This post was first published on Elite Daily on October 27, 2016.
"I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a feminist, that can come off as a negative connotation. But I am a strong female." -Carrie Underwood
…Ok? Last I checked a 'strong female' is still a feminist, Carrie.
"For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested." -Lana Del Rey
(After being asked if she’s a feminist) “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.” -Taylor Swift
Taylor...... what. are. you. saying.
"I'm not a feminist. I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars…” -Lady Gaga
“For me feminism is bra-burning lesbianism. It's very unglamorous. I'd like to see it rebranded. We need to see a celebration of our femininity and softness." -Geri Halliwell
These are just a few of the most outrageous statements I’ve heard regarding the term, ‘feminism.’
Between Sanders' distasteful commentary on Planned Parenthood and Trump's repulsive misogyny along with his daft supporters, this year's presidential election has me enraged, especially with one serious issue. The fight for feminism is still on.
And, my stance aims to highlight the dark undercurrent that still exists in 2016: there are men and women who remain, to this day, uncomfortable with the movement of true female power.
Which is why it is incredibly maddening, and disgustingly offensive when a woman says she is not a feminist. Ladies: what exactly do you mean when you say you are not a feminist? How as a woman do you not identify with feminism?
Is it because:
You appreciate romance?
You don’t want to burn your bra?
You work in the fashion or beauty industry?
You want to get married?
You’re a housewife?
You’re a mother?
You like men?
Newsflash: none of the above statements have anything to do with feminism.
So, if you have answered no to any or all of the above questions, you should be a feminist. If you have answered yes to any or all of the above questions, you should still be a feminist.
Feminism is not the advocacy of one gender over another, so please escape the crude perception that feminists hate men. Or the ridiculous, asinine notion that feminists can’t be feminine or nurturing or…hairless. If I fight for my right to earn a salary equal to my male colleagues, if I speak out against rape and sexual assault, if I'm pro-choice, if I challenge patriarchy-- I can and should do so regardless if I'm single or married, if I'm a pragmatic or a romantic, if I'm a housewife or the White House Chief of Staff, or if I'm wearing a suit or a freaking tutu.
A feminist is (and only is) a believer in the social, economical and political equality of women and men. Period. If you, as a woman, believe that you are entitled to the same rights as men to live, say, do, earn, ask, demand, love in any way you please, you are -without a doubt- a feminist.
It is also vital to falsify any and all beliefs of a midway area between feminism and sexism. There is no middle ground to lay your insecurities of being ignorantly portrayed as an angry, anti-communist lesbian, and there is no extraterrestrial universe where you can quietly ‘look away’ from the blatant undermining of women’s right.
So to repeat the wise words of Joss Whedon, “You either believe women are people or you don’t.” It's that simple. And, to the ladies specifically: instead of shaming the idea of feminism-- embrace it. This is a cause that affects you substantially. Educate yourself on the true, pure-hearted ideals of feminism and help push this movement along, so our daughters, our granddaughters, and our great granddaughters don't have to.