Feminism isn’t about covering up

BY DEEANNA ROLLINS

Define feminism? OK. Feminism is advocating for women’s rights. Or, as Emma Watson said: “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is … about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.”

Did you see the word breasts written in either of those definitions anywhere? No? Me either.

“I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it,” she said. “It’s very confusing.”

In early March, images from Watson’s photo shoot with Vanity Fair were released and to the surprise of many, they received backlash. Why? Because her breasts were partly exposed for one of those 11 photos released and some people believe that you can’t be a feminist if you expose your breasts to the public.

Who are the critics who are saying this? Obviously they think that they know everything there is to know about feminism. Well, they obviously don’t. They seem to think that feminism means that women can’t show off their bodies, even if it’s for art and are completely non-sexualized.

“(The photo) felt incredibly artistic,” said Watson. “I’m so thrilled about how interesting and beautiful the photograph was.”

Emma Watson saw the photo the way it was meant to be seen. She wasn’t sexualizing her body, nor was Tim Walker, the photographer. It was purely meant for artistic purposes.

There are campaigns in the world like #FreeTheNipple that other famous faces, like Miley Cyrus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna, have participated in, and nobody makes a big deal out of it.

You know who else “frees their nipples?” Breastfeeding mothers. So, if one of them calls themselves a feminist, are they going to be told the same thing as Watson? That their breasts can’t be out if they’re a feminist, even if it’s to feed a child?

So, let me get this straight. I’m OK to flaunt my body and “free my nipple” as long as I don’t call myself a feminist, right? It’s OK for male feminists to be nude, but not for women, correct?

“I received my black belt in karate at age 15 and had breasts the whole time,” said Sarah Passmore, an advertising and marketing student at Sheridan College, in a post on Facebook. “I can read books and study my craft while still having breasts, I can be an electrician, a mother, a CEO, a doctor, a cheerleader, a homemaker, an athlete, a salesman. I can be anything I want to be.”

Let’s go back to that first definition of feminism. “It’s about equality.” Meaning that women and men are equal. Meaning that if men can be naked, so can women. Meaning that if men can be prime minister, so can women. Meaning that all people, no matter their gender, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion are equal to one another.

Period.

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