This week, Emma Watson posed in a sexy photoshoot for Vanity Fair.
The "Beauty and the Beast" star went almost topless for the magazine's March cover story.
This is, of course, ridiculous. Women can be feminists no matter what they choose to wear.
Watson has dedicated much of her career to advocating for women and girls. She's visited Bangladesh and Zambia to promote women's education. She launched the United Nations HeForShe campaign, which asks men to stand up for gender equality. Heck, she even inspired Malala Yousafzai to declare herself a feminist.
Posing topless does not detract from any of this work. Feminism doesn't come with a dress code.
The true hypocrisy lies in Watson's words — not what she's wearing.
In a 2014 interview for Wonderland magazine, Watson said she's not so sure Beyoncé is a feminist. After watching the music videos for Beyonce's self-titled album, Watson had this to say:
"As I was watching [the videos] I felt very conflicted, I felt her message felt very conflicted in the sense that on the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her."
Essentially, Watson is saying that Beyoncé put her feminist credentials in jeopardy when she put her body on display.
Much like Watson, Beyoncé has frequently used her fame to draw attention to women's issues.
The singer inspired countless young women when she sampled Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her track, "Flawless." She pulled Malcolm X quotes about women's rights into "Lemonade." She even danced in front of a massive sign reading "FEMINIST" at the MTV Video Music Awards.
If the woman wants to roll around semi-naked in a music video, more power to her.
Watson’s comments are grounded in a pressing problem with modern-day feminism: its exclusion of Black women.
From the suffragette movement all the way to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, the voices and concerns of Black women have been silenced by the feminist community. Comments like Watson's prove Black women are still not granted agency in the feminist movement.
Watson's comments also play into the idea that Black women’s bodies are inherently inappropriate. For much of history, while white women’s bodies were worshipped and adored, Black women’s were considered overly sexual, and even dirty.
That's why, when a white actress takes a sexy photo, prominent thinkers will jump to her defense. When a Black woman bares her body on screen, however, her fellow feminists turn on her in the press.
It's time for Watson — and all white women — to realize that their feminism applies to Black women, too.
We should know by now; the only way forward is together.