Feminism has been trending more than ever since early 2014. Asking female celebrities if they consider themselves a feminist has become a go-to question for interviewers, and the obvious answer should be a resounding, “YES”. But it hasn’t worked that way in a lot of cases. Generally, when a strong woman says she does not consider herself a feminist, the media jumps to the conclusion that she does not understand what being a feminist means.
Wanting equal rights for men and women is the bottom line of feminism, but people tend to assume a feminist is some kind of power hungry monster that refuses to wear a bra, and wants men to go extinct. All the exposure feminism has been getting lately has led to a more thorough understanding of what it really means to be a feminist. Women have been considered less than men for decades, and that is a fact that cannot be disputed. Why is it that now that women are fighting for equality, people think those rights are going to eclipse the rights of men?
Women just want the same opportunities as men in every sense. The chance to do everything a man does, and do it just as well. Celebrities, male and female, should be role models for the general public on giving equality, whether is it called feminism or not, a good name. Here are 10 celebrities who have done the exact opposite.
12. Lana Del Rey
When asked her opinion on feminism, Lana Del Rey said, “For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested.” Lana Del Rey is not interested in equality, people. It really just bores her, and she would rather not discuss it. She may not have ever had to experience first hand what discrimination feels like, so she has no concept of the importance of feminism. Her attitude demonstrates perfectly the self centered little world some people live in. If it doesn’t affect them, it isn’t an issue.
11. Lily Allen
British singer, Lily Allen, told Shortlist.com that she hates the word feminism because “it shouldn’t even be a thing anymore”. She went on to say “We’re all equal, everyone is equal. Why is there even a conversation about feminism? What’s the man version of feminism? There isn’t even a word for it. Meninism. Male-ism. It doesn’t exist.” Actually, #meninism has been trending on Twitter lately, and it is basically a parody of feminism, with guys wondering why women can’t ask them out on dates, hold doors open for them, and pay for things more often. Feminism isn’t meant to exclude men, and Allen needs to check her facts about how “equal” men and women really are in reality. She later backtracked on her comments, saying, “of course I’m a feminist.”
She may have called the song “Miss Independent” her own, but Kelly Clarkson considers the label feminist to be “too strong.” She told TIME magazine, “I think when people hear feminist it’s just 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 an actual 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.” She doesn’t seem to understand that being able to choose the type of man she wants is something that women of the past didn’t have the luxury of. Who says feminists aren’t attracted to men who are leaders?
In 2013, Joni Mitchell did an interview with CBC radio’s Jian Ghomeshi where she blatantly said, “I’m not a feminist.” She tried to explain her views by saying, “I’ve got a lot of male friends,” and “I don’t want to get a posse against men.” No one is saying the world should be men vs. women. No one is even saying inequality is all the man’s fault. Society has shaped us all to see things in a certain way, and to view women as the lesser gender, and that is what feminism is working against.
Ironically, it was before an Equality Now event where she was being honored for her global advocacy of girls and women, that Salma Hayek declared she was not a feminist. She told People magazine on the red carpet, “If men were going through the things women are going through today, I would be fighting for them with just as much passion. I believe in equality.” For a celebrity who co-founded Chime for Change, a charity that fights for women’s rights, to not understand that feminism is about equality, is disappointing.
Although the character she plays in the Divergent film franchise is a strong example of a feminist in modern pop culture, Shailene Woodley does not identify as a feminist herself. She told TIME magazine that she is not a feminist because she “loves men” and she thinks “the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance.” Even after being criticized for her views, she still said the word “feminism is a label that discriminates.” Again, feminism is about equality for everyone, not JUST women. No one seems to be able to stop associating feminism with “feminine”, and it is so much more than that.
To Gwyneth Paltrow there is no way to fight for women’s rights in something like career equality, while living life as a wife and a mother. She gave some advice to a friend, saying, “this may not be feminist, but you have to compromise. It’s been all about you and you’re a big deal. And if you want what you’re saying you want — a family — you have to be a wife, and that is part of the equation.” Actually, it is feminist to compromise. But it shouldn’t always be the woman doing the compromising. You don’t have to choose one or the other – your career, or your family – you just have to learn how to balance both. Feminism is about having the opportunity and support to be able to do so.
Former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell, may have been all about girl power at one time, but she has made it clear that that doesn’t mean she is a feminist. She said, “it’s about labeling. For me feminism is bra-burning lesbianism. It’s very unglamorous. I’d like to see it re-branded. We need to see a celebration of our femininity and softness.” Being a feminist does not mean you can’t also be feminine, or maternal. It just means you don’t have to be exclusively defined by those things.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker may have starred in one of the most popular TV shows depicting strong women, but she still does not consider herself a feminist. Specifically, she said “I am not a feminist. I am a humanist.” Technically the two are the same thing, but she would just rather distance herself from the negative connotations that feminism has picked up on its journey through history. Maybe it really is just the title that people don’t like, but saying you aren’t a feminist tends to come across as ignorant, just the same.
Although when asked if she thought her overt sexuality would distract from her talent as a musician, Lady Gaga pointed out that a male rock star would never be asked that question, she still is not a feminist. She said “I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture and beer and bars and muscle cars.” Again – feminism is not man-hating, and judging all that is considered “masculine”. Gaga later admitted that she is “a little bit of a feminist” proving that once people think about the term and realize what it really means, they are more comfortable admitting they identify with it.
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