This week Emma Watson did this shoot with Vanity Fair, and the reaction was absolutely appalling. These pictures have been declared 'un-feminist' by some, and hypocritical. Julia Hartley-Brewer implied that Emma Watson was wasting her time preaching about wage gaps, and inequality if she was just going to show the world her 'tits'. That she was a hypocrite. So what is the alternative? Why are we suggesting that a woman must remain covered up in order to be taken seriously?! That they should relinquish their femininity to be considered a feminist? As Elle magazine pointed out that being unable to take a woman seriously due to having seen a flash of skin, then it says more about you than it does the woman in question.
Why should this shoot not be considered empowering? I think she's got balls, I would not be able to pose like this. I lack the confidence. So she's shown a little under boob. Are we all so prudish in this brash twenty first century that this makes us uncomfortable?! I prefer to think that it is wonderful that a young woman in a society that is oppressive and shoots her down, is confident enough to bear any part of herself.
James Holt hit back against Harley Brewer, and stated that he didn't realise 'that feminism had a strict dress code' and Watson herself responded that feminism was about liberation and freedom. It is not a stick with which to 'beat women'. I dread to think what critics will say about Watson's anger regarding this. I'm betting that the term 'feminazi' will crop up.
I draw your attention to the sexualised covers of Vanity Fair featuring men:
So it's obvious that these covers are just as revealing, if not more in some cases. Particularly the Spanish edition in the bottom left hand corner. I wonder how much criticism that cover underwent. I wonder if a stark naked woman is more appropriate if she is draped over a men.Why are these sexualised images of men more appropriate than the underside of Emma Watson's breast?
Laura Bates states that whether we like it or not, we 'live in a society where [...] the media is written by men, for men'. On the basis of this, I realise that to have a feminist (a recognised man hater, as far as social media is concerned) featuring in a revealing picture that is not specifically for the purpose of entertaining men would be unsettling and seem rebellious to society. I just cannot work out why. It is, without a doubt, refreshing. Emma Watson makes me very proud of be a woman. Bates points out that 'something big is going to have to shift' for the media to offer women 'more than a place as a commodity or a seat in the audience'. This will something that I will never understand. I hope that women like Watson continue to 'rebel' against this oppression, against these ridiculous attitudes and expectations.A friend of mine stated that 'you're far too socially conditioned if you think that a woman showing her body is anti-feminist'. I couldn't have put it better myself.
Breasts are not the downfall of feminism. Neither is Emma Watson. Instead of seeing a pair of 'tits' I see a strong, intelligent and talented woman. Women like Julia Harley-Brewer, are the downfalls of feminism. If, as a woman, you are going to respond like this to another woman's body you are giving men license to treat you the same way. I am sure as hell that you're going to have to say something about that.
I'm interested in the reaction to the revelation that Le Fou, from Watson's upcoming film, Beauty and The Beast, is the first openly gay character. It cannot get much worse.