Condemn Columnist for Sexist Attack on Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet

Target: Columnist Judith Woods

Goal: Urge columnist to apologize for negatively judging women on the basis of their sex lives.

Recently, columnist Judith Woods published a defamatory article on Oscar-winning actor Kate Winslet, under the headline “Three babies by three fathers — will it be third time lucky for Kate Winslet?” The column begins by announcing Kate Winslet’s pregnancy, but unfolds into a sexist discourse that highlights double standards in the media’s scrutiny of female celebrities’ sex lives. Woods criticizes Winslet for having children with multiple partners, calling her “tacky” and even suggesting Winslet’s personal choices detract from her professional successes.

Woods writes that Winslet’s pregnancies with different partners will negatively affect her children, but in reality, the cruel and sexist words of Woods’ column send a disheartening message to Winslet’s 12-year-old daughter Mia: In 2013, successful women are still harshly judged harshly by society and are bound by patriarchal notions of purity. Male celebrities are rarely held to the same standards, and by slut-shaming Winslet, Woods perpetuates these sexist double standards for no identifiable reason other than to vilify a woman for having multiple sex partners.

Women who choose to enter multiple relationships or bear children with multiple partners should be free to do so without being derided as “sluts.” Columnists need to know that such sexist discourse harms women everywhere. All too often, women in the public eye and in positions of power are judged based on their sex lives or personal decisions, and this has to stop if we ever hope for women to hold equal footing in society.

By signing the petition below, you will show Woods and other members of mainstream media that sexist attacks on women’s personal lives are unacceptable and counterproductive to the fight for gender equality in society.


Dear Judith Woods,

Sexist attacks on female celebrities must end. It’s time for columnists to stop criticizing women on the basis of their sex and personal lives.

The blatant sexism of the column “Three babies by three fathers — will it be third time lucky for Kate Winslet?” attacks Winslet for no reason other than to insult and defame. This kind of criticism underscores the double standards high-profile women are held to by the media and society.

Not only does the column unjustifiably attack Winslet and send a disheartening message to her 12-year-old daughter by harshly judging her mother, but the sexism Woods’ words drip with hurts women everywhere. It suggests that women should not be allowed to engage with multiple sex partners or have a loving relationship with more than one person. These double standards and efforts to slut-shame further emphasize the unequal status of women in society.

There is nothing wrong with a woman’s choice to bear children with multiple partners, and such a choice should absolutely not take away from any woman’s success. Winslet’s decision to raise children with multiple fathers does not hurt her family, but sexist attacks do. I urge you and columnists everywhere to stop judging women on the basis of their personal lives.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: NMinTO via Flickr.

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