Feminism / Sex

Feminists, Sex Is Not Your Enemy!

Once again Twitter is afire with the misplaced wrath of a thousand frustrated feminists. One woman’s call to action has seemingly lit a rage beacon that continues to draw in angry women, like moths to a flame. This summer author and actor Lucy Anne Holmes decided  to pick up where other female campaigners have left off, calling for a ban on that Oh So British of institutions, the Page 3 girl.

Unsurprisingly, Holmes has garnered an awful lot of support from both regular women and high profile female figures. Her petition is trending across the internet and prominent feminists are (again) re-hashing all of the reasons why they think bare breasts are so bloody harmful.

It’s been done before and it’ll be done again, and again, and again. The only thing feminists hate more than the men who read Page 3, are the girls who appear on it. What did Holmes claim as her motive for this petition?

She saw the proudly pert nipples of a Page 3 nymph alongside newspaper images of Victoria Pendelton, Jessica Ennis and Rebecca Addlington. “It made me really sad,” she said, “At a time when women’s strength was being celebrated, this image seemed starker than ever.” Though it sounds like a bold, feminist statement, what Holmes is really saying is that Page 3 girls do not deserve the same respect as women who keep their clothes on for a living.

And lo did feminism kick itself mightily in the arse.

Banning Page 3 won’t make society equal. It won’t make women happier and it won’t make men less sexist. The only thing that this campaign does do, is demean women who haven’t made the ‘right’ choice. The ‘right’ choice seemingly being the separation of sex and the female form.

Ban pornography! Ban strip-clubs! Ban Page 3!

‘Ban it!’ It’s the feminist’s rallying cry. If you don’t like it, it must be wrong. If you don’t agree with it, it must be sexist. If men like it, it’s definitely got to go.

Feminists, it’s okay to be looked at. It’s okay to be sexual. You cannot control the way that men view the female form but you can change how you look at your own. Sexual objectification has its place in society and it should undoubtedly stay there, because women deserve respect and they deserve equality. They deserve to be seen as more than bodies. But they cannot be wholly separate from them, nor should they wish to be. You cannot stamp out male sexuality and replace it with female equality. It will not work.

The girls who choose, and choose is an important word, to model for Page 3 do so because they wish to make money from their own bodies. Society does not tell them that that is their only option, no matter how many feminists claim it does. These girls are not helpless, they are not duped into posing for something that is secretive or hidden. For good or for ill, they make a choice.

Too many feminists find it too easy to forget that feminism is all about choice. Not the right choice, but the ability to have a choice in the first place. How can you realistically compare a Page 3 model to an Olympic athlete and simply say that one is worthier than the other? We can’t all be athletes. We can’t all be politicians or fucking rocket scientists. We can’t all live up to your lofty feminist ideals. But that’s okay. Because we’re making our own choices, our own mistakes, we’re learning our own lessons.

Page 3 girls, I salute you. Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not good enough. The phrase ‘It’s your body, do with it what you will,’ should apply to all of us. Be bare breasted and proud, if that’s your choice.

Page 3 girls, your tits don’t offend me.

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3 thoughts on “Feminists, Sex Is Not Your Enemy!

  1. Is choice really the highest aim of feminism? Choice within the psychologically coercive sphere of patriarchy?! It is fair to assert that women happily playing their game of ‘choice’ and pandering to male fantasy should be no less valued than any other woman. After all, the defining aim of feminism is equality. Page 3 culture is a symptom of society’s ills, too deeply rooted to simply have its manifestations arbitrarily prohibited. But those who buy into page 3 are exercising a very superficial kind of right, and one which reinforces female sexuality as the passive object of the male gaze. To criticize it (not the women doing it, but their real reasons for doing it) by no means draws a line between sex and the body. It simply alerts us to the fact that female sexuality should not be stripped of all its humanity, all but the body itself.
    Inside every feminist there’s a woman dying to be a sex object. The difference between the feminist and the non-feminist is that that is not all she wants to be.

    • “Inside every feminist there’s a woman dying to be a sex object. The difference between the feminist and the non-feminist is that that is not all she wants to be.”

      I’m going to steal/adopt that as my life’s mantra! 🙂 Wonderfully profound, my meagre argument is somewhat humbled. The day we manage a suitable balance between the two is the day we come within the grasp of equality, I think.

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