A professor from University of Cambridge is facing a barrage of backlash after she used her naked body to deliver a political message to her students and critics during a lecture.
Dr. Victoria Bateman is an economic fellow at the university who would describe herself as a passionate feminist who has established a reputation for herself by using nudity as a way to draw attention to women’s rights.
Bateman appeared in a recent video completely in the nude with the words “My body my choice” inked across her body. Her reasoning?
Bateman has argued that the restrictions women face in today’s society were brought on by the association of women’ bodies with sin.
“From foot binding, to female genital mutilation, from restrictions on women’s ability to work, to restrictions on their travel – what’s the common factor behind all of those historic and current limitations on women’s freedom across the world?” she asks.
“One factor; the association of women’s bodies with sin, something that results in society’s desire to mutilate them, to cover them up, to keep them within the home, to restrict women’s ability to work and travel. And how do we tackle that? Not by adding to it, but instead, by challenging it, and how do we do that? With the simple message, ‘my body, my choice.’”
The video can be seen here:
There is *so* much to be gained by challenging the notion that women's bodies are sinful – & by standing up to the presumption that if a woman's body is on show, she is trashy, stupid, worthless & deserving of less respect. That's why I for one will *not* be told to cover up. pic.twitter.com/8mVg1LkVrW
— Dr Victoria Bateman (@vnbateman) February 7, 2019
In response to the question of whether she is an exhibitionist, Bateman stated:
“Why should I as a woman only be able to use my body for sex and babies? Why shouldn’t I also be able to use my body to deliver an important political message?”
Bateman was quick to add that the only thing that makes her nudity shocking is the fact that she has a voice.
The professor has faced a lot of criticism for her actions, to which she says she wouldn’t be “bullied into covering up my message.” According to Bateman, some individuals just “seem threatened by a body not under ‘their’ control — & by women who are comfortable & confident in their own skin!”
The Cambridge professor first made headlines when she posed nude for a portrait that was shown at a Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition in London five years ago.
Since that time, she has displayed her nudity at multiple events, which include a university function.
While she does receive a lot of criticism from both men and women online, she argues that the comments only prove her point.