I imagine you were expecting me to tackle this story at some point.
People fulminating about women’s breasts are a gift that keeps on giving. This partwork has been running on and off since 2014. That’s a lot of coverage, or perhaps not, depending how you look at it.
Emma Watson caused a stir last week when photographed for Vanity Fair revealing a bit of mammary flesh. Nothing too lurid, merely a bit daring at worst. Then one Julia Hartley-Brewer started the predictable Twitter backlash. In essence she said Ms Watson couldn’t claim to be a feminist if she showed her tits. Lots of others waded into the fray saying she’d somehow sold out her principles.
I don’t see the logic here, I really don’t. What did the Twitterati want her to do? Wear an old flour sack? Are these the same women who express outrage at the wearing of a burka? How does slagging her off help anybody at all?
It’s worth bearing in mind that Ms Watson has been the UN’ women’s goodwill ambassador for the best part of three years. No lesser person than Malala Yusafzai was sufficiently motivated by hearing a speech that she decided to refer to herself as a feminist. I reckon she’s a pretty good judge of what constitutes feminism.. Oh, and she’s a Nobel laureate.
Emma Watson tackled things in an admirably forthright way.
“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing.”
The admirable Caitlin Moran made an interesting point in The Times. What she refers to as the ‘faux concern trolls’ are women who are ‘edging towards the prime of their lives.’ I leave that up for grabs, as it were.
I’ll leave the last word to Gloria Steinem, who’s what you might call a bit of a feminist icon. She’s been at the forefront since the 60s, and is still at it. When asked to comment on this pseudo outrage, she responded thus.
‘Feminists can wear whatever they fucking want.’