“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.” – Sojourner Truth
It is Women’s month in South Africa and it got me thinking about the nude form of feminism; the boob swinging, butt twerking, nude selfies. This jaw dropping, slap in the face stance on feminism blew up a couple of months ago. It was unleashed by Ms Kim Kardashian in an all nude boob popping, zap sign pic on social media. Her defence for the visual art was that it represented a feminist act of defiance. Her intention was that her body should be valued as a woman and according to her there ain’t nothing wrong with public display of nudism.
The new age form of feminism hardly requires any fist pumping, sit- in, hunger strikes and feet shuffling. Bell Hooks a feminist at heart said “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression.” As currently depicted we dish up our bare necessities to stimulate what form of debate?
I fail to comprehend how a mother of two displaying her birthday suit in social media is a just cause for feminism. It got me thinking about some of the advocates of feminism in history, individuals who remind me that I don’t have to resort to breaking down barriers in my birthday suit.
- Julia Roberts walked barefoot at the 2016 Cannes film festival as an “act of militant feminism” and according to the French edition of the gala magazine she had dared the unthinkable. This act was in response to the women who were turned away the previous year for not wearing heels. As for the unequal wardrobe guidelines Kristen Steward was quoted as saying “things have to change.”
- Malala Yousafzai will forever be remembered as the girl who stood up for education and her vocal tenacity may have been distracted by a bullet by the Taliban, however that did not deter her from championing for educational equality.
- Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich were the ladies who made wearing trousers a right for women as it was for men.
- Mary Wollstonecraft, Amelia Bloomer, Simone De Beauvoir, Alice Paul, Betty Friedman, these women were revered for their literature on gender equality, suffrage and questioned the patriarchal system.
- Lucy Stone kept her maiden name after marriage as a symbol of individuality.
- Beyonce brought on the feminist musical, feet stomping, fist pumping “Run the world”. It was sexy, tasteful, and intellectually stimulating.
We always complaining that as women we are not valued, that we are viewed as curves and ass and nothing more and I believe with the nude we clearly at this level losing the plot. A gentleman friend of mine once pointed out that he’s tired of this feminists debate 50/50, but guess hearing that from a guy is expected cause how many of us sit on the stands and act coach at a soccer match? Well coach should have used player A rather than player B, or that coach has no idea what he’s doing I could do better. The idea here is that when we are withdrawn from the problem we become disconnected, and as a result find it difficult to comprehend the severity of the problem at hand.
In many countries today woman are still ostracised and inequality is the norm. Women can’t renew visas without husbands consent, unequal pay scales, women can’t drive, women can’t work, women can’t attend schooling.
These forms of unfair and unjust systems are part of the feminist fight against feminism and I fail to comprehend how flagging a zap sign in my naked glory will aid in breaking down these walls of injustice. The African women’s cultures entail walking around topless in our cultural regalia be it Zulu, Venda, Seswati to name a few, I guess we have been channelling this fight a step ahead if flashing boobs is the way to go by.
Margaret Thatcher once said she won’t die washing a tea cup hence in my opinion as women we should aspire to being more than our physicality, that we should love and embrace ourselves and there are better ways of raising the ante on feminism without channelling nudism.