That appalling oil spill off the Western Australian coast has prompted a brave protest in which sassy sisters in bikinis covered themselves in oil and paraded in front of the Perth offices of the evil corporation responsible for the catastrophe.

While I heartily endorse the statement that these feisty feminist fellow travellers were making with their protest, did they really have to confirm the dominant paradigm of phallocentric lookism to make their point? While they weren't quite participating in their own oppression - I mean, they are of the left; they are simply too self aware for that - they were getting dangerously close to it. Also, it perturbs me to think of the message they were sending to young pre-women who are still impressionable, and have not yet had their consciousness raised by feminsim.

Surely it would have been more powerful - and empowering - had they kept their clothes on. If they did think that semi-nudity was crucial to get the media interested, couldn't the male protesters have worn the bikinis? That would have made a statement about fossil fuels and gender stereotyping. It would have been a kind of "two for the price of one" deal then (and I don't mean that in a capitalist way).

What do you think, fellow travellers?