idea of feminism. And I for one think Emma Watson looked banging in Vanity Fair.
This blog first appeared here.
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