Why there is nothing ‘feminist’ about signing up to OnlyFans for women

There isn’t anything wrong with having an OnlyFans account, but there is something wrong with it being called “feminist”.

The platform OnlyFans is becoming very popular among influencers and ex-reality television stars, and while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, I am frustrated that it is a move being rebranded as feminist.

OnlyFans, a subscription service known for people selling nudes or sexy photos, is being discussed endlessly because ex-Married At First Sight star Olivia Frazer has joined the platform. Yes, the woman who showed everyone another woman’s nude photos from OnlyFans during her tenure on the show.

I don’t think anyone can make a moral judgement on joining the platform and I think ex-Bachelor star Jimmy Nicholson suggesting people shouldn’t start an OnlyFans and instead donate to charity is a very privileged and unhelpful thing to say.

If famous-ish women want to embrace OnlyFans, it’s nobody’s business but their own. But I’m frustrated by people’s desperate need to pretend that selling your body is somehow “feminism”. Feminist or feminism has become a buzzword. People now fling that word around to justify their choices under the guise that they can’t be critiqued for selling my nudes — “it’s feminist to make money!” — but is it?

I’d argue that the whole point of feminism is about women having the rights and the space to make decisions without the patriarchy limiting their choices. Now, look, I don’t judge women for being on OnlyFans! Everyone needs to make money, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a feminist move. It is just simply a move. I’d also like to point out that Australia has a very real wage gap at 13.1 per cent, so it makes sense that women find other avenues to bolster their incomes.

I’ll be honest it does make me uncomfortable that OnlyFans is often based around women catering to the male gaze to earn an income. It isn’t a judgement on them, it just doesn’t feel like a feminist win. I’d argue that often these women aren’t doing things on their own terms, instead they are stuck trying to play to a male audience to be able to earn a living.

Dressing things up as feminism creates a lot of confusion. It is rebranding the selling of your body as a political move when I’d imagine it is primarily a financial one. Why do women need to say it’s feminist to justify doing something? A woman can make a choice that suits her that has nothing to do with feminism. Do we really think Olivia Frazer has joined the platform in the name of women’s rights?

I’d argue it’s not that deep. The fact women are joining OnlyFans speaks to a larger issue in our society. A recent study found that male influencers are paid more than female influencers. They actually earn about $8000 more on average. So, It makes sense that female influencers are looking for ways to make extra money, but is that because of this pay gap?

Is it really feminist goals? Or are they joining a platform to make extra money because their male contemporaries enjoy higher incomes and don’t need to outsource? Could this be the opposite of feminism? I don’t think we should judge women for joining OnlyFans and making money. More power to them! But we also don’t have to call it feminism either, in fact it might just be the patriarchy that’s put them in this position in the first place.

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