Too good not to share: Paulina Porizkova’s op-ed in the New York Times about how America made her a feminist. Nearly as interesting as Porizkova’s sharp assessments of how women and sex are viewed in the different countries in which she’s lived and worked are the commenters who firmly believe that having been a model and thus having at times been photographed in little clothing automatically bars her from being able to sincerely believe in political, social, and legal equality for women/all genders.
We had this discussion in class last semester over the controversy about whether anyone can take Emma Watson seriously as a feminist because Vanity Fair printed some alluring photographs of her. There were some in my class who agreed that because we had seen skin, Watson was colluding in the relentless media objectification/sexualization of women and therefore could not be truthfully considered someone who disapproves of discrimination, violence against women, sexualization, i.e., a feminist.
My question was and is: who owns the woman’s body? The woman, or the people looking at her? Perhaps it’s a simplistic take on the situation, but that answer, to me, decides who can carry their feminist card, and who has to turn theirs in.
Meanwhile, here’s a book to put on pre-order: A Brief History of Feminism by Patu and Antje Schrupp, coming soon from MIT Press. If you read it, consider writing a review!