Is it right that, despite the promises of feminism, women's bodies remain at the mercy of state, society and religion? Should a s...
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Is it right that, despite the promises of feminism, women's bodies remain at the mercy of state, society and religion? Should a scantily clad woman, or a promiscuous one, be worth less than a fully covered woman, or a chaste one? Are being sexy and being smart really mutually exclusive? Can a woman be both body and brain? Victoria Bateman has confronted these questions with actions as well as words. She has appeared naked on national television, on stage, in art and at protests - using her body, as well as her brain, to deliver her message.
In Naked Feminism, Bateman makes a compelling case for women's bodily freedom, and explains why the current puritanical revival is so dangerous for women. Illustrating the swinging pendulum of bodily modesty through the ages, she takes us on a journey from the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Babylon, through the birth of Christianity and Islam, to the lax morals of the medieval period and the bawdiness of Chaucer and Shakespeare; to the clampdowns of the Puritans and later the Victorians and, more recently, to the re-veiling of the Middle East and the purity pledges of modern-day America. She ends with a plea: feminists must unite to challenge the repression of the female body, as only then can women be truly free.
Victoria Bateman is author of the acclaimed book The Sex Factor: How Women Made the West Rich and is a Fellow in Economics at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. She has been profiled by The Times, has written for the Guardian, The Telegraph and Bloomberg, and has appeared on numerous occasions on the BBC and ITV. Victoria is also known for using her body in art and protest, including to challenge the assumptions and stigma surrounding women's bodies.