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Feminism becomes more like Islamism every day

28 April 2015

12:42 PM

28 April 2015

12:42 PM

Here’s a tip for political activists: if your rabble-rousing echoes the behaviour and ideas of Islamists, then you’re doing something wrong. Consider the Protein World advert which — clutch my pearls! — features a photo of a beautiful, svelte woman in a bikini next to the question: ‘Are you beach body ready?’ Angry women, and probably some men, have been writing outraged slogans on these posters, scribbling on the poor model’s face and body, seemingly blissfully unaware that they’re following in the footsteps of intolerant Islamic agitators.

In 2011, Muslims in Birmingham used black spraypaint to deface an ad for H&M featuring a woman in a yellow bikini. They were reportedly ‘offended by her flesh’. In 2013, a gang calling itself Muslim Patrol ripped down adverts for a super push-up bra, and spray-painted over others, claiming the ads offended their sensibilities. Now, in 2015, another semi-clad woman appearing on bus-stops and at train stations finds herself being scrawled on by graffiti-artists-cum-censors — only this time the offended felt-tip pen-wielders aren’t Islamists; they’re feminists.

The advert at a tube station

The advert at a tube station

The response to the Protein World poster has been bonkers, even by the standards of this era of offence-taking and PC intolerance. Feminists have taken it upon themselves to deface the ads, because they claim that the question ‘Are you beach body ready?’ body-shames the plump and makes normal-sized women feel bad about themselves. At Liverpool Street Station someone has scribbled over the model’s face and cleavage — cover her up! — and written the words ‘NOT OKAY’, which, alongside ‘That’s inappropriate’, is the most grating of the schoolmarmish phrases peddled by the PC mob. It basically means, ‘I think this isn’t okay, and because I am so incredibly important that means you shouldn’t be allowed to see it either’.

Not content with behaving like informal censors, adopting the role once played by the stiff, snobbish blue-pen brigade of officialdom, feminists have also petitioned for the ad to be banned. More than 50,000 people are demanding that the ads be taken down on the basis that ‘a body’s function is far more intricate and important than looking “beach ready”’. The humourlessness is mind-boggling.

On Saturday there will be a demonstration in Hyde Park against the ads. An actual demonstration. In actual Hyde Park. This park has hosted some of the greatest-ever history-shaping upheavals of man- and womankind, including the 1855 working-class revolt against the Sunday Trading Bill — in essence demanding the right to booze on a Sunday — which was gloriously described by Karl Marx as an expression of ‘boiling and long-constrained anger’, a ‘cacophony of grunting, hissing, whistling, squawking, snarling, growling, yelling, groaning, rattling, shrieking, gnashing sounds,’ which was nothing less than an ‘English revolution’. Now it will host a gathering of easily offended souls who want to send the message that ‘beach-ready means different things for everyone’. Oh, English radicalism, how far you have fallen!

Feminism, sadly, becomes more like Islamism every day. Alongside the ad-defacing antics, there’s also the campaign to put saucy tabloids and lads’ mags in black bags, echoing an ugly sight I beheld in Dubai once: Western magazines whose covers had been defaced with black gaffer tape by religious censors determined to hide women’s cleavage from the masses. And there was the war against Page 3 (RIP): a boob-hiding project that Muslim Patrol would be proud of. Too much modern feminism depicts women as fragile, as unable to cope with rude pictures or rough words, as requiring protection from the banter and imagery of everyday life. In the words of the anti-Page 3 campaign, such stuff can have a ‘negative impact’ on women’s ‘self-esteem’. It’s so alarmingly patronising, and it really does bring to mind the cloying over-protectionism of Islamists, who likewise see women as dainty, easily damaged, in need of constant chaperoning when they venture into the jungle of public life.

Can’t we try to resuscitate the spirit of the old sexually liberated feminism, when the likes of Germaine Greer didn’t want to ban photos of bikinis but instead posed for them? Look at Germaine: brainy, radical and beach-ready.

Show comments
  • AquariusMoon

    It’s stupid. Models are models for a reason – they look great! If anyone has a problem with an advertisement, they need to see a shrink.

  • Starryeyed girl

    The people who did this aren’t feminists. they’re just bitter and jealous. Have any of these people considered how the model might feel, having her body deemed to ‘unrealistic’ to appear on an ad?

  • Tim Patten

    Feminism is white female supremacy and misandry towards men.

  • Rafael Geraldo

    How DARE a fitness company make an ad promoting fitness? That’s why we need feminuzm.

  • colchar

    The Feminists officially lost the plot when they started campaigning for feminist jazz hands (seriously, they’re a thing). When your movement has sunk to that level isn’t it time to admit that you have won the old battles and have nothing worthwile left to fight for?

  • Phoboskibbity M’Goo

    its really just the fat chicks complaining, FYI lots of women even feminists work out to have a fit toned body, if you are to lazy to bother that’s fine, but you do not get to judge other people for their choices yet complain about people judging you for your own choices…

  • MDoran

    Just because Islamists and feminists may, in a few instances, use the same tactics of defacing a poster, it hardly makes them comparable as movements.
    I’ll bet that Islamists, like the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, have also been known to use microphones to address rallies, and perhaps also to wave flags and shout slogans.
    Hitler was also known to be kind to animals, just like the staff at Battersea Dogs Home.
    See? It’s very easy to draw moronic, meaningless comparisons in order to defame movements you aren’t keen on. Idiot.

  • Fail Burton

    Feminism means inferior to men.

  • Lydia Robinson

    Interesting fact: Emily Pankhurst was a Tory and women’s suffrage was introduced by a Tory Government.

  • Derren Étienne

    these people will probably die alone,

  • Sun

    They’re not like Islamism because their attacks on it are completely different in terms of criticism and source.

    They’re still degenerates though that don’t appreciate hierarchy of form. In their equality, they destroy any aesthetic to make everyone a fat slob for fat acceptance. That “all shapes and sizes” are equal and “nothing but loving yourself”, matters. They liberate themselves in terms of sexuality in the most vapid why and know they want to liberate themselves of society’s expectations for them not to be fat slobs. It’s a pity they don’t liberate themselves from the Earth.

    This is why we need anti-feminism and patriarchy.

  • Lydia Robinson

    It’s not like there aren’t enough women’s magazines full of diets and articles about beach bodies they can pick on is it? I can’t figure out why this one is more “evil” than the rest of them.

    • Alice Louisa Davies

      Read ‘The Vagenda’. No one has said this one is more evil, it’s just had more exposure.

      • Lydia Robinson

        Really? Such adverts are everywhere, including for men to pump themselves up in the gym. I don’t see why you are making an example of this one.

        • cartimandua

          Its so wrong on the tube and so lacking in content.

  • Lydia Robinson

    It looks like the feminasties have found us. Best ignored and, hopefully, they’ll go back to mumsnet, or wherever.

    • Alice Louisa Davies

      Do you want equality?

      • Lydia Robinson

        I don’t want to be harangued by screeching feminasty lefties – mumsnet is that way============

        • Alice Louisa Davies

          Right… so I can’t give my opinion on this topic, but you can?

          • Lydia Robinson

            We come here to get away from those kind of opinions, luv.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Where did she say you can’t (unlike the poster objectors).

            • Alice Louisa Davies

              See below.

  • Lydia Robinson

    Feminist women have been so successful at scaring men off, that according to a pal of mine who is internet dating, there are loads of desperate and slightly unhinged single women in their thirties and forties out there who can’t keep a man, let alone father a child with them. That appears to be the legacy of feminism.

    • Alice Louisa Davies

      Nice. So you’re lumping all ‘feminist women’ as straight then too? And you’re also presuming that all women want children too!

      • Mr B J Mann

        You do realise that you were replying to a woman, don’t you?

        And you do realise that “loads” isn’t the same as “every”.

        And you do realise that if a woman is on a heterosexual dating site she probably isn’t a lesb!an.

        Granted she might not want kids though!

        They just might be desperate to form a childless straight partnership before they get too old for whatever they are afraid of getting too old for….

        • Alice Louisa Davies

          What has this got to do with the gender of the recipient?

          • Mr B J Mann


            Is that some sort of feminist code?!?!?!

    • cartimandua

      Perhaps men have had their brains rotted by mass media to the point that they cannot respond normally or attach.Thats the legacy of po** overuse.

  • Alice Louisa Davies

    This isn’t about women’s self-esteem or covering these images up to make ourselves feel better. This is about EQUALITY, which is what feminism is (you definitely don’t seem to realise this from the above article). This is about being bombarded day in, day out with sexualised images of women. You won’t ever understand why this campaign has been targeted because you aren’t willing to accept there is a problem with equality. And to compare feminism to Islamic extremists is laughable. I’m not even going to attempt to tell you why that’s ridiculous and completely inaccurate.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Talking of “ridiculous and completely inaccurate”:

      As has repeatedly been pointed out:

      We are continuously being bombarded, day in and day out, not just with sexualised pictures of “beach-ready” blokes in their undercrackers, but also with ads ridiculing and denigrating men.


      Do you not actually understand what the word equality means?

      Or is that another word that self-styled victim groups have redefined!

      And the only reason you’re not even going to attempt to tell us why it’s completely inaccurate, ridiculous and laughable to compare feminism to Islamic extremism is because you can’t.

      • Alice Louisa Davies

        Yeah, I don’t really feel like engaging with someone who proclaims their name to be ‘Mr BJ Mann’…

        • Mr B J Mann

          Yeah, and I don’t really feel like engaging with someone who proclaims their name to be ‘Alice Louise Davies’…

          And your point is?!?!?!

  • mc david

    21st century left-wingers are NOTHING like their 50s and 60s forebears. This is no longer liberalism but a singular thought, a dogmatic left.

    What an irony it is these days that you have to be right-wing if you wish to rebel and fight the mainstream trends.

    And that is mostly because the equality movement has achieved its goals, but refuses to relent and give way to new ideas. So instead we invent our own persecutions.

    Truly rebels without a cause.

  • Jack

    I like how for the article’s author, the central issue is that a picture of an attractive woman was defaced, even though the parties who defaced it did so for completely different and actually contradictory reasons. Really, this article should have been titled ‘is disliking the protein world ad the only thing feminists & islamists have in common?’.

    • Mr B J Mann

      No, they did it for exactly the same reasons:

      It offends against their ideology.

      Nothing should be allowed to offend against their ideology.

      Anything that offends against their ideology should be banned, or destroyed, or worse.

      However, if anything they say, do, think, offends anybody else, no one else has a right to be offended, never mind do anything about it.

      Oh, and if anything, or anyone, does offend them then they, and only they, are entitled to take any political, legal, or direct action against it or them, they choose, or all three if they want.

      Eg the girl videotaping the wolf whistling builders and reporting them to the police.

      Now if some shy, polite, easily embarassed builders had videod a $lutwalk the $lutwalker$ would probably want the builders prosecuted, even if their dress and protest had offended the builders.

      • Jack

        “I don’t know much about this. I’d better just shut up.”

        – Nobody.

      • Lydia Robinson

        Are they Eastern European builders in which case they can report her for waycism.

        • Mr B J Mann

          If they’d been African builders perhaps.
          Or maybe gay Europeans.
          But feminists still trump straight white oppressor males wherever they come from!

  • Jack

    “I dont know much about this. I’d better just shut up”

    – Nobody

    • Mr B J Mann

      So why didn’t you take your own advice the first time you posted it?!

      • Jack

        Because I know what I’m talking about, unlike the author of this article.

        • Mr B J Mann

          How, when you appear not to have even read the title, never mind the introductory sentence?!!!?

  • cartimandua

    Parliament was so convinced about the horrible effect of impossible images on men women and children they have suggested children have actual lessons on the subject of self image.
    Men and children are MORE negatively affected than women who frankly are really over being used to sell things.

  • silversurf

    Makes sense .. Both Islam and feminism are totalitarian ideologies

    • cartimandua

      Its only feminism sticking up for humans on a number of issues. This is one of them since men are more worried about body image than women and are self harming as a result. It is a wider problem that men are being trained up by all this to value looks over character when choosing a partner.

      • mc david

        I’d say it’s no organization’s business to tell people what they should or shouldn’t be attracted to.

        Feel free to express your views, but don’t support censorship because it offends you.

        That is wrong.

        • cartimandua

          The deluge of media images has and is causing harm.
          It is causing anxiety in men women and children who “cannot look like that”. The evidence is so clear that Parliament wants children to be taught how to spot media manipulation.
          Men like to say that break ups are all the fault of feminism.
          Perhaps actually they have not been shown how to pick a partner for character.
          Only looks matter it seems.

          • mc david

            Where is the evidence you keep talking about ?

            It’s quite funny to see you worryingly speculate about media manipulation when you’ve clearly befallen to it yourself.

            • cartimandua

              How about you look up all the scientific studies which were presented to the Parliamentary group on this?
              From UWE

              “Research addresses real-world issues

              50-70% of children and 60% of adults in the developed world say they are unhappy with the way they look. Such negative perceptions of body image have been implicated as contributors to multiple health problems such as depression, eating disorders and substance misuse.

              But what is to be done? Policy makers and companies around the world have asked for answers: what interventions really help, especially for children in school settings?

              Dr Phillippa Diedrichs and Dr Emma Halliwell of UWE’s Centre for Appearance Research have investigated these questions as part of an international collaboration. Their research has uncovered evidence addressing critical gaps in our understanding, yielding insights into the best ways of promoting positive body image among young people.

              They identified what kinds of school-based interventions were most effective – and the ingredients in their success. For example, the most effective interventions were two to six sessions long. They also worked best if they included activities that developed media literacy with skills to resist social and cultural pressures.

              UWE research also shed light on how best to adapt existing interventions to suit the needs of early and pre-adolescents. This addressed an important gap: this age-group had been overlooked, even though there was evidence that worries about body image often develop in childhood. The resulting interventions improved children’s body image for at least three months after they were delivered.”

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’re right for once.

            Boys should be taught to look at not just a woman’s looks:

            But also the character of of their financial status.

            And not just.abandon their families for a sexier model:

            But if they find a richer one too.

            Like w!mm!n do!


            That line of argument went well for you.

            Didn’t it!

            • cartimandua

              If you don’t know what character is you don’t have any and we can all pity any woman who is ever near you.

              • Mr B J Mann

                Character is being wolf whistled and not having to run to the police.

                Or seeing a pretty girly and not bursting into tears.

                Incidentally, which is the more “normal” reaction:

                To see a pretty girl and admire her?

                Or to see a pretty girl and need counselling?!?!?!

                Now, feel free to respond to my previous post.

                • cartimandua

                  Bullying is not normal behaviour and the construction industry recognizes that this is bullying and reflects a lack of adequate site supervision. So the intelligent men in the construction industry agree with me.

                • Mr B J Mann

                  a) You haven’t addressed my point.

                  Going to war isn’t normal behaviour, but your character determines how well you survive the experience.

                  b) That a particular industry body, or even several, claim to recognise something, doesn’t mean they do:

                  To get work they have to tick various boxes.

                  To tick various boxes they have to toe a particular line.

                  None of which proves anything:

                  Except, perhaps, that they haven’t got the character to stand up to bullying themselves!

                • cartimandua

                  Construction industry chiefs agree with me and not you.

                • Mr B J Mann


                  “Construction industry chiefs agree with me and not you.”

                  Was your original point.

                  Repeating it isn’t an answer to any of:

                  b) That a particular industry body, or even several, claim to recognise something, doesn’t mean they do:

                  To get work they have to tick various boxes.

                  To tick various boxes they have to toe a particular line.

                  None of which proves anything:

                  Except, perhaps, that they haven’t got the character to stand up to bullying themselves!

                • Mr B J Mann

                  By the way:

                  Media “industry chiefs agree with me and not you”.

                  Fashion “industry chiefs agree with me and not you”.

                  Women’s Magazine “industry chiefs agree with me and not you”.

                  Advertising “industry chiefs agree with me and not you”.

                  Modelling “industry chiefs agree with me and not you”………….

                  Oh, and protein supplement “industry chiefs agree with me and not you”.

                  So your point is?

      • Mr B J Mann

        “trained up by all this to value looks over character when choosing a partner…..”

        You keep harping on about this!

        (Is that where we get the word “Harpie” from?!?!?!)

        It’s a POSTER!

        A *PICTURE*!!

        An **IMAGE**!!!

        All you can tell about them is what they look like!!!!

        Ditto when you first set eyes on your potential future partner!!!!!

        The clue’s in the word:


        ****THEN**** you learn about their character!!!!!!!

        Or did you fall in love with your partner, warts n all, when you saw a picture of them rescuing an ickle kitten from a tree?!?!?!

        • cartimandua

          Perhaps BJ Mann you are not familiar with the amount of media young people are exposed to these days. They are drowning in media. They are only free of it when they are asleep.
          People learn. What would you like them to learn? What is harmful to learn is that they have to spend energy and anxiety trying to be a shape which is impossible or to attract and keep a boy or girl who has that impossible shape.
          This is not just one image. It is one of millions and millions.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So why are they protesting this one, female, image.

            And not all of the millions and millions in w!mm!ns mags, edited by w!mm!n?!?!?

            For w!mm!in?!?!?

            Or even the companion poster of the “beach-ready” buff bloke?!?!?!!!!!!!

  • jody

    “Too much modern feminism depicts women as fragile, as unable to cope with rude pictures or rough words, as requiring protection from the banter and imagery of everyday life”
    The banter of everyday life i’m assuming is the sexist and rude comments women and their bodies are subjected to, that men aren’t. Saying that it is just something that is part of everyday life, something that modern women have to live with and have thick enough skin to not let it bother them, that may work for some women, but others will feel devalued and oppressed. Change can only happen when we say that this isn’t everyday life, this is a social problem that is supported through the media and ads like these, and affects women everywhere.

  • Trybrow


  • SexyIsntSexist

    The feminist/Islam/Puritan element is something I noted a couple of years ago.

    “In the war against sexual objectification, the next step may well be putting paper bags over pretty girls faces as they walk down the street. Come to think of it, these Object and Feministing girls would do well in Dubai, enforcing purdah.”

  • Julia
    • DaveAtherton20

      It is quite pathetic IMHO.

  • Albert Zbingswiki

    But I don’t understand! Islam is perfect and lovely, we’re told by our political betters. Surely it’s something to aspire to?