Amal Clooney is pregnant! Did you know that? Pregnant! Enriched with the Hollywood sperm of her husband George, Clooney is currently in the process of growing not one but two – two! – babies. And she is “blossoming”, says the Sun. Also, she wore yellow, which is a “brave colour” in which to “show off” her bump (the Mirror). Brave Amal Clooney. But also, oh dear, reckless Amal Clooney, because what has she got on her feet? Heels. Not one, not two, not three, but four inch heels. “Towering heels”, in fact, the Daily Mail reports.
As we all know this is a very unwise thing for a pregnant woman to do. Although given that only weeks ago the Mail was engaging in important investigative journalism revealing that: “A flat shoe may be comfortable, but it can have the effect of making any saddlebags more evident.” Perhaps we should instead be saying “sensible Amal Clooney”? After all, when the world’s media is looking at, scrutinising and inspecting every portion of your body, it would be unfortunate to draw attention to the wrong kind of bumps.
As well as being pregnant, Amal Clooney is also an international human rights lawyer who is currently petitioning the UN to take action on Isis’s genocidal atrocities in Iraq against the Yazidi people. In some of the pictures of Amal Clooney with her “blossoming” bump, in her brave yellow and her towering shoes, you can even see Nadia Murad – a young Yazidi woman who was enslaved and raped by Isis, and who Clooney is now representing.
But what do mass murders and mass rapes have to interest us when we could be talking about the fascinating business of the Clooney uterus? Because whatever you do as a woman, you always have to be dragged back to your femaleness and judged on your femininity.
You might think you’re a professional of some standing engaged in urgent humanitarian action, but – ha ha! – no chance. You are the support structure to a swelling womb. You are a fashion plate, entered into the eternally unwinnable game of “Frump or Slut?”.
There is no privacy in a pregnant body, as any woman who’s been pregnant can tell you. All the judgement and intrusion that is generally aimed at women is redoubled against those gestating: everything you eat is up for judgement, everything you do is an occasion for tutting, and anyone who fancies it feels entitled to lay a hand on your belly because, hey, is it even your belly anymore when you’re growing a person in there?
The female body is an amazing thing. In any reasonable society, the press and public would be falling back in awe from Amal Clooney, not rushing up to prod her. What other sane response could there be to someone who is not only taking on Isis, but doing it while her body simply gets on with assembling new humans, cell by cell? But we do not live in a reasonable society. We live in a world where a woman’s body is never her own. In representing Murad, Clooney is taking on the most horrifically violent manifestation of that truth; in her treatment by the press, Clooney is subject to its most facile form.Reuse content