BREASTS. In Search of Freedom
Original title: SEINS. En quête d’une libération
Women’s breasts are a source of tension, in the public and private spheres as well as in politics. They symbolize both women’s submission to age-old norms and something women used to assert their own emancipation. This feminist essay, based on women’s real-life experiences,unveils a thousand and one harbingers of change.
Be they round, firm, perky, small, big, sexy and nourishing all at once, women’s breasts have been the source of court orders, lawsuits and innumerable fantasies. Yet, people’s own experience of them falls far from their ideals. These societally imposed norms often feel more like poison and render actual breasts invisible.
Camille Froidevaux-Metterie questioned women of all ages about their lives through the lens of their breasts: when they first appeared, wearing a bra, seduction and sexual pleasure, the weight of societal norms, plastic surgery (whether necessary or chosen), breastfeeding, disease… Forgotten heroes in the fight for women’s rights, both private and public, breasts bring together every aspect of the current female life experience in a coexisting blend of alienation and liberation.
We need to nourish the powerful dynamic the author refers to as “a genital turning point in feminism,” or a way of reclaiming the most intimate parts women’s bodies: better understanding female genitals and how they work, fighting against sexist and sexual violence, demanding sexuality be free, egalitarian and based on consent. Breasts, both the in diversity of their form and the necessity they be free from constraint, are part of this movement.
- During her interviews, the author photographed women’s breasts, which, along with their words, are a powerful illustration of this “breast experience.”
- 80 photos
- English sample available