By Penny Dreadful
There is nothing worse for a feminist writer tasked with the chore of writing about Piers Morgan than seeing him attempt to answer the question, what IS feminism?
Just before we get upset and ‘rant’ about the attempt, Morgan would like to remind us that he knows he is ‘mansplaining’ or rather he knows he’s inviting angry hoards of women to voice their opinions at him.
Lets face it, the angry hoards is a particular subgroup of readers that not only Morgan but the Daily Mail get off on inciting. Lets be honest, who the hell reads a column by Piers and agrees with him in this day and age?
For those that missed this ground breaking political masterpiece of an article, Piers Morgan (the notoriously liberal sensitive writer) attempted to take down Emily Ratajkowski with the stinging wit of a thirteen year old boy looking at the popular girls and hoping.
The only way a model such as Emily Ratajkowski would even know that Piers Morgan exists would be if he did what all threatened men did – take a cheap shot at her. Which is exactly what he’s done.
Lets be clear, the photoshoot that made it to LOVE magazine would rile some feminists who believe that spaghetti and writhing in lingerie is not the best step forward. However, for me, it comes down to choice. If Ratajkowski has placed those photos on her Instagram account, set up those photos and wanted to take those photos herself – who are we to judge?
There is no clear way to judge the success of feminist behaviour as it is different for each woman. ‘Personal choice is the core ideal in my concept of feminism. I’m tired of having to consider how I might be perceived by men if I post a sexy Instagram. I want to do what I want to do. Feminism isn’t about adjusting; it’s about freedom and choice.’ Said Ratajkowski.
Also, let’s take a look at the choice of platform. Love magazine is an edgy, fashion photography based magazine where articles and photography like this are not unusual nor are they bought by people looking to view sexual imagery. It doesn’t remove the sex from the photos but rather, changes the focus slightly.
Although, Piers Morgan is clearly not a LOVE reader.
‘Somewhere,’ he tweeted clearly delighted with his own wit, ‘Emmeline Pankhurst just vomited.’
Here is the part that is lost on Morgan.
His biggest issue with Ratajkowski is that he claimed she is making a feminist statement. ‘But it’s where she conflates this behaviour with feminist empowerment that I have an issue’ he nobly points out on behalf of all women everywhere.
If you take care to read the sentence above, she clearly uses the word ‘I’ and how feminism relates to her as freedom to make that choice. She is not saying that all women everywhere are freed from the patriarchy because she has great taste in lingerie but rather, she feels freed.
This is where I find men struggle with feminism as being a woman is so finite and binary in their eyes. Sure, we have come a long way since being chained to the kitchen sink, but in this country we still have mansplaining, man-spreading on public transport, sexual harassment at work, pay differences and restrictive sexual health and we are still experiencing struggle that is in some cases (sexual health and pay issues) united and in some cases unique (childcare, employment and sense of worth).
There is also the issue that Ratajkowski is taking ownership of her sexuality which appears to bother Morgan immensely. He seems offended by her decision to own this by presenting herself like this because; perhaps the choice of magazine for this is for fashion and art rather than seedy sexual purposes.
In short, this image is not where it “should” be – in the eyes and hands of sweaty men in newsagents. This opinion is presented by Emily in her article for Grazia magazine.
‘I think there’s a valid argument behind the idea that sexiness is patriarchal and that’s problematic,’ she said. ‘It can be really limiting to young women who feel like that’s their self-expression; someone telling them that they can’t do that is suppressing. It’s not taking people seriously because of how they present themselves, which women get a lot more than men.’
This is then echoed in Morgan’s “witty” thirteen year old boy response: ‘The reason Emily Ratajkowski made the video had nothing to do with ‘feminist empowerment’ and everything to do with attention-seeking and marketing her naked beauty.’
Morgan has some nerve calling anyone attention seeking, after all, this is the same man who claimed ‘women are born better at cleaning’ and criticised Ariana Grande in the wake of the Manchester bombings. He makes his living off being attention seeking.
Worse than all this? Morgan suggested that he ‘live stream a linguine shower’. Now that is an image that would not only ‘scare the horses and children’ but haunt most our nightmares for days to come. Yikes. No thanks.