When you start writing about feminism on the internet, you’re diving nose first into a cess pool of ignorant shit. That’s the best way I can sum it up. Though here I am, writing about it anyway, because yet again another starlet, a role model to young girls (looking at you Kelly) was talking about why she definitely isn’t a feminist.
Q: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
A: No, I wouldn’t say feminist — that’s too strong. I think when people hear feminist, it’s like, “Get out of my way, I don’t need anyone.” I love that I’m being taken care of, and I have a man that’s a leader. I’m not a feminist in that sense… but I’ve worked really hard since I was 19, when I first auditioned for Idol.
Pretty sure you have no idea what feminism means but alright.
This is not some new issue we’re dealing with. There are dozens of starlets who won’t identify as feminists, probably representing thousands upon thousands of women who then won’t either. And they are just perpetuating the idea that being a feminist is a dirty thing to be… which, if you think about it, is probably the best example of why feminism is relevant.
I don’t believe that anybody should be pressured into identifying with a group, movement or label. So don’t interpret this as me believing everybody has to identify with something or another. However, I think the problem we have here is that people aren’t identifying as “feminist” when they otherwise would because they don’t want to be associated with the dirty stigma, or rather, they don’t really know what it means to be a feminist.
Just because people have demonstrated extreme actions before and identified with “feminist” does not mean that accounts for the concept in and of itself. Feminism is not a dirty word and the only way we’re going to make it seem so in our culture is if the major role models for young girls get on board with at the very least understanding what feminism means and why it can, and should, be very important for generations of young girls to come. Generations of young girls that will inevitably look up to them for guidance.
This is an incredible over-simplification, but I resort to this because I think for many people, we’re starting at square one. Here are a few signs you may indeed be a feminist yourself, whether or not you dislike the title.
1. You believe men and women should be seen as equal, and in fact, you don’t think gender binaries or roles should be social constructs that determine any part of a person’s happiness, ability to choose, or overall well-being.
2. You realize that though you ultimately support equality, at the present moment, you have to be attuned to the ways in which we have to get women out from under oppression and prejudice, and thus, focusing on women rather than equality as a whole is something that’s actually very important.
3. You realize that the effects of being in a patriarchal society are so ingrained in our everyday lives we become blind to it if it isn’t pointed out regularly.
4. You don’t believe it’s right that women have to be judged based off of their bodies in ways that men never do. Though you acknowledge that men have their own set of ridiculous physical standards, the severity pales in comparison to women.
5. You understand that you can be heterosexual, happily taken care of by a man, an advocate of winged eyeliner and a great blowout, someone who takes pride in being a housewife and with a weekly shellac’ed manicure, and still be a feminist.
6. You don’t believe that girls should be taught how not to get raped, but that boys should be taught not to rape.
7. You realize that you’ve used any of the following as an insult to someone else: You’re such a girl! You’re such a pussy. Stop being a girl. Ew, grow some balls. He’s being such a little girl about it.
8. You realize that your feelings will be dismissed quickly, and eyes will be rolled when you get emotional. You’ll be called crazy where a man will be feared and respected if he gets upset.
9. You want to be a successful woman who’s not considered a bitch because she abides by the same managerial standards of her male coworkers.
10. You realize that our idea of feminism is privileged, because there are millions of women around the world who are sex slaves to strangers and to their husbands, that some women are just attaining their ability to drive in some countries, that they are so severely oppressed but don’t know any better because nobody tells them. And they will spend their lives like this because nobody will stand up and teach them there’s a life outside of what they know.
That’s kind of what we have to do here as well. Stop hiding and start teaching.