There seems to be this fun new trend going on where female celebrities publicly claim to “not be feminists” or “not need feminism”. Björk did it, saying that feminism has a lot to do with complaining. Taylor Swift doesn’t consider herself a feminist because she “doesn’t really think about things as guys vs girls”, missing the point completely. Lady Gaga, though she later revised her statements (kind of), apparently thought she couldn’t be a feminist and also love men. Geri Hallowell thinks feminism is “bra-burning lesbianism”. Carrie Underwood thinks it has “negative connotations”. Dita Von Teese dodges the question entirely. Kelly Clarkson doesn’t think she can be a feminist and also have a man take care of her.
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting is the most recent of the bunch, saying “it’s not really something I think about” and that she’s “never really faced inequality”. The article also makes a point to mention her relationship with her husband, quoting Kaley as saying “I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him”, and further goes on to discuss her breast augmentation, as if these things are all somehow related.
In my opinion, if she enjoys cooking for her husband and being a “housewife” in any way she wants, good for her. I am all about people making their own choices that make them happy, and if that’s a choice she enjoys making, so be it. It reminded me of a quote from Ruth Fisher, a character in the amazing series Six Feet Under:
Feminism means being accepted for who you are. I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I never gave anything up to be a mother or a wife. It was what I wanted.
As far as the breast augmentation goes, if it’s something she did for herself and it’s made her more confident and proud in her skin, again, good for her. Women AND men should do what makes them happy and make no apologies for it.
I guess what makes me sad is the obvious lack of understanding about what feminism truly is. It has nothing to do with pitting men and women against each other. It has nothing to do with calling all men evil or misogynistic or sexist. It has nothing to do with making women more powerful than men, or tipping the scales in the other direction. It has nothing to do with lesbianism at all (I’m looking at you, Geri Hallowell).
Feminism is about equal opportunities. Feminism is about bashing gender stereotypes, including those that are placed on men. Feminism is about women being taken seriously, about women receiving fair pay, about women being treated with respect. Feminism is about women feeling safe in all situations, no matter how much they’ve had to drink or what they’re wearing or what neighborhood they happen to be walking in. Feminism is about making the choices that are right for you, not the choices that are forced on you by society’s expectations. Feminism is not a bad word.
Just because you haven’t faced equality doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for equality.