When feminist journalism suggests women might be better off staying at home, having babies and doing some dusting

I like to think we’re supportive of the concept of top-free equality here on SLN, but when it is reduced to this level of nonsensical drivel, I sometimes wonder if we should stop.

Essentially, Jessica Valenti, writing in the Guardian newspaper, has identified 2014 as the year in which breasts were ‘reclaimed’. This is feminism in action! Apparently.



Is this for real? Where’s my diary? It’s not April 1st already, is it?


mal kierapose2_001b


Malgorzata replicates Kiera Knightley’s photoshoot within SL. Photography by Diane Toxx

Too late! Many of the commentators have weighed in with pithy one-liners about the stupidity of the entire piece, although I suppose we should be grateful that the fee for the article will probably mean Ms. Valenti can afford to buy a top of the range, sheer brassiere from Victoria’s Secrets as a result.

Keira Knightley is a feminist hero because she insisted editors don’t photoshop her boobs? This is a joke, right? A windup?

…in order to stop objectifying women, women show their breasts in a magazine. Great step forward. Congrats, easily made happy.

Women going topless good, looking at topless women bad. Have I got it?

wahey! get ’em out for…er….signfying feminine camaraderie, or something….. 

But I can’t tell if Keira Knightley going topless is a good thing for feminism or not without a discussion on wether or not she shaves her downstairs ladyparts.Or have I misunderstood what feminism is all about? My sole source for my education of feminism is the comment page (of) articles by feminists so I can’t be too far out surely?

We covered this story, Kiera Knightly posing topless being in support of the ‘free the nipple’ campaign then, at the end of August, although that’s not an accurate reflection on her motives which were, then as now, “a woman’s right to choose how she represents her body — and to make that choice based on personal desire and not a fear of how people will react to her or how society will judge her. No woman should be made to feel ashamed of her body.”

She’s right. No woman should be ashamed of her body. On a naturist beach, no woman is ashamed of her body. More to the point, in the ‘equality’ arena of naturism, where we’re all stripped of our social badges of honour, we cease to be a doctor, a High Court judge, a teacher, an unemployed single mother. We get to be people instead, judged for how interesting or boring we are. The Econudes website argues the compatibility of naturism and feminism.

So Kiera whips ’em out and it’s all rather ‘ho hum’ and not very remarkable. Which is where we’d like the debate to go. But to dress this up as some nonsensical ‘year we reclaimed our breasts’ is simply daft.

Remember: in the UK there’s a kind of ongoing crusade to end The Sun newspaper’s ‘Page Three Girl’ (a daily does of topless model). I’m broadly in agreement with the need to end it on the basis that it’s old hat and it sexualises women’s breasts where there’s no real need to see them in a ‘Cor! Tits!’ sense in the internet age. But then I read Jessica Valenti’s column and think ‘if they’ve been reclaimed, and are being shown on our, women’s, own terms, then surely that means that the models on Page 3, some of whom made a half-decent living out of the daily dose of bare-breastedness, have a right to continue posing topless because they’re making a feminist statement‘. Or did I miss something in the silliest feminist/top free piece of journalism I’ve ever read in my life?