The recent demonstration against femicide by Femen at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris (2019), which for the mainstream caused ‘shock’, but within certain sectors of the feminist community elicited cries of “powerful” etc.
The only reason this was seen with shock in the main, is because it is perceived as disrespectful to the dead—the same as having intercourse on a tombstone, or urinating on a grave. Most of the world does not have a problem with naked, or semi-naked women, it is all over mainstream advertising and entertainment.
But is getting your breasts out truly empowering?
Compare the Yellow Vest protests in the same city, earlier in the year:
Nope, not seeing a lot of willies hanging out there to make a statement.
Or the same week as the Femen protest, a march in Edinburgh for Scottish Independence:
No willies, no breasts—gosh, are they doin’ it wrong?
How about when men present something really important, like the Treasurer delivering the Budget:
Nope, not seeing any ‘sexy’ outline of his groin package there, I can barely even see his body shape! Frydenberg, surely you know the Budget is an important announcement, right? Even ScoMo isn’t looking sexy-pouty enough for my liking.
Because dressing UP, not DOWN, is the sign of power. Nakedness, in a sea of the fully-clothed, is the sign of powerlessness, an underclass, and a loss of dignity.
Just like in the Concentration Camps in the Second World War, or the military prisoners at various military prisons—they are stripped naked, to be more vulnerable, to be humiliated, to show who around them has the actual power over them (fully clothed guards).
Or, ‘revenge porn’, where naked pictures (real or fabricated) by the ex-partners of women are uploaded to the internet for all to see—and to humiliate those women. If any of that could accidentally lead to some ’empowerment’, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell it would happen. Men know the language of nudity and vulnerability, and why that works so well at keeping women, individually or as a class, in ‘their place’ (subordinate to males).
For a part of the above examples, yes, it was about forced nudity, but choosing to do it within the same political climate makes no bloody difference. In fact, these women become a joke of sorts, because they actually do not get that it reinforces their subordinate status and perception of them. Doing what your ‘masters’ want you to do, is not rebellion in any way, shape or form, even if you choose to. It undermines the message to be taken seriously, just as Femen did, who protested not to be treated like objects, but showed they were objects, because they could only get press by getting topless. It’s an ‘own goal’.
If getting your kit off was a sign of power, or ’empowerment’, we would be bombarded with a sea of images of rich, old white dudes with their tackle out. I’m not seein’ it.