by Dani Thompson
I get feminism, I get what feminism is supposed to be all about but over the years it’s meaning seems to have evolved. For women working in all areas of the sexy industry, its connotations (at least for us) are not always positive.
Feminism is supposed to be about equality, about having the same rights as men - initially it was about having the right to vote - while now, for many, it is about the right to equal pay for doing the same jobs as men. Seeing as it’s 2020 already, it’s totally ridiculous that this is something we are STILL fighting for, but here we are.
In theory, feminism SHOULD be about women supporting each other, about women building other women up and celebrating each other… but here is where I’m confused when it comes to modern day feminism, because I don’t see many feminists actually doing this. Instead I see them attacking glamour girls, sex workers, WOC, and people who identify as female, for what? For not being the ‘right’ kind of female. For being too different, for not toeing the line, for not being exactly like them.
When did feminism take a turn? Did it begin with the burning of bras? Seriously, what was all that bra burning all about anyway? Freedom? Power? I mean, surely for some it was just a sure fire way to a future with backache.
I’ll be honest, I think there are way more men out there who are actual true feminists. Men who fully agree with the true definition of the term. It’s no surprise to me that most of the opposition we receive for working in the sexy industry comes from women rather than men, women pretending that they’re doing it because they don’t want us to be “exploited”. Who is being exploited? Certainly no glamour girl or sex worker I know. YES exploitation exists (as it does in ALL industries) but the majority of sexy industry workers CHOOSE to be there. For most, it is a CHOICE.
When I was at the height of my glamour career, Good Housekeeping magazine interviewed me for an article, asking me how I felt doing what I did; taking my clothes off knowing what women in the past had to go through so that I could have the freedom I had. Of course I replied that I am eternally grateful to the women who fought to get women the right to vote, to the women who fought for women's rights in the workplace, or fought against sexual harassment and domestic violence. Every day women fight to have the same basic freedom as men: the freedom to do whatever they want to do. I explained that I chose to do glamour. I got a mortgage and bought my first house when I was 21, all through the money I was earning from glamour modelling, as at the time it was very lucrative. I wouldn’t have even been able to do that had these women not fought.
Good Housekeeping also interviewed my mum and asked her how she felt about me doing what I did for a living, her reply was that she was fine as I was happy, healthy, independent and sensible (it’s possible she might have gotten that last bit wrong because I’m pretty sure I was guilty of making a few questionable decisions back then).
Well you should have seen what the keyboard warrior, angry feminist readers of Good Housekeeping had to say. They were completely appalled, but why? I wasn’t hurting anybody. Yet they were very much trying to hurt me with their bitter, jealous words. Female misogyny was rife in the comments that day and the irony wasn’t lost on me.
If you enjoy being feminine, it shouldn’t be a crime. I for one love everything about being a girl, I love getting dressed up, putting on nice clothes, looking good and wearing makeup. I think having pride in one’s appearance can reflect in other areas of your life and if you feel good in yourself, you’re naturally going to feel more confident.
Sex sells. Fact. It always has, whether in fashion, in film or in advertising. I don’t care how far into the future you want to look, that’s not going to change: there will always be sex and there will always be sex workers. So the SWERFs will never win.
Feminism should have been called “equalityism”, that way there would have been no way for word to get so gendered and misinterpreted.
I am 100% behind the true meaning of the word feminism. I believe in Girl Power, in fact if it weren’t for The Spice Girls, I don’t think I’d ever have found my confidence as a teen, I fully credit them for giving me the courage to go out and do what I did and having the drive to succeed (I fully intend to get a girl power tattoo after lockdown).
A true feminist empowers other women, she doesn’t bring them down. She’s strong, independent, powerful, determined and intelligent. And yes, contrary to popular belief, it’s true that you can still be intelligent whilst wearing lip gloss and stilettos.
Here are some tips on how to get by as glamour girl in a ‘feminist’ world.
Do this for nobody but you.
Hold your head up high and be proud, you’re independent and you answer to nobody but yourself.
Brush off the criticisms you’re bound to get from these angry phoney feminists (the more successful you become, unfortunately the more there will be but you can laugh your way to the bank).
Be true to yourself, only work to levels that you’re happy and comfortable with, look after yourself and always be safe.
Support the women around you and your fellow models and creators, you are not in competition with each other, you are all unique and there is room for each and every one of you.