In the 1970 Miss World pageant at Royal Albert Hall in London, feminists disrupted the proceedings, throwing flour and heckling the host, British-born American comedian Bob Hope. Nevertheless, the contest saw a first – the crowning of the first black Miss World – Jennifer Hosten, Miss Grenada – who would use her title as a springboard for a diplomatic career. That tumultuous event is now the subject of a new film comedy, “Misbehaviour,” opening tomorrow, March 13, in the United Kingdom, with Keira Knightley as feminist Sally Alexander, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Hosten and Greg Kinnear as Hope.
It arrives at a moment when Brit lingerie company Agent Provocateur is showcasing accomplished female athletes – American climber Sasha DiGiulian, American hurdler and sprinter Queen Harrison Claye, British gymnast Georgia-Mae Fenton and Canadian pole-vaulter Alysha Newman – as they do do what they do so well, to paraphrase Cole Porter, only in their Agent Provocateur undies. So The New York Times’ fashion director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman is asking “Is This What Post-MeToo Looks Like”?
But what if the woman wants to parley objectification into another career, as Hosten did? What if the woman wants to reclaim that objectification and own her body as a kind of empowerment? What if the woman is gay or transgender? These are some of the questions we consider in a February WAG essay on the female gaze.
Here’s something I’ve never understood: Why don’t we women simply make men the primary sex objects in our culture? We’ll start here with an article from September 2016 WAG in which we featured tennis great Rafael Nadal posing in his skivvies for Tommy Hilfiger.
As my beloved Aunt Mary always said: What’s good for goose is good for the gander.
– Georgette Gouveia