The former Harry Potter star has been attacked for showing her breasts in a Vanity Fair photo shoot. To which one can only respond: how misguided is that?
Emma Watson was on the radio yesterday morning.
The Harry Potter star had been attacked on social media, for 'exposing her breasts' in a Vanity Fair photo shoot.
Emma, who is an activist in the HeForShe campaign, which encourages men to become advocates for feminism, was accused of betraying the ideals of feminism, by participating in the photo shoot, carried out by the fashion photographer Tim Walker.
In truth the shots were not very revealing at all. But that seems to be neither here nor there where social media trolls are concerned.
“It just reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is,” she responded, in a radio interview. "Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing.”
The pictures are widely available online. Looking at them, you’d have to ask what sort of a fucked-up world we are living in, that people can attack an individual woman in a nasty and vindictive way, for something so – well, so anodyne?
Which is not meant as a put-down. The shots are tasteful and, in the ordinary, everyday sense of the word, flattering. There is nothing gauche or in-your-face ‘sexy' about them either.
The only way in which these Emma Watson shots might be deemed to be politically ‘wrong’ is that you can see parts of the actress’ breasts. How terrible!
Now by what criteria is that supposed to be anti-feminist? What bizarre new form of prudishness has taken hold that she can be attacked on that basis?
Women strip off on the beach all the time. You can see their breasts. It is perfectly normal, something only a fool would start throwing accusations of betraying feminism about. So what is supposed to be the difference here?
Male actors are frequently photographed with their tops off. So are rock ’n’ roll stars. If Emma Watson is ‘betraying feminism’, what are those men – from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Soulja Boy – doing to ‘men's liberation'? Deflating it?
But the bigger question is this: what is wrong with a woman deciding that she will do something sexy or erotic if that is what she wants to do? Or to put the boot on the other foot, what would be wrong with a man doing something sexy? Are we really trundling back to a society that wants to suppress sex?
Thankfully not everyone has joined the thought-police.
"Emma Watson has done more for women and for young girls than most of us put together," Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality and women's rights, told BBC. "So I don't really see that just because she's made that decision, any of us should be criticising her. She's an empowered woman who is posing for a very tasteful image. She's not being exploited, she doing it in a controlling position. It's a positive use of her body."
And Sam Smathers was not alone: numerous women have spoken up for her. But what even those expressions of support can’t hide is that a new kind of bigotry has taken root and – like a lot of other boorishness – is being ventilated in personalised attacks against individuals online, and on social media.
There are those out there – women and of course men too – who want to dictate what women can and can’t wear. The new prudes want to prevent women from expressing themselves. Like the old predominantly male prudes of various religions, they want propriety to rule.
Emma is, of course, right in her response. The right to choose, in the broadest sense, is what feminism seeks to enshrine. Control of your own body. Control of your look. Control of your destiny.
Should women be forced the wear the hijab? Most certainly not. Should women be entitled to wear the hijab if they choose to? For sure. It is about the freedom to make your own decisions.
There are many different strands to feminism. By far the most important aim of the movement is full, unqualified equality of opportunity in education, in work and in pay. That in itself would bring an end to a male-centred, paternalistic way of looking at the world and of organising society.
That has to be the primary goal. But feminism is also about establishing women’s equal right to dress exactly as they want to, to put clothes on or take them off as they see fit and not to be beholden to anyone for their personal choices. Feminism is not about stupidly narrow-minded options being forced on anyone, male or female. And it is certainly not about a hopelessly old-fashioned anti-sex prudishness.
The new moral police want women to deny their sexuality. They want to intimidate women in general, to prevent them from being playful about sex. And, as the treatment of Emma Watson confirms, they are particularly hell-bent on bullying women who feel sufficiently confident and empowered to publicly express anything to do with the erotic into submission to their new orthodoxy.
If you want to talk about a betrayal of feminism, look no further.
The Government needs to put plans in place now to deal with the prospect of a prolonged weak sterling currency vis-à-vis the euro.Read More
Almost 170 defendants under the age of 18 faced drug related offences in court during the first five months of this year alone, Hot Press can reveal.Read More
Half-light is the name of Rostam's debut album, which will be out on 8 September. “It wasn't until I had almost finished this album and was trying to decide what I should call it that I took the time to look up the word ’half-light’,” Rostam says of the album’s title.Read More
The frontman for Bon Iver shared footage from a jam-packed, busy studio last night.Read More
The singer is in a jubilant mood this morning after she won her sexual assault case against an arrogant and ill-mannered DJ Mueller, who disgustingly groped her bottom at a photo taken as part of a public meet-and-greet event back in 2013Read More
Harrison Ford's character was killed off by his own son in his last appearance in the Star Wars franchise, but his beloved Han Solo character will be back in the next movie as a ghost!Read More
This is the third track to be released from the British's band impending second album, 'Visions Of A Life', which is due out on 29 September.Read More
The popular Wild Atlantic Way village of Doolin is readying itself for an influx of Craft Beer aficionadas and ‘roots music’ enthusiasts as it prepares for the sixth annual Craft Beer & Roots Festival, which takes place on the last weekend of the month (25-27August).Read More
This is something all dyed-in-the-wool fans of the King will absolutely love: a pop quiz with a twist...Read More
Hard Working Class Heroes have announced their line-up for HWCH17.Read More
Tickets for all three of LCD Soundsystem's Olympia Theatre shows next month sold out in the blink of an eye.Read More
The concert included performances from Future and Jeremih, as well as a message of support from Barack Obama.Read More
The Oscar winning actress Brie Larson reveals that she almost walked away from her acting career before appearing in the movie adaptation of Room by Emma Donoghue...Read More
The growing fear of Brexit is already having a negative impact on tourism in Ireland, with the latest figures showing a dramatic decrease in the number of UK tourists visiting our shores this summer.Read More
After a couple of sold-out Irish shows last year and headline sets at Sea Sessions alongside a sell-out at The Galway Arts Festival, Badly Drawn Boy, or Damon Gough as he’s known to by his Mum, makes a return to Dublin for an exclusive show.Read More
EDX continues to celebrate 25-Year milestone with new single 'Daybreak'.Read More
There will be (metaphorical) Sten guns in D2 in October when that riotous day is recalled.Read More
The inaugural bash takes place in Limerick from October 5-15.Read More
He'll be treating RTÉ lyric FM listeners to ten hours of eclectic tunes every week...Read More
The 80s-set comedy will be back for another round.Read More
Check out the latest trailer for the upcoming season.Read More
Seeing as he's one of the biggest sport stars on the planet at the moment, it was only a matter of time before somebody penned a song about Conor McGregor.Read More
Good news for Virgin Media Ireland subscribers: it will be adding UKTV Play to its catalogue of catch up services from today... making over 1,000 additional hours of catch up TV available to its customers.Read More
It was only a matter of time before the two brothers behind such cult classics as 'Fargo', 'The Big Lebowski', 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' and countless others decided to jump on the band wagon and do their very own TV show for Netflix.Read More
International pop icon P!nk has just released the first single from her forthcoming album due out on 13 October.Read More
The French DJ is the latest artist to be announced for the October festival.Read More
He'll be reciting 'St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson’ on Sunday in Dublin...Read More
The show will take place Sunday, December 10th.Read More
The Electric Sideshow line-up has just been announced, and dead tasty it is!Read More
"Ginger is receiving around the clock care ", a spokesperson says...Read More
We know just the place if The Boss would like to get up to similar solo hi-jinx in Dublin...Read More
Paul Brady has announced an Ireland-wide tour for November, following the release of his new album Unfinished Business.Read More
Principal photography has commenced on the darkly comedic spoken word odyssey 'Dublin Oldschool', adapted from the highly successful stage play that won critical acclaim both at home and abroad.Read More
As the Women's Rugby World Cup kicked off here yesterday, one keen rugby player and coach tells Hot Press that the tournament provides a great opportunity for both the IRFU and Ireland to leave a “real sporting legacy”.Read More
Exactly 50 years since playing newlyweds in ‘Barefoot in the Park,’ Oscar winners Robert Redford and Jane Fonda have come together onscreen again for the fourth time in Netflix’s ‘Our Souls at Night’… this time playing a couple who find love unexpectedly later in life.Read More
Gallagher tweeted an exclusive a-capella version of the new song today, with promises of more new music coming this week.Read More
It's proper good shiz, innit?Read More
The iconic singer would be 53 today.Read More
Electric Ireland are bringing 90s nostalgia to the 'Throwback Stage' at Electric Picnic.Read More
Gallagher did throw some other words in that sentence that aren't exactly fit for headlines.Read More
The Irish balladeer is set to play Workman's on November 8.Read More
The singer spent a night in the cells following a gig in Ballymena.Read More
Andy Irvine, Don Baker, Brendan Power and Seamie O’Dowd are some of the artists due to play open-air concerts at Cloughjordan Amphitheatre on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th of September.Read More
It's time to make a cuppa and put your feet up for an hour...Read More
It's obvious that his genius transcended generations...Read More
"He was my big brother, my protector, my co-culprit, my John crying in the wilderness," he reflects...Read More
The National have just released the third track from their eagerly anticipated new album ‘Sleep Well Beast’, which is out on 8 September.Read More
Leo Varadkar’s government is being urged to publish long-promised sectoral plans in light of UK Prime Minister May’s commitment to end free movement in March 2019.Read More
David Letterman, the longest-serving host in U.S. late night television is returning to television for a new series on Netflix.Read More
As Ireland faces increased risk of attack, new figures given to Hot Press reveal that there has been a decrease in numbers allocated to the Garda Cyber Crime Bureau.Read More
The Wicklow native is the latest to join a stellar lineup - including Ed Sheeran, Esperanza Spalding, and more - playing gigs around the world for a great cause.Read More
According to a new Facebook post, Sinéad O'Connor is safe and surrounded by love.Read More
A new initiative has been launched to help women in the music industry make it on their own terms.Read More
There's some potentially great news for rock & indie fans around the country...Read More
The Belgian duo will join Annie Mac, Eats Everything, Mele and Kelly Anne-Byrne at Day 1 of Samhain Festival on October 28.Read More
Hot Press had a great natter with the Rolling Stone, who's thankfully now on the mend, a while back...Read More
It seems that HBO needs to replace The Wall with a firewall.Read More
It's the U2 guitarist's birthday today, take a look back at the Hot Press interview with the man himself from 2007.Read More
The troubled singer has revealed in an emotional video that she is struggling with thoughts of suicide and feels lonely.Read More
The colourful Kerry TD famously told us here at Hot Press last year that Noah's Ark was "proof" that God was in the charge of the weather. And he's now at it again by telling people that he believes in fairies too!Read More
Luas operator Transdev is being urged to amend its bye-laws to ensure cyclists can use their trams during off-peak hours.Read More
Filming of the Oscar winning director's new movie project about the infamous H-Block escape back in ’83 has been postponed at the eleventh hour after financing for it fell through.Read More
God knows how he finds the time in his ultra busy schedule, but Ed Sheeran has a not only penned the first single off Jamie Lawson’s new album but is also releasing it on his own record label Gingerbread Man Records.Read More
The Cork actor will join the iconic actress Vanessa Redgrave and her daughter Joely Richardson in a period drama based on a novel by Henry James, it has just been announced.Read More
The TV presenter and actress has officially confirmed to Hot Press that she's now dating Iain Stirling, who hosts 'Love Island'.Read More
The controversial TV personality was rushed to hospital while in Spain during the weekend with pneumonia.Read More
The controversial US President has such a grá for the Emerald Isle that he'll probably make several trips over here during his presidency, according to his son.Read More
The Twilight star has backtracked on claims that he rejected out of hand to show a dog a ‘good time’ for a scene in his new movie, appropriately enough entitled ‘Good Time’!Read More
The Rolling Stones guitarist has revealed how he was prepared to say an emotional goodbye to his young family after he was diagnosed last year with lung cancer.Read More
Indiependence has become one of the 'big little' festival events of the year here in Ireland. Stephen Keegan reports on day one of this year's event...Read More
It's less than a month until LCD Soundsystem release their long-awaited new album, and the band have today shared the album's cover ahead of the occasion.Read More
The Flaming lips have released a new live video of their song 'Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung'Read More
Leo Varadkar was asked about the referendum at a speech in Queen's University Belfast about North/South relationships.Read More
Hot Press has the scoop on 10 acts at Castlepalooza that you cannot afford to missRead More
The singer left fans bewildered when he walked off stage after only playing three songs.Read More
David Rooney’s directorial debut sees a marriage of his unique artistic style and his music.Read More
In case you missed it, Hot Press has been celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year, with the acclaimed Hot Press Covers Exhibition.Read More
The Dublin band have just released their second single since reforming after a very long hiatus.Read More
It’s hard to believe that one of the most critically acclaimed bands on the go today is being accused of ripping off a struggling Spanish band.Read More
New laws are urgently required to address the growing concern about the lack of regulation of battery powered rickshaws in Dublin City Centre, says Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Dublin, John Lahart TD.Read More
Join Paul Howard, multi-award-winning journalist, author, playwright and comedy writer, and the man behind the eternally popular Ross O’Carroll-Kelly series, for a special evening at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral as part of the 2017 Jonathan Swift Festival.Read More
Take a stroll through a dystopian future.Read More
It's jazz crooner Tony Bennett's birthday, and we're celebrating by looking back at our interview with him from 1999.Read More
Ukulele Hooley will return on August 26th and 27th for its 8th consecutive yearRead More
Back in 1963, The Beatles played their last gig at the place where it all began- revisit our tell-all interview with Paul McCartney from 2002 here.Read More