The anti-objectification protest outside the Miss University London beauty pageant finals on Tuesday was the sort of event you really only see in arthouse films set to a soaring indie soundtrack. A samba band joined us, and the whole thing turned into a glorious street party, with people from the area coming in to dance and stamp and join in. With chants that sounded like we'd practiced with the musicians for hours. The police were called in to disperse us, and the frigid-looking princes and princesses waiting for entry to the club were terribly peeved, which was fantastic, because winding up boring hipsters is amongst the more wholesome of my private passions.
The full report is here, on Counterfire, with videos of us all dancing and screaming and acting like the sort of idiots who don't understand that the market loves misogyny and there's nothing you can do about it. The idiot you can hear shouting in the first video is me, and the words I'm yelling are: That's not what empowerment looks like - This is what empowerment looks like!
When the Miss World pageant came to London in 1970, second-wave feminists were there, trying to resist the deliberate commercial alienation of women from our own bodies. Forty years later, feminists are still here, we're still organising, and we're still angry that brilliant young women with everything ahead of them are routinely duped by corporate whorebags into letting themselves be weighed like pieces of meat and judged in their swimsuits in the name of perky fun and money for the middle-man. The placards are new, but the injustice is the same. The difference is that this year, we had men standing alongside us, refusing to have their sexuality poached and sold back to them, resisting this antique symbol of the objectification industries' assault on their sisters' self-esteem.
My favourite part was when a couple of the attending hipsters stood behind us and loudly enumerated which of us they would and wouldn't consider putting their dicks into, and called us all 'ugly'. Funnily enough, I always get called ugly when I misbehave. Some things never change.