Kate’s breasts, Pussy Riot, virginity tests and our attitude on women’s bodies – by Naomi Wolf

Over the past weeks there have been many ‘noteworthy’ events from the feminist point of view, but I just found them too mainstream to cover. You could read about them everywhere and anywhere, all media were full of them. (I just said to a friend recently, who is running an interior design blog that it would feel like as if she wrote about IKEA pieces.) So I did not write about Pussy Riot, I refrained from commenting on Kate Middleton’s breasts being exposed. However, I stumbled upon a great article by feminist writer Naomi Wolf, who makes a connection between these two and some other incidents, arguing that our society is still not ready to accept women trying to take ownership for their own bodies. Naomi Wolf is an acknowledged author, former political consultant and a very important figure of third wave feminism. In her first book, The Beauty Myth (published in 1991) she discussed how beauty is a socially constructed normative value in our society (and what’s more, patriarchy determines its content). She just published her 8th book recently, entitled Vagina: A New Biography which, interestingly, received mixed reviews, even from fellow feminists.

But going back to the article on Pussy Riot and the other recent affairs, I found her article very interesting. It was published on CNN, and here is an ironic ‘teaser’ excerpt:

“In a hypersexualized culture, in which porn is available 24-7, it is not female nudity — or discussion about vaginas or breasts or “pussy riots” — that is scandalous. Indeed, the female body has never been so commodified before, and female sexuality has never been so readily consumable in sanitized, corporatized formats such as pornography.

Rather, what is still scandalous to our culture is when women take ownership of their own bodies. Staging a strip performance is not disruptive to social order in Moscow, but three punk poets using their sexuality to make a satirical comment about Russian leader Vladimir Putin is destabilizing and must be punished.”

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