Feature

United Kingdom: Whatever happened to feminism?

Instead, “the sexualization of young women is proving the most effective whip against female progress,” said Yasmin Alibhai-Brow in The Independent.

Yasmin Alibhai-BrownThe Independent

“Old-style sexism” is back in Britain, said Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. It’s everywhere. A new Playboy Club is opening up in London, which will feature “gals wagging furry pom-poms on their butts.” The newest fad to hit the nation is “slut-walking,” in which women march around town wearing naught but their underwear or a tight T-shirt with a provocative slogan. Their ostensible aim is to protest male violence and take back the word “slut,” but ultimately they’re “making a mockery of rape and of women’s rights.” And our television has just landed the rights to “the sicko American series” Girls Gone Wild, in which drunken young women at bars are offered prizes if they flash their breasts, pole dance, or make out with each other. This is presented as female empowerment. Do today’s young women really fail to understand that “proffering up yourself naked or in grab-me garb” is not empowerment but rather “easy pleasure for masturbators and an invitation to lechers”?

In an era when more women than men are being laid off, child-care support is being slashed, and even abortion rights are under threat, we need old-fashioned feminism more than ever. Instead, “the sexualization of young women is proving the most effective whip against female progress.”

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