I was on the bus home today when I saw a poster for a university Freshers night at a club in town. The poster was three almost entirely naked women who regularly feature in a U.K. mens magasine. They had their names in cartoon font, and various other cartoony shit going on around it. They were to be the esteemed ‘guests’ of the night, appearing as half-baked celebrities and - for the night - DJs.
I nearly blow veins in my head devoting thoughts to this. When I see posters, advertising campaigns, magasines, tv shows and websites consumed by this styling of women, it makes me wonder about the virgin / whore dichotomy. Where women can be either or - nothing in between. Women who earn money, and the few who earn fortunes, by appearing half or completely naked in mens magasines and ‘soft porn’ websites like, in alternative circles, SuicideGirls.com or even as far as BurningAngel.com, think that the time has come for women to stand side by side with men in games of power, respect, wealth, opportunity and achievement. Now that women have been able to vote for nearly 81 years in the U.K. there has been at least 3 or 4 generations where such changes can have transformed lives.
In less than two generations women have gone from fighting for their right to choose in Roe vs. Wade to wearing the Playboy bunny logo on their jewellery. You can take pole dancing classes as a form of exercise in gyms. Some women even find going to strip clubs empowering. I have been asked to go to strip clubs with and by women I know. To them, it is ironic. It defies the expected social standards and marks them out from ‘sissy girls’ who cant handle a ‘raw’ form of sexuality. They choose to be side by side with their male counterparts and engage in something that was once exclusively for men. If you can get his job, his pay, his chances, surely you can get his ideals?
They CHOOSE to be there. They CHOOSE to get naked in print or on the internet. Women have finally come to terms with their bodies as their own property and being, and no longer the possession of a husband or pimp. But getting naked all over again for the reason you believe that you have a choice in the matter doesn’t hide the fact that you’re STILL taking you clothes off for people to look at you, and opening up the virgin / whore dichotomy all over again. It serves to make young girls hate themselves and for men to consider you as an example of the vast majority. It makes it easier for men to go around calling you ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ at the drop of a breath because modernity dictates that you can act this way, if you so artfully choose. Because if you aren’t the girl who wants to take her clothes off, the girl who is quoted saying sexual things in order to make a statement about what YOU consider modern female sexuality to be, then you’re a prude who just doesn’t get the leaps and bounds that womankind has come in gaining equal rights and treatment.
Fuck these women.
Emily Wilding Davison did not die so that you can take your clothes off.
There is more to womanhood and female sexuality that being a ‘prude’ or a ‘slut’. There is no talent in getting naked. It is just too easy. You break no moulds, only reshape them. And if you realise this too, it doesn’t make you ‘old-fashioned’ or prudish. It makes you a women, and morever, a feminist. Even if you don’t conciously realise it.