July 19, 2024

America made this supermodel a feminist

Too good not to share: Paulina Porizkova’s op-ed in the New York Times about how America made her a feminist. Nearly as interesting as Porizkova’s sharp assessments of how women and sex are viewed in the different countries in which she’s lived and worked are the commenters who firmly believe that having been a model and thus having at times been photographed in little clothing automatically bars her from being able to sincerely believe in political, social, and legal equality for women/all genders.

We had this discussion in class last semester over the controversy about whether anyone can take Emma Watson seriously as a feminist because Vanity Fair printed some alluring photographs of her. There were some in my class who agreed that because we had seen skin, Watson was colluding in the relentless media objectification/sexualization of women and therefore could not be truthfully considered someone who disapproves of discrimination, violence against women, sexualization, i.e., a feminist.

My question was and is: who owns the woman’s body? The woman, or the people looking at her? Perhaps it’s a simplistic take on the situation, but that answer, to me, decides who can carry their feminist card, and who has to turn theirs in.

Meanwhile, here’s a book to put on pre-order: A Brief History of Feminism by Patu and Antje Schrupp, coming soon from MIT Press. If you read it, consider writing a review!


One thought on “America made this supermodel a feminist

  1. Similarly odd are the people who think they can decide what a particular woman can or cannot enjoy with regards to her sexuality. That is, they believe they have the right to judge whether a woman can believe in gender equality if she also likes anything other than missionary sex for procreative purposes only. It’s the continuing problem of believing that women aren’t capable of holding more than one concept in their heads at a time and also of knowing how to prioritize them. Srsly.

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