Those of you who are loyal followers of my blog will have noticed my recent post about the re-introduction of Page 3 models. The scandal was just one of a long string of offensive controversies involving The Sun newspaper in the past, but, other than highlighting just how low some will go to sell papers, it also contributed to the latest feminist debates of the decade. 2014, it seems, was the year of the feminist, largely thanks to many scandals empowering movements that changed our perspective on women in modern society. While some of the issues carry on into 2015, what have we learned from 2014’s most salient moments in feminism?

#GamerGate

Back in August last year, female gamers were the subject of social media abuse when it emerged that a female video games developer was in a relationship with a video games critic. In a bid to promote ethics in video game journalism, the hashtag #GamerGate was created, but it soon became a symbol for feminism in gaming, much to the ire of many Twitter trolls, who saw it as an excuse to bully others.

It’s completely ridiculous to think in 2014 that women are any less valued in the gaming world, but thankfully, games developers are ignoring us no longer. Mr Smith Casino has a range of games specifically targeted towards the female market, while studies have shown that 52 per cent of modern day gamers are women. So if there’s one thing we’ve learned from feminism in gaming in 2014, it’s that we have a voice.

Emma Watson’s touching UN speech

In September 2014, Harry Potter star Emma Watson took the brave step to address the UN and inform them of her #heforshe campaign, promoting equality between the sexes. The 24- year-old showed an astounding display of integrity as she told of how she was sexualised by the media at age 14, and highlighted the issue that men in modern society cannot be seen to be doing ‘feminine’ things such as crying.

Watson’s campaign was particularly poignant as it demonstrated to us just what it means to be a feminist, throwing out the idea that being a feminist is synonymous with hating men. Her speech truly highlighted the need for equality between men and women, and it was refreshing to see such a well-respected figure campaigning for such important issues.

Kim Kardashian’s backside…and Alyssa Milano’s response

In November 2014, in something of a crass move, socialite Kim Kardashian attempted to “break the internet” by posing completely naked and covered in baby oil for Paper Magazine. The photos went viral within minutes, particularly amongst Kim’s 25 million Twitter followers, and soon spawned their own parodies, debates and arguments.

Kim claimed she took part in the shoot as she wanted to celebrate getting back into shape after having a baby. Of course, loving you for who you are is one of the central tenets of feminism, but the photos did inspire something of a debate for actress Alyssa Milano. The star posted a photograph on Twitter of her breastfeeding her child, one of the most natural things in the world, but was soon subject to criticism. She promptly asked her followers:

“Wait! I don’t get it. No disrespect to Kim but… people are offended by my breastfeeding selfies & are fine with her (amazing) booty cover? ”

Alyssa had a point well made, and in an age where it is considered offensive to do what we were put on this Earth to do, it was refreshing to see her questioning people’s standards. Of course, as Alyssa said, there was nothing wrong with Kim’s shoot, but nor is there anything wrong with breastfeeding – both photographs served the highlight the true beauty of the feminine form, which, like motherhood, is the epitome of feminism and something to be celebrated.