Breasts – a woman’s right to bare.

Today I have been moved to blog/rant about breasts. That’s right – breasts. Hot topic of conversation around the nation today, particularly in regards to Kate Middleton being placed right in the centre of a debate about press ethics and personal freedom.

I’m annoyed about lots of things regarding this, but mostly I am annoyed that in amongst all the debate about whether she was naive, or should have known better or expected this from the paparazzi, or even that it’s in the public interest to see topless photos of Kate, that I have not heard one person as yet talk about human rights.

It is a woman’s right to choose when and where and to whom she shows her breasts to. Kate chose to go topless on a private holiday, she made that choice about her own body – she did not choose to show her breasts to the world

So I am asking this question – is it sexual assault to take a picture of a woman’s breasts without her consent, is it sexual harassment? Has everything else beyond that point been justifying that act. Has sexual assault or harassment been justified by putting into print pictures of her breasts without consent.

All those people who have seen the photos have looked at a picture of a woman’s breasts without consent of the person whom they are looking at and harm has been done to her because of it.  That is the same for any woman who has a picture taken of them in a private place without their knowledge. Every time a topless picture of a singer or an actress appears in the red tops or online and people look at it, they are looking at that woman without her consent. That is not OK!

Or is it OK? What harm has it done? It hasn’t undermined her position – after all what does it matter if she has to meet heads of state and visiting dignitaries or a nurse in a children’s hospital wondering they have seen a personal intimate part of her body?  What does it matter if she’s embarrassed or scared or intimidated?  It hasn’t taken away something personal and special between a woman and her husband? Of course it has! It has harmed her in all of those ways and more besides. It is emotionally and psychologically harmful to be violated this way.

Just because the telephoto lenses can reach that far, doesn’t mean they should.

Mostly I am annoyed at the attitudes that surround this debate. We have somehow arrived in a society where sexual arousal, titillation and provocation are everywhere, and we breathe it in and live it every day and it contributes to the idea that it’s acceptable to gain pleasure or arousal from someone without their consent.

Consent is the key thing, whether someone chooses to use their body for the arousal of others is not the point, though undoubtedly that’s another very interesting topic, the moral and ethics of living in a sexualised world is also not the point of this blog, though all related I am sure. This is about that choice being taken away.

A woman’s right to choose who she shares her body with is one of the most sacred rights in the world and Kate’s rights have been violated. Isn’t it time for a change? Isn’t it time to start making a noise when the press trample all over someone’s body? Isn’t it time to start demanding more from the worlds press? Isn’t it time to start challenging people on their view of women, sex and personal choice?

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About amywriting

I love words. I love the way they sound, the meaning they have, the way that they are used. I love their power, their creativity and how descriptive and evocative they can be. Any chance that I get to be creative and use words well gets me very excited. I love poetry, song, art, music, photography, baking, creating, experimenting and laughing!

Posted on September 14, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Completely agree Amy. I feel appalled and ashamed by the whole thing. I’ve never been a royalist – that’s nothing to do with my views, and completely irrelevant. I think Kate Middleton handled herself with true grace yesterday, when most of us would just want to hide away. It’s an absolute abuse of her rights as an individual. So something is private, unless a peeping tom gets close enough, in which case it suddenly becomes public? What a disgrace. And I’ve just read that an Irish newspaper has printed the pictures. That embarrasses me. If a peeping tom managed to catch a shot of me in the shower without my knowledge, would that suddenly be public property? Absolutely not – they’d be up on criminal charges. But somehow with female celebrities, it’s ok? Ah, the whole thing makes me mad.

  2. I know Em – what amazes me (probably naively) is how many people are coming to this blog by google searching Kate Middletons breasts, or where can I see topless photos of Kate Middleton – this really is the world we live in? I like the guardian article, definitely making some great conversation about page 3 issues. Trouble is that the men reading this paper believe that the women are there through choice, which is a debate all of it’s own, but what it continues to do is to make it OK for people to violate women’s bodies and photograph women without consent.

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