Features

Sorry, but I don’t think feminists can fight the male gaze by baring their breasts

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

Imagine that you have stepped back in time to the 1970s. Feminists are out on the streets of London protesting against the Miss World competitions. There you meet a sleazy men’s magazine publisher who tells you he has a new idea for getting women to show men their breasts. He’s not going to offer them money or fame like Playboy or Penthouse. No, he’s going to get them to take off their tops in the name of women’s liberation. ‘I have seen the future of feminism,’ he tells you, ‘and it has great tits!’

Naturally you think: this man is insane! Surely no woman would fall for that? Wrong. Not only did they, but the link between showing your breasts and serving the feminist cause didn’t come from men but from women themselves! How’s that for insane?

I call it flaunt-it feminism. A key moment in its history was the founding of Femen — a radical feminist protest group of ‘brave topless female activists’ created in the Ukraine in 2008. Their motto and means are summed up thus: ‘Our mission is protest. Our weapon is bare breasts.’

They are the ones behind the first ever International Topless Jihad Day, two years ago. One Femen member was quoted as saying, ‘Our tits are deadlier than your stones.’ It would be funny if women weren’t actually being stoned to death and cartoonists shot dead. But for sheer flaunt-it feminism lunacy you can’t beat the woman in Dresden last year who stripped off her top as an anti-fascist protest to reveal a slogan praising Bomber Harris on her breasts. It read: ‘Thanks Bomber.’

Bare breasts are still at the forefront of the battle against sexism and most recently the publication of naked pictures of girlfriends (revenge porn) and celebrities who have had their phones or emails hacked like Jennifer Lawrence. The ideological justification has been provided by the Guardian. There you can find its ideological champions like veteran feminist Joan Smith, who not long ago wrote that ‘Posing nude is one of the ultimate feminist acts.’


The Guardian, in the name of feminism, recently provided sexy pictures of a naked blonde and her breasts. The pin-up was Emma Holten, a Danish journalist who had been the victim of ‘revenge porn’. (Her ex-boyfriend published naked pictures of her online four years ago.) Holten has been receiving nasty comments and emails ever since and decided that enough was enough; it was time to fight back. So what did she do? Write a complaint to Google? Name and shame her odious ex-boyfriend? No. Holten arranged to have photos of her breasts taken and then posted them online! It’s a curious logic, this — fight pictures of naked women with more pictures of naked women.

GERMANY-FEMEN-PROTEST
Woman’s rights organization FEMEN protest against the execution of a woman in Iran in front of the Iranian embassy in Berlin Photo: Getty

The movie actress Jennifer Lawrence has likewise decided to fight nudity with nudity. When last October naked photos of her were posted online without her consent, Lawrence told Vanity Fair magazine she was the victim of a ‘sex crime’. Now that she has consented to appear naked in Vanity Fair (with a boa constrictor covering her private parts), Lawrence defends her actions thus: ‘It’s my body and it should be my choice.’

For Holten, Lawrence and the flaunt-it feminists, choice is everything. The theory is that when a woman chooses to take off her top, she is magically transformed from ‘passive object’ of the male gaze to active ‘autonomous subject’. But the choice argument reduces publication of naked breasts to an act of copyright infringement that has nothing to do with sexism.

And I hate to spoil the party but I suspect that her consent doesn’t change anything as far as men are concerned; that male gaze is still happily pointed at the new Holten and Lawrence-approved photos. As far as men are concerned breasts are breasts, and they’re likely to leer. Even right-on feminist men of the Guardian persuasion are going to look, because Holten’s consent means they now have permission to look and still be good feminists. It’s a kind of Page 3 titillation for people who despise Page 3.

Premiere Of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" - Red Carpet
Jennifer Lawrence Photo: Getty

Feminist academics provided the vocabulary — terms like ‘empowerment’ and ‘autonomy’ — for the flaunt-it feminists of today. But it was Madonna who in the 1980s brought the idea into pop culture and public consciousness. It reached the point where you could justify any degrading and sexist image of a woman in the name of empowerment. When Madonna was confronted with claims that appearing in a video wearing a neck manacle and crawling on all fours degraded woman, her defence was simple: ‘But I chained myself! I’m in charge!’

The same defence has been taken up by Page 3 girls, lap dancers, porn workers, prostitutes and female pop stars. Empowerment is the big buzzword in the debates surrounding the film Fifty Shades of Grey. According to director Sam Taylor-Johnson the story is all about ‘empowerment’ — which might seem counter intuitive given that it concerns a girl who is made powerless for male pleasure. Not so, claims Taylor-Johnson, ‘It is all her choice… all decisions she clearly made. That’s the message I want people to walk away with.’

But choice never exists in a vacuum. Women choose to strip off for Page 3, have the breasts enlarged, their vaginas tightened and all sorts of things the flaunt-it feminists would claim are symptoms of a sexist society that seeks to exploit women. Their argument begins and ends with a woman’s right to choose — they never stop to consider that one woman’s empowerment is another man’s erotic pleasure.

I first grasped this with the release of the film Basic Instinct in 1992. There’s the infamous scene where Sharon Stone’s character is being questioned by the police and she opens and crosses her legs, revealing quick flashes of her pubic hair. Some academic feminists — like Camille Paglia — claimed it was an ‘empowering moment’ that was frightening to men — but my friends and I just kept replaying that scene over and over again and squealing with delight.

And that’s what I expect still happens today when women flaunt their breasts in the name of feminism. When five members of Femen staged a topless ambush on Vladimir Putin at the Hanover trade fair in 2013, he merely smiled and gave the protesters the thumbs up sign, while the assembled men looked on with bemused pleasure. Holten is still being ogled and googled. And God knows what men are thinking about the naked Lawrence and her snake. It’s time the flaunt-it feminists really served the cause of feminism — and put them away for good.

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Show comments
  • i love people

    Atleast get your facts right before writing such a lenghty article. Jennifer’s vanity fair photoshoot was done tastefully and artsy way and was done before her private pics were stolen.She was not fighting nudity with nudity. Its sad and stupidity(sorry) from your side to think that both r same. Her photoshoot reveals nothing, while her stolen ones are complete violation of privacy and a sex crime (ACC TO US LAWS UNDER PANDERING OF OBSCENITY).

    • WFB56

      If the article is too long, don’t finish it; just a suggestion.

    • BlackArrow

      Are you really that pretty, ilp? And may we see more of your beauty?

      • Wessex Man

        Yeah get your tits out.

    • Mc

      How do you define “tastefully and artsy way”?

      Also, do you hold the same opinion about the likes of Madonna or Kiera Knightly taking their cloths off?

  • BlackArrow

    Neither women in the photos have Miss World assets, so don’t waste our male visual space.

  • MacGuffin

    The women of Femen are not doing anything so tiresome as fighting ‘the male gaze’. They are the only group in Russia brave enough to stand up to Putin. Mock not the bare-titted lovelies of Femen!

    • Solage 1386

      They’re Putin their tits on show in Brest-Litovsk next week.

      • Jody Taylor

        Putin on the Titz? Sorry!

    • Jody Taylor

      Not to mention going out in the freezing weather, with all its unpredictable consequences for both males and females!!!

  • Dan O’Connor

    Not very good in-depth journalism. No activist group exist without funding from geo-political interest groups. The anti-Putin Femen / Pussy Riot rent a demo are funded and pointed in the required direction by the ZioNeoCon robber baron oligarchs as part of its long term psy-ops war against Russia . It’s the same international geo-political criminal syndicate who armed and trained Al Queda to fight the Russians, removed Saddan Hussein , imported Al Queda to fight the Serbs in Kosovo ,, eliminated Ghaddafi , destabilised the Ukraine, armed and shipped Muslim radicals from Lybia over to fight Assad and created ISIS , ( with Senator McCain as the lobby’s useful goy front man.
    Now who could possibly be feeling miffed about Russia’s palliness with Serbia, Iran and Syria. Maybe the Three Amigos , Saudi Arabia, Israel , and the US Israel lobby ?

    Is there some kind of immutable universal law of physics that makes that and impossibilty ?

    • Ivan Ewan

      Dan, why don’t you start your own blog?

      That way you could expose the eeeevil Jewish plot without any of us having to read it.

      • Cobbett

        Soros is linked to Pussy Riot and Femen…but apparently he dumped Femen after they set up a chapter in Israel…oh, he’s Jewish.

        • Ivan Ewan

          Soros is a non-Zionist, and he props up a lot of anti-Zionist causes.

          Not surprising, for a Nazi collaborator.

          So I think you’re lying about that.

          • Damaris Tighe

            In a recent comment I accused a poster of being able to make even an article on the benefits of a low fat diet about Israel & the Jews. On this thread they’ve gone one better & found a way of making bare breasts about the joooos.

          • Des Demona

            You clearly haven’t read the Protitalls of Zion.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Ah yes, the Great Jewish T*ts Conspiracy.

          • Des Demona

            As celebrated at Yom Titpur?
            Oh let’s stop it now 🙂

          • Damaris Tighe

            I’ve just read that it’s Titim at the moment.

          • Ed  

            Titter.

          • Des Demona

            Was that in an article by Breastaman Netanyahu?

          • Damaris Tighe

            Enough already!

          • MikeF

            If we are going to indulge in that sort of thing what about Bar Titzvah.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Oi!

          • AJH1968

            Those girls really look hungry and angry: guess a low carb diet is not all it’s cracked up to be.

          • Damaris Tighe

            You prefer the rubenesque type then, AJH?

          • AJH1968

            My girlfriend is skinny, but she eats like a horse ( hope she’s not reading this) and she is not angry ( The Gods must like me)

          • Damaris Tighe

            Lucky girl ….

          • Wessex Man

            God blessed women with the devotion of menwhatever their size or shape.

          • Damaris Tighe

            You sweetie!

          • Simon de Lancey

            Soros being a Nazi collaborator is just lazy right-wing propaganda

          • Newton Unthank

            From the same school of thought that brought us the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Well there’s also the niggling little inconvenient fact that it’s true.

          • Simon de Lancey

            You do realise that saying something is true doesn’t make it so?

          • Ivan Ewan

            What, you’ve lost the ability to look things up?

          • Simon de Lancey

            What, you’ve lost the ability to understand simple English?

          • Ivan Ewan

            ¿Que?

          • Newton Unthank

            It’s about as credible as the latest UKIP fantasy about Miliband being a secret Muslim.

          • Newton Unthank

            The smear was originally concocted by Steve Kroft of CBS in 1998 who wilfully misinterpreted an interview with Soros. It has since been repeated by those masters of black propaganda Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter amongst others.

            Not that that imbecile of a Kipper will read this or believe it but someone might.

          • Cobbett

            ”Dear followers, we are in a deep sh*t!
            Mister Soros found out that soon we are launching FEMEN Israel and stopped his investment in FEMEN.
            Please, donate! You can be our new Soros”

            https://www.facebook.com/731446533565306/photos/a.732386736804619.1073741828.731446533565306/744458202264139/?type=1

            Straight from the wh*res own facebook page = You got some cheek calling me a liar – you coward

          • Ivan Ewan

            FEMEN haven’t even stated that Soros stopped funding them because they’re protesting in Israel. It’s their implication, but I don’t think it runs true.

            Soros funds radical left wing causes. He owns big chunks of media stations that continue to paint Israel in a bad light. He thinks of himself as being a god among men. Not attributes I associate with a Zionist.

            Back to FEMEN for a moment, why should I believe anything they say in the first place? Most of what they do is agitprop.

            You haven’t got anything that looks like proof, and resorting so quickly to name-calling just shows I’ve got under your skin.

          • Cobbett

            Blah blah bah – also didn’t read your post. Silly girl that you are.

    • Mister Rible

      pathetic swivel-eyed loons will see an evil plotting zionist anywhere they go
      as if anybody, especially Jews and Israelis as a whole give a flying **** about FEMEN

      and fyi: Putin is PALS with Iran and Syria? The way I see it his foreign policies are extremely pro-Israeli, and pro-Russia, unlike the British anti-Israeli, pro-TERRORIST stand, which has gotten our country so much peace, love and happiness, ey?
      Or do you think it’s a coincidence that for years now, Iran keeps blowing up their own people, with their underground nuclear tests in one of the most seismic activity centres of the region, with Russia-bought materials?

    • Mister Rible

      oh look a dhimmi – so not extinct yet?

      shame

    • JEK68

      Created ISIS? Grow up.

    • Ed  

      Oh no! Jooooooooooz!

      Where’s my tin foil hat?
       

  • La Fold

    Why is it whenever I see any of these Femen demos in the news with their brostols out that they all seem to be rather and attractive and there are no fat women in them? Body shape fascists.

    • Mc

      You beat me to it. It’s probably because they’ve been brainwashed by the evil, mysogonistic press that believes women are worthless if they’re fat.

    • Feminister

      Because photographers and journalists are overwhelmingly male and sexist.

      • Jody Taylor

        What absolute rubbish. Check out any university and see the overwhelming numbers of females working the media today. And the thousands of girls eager to be models and, er, looked at. You’re living in the 18th century.

        • Feminister

          No idea why anyone invited that.

          Check out the statistics not anecdotes. The overwhelming majority of feature writers and photographers and editors are male. The papers are unambiguously sexist and prurient.

  • amcdonald

    A pedantic article on a great subject.

  • Steve Hopkins

    Thought it stood to reason that women who expose themselves like these protesters in the photo not only cheapen themselves but thereby cheapen their cause. Men are likely to be distracted from what they are trying to say by the way they are presenting. I couldn’t imagine any woman with any sense of the dignity of womanhood would want to be associated with them.

    • Solage 1386

      They’re just getting things off their chest.

    • MikeF

      It would take more than either of those two have to offer to distract me.

  • Helen of Troy

    But our whole age is cheap, tawdry, inclined to leer. I’m so accustomed to it — if certainly not inured — that I completely misread these lines just now, in an article search on JSTOR (Theories of the Novel Now):

    Did Jane Austen have a period? Did she have periods? How would we know if she did?

    My g-d, I thought. What’s next? Did Jane Austen sh-t? Well, yes, she did, and it’s nobody’s business! And then I realized that, mad as the contemporary world undoubtedly is, the article is actually about periodization — which is probably as dry as it sounds, but at least not outrageous. Jane need not turn in her grave after all. Not this time.

    • Jody Taylor

      No, but we can rely on the fabulously beautiful Helen of Troy to remind us!!

      • Helen of Troy

        Are you a reader/viewer of Austen, Jody? Like her, love her, don’t have time for her? Just interested. I’m on an Austen binge myself, but I don’t cast spells so to speak over those that don’t find her rewarding.

        • Jody Taylor

          I have read several of Austens novels, yes, and even taught some in secondary school (I’m retired now). None of her characters would ever behave like the ‘ladies’ (cough) in the picture at the head of this article!!!

  • Patrick Roy

    Sorry what is your point? Women bear breasts in protest as a form of shock and also it gains attention to the cause. Who turns up? The limp-dick press and they know that.

  • balance_and_reason

    The brunette has a perky rack…..

  • akrasia

    Getting your tits out in Berlin! Passe.
    Getting your tits out in Tehran? Go for it girls.

    • Solage 1386

      Titter ye not.

  • Cobbett

    I’m sorry but these wimmin are just begging for it.

    • Jody Taylor

      Clearly this comment is offensive and adds nothing to the discussion. Cobbett, didn’t you finish school?

      • Cobbett

        OOOOH – Get lost

      • Cobbett

        ”Finish school” Isn’t that where all these young girls take naughty selfies of themselves to show everyone? I missed out there.

  • Jody Taylor

    The way I see it, this story is all about yet more victimology. When will women realize that THEY THEMSELVES are mostly responsible for how people treat them and whether or not they’re respected? (Except for exploitation from the prostitution rackets which bedevil women from Eastern bloc countries who’ve come to the West.)

    • Feminister

      When it’s true?

      • Jody Taylor

        Spoken like a true victim!! You should stop listening to the carping of moral narcissists who do no good service to women by insisting they have the same rights to be offensive and behave as badly as the worst men in society. These women have bought into this treacherous myth and are finding out they have sold their souls to the devil in a Faustian pact few women of previous generations would tolerate.

        • Feminister

          You’re one of those people who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Sharon Stone’s flash of pubic hair in Basic Instinct, 1992, is out of date. In 2015 the hair would have to be shaved off. Women must now be hair-free in every nook & cranny or risk the disgust of the sophisticated male ‘gaze’. But, hey, women choose to do it. What price feminism?

    • Wessex Man

      stop it!

      • Damaris Tighe

        Never heard of the brazilian wax?

        • Wessex Man

          oh yes, a wonderful idea.

  • Mc

    Has anyone noticed that none of the Femen protestors are obese?

  • Des Demona

    They look a bit cross. Discovering you’re both wearing the same pants is no excuse for violence.

  • Fenman

    What the whole boob thing shows is the intellectual shallowness of the latter day feminist movement, and , as usual, The Guardinistas.
    As for Madonna she’s was only trying to earn a buck, like many an honest whore.

    • Snibbo

      Maybe the reason the boob thing is shallow is because “intellectual” feminists (I’d say the Guardianistas are in this camp not the boob one) have been silent about the problems faced by the majority of women in the world. How much intellectual depth do you really need to say women should not be circumcised, forced to wear a sack with slits for the eyes, murdered for going out after dark, stoned for adultery, forbidden to drive or raped then prosecuted for having an abortion?

      • Fenman

        Yep, precisely, a bunch of spoilt Western women who have it all, and think the key issue is they can dress provocatively but no-one shd stare, while the deep real issues are hardly mentioned. After all they are mainly in the 3rd world and in th eislamic world which of course can never be criticised.

        • Feminister

          Provocatively? Provoking what?

          Out of interest what other people’s clothes provoke you? Jews maybe? Help the Heros tee shirt? Disabled people who don’t hide their disabilities? Black people perhaps with all that other coloured skin on show. Or is it just female bodies that make you want to be rude and hostile to people?

          Spoiled you say?

          • Fenman

            Totally off the mark, I am not against people dressing as they will, but if its not for sale don’t flash it in the front window. If you dres as a nun people tend to think you are a nun, if you dress as a hooker what do expect people to think? Subject: Re: Comment on Sorry, but I don’t think feminists can fight the male gaze by baring their breasts

          • Feminister

            Sorry?

            Well let’s go with your obscene, illogical false equivalent of women’s bodies being shops, their sexuality being a product, men being customers who can’t be discriminated against, that flashing means something is for sale and that women can lock their bodies away without losing inalienable rights and liberties men take for granted shall we. Should shop keepers refrain from advertising if they don’t want to be victims of armed robbery?

            I don’t know why you imagine that women having female bodies in public means they are selling sex as prostitutes. And I simply cannot imagine what difference you think it makes to how you can treat them even if they are. You can’t help yourself to prostitutes’ bodies either sweetheart.

          • Fenman

            get over yourself and yr humourless political correctness. It is an old Northern saying. Subject: Re: Comment on Sorry, but I don’t think feminists can fight the male gaze by baring their breasts

          • Feminister

            Ah well if it’s an old Northern saying it can’t be misogynist.

            Wheres your sense of humour? Funny how men always lose their sense of humour as soon as the shoe is on the other foot isn’t it. I guess it’s more fun being the bully.

            Try fighting the male gaze along with your Delhi bus attitudes about women all by yourself, you don’t need women to tell you they are wrong.

    • Feminister

      Yes that’s right. You said it so it must be.

  • JSC

    Shhhh! Stop giving the game away!

    FEMEN don’t listen to a word they say, I think your protesting is very effective stuff. You truly are the face and breasts of modern feminism. In fact I happen to know there’ll be a hotbed of sexism, misogyny and patriarchy at my house next Friday where you can protest all night if you like. 😉

    • Feminister

      I love a bit of casual sexism, me.

      • JSC

        I wasn’t aware the Internet had a gender; it’s a shame it doesn’t have a kitchen.

  • Ambientereal

    Well, let´s recognize it one and for all, women love to show their bodies. Look at the development in bathing suits in the last decades, and you will see those models for women getting smaller (with the prices going up regardless of the savings in fabric) and those for men getting bigger. With normal costumes happens the same. Bare legs, deeper decolletage and so one. Those in the picture could have carried a poster where their complains could be more legible, but no, they had to bare their bodies.

  • TrishEm

    Finally! I’ve been saying this ALL ALONG.

  • akrasia

    They’re already on their knees.
    So whatever your idealogical/philosophical pursuasion,
    it sort of takes the sport out it.

  • global city

    that blonde bird is dead fit….is that what she wants us to notice?

  • ManOfKent

    Landesman is such a perv…….

  • jim

    Put ’em away luv. Problem solved. Fact is they’d be offended if you didn’t look too.

    • Feminister

      Would “they”? You’re like a woman whisperer, it’s uncanny.

      • jim

        You know you love it.

        • Feminister

          Oh my god, you read my mind too! This is getting eery.

          • jim

            Can you guess what I’m thinking right now?

          • Wessex Man

            no she’s having a brain lapse.

          • Feminister

            You’re experiencing an arrogance surge.

          • Feminister

            You’re thinking something ignorant yet oddly condescending and self satisfied.

            Did I guess right?

          • jim

            To be honest I’m wondering how someone who can’t spell “eerie” gets to call me ignorant. I wasn’t going to bring it up.Who wants to be a pedant about such things?On the other hand,there is such a thing as asking for it. You really are a bit of a harpy,aren’t you?

  • Zed largo

    Misandry, misanthropy, misogyny….all symptoms of an unwell mind distorts by hatred. Quite why it is that the media give a platform to women who despite their cognitive talents are nonetheless suffering from a psychoemotional problem with hatred baffles me. Would they give the same platform to misogynists or misanthropes? Feminism needs to boundary the barmy army of men haters from its ranks. Many of them are quite sick.

    • Feminister

      Yes dear

  • tolpuddle1

    There’s nowt so strange as Feminists.

    Nor so daft.

  • Gary Johnson

    ‘It’s time the flaunt-it feminists really served the cause of feminism — and put them away for good.’

    No, no you’re wrong don’t tell them that. I want to see more young ladies pert breasts and I believe like them that this is the best way for them to fight the patriarchy.
    Just don’t tell Catlin Moran as I’ve no wish to see hers.

  • danshays

    Can they at least hire actresses with nicer breasts?!

    • Feminister

      Why are men so utterly predictable?

      They see your attempts to deflect, divide and derail a mile off.

      • Wessex Man

        Power to the titties!

        • Feminister

          And yours.

    • Wessex Man

      you can’t have everything!

  • Feminister

    They’re reclaiming their bodies from male commoditisation to make them a political weapon in a country which acts as the brothel of Europe, it’s really not that complicated. The fact that you can’t see past the tits to the message is a risk they understand. They also understand that some people WILL read and understand the messages scrawled across their chests.

    The idea that the male gaze is fixed in stone is incorrect. Do you think Amazonian Indian men see breasts that women routinely do not cover and see the same thing western men do?

    And yes Femen are well aware that women’s bodies are not their own in Islamic countries and women pay a high price for having a female body and sexuality there. Hence the nudity and anger. Have you forgotten about the Tunisian Femen members? They are one of the few groups in the world to take this on with direct action.

    • Wessex Man

      take a long rest!

      • Feminister

        Shhh.

  • Feminister

    “It’s a curious logic, this — fight pictures of naked women with more pictures of naked women.”

    Only to somebody who doesn’t understand the logic of consent and ownership.

    • Wessex Man

      rest!

      • Feminister

        Stop telling other people what to do, eh? You aren’t in charge.

  • Feminister

    Does it occur to you, Cosmo, that straight, white men aren’t their only audience?

    That they only make up 10% of the world population, I know it’s easy to think they make up 90% of it given the amount of noise and attention they command? That there are other types of people in the world? That some off them have influence and different gazes and perspectives on women’s bodies?

    • Upright Man

      But if the audience is just people whose views already conform to the feminist ideology what is the point in protesting?
      Either you’re trying to convince ‘straight, white men’ (though I don’t know what skin colour has to do with it) and it’s not working, or you don’t care about their views at all and you’re just preaching to your own choir of screeching harpies.

      • Feminister

        Oh, you said screeching harpies. You don’t matter.

    • balance_and_reason

      If you think a black man gazes at a naked bird with different thoughts to a white man ….you are racist, naive and probably also smoking crack at your white man funded university.

      • Feminister

        How utterly limited your cultural imagination and knowledge is. If you think all cultural views of women and their bodies conform to the narrow confines of white, straight, male, Protestant capitalism then you live in bubble. You think that’s how Amazonian men view breasts, how tribal African men do, how Catholic men do, how pagan men do, how feminist men do, how celibate men do, how transsexual men do, how naturists do, how Eco warriors do, how Scandinavian men do, how gay men do, how empathetic men do?

        • Wessex Man

          You’ve got a serious case brain lapse going on there, best to stop and have a think before making such a fool of yourself.

          • Feminister

            Do be quiet.

        • balance_and_reason

          You have just covered about 1% of the global male population…classic naive socialist trying to legislate against reality and human nature….guaranteed to fail and cause damage to all parties in the process.

          • Feminister

            How women do?

          • Feminister

            1% of men are African, Amazonian, Catholic, pagan, feminist, gay, transsexual? No dear.

            Empathetic, yes.

          • balance_and_reason

            I include the men that fit in that strange subset you ‘define’ and also fall into the above premise you have dreamed up…..only in some A level sociology paper could such fatuousness flourish.

  • Feminister

    “Their argument begins and ends with a woman’s right to choose — they
    never stop to consider that one woman’s empowerment is another man’s
    erotic pleasure.”

    Who’s they? Every single feminist has not only stopped to consider it, they’ve considered it at great length in great detail. What you mean is, you’ve never stopped to consider what they’ve considered.

    Feminist arguments are a hell of alot more nuanced than that. Of course adult women have the right to choose and that right has to be respected, it doesn’t mean their choices are feminist ones or that you have to respect the choice they make. Nor does it mean that the context that they’re making their choices in is a free or fair one.

  • Feminister
  • Tremulous

    If I were a Human rights activist, I would concern myself with Human rights and well-being, not just women’s rights.

    • Feminister

      Which would be a pointlessly broad way of looking at things so you would miss the structures that affect humans because of their race, s*x, gender, sexuality, economic position, caste, creed, ethnicity, disability and so on. You’d be in very grave danger of assuming that the human rights defined by white, straight men were objective ones.

      • Tremulous

        I wouldn’t see it through a hierarchy of victimhood. And by splitting off into little groups, you dilute your effectiveness. Worse, you force people to focus and concentrate on these things. It becomes a tyranny of small differences.

        That’s what “privilege” is isn’t it. It’s me doing an audit of other people according to race, gender, sexuality, economics, caste, ethnicity, etc.

        Racists do that too don’t they.

        • Feminister

          It’s nothing to do with a hierarchy of victimhood. It’s to do with solving actual problems that are specific to specific groups within society. There is absolutely no point bringing male solutions to bear on women, they will only be marginally relevant to them and they will in all likelihood just exacerbate existing biased structures.

          It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking white men don’t have a gender or a race or a biased perspective on both problems and solutions, but this is a delusion. All of our structures in society were designed and built over a very long period of time (all of recorded and remembered history) when women were deliberately excluded from the decision making. Not only excluded literally but metaphorically. Their ideas and ways of being, thinking and doing were demonised and trivialised and sidelined and diminished. Women have absorbed this every bit as much as men,and it will be the job of generations to undo that.

          Part of undoing that is understanding how those structures operate and peeling back the onion. Our overt institutions are biased, but so are our tacit understanding and philosophies. We don’t even know what we don’t know about men’s and women’s true natures and needs.

          The job of real genuine equality is in unpicking all of that.

          You cannot hope to achieve genuine equality by using a template that is entirely biased in favour of one dominant group who has had a policy of social and psychological engineering for over 20,000 years.

          • Tremulous

            “It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking white men don’t have a gender or a race or a biased perspective on both problems and solutions”

            You are the one enforcing the bias. I don’t think about “women’s problems”, I think about a persons *ability to suffer*. I couldn’t care less if they’re male or female, black or white.

            The idea that there’s been a conspiracy going on for 20,000 years is the most incredible tripe.

          • Feminister

            No conspiracy to keep women out of power? No unified, social system designed specifically to exclude them from economic, political, legal, artistic, philosophical power you say? So they weren’t banned from philosophical schools and universities, from artistic guilds and colleges and societies, from speaking in church, let alone leading church, they weren’t blamed for the fall of man, God and his holy parliament in heaven and on earth weren’t exclusively male, they weren’t associated with the body and the body then denigrated while men were associated with the intellect and rationality and those things elevated? Convents weren’t under funded, under the direction of men and then weren’t purged, there was no purge of pagan women across Europe. They weren’t excluded from office or voting for office? Primogeniture didn’t exist? The divorce laws didn’t alliw men to sue for adultery but not vice versa? Domestic violence and marital rape and honour killing weren’t legal? Their weren’t banned from writing books or their books burned? Women who sought work in the towns during the middle ages weren’t flogged by bands of men on the say so of the government? Unchaste women weren’t branded and stigmatised? Women weren’t banned from work after marriage? They didn’t esrn two thirds the mans salary? They weren’t required to declare obedience and change their name upon marriage and become the property and chattel of men? The male pronoun didn’t encompass females. And a million other horrors and inequalities obvious and non besides.

            I’d be interested to know what you consider a conspiracy to be if not that?

          • Wessex Man

            I think you need to go and have a nice lie down in a dark room on your own for several hours.

          • Feminister

            I think you’re a condescending twerp. C’est la vie.

          • Airey Belvoir

            Time of the month maybe? Bless.

          • Feminister

            What a fool you are.

            But that is what the autustic hormone does the men.

          • cmflynn

            Excuse me for noticing but what were all the feminists doing to protest against the thousands of young females groomed and raped across the country for decades? It seems to me that only the BNP and EDL actually tried to draw public attention to what was going on. Feminists, to the last woman had a political agenda which caused them to look the other way. Shame on them all.

          • Feminister

            Protest against who? Men? Because that works so well?

            How about you don’t wait for the protests from women and just do something about inequality?

            While you’re at it, why don’t you protest about the fifty boys who were also victims but don’t make such salacious news?

          • cmflynn

            You’re trying to change the subject, probably because the answer is painful. It is obvious that feminists such as yourself are simply being used to promote a political agenda. When that agenda does not align with women’s welfare it is the latter which is ignored. Compare the careers of Ann Cryer and Harriet Harman. As early as 2002 Ann Cryer tried to protest against the grooming and rape of young girls in her constituency. Harriett kept quiet on the subject all through her time in government while speaking out loudly on ‘women’s rights’ which fitted in with the political agenda. Whose career flourished?

          • Tremulous

            Just a simple fact to show how stupid your argument is: A couple of hundred years ago I wouldn’t have been allowed to vote. I’m a man. The vast majority of people, male or female, haven’t had a vote across most of Human history.

            Silly moo.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    …Their argument begins and ends with a woman’s right to choose — they
    never stop to consider that one woman’s empowerment is another man’s
    erotic pleasure….

    Looking at these pictures, hardly!

    But the article completely misses the main point – the elephant in the room. The WHOLE POINT of baring breasts is to ensure press coverage (or maybe I should say, media exposure?).

    Feminist theory is just not of interest to the vast majority of females, never mind males. Waving a placard complaining about a beauty pageant will never get in the newspapers. In comparison, look at the publicity which the Spectator has provided – for free!

    Most of these stunts – hanging on a motorway bridge or climbing a power station chimney – are done solely to obtain press coverage. Women have an advantage here in that pulling a t-shirt off is a lot easier to arrange than breaking into a refinery, and a lot safer. And with your slogan scrawled across your mammaries, you and the press photographer have now both got the same aim in mind – getting the picture published!

    I recall that the superb and much-missed ‘Yes, Minister’ was on top of this. Do you remember the occasion when the minister’s daughter decided to hold a protest against badger-culling…?

    …But Humphrey couldn’t find a way to tell me the bad news. Extraordinary! First he told me there was going to be a 24-hour protest vigil by a girl student and her boyfriend in Haywards Spinney. I could see no problem in two irresponsible layabouts trying, and failing, to draw attention to themselves. And, like an idiot, I said so…..
    “Nobody’s interested,” I said. “Everyone’s fed up with these ghastly students. They’re just exhibitionists, you know.”
    “In this case,” remarked Sir Humphrey, “they seem to have something to exhibit. It is to be a nude protest vigil.”
    This did seem to present a problem. It would clearly attract considerable press interest, and could even get onto the front pages of the tabloids….

  • Wessex Man

    I agree with this type of women’s liberation always and it will always draw me to the cause!

    • Feminister

      Because it’s all about you.

  • balance_and_reason

    All is artifice…the gritted teeth as if being tortured….total PR b@llocks.

    • Wessex Man

      no not b@llocks definately not.

  • CheshireRed

    Apparently they strip down to their knickers, bare their breasts and daub lipstick slogans over them in order to be taken more seriously. No, really.

    • Wessex Man

      caught your attention though didn’t it!

  • amcdonald

    The new Femen book/manifesto is available from March 21.

  • Gerschwin

    Not with pancakes like that they won’t, need to see some cracking narks before I’m impressed.

    • Wessex Man

      Oh comwe on, have you never heard of more than a handfull and all of that?

      • Feminister

        Have you never heard about how men trivialise sexism?

        And how they quickly lose their treasured sense of humour when there’s a real risk of losing power and entitlement and transform from condescending comedy d*cks to high pitched whining psycho mobs?

        Do you imagine for one minute that you’re original?

    • Feminister

      Nobody cares about your b0ner.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    There is something seriously shocking about that picture.

    • Wessex Man

      when you work out what shocks you so seriously come back and let us all benefit from your thoughts.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    I’ve read; the idea is to make the breasts weapons, I suppose feminists who believe in this would be trying to use the very thing that many traditionally patriarchal organisations both fear and crave the most ie mummy and/or the sight of woman-unhood, in all her God given glory, for all the world to see.

    The great thing is there really should be no reason to prevent such tactics in a truly free world.

  • AndrewMelville

    The noose does nothing for me, but the bare breasts with hijab look is pretty hot. Let’s see more of this.

  • Feminister

    “And I hate to spoil the party but I suspect that her consent doesn’t change anything as far as men are concerned”

    Quite a confession there.

  • Feminister

    “The movie actress Jennifer Lawrence has likewise decided to fight nudity with nudity. When last October naked photos of her were posted online without her consent, Lawrence told Vanity Fair magazine she was the victim of a ‘sex crime’. Now that she has consented to appear naked in Vanity Fair (with a boa constrictor covering her private parts), Lawrence defends her actions thus: ‘It’s my body and it should be my choice’,

    Let’s hope she doesn’t really confuse Cosmo and tell him non-virgins can be raped.

  • Chamber Pot

    Lady bumps as WMDs.

    • mrsjosephinehydehartley

      Perhaps that’d explain why so many simply can’t stand the sight of lady bumps in public. All this trouble about in the world. It’s obviously all about women.

  • Innit Bruv

    I’m all for Femen-type protests!!

  • praxan

    Apart from feminister, where are all the female commentators? What, nothing to say? Of course, article content is all so embarrassingly on the money! Feminism indeed! Pack up now, put all your toys away, and go home please, everything will turn out just fine.

  • G26

    If today’s liberals will callously murder the unborn, why would anyone trust them with centralized power over medical care?

  • A really great article describing a concept concept that I agreed with more and more as I read the article, until you ruined it utterly and entirely with the last sentence.

  • Okanagan Naturist

    more excuses for men to stay arrested to high school development…. I mean aren’t you guys even a bit interested in what it really mens to have control, as a man, over your body and your thoughts???? Obviously not…just nursed back into media and the social norm of wards that the government has to care for!! And you wonder why women do just about anything to wake you guys back up and out of this juvenile state that you have been programmed into….. Try Naturism and renew your mind from the crap of TV and movies!! try self control it may get you something different! ??

  • Al

    Looks like a scene from Zombie movie!

  • Sun

    Can’t Feminist kill themselves? That way they’ll be absolved from the male gaze.

  • Paul Wray

    On the issue of protest against body perfection:
    1. The strictures on female beauty imposed by the fashion industry are driven more by women than by men.
    2. Men are attracted to a broader range of female body types than feminists will credit.
    3. Feminists fail to notice that women apply their own stringent standards when considering a man as a worthy mate. But that’s ok, because women have the right to decide, right? They won’t say ‘he was too fat’, or ‘too short’. They will say ‘eww he was so creepy’
    4. Above all else, feminists need to continue to believe that human sexuality is socially determined, and therefore much more plastic than is the case. If they begin to pay attention to the science, they would need to consider that social engineering is a far more complex affair than merely apportioning blame.

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