I know this has been talked about to death, but with the recent Demi Lovato debacle, this debate is rearing its ugly head again: can a woman be a feminist while posing “topless” or “scantily” for a photo spread?
It makes me sad to think that we need to define feminism, but I think we do. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” So, feminism is about gender equality. Being a feminist means that you believe in gender equality. Every gender can be a feminist.
So, does Emma Watson posing with only a cardigan to cover her top mean that she isn’t a feminist? Absolutely not. Feminism is about choice and equality. If Emma chooses to pose for a photograph with a cardigan covering her top, that is her choice. This choice does not mean she isn’t a feminist. People who argue that this photo means that Emma Watson isn’t a feminist… those people aren’t feminists.
Absolutely no one loses their shit when a man poses topless on the cover of a magazine. Charlie Hunnam (ugh, my fave) is showing more skin in his Men’s Fitness cover shoot than Emma Watson is in her Vanity Fair one. Why, then, is everyone losing their minds over Emma’s photo? There isn’t even a Goddamn nipple showing (and even that wouldn’t warrant this outcry). Let’s all relax.
The part that is so infuriating about this, really, is the old privileged white dudes shaming Emma for this choice she’s made.
I’m going to use Piers Morgan as an example, and will not hold against him the fact that he loves to attack my queen, J.K.. Morgan believes that Emma is counteracting her stance on feminism by having a photo like this come out. Brilliantly, when Morgan stated this, the talk show host he was with at the time looked at him like he was insane. Thanks, girl.
Russell Brand also weighed in on the subject with an open and enlightened mind:
I think Emma said it best when she said “I don’t know what my tits have to do with it.” Neither do I, Emma. If you want to wear a cardigan for a Vanity Fair shoot (which is far more than others have worn on the same magazine’s cover), then all the power to you.
Emma doesn’t need your permission to wear a cardigan in Vanity Fair. In many countries, she doesn’t even need your permission to walk topless down the street.
And neither do we.
Header image: Metro.co.uk.