A few weeks ago, Piers Morgan stated that feminism’s one ideology was to ‘striv(e) to be so good at what you do that your gender is irrelevant, then (to make) sure you are rewarded in the same way as a man’. This angered me, sure, but my first thought was pure shock. Does Mr. Morgan actually think that the only place women receive inferior and derogatory treatment is in the workplace?
And what about the people who simply aren’t the ‘best’ at what they do? I’m not a particularly ace bookseller or blogger, does that mean I deserve to be treated as a lesser species and not ‘as a man’. Fuck that, actually, I don’t want to be treated like a man, fist bumps hurt and beer tastes nasty. No, Piers, what I want is to be able to walk down the street without having to cross the street upon every group of male adolescents I come across. I want to be considered for jobs because of what I am – strong, confident, good at making decisions – rather than what I look like – short, blonde, big tits.
That, quite succinctly, brings me on to my next point. Piers also berated Emma Watson this week, for her beautiful, tasteful, elegant, nipple-grazing, almost-topless photo in Vanity Fair, a fashion magazine. According to him, Emma’s photoshoot was designed to ‘titillate men’ (I can only presume the euphemism here is intended #doitfortheviews). Not being fucking funny, but I don’t think many men are turned on by £2000 Burberry woollen top/jacket things. To them, it’s probably a weird, wonky, overly-expensive cardigan. And that’s another thing that annoys me about the backlash from this shoot. These were the hits I got when I searched ‘burberry emma watson crochet top’ so that I could find the price of the item of clothing for this post:
EMMA WATSON’S ‘TOPLESS’ PHOTO SPARKS FEMINISM DEBATE
EMMA WATSON POSES TOPLESS FOR VANITY FAIR
EMMA WATSON POSES TOPLESS FOR VANITY FAIR
EMMA WATSON CALLED HYPOCRITE OVER BRA-LESS PHOTO
Firstly, Burberry wasn’t mentioned anywhere. Secondly, she’s NOT FUCKING TOPLESS. She’s wearing a top! You can see it! It’s white and it covers all of her so-called erogenous zones. I fucking dare you to walk through Newcastle any evening of the week and see a woman baring LESS of her boobs than Emma is in this photo. And this is besides the fucking point, but hasn’t under-boob always been seen as much more tasteful than cleavage? If Emma had been pictured pushing her tits together and pouting upwards at the camera, I would potentially not be writing this article. But she didn’t. All she did was stand there, in beautiful clothes, with a beautiful body. This photograph is not taken with the male gaze. Anybody, male or female, with half a brain, can see that.
Also, can I just add that it’s actually impossible to be a 21st century fashion-follower who needs to wear a bra these days? All the fashion across the shops/brands are designed for flat-chested nymphs who need absolutely no support in the boob area. So, I have no idea why philstar.com (whoever they are) are so shocked that Emma is ‘bra-less’ (see headline above) because I’m willing to bet that nearly 85% of celebrity females rely on nipple pasties and tit-tape alone. I mean, have you seen how low some of those red-carpet outfit necklines go?
Talking as a non-celebrity, I’m going to get real with you here. I’m not looking for sympathy, nor am I looking for shock-value, I just want to have a real, honest and open debate with you all about what feminism means to me and how I combat it. And the one teensy niggle I have with what Emma Watson has said about feminism this week is that she doesn’t know ‘what her tits have to do with it’. They don’t. On a purely spiritual and idealistic level, of course they don’t. We have lumps of fatty tissue that allow us to feed new-born things. Great. Fine. But something I’ve found, since I’ve been 19/20+ is that it is really fucking hard to have big boobs and be seen as equal in the eyes of men. Those of you who know me may notice, now you think about it, that I always wear high-necked tops, and I always do up the very top button of a shirt. This is due to all the unnecessary and downright rude attention I would get, if I were to wear a scoop neck, or even a V-neck top (seriously, that shit about how it’s more flattering for big-busted women to wear V-neck tops is a total lie – it’ll make you look like a stripper). I’ve had enough 50-year-old men leer at me to last me a lifetime. At school and university, I got used to both male and female opinions of me suddenly changing whenever I wasn’t completely covered head-to-toe as was my default look: ‘Wow, you look good’ is code for ‘oh wait, you’ve got tits!’ – and my friend’s exclamations of ‘I didn’t know you had that figure, why do you cover it up?’ is roughly the same thing, albeit with insinuations that I’d look better if I didn’t cover up. I’ve had other, not so nice friends, tell me that my bra-size is definitely not a FF because ‘they don’t look anywhere near as big as mine’. I’m not getting into that argument with you, love I’m ashamed, not proud of what I’ve got, and you’ve effectively just complimented me by telling me I’m doing a great job of minimising my tits so I’m just going to leave now, ta.
I dress, most of the time, fairly androgynously. I love shirts, a vintage tweed jacket is my favourite item of clothing, and I rarely wear skirts/dresses these days. But this is mostly due to my fear of being recognised as a woman, as something to objectify. This recent photo of Emma Watson has confirmed to me that as soon as the world sees your tits, you are not worthy of your own opinion. You are for men only. When I was younger, I got away with it more, as when you’re young, you’re criticised for flaunting your body. As a young woman, though, in her mid-twenties, my stance is a strange one. I constantly feel like a fish out of water, like my fear of identifying as female is marking me out as undesirable amongst my peers. I’ve always been staunchly anti-marriage, as I can’t forget the age-old tradition it symbolises, of a woman being given by her father, to her husband. I am my own property. No man on this entire universe is capable of owning me. And the way I’ve achieved this is to make sure that none of them want to.
This. This is my feminism. For now, anyway. A desire to dissolve my personal gender, to exist outside of convention. I hope and pray that one day, I will have the confidence to be like Emma Watson and know that my body is nothing more than a body, and to know that only I can choose to be objectified or sexualised. But for now, as the backlash on this one, beautiful photograph has shown, the world isn’t there yet, and so neither am I.