Wow okay so here’s a thing: Emma Watson was on the cover of Vanity Fair (which included a very lovely photo shoot), and in one of her photos, she is wearing a jacket with nothing on underneath. Mainly, you can tell she is a human woman with breasts.
And this is newsworthy I guess because a radio journalist used it to throw some shade Watson’s way, mainly in the form of a tweet that said, “She complains that women are sexualized and then sexualizes herself in her own work. Hypocrisy.”
Emma Watson responded that the remark was “a fundamental and complete misunderstanding of what feminism is” and that “feminism is about equality and it’s about choice . . . [it] is not a stick with which to beat other women.”
And, like, duh. For what I think is the millionth time (this year), feminism has nothing to do with what somebody wears — unless it’s a t-shirt that says, “I love the patriarchy” — or how someone chooses to present themselves. And I say this as someone who, high on being introduced to feminism back in like, 2010-2011 (I was late to the party), rode the second wave hard and shamed women who didn’t dress exactly like me, which is very embarrassing and gross. And I bring up because in 2014, Watson did the same thing and said Beyonce wasn’t acting feminist because the videos for her self-titled album depicted “such a male, voyeuristic experience of her” — a thing that’s coming back up in the wake of Watson’s defence of self.
So maybe let’s use this as a #teachable #moment. First, it is important to acknowledge that there are moments in which we say very stupid things that stem from ignorance and over-enthusiasm-for-something-we-haven’t-fully-come-to-understand. I, for one, have been such an idiot. I have said and written things that have no business being said or published, and I have said them thinking “OH YES I GET THIS” when I was like, a small child who had no idea about anything. And while me saying this now doesn’t excuse any of it, I am acknowledging it because look: maybe 2017 Emma Watson has come to recognize that 2014 Emma Watson was in the wrong. Maybe. I don’t know. I am throwing this out there because a lot can change in three years, like one’s young-person (and inaccurate) opinions.
Second, I guess we’re all still very shocked that women have breasts? This is a thing we’re still navigating, I guess? Oh boy. Okay! Well spoiler alert: breasts exist, and if someone wants you to see more of them than another person does, that has nothing to do with anybody but the owner of them. That’s literally it. Boobs versus no boobs do not a feminist make. I’m tired of having this conversation and I’m also embarrassed that we’re still having it in the year of our lord 2017. Grown-ass women doing whatever they want in/with their grown-ass bodies is not the basis for a feminist debate unless the same women are policing somebody else. (Enter: Watson’s 2014 comments that, again, we’ve just gone over.)
So are we good? Is there anything anybody else would like to add? No? We did it? We solved everything? Wonderful! I’m going to go eat a scone. (Feel free to debate whether or not that makes me a feminist or not.)