Is Emma Watson anti-feminist for exposing her breasts?

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A heated discussion about what it means to be a feminist has broken out on social media in response to Emma Watson’s decision to partially reveal her breasts in a Vanity Fair picture shoot.

“She criticizes the sexualization of women and then indulges in self-sexification in her own art. “Hypocrisy,” tweeted radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Watson claimed there was a genuine “misunderstanding” about what it meant to be “anti-feminist” and that it “confused” her when people accused her of being such.

So, is it possible to be a feminist and wear skimpy clothing?

“Emma Watson has done more for women and young girls than most of us put together,” states Sam Smethers, the executive director of the feminist organization the Fawcett Society, which promotes women’s rights and gender equality.

“I don’t think any of us should be criticizing her just because she made that decision.

“She is a confident woman posing for a sophisticated picture. She is exercising her power without being taken advantage of. It’s a useful application of her body.”

The group behind the Sun’s appeal to discontinue featuring nude models on Page 3 of the newspaper, Sexist News, expressed its admiration for the former Harry Potter actor for “exploring and championing feminism having grown up in the public eye”.

It says that the controversy sparked by the picture shoot is “daft” and continues, saying that men’s fashion shoots are not a topic of discussion, regardless of how much nipple-grazing crochet they choose to wear.

“While no woman gets to dress herself outside of our society’s patriarchal bubble, this example just shows that someone like Emma Watson is going to face an even more impossible standard than many other women.”

20-year-old Girlguiding member Victoria Jenkinson feels Watson’s work advocating women’s rights has been “undermined” and that the shoot has been used as a pretext to “stir up a frenzy” around her.

“The shoot doesn’t suggest hypocrisy nor does it undermine her work as a feminist and we as women should be united in our fight for equality more than ever before,” she added.

As Emma says, detractors have missed the mark. I don’t understand why people think they can tell a woman what she can and cannot do.

“It should be acceptable for a woman to select her own path. In 2017, this is the essence of feminism.”

However, Dr. Finn Mackay, a feminism scholar at the University of West England, contends that feminism is a social justice movement and rejects the idea that it is about providing women “choice.”

“Emma’s saying feminism is about choice and the choice to do whatever you want, but that’s a nonsense,” she claims.

“Some women choose terrible things, some women choose to work for parties that deny women access to abortion, access to healthcare or mothers access to welfare.”

She does not, however, think that Watson’s Vanity Fair photo shoot indicates that she is not a feminist.

Her performing her job need not conflict with her feminist beliefs if she considers herself to be a feminist and supports the advancement of women’s rights.

“I think if she’s trying to say being in a photoshoot and getting your breast out is a feminist act, that’s a different matter.”

However, Dr. Mackay thinks that using the voice rather than the body to promote feminism is more beneficial.

“The most radical thing that women can do in this culture is keep their clothes on and open their mouths and make political points,” she claims.

The debate over Watson’s magazine photo session has raised issues regarding the definition of feminism.

However, feminists and equality groups argue that the discussion should be on the objectification of women and gender injustice.

‘Dig at feminism’

Ms. Smethers continues: “The real issue about all of this is the pressure on young women to look a certain way, to be judged on their appearance so if we are going to focus on anything that’s what I would be more concerned to be prioritised.”

Dr. Mackay wonders why the topic of discussion has shifted from women’s economic status and service cuts to a celebrity baring her breasts.

“A Hollywood celebrity flashing a bit of boob is r

eally the least of my worries,” she claims.

“It’s interesting that people only speak about it now and their real motivation seems to be to want to have a dig at feminism rather than to talk about the overall problems Hollywood has with objectifying women.”

“We really need to investigate why on earth this one fashion image has caused such outrage,” Sexist News continues. This is not to argue that pictures of celebrities or fashion are unproblematic—quite the opposite.

“As always, the emphasis is on what a woman ought to or ought not to do, rather than how our society consumes, polices, and presents women’s bodies and criticizes their behavior.

“We need to challenge these things, not the individual women stuck in the system.”