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Jennifer Lawrence gets dressing down for dressing up

Jennifer Lawrence gets dressing down for dressing up

by Ann Farmer | February 27, 2018

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After Jennifer Lawrence appeared in a photo-shoot to promote her film Red Sparrow dressed in a “Versace gown slashed to the thigh, while the men around her were bundled up in coats” on a chilly London rooftop, the deputy editor of New Statesman Helen Lewis tweeted that given the temperature, it was “such a quietly depressing (and revealing) image”.

Not to be outdone, the feminist Fawcett Society said it “sums up what is wrong with the film industry and with wider society. It objectifies rather than respects her for the outstanding actor she is. We truly have a long way to go”.

Ms Lawrence hit back at the critics, saying: “This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended. That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf?” She said the photo shoot took only a few minutes, and she “would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.”

Actresses are not normally noted for uttering deep philosophical truths, but in this case she has actually touched on the truth.

Despite its slogans, modern feminism is not interested in choice, but in imposing one choice on all women. We have seen this totalitarian tendency in the campaign to prevent women having full information about abortion and access to positive alternatives.

Feminists have also admitted that if women were given the choice to remain at home instead of engaging in full-time work, they would probably choose the former, therefore they should not be given a choice. 

If given the choice, most women would choose the Versace dress, but it is the “reward” Ms Lawrence has won with her acting talent because it is so much in demand in a free market. Perhaps the Fawcett Society deplores such evidence of inequality; perhaps they would prefer that the men in the picture also wore black dresses with plunging necklines and split sides (not forgetting the high heels). However, it is more likely that the Fawcett Society would prefer Ms Lawrence to sport a donkey jacket, thick jeans and a pair of Doc Martens boots.

Chillingly, they insist that there is “a long way to go”. Hopefully, they are not planning on going all the way back to Communist China under Mao Tse-tung, where, in accordance with Communist ideology, women were forced to show their equality with men by wearing identical pairs of crumpled black overalls. They may even have had the luxury of a spare pair in the wash, but since the advent of Chinese (state) capitalism, Chinese women have thrown off the equality imposed from on high and shown their individuality in how they dress.

Tragically, abortion is still imposed upon them from on high, but in the matter of dress at least, they have shown that they are women.

This only goes to show how wrong the Fawcett Society is – admiration for women is not the same as “objectifying” them and showing them no respect; if it were, many women would also be guilty of this new PC sin.

Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St Pauls, 1995), and Prophets & Priests: the Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (St Austin Press, 2002).

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