Monday, March 30, 2009

That Damn Dirty F-Word

Here are some brilliant quotes by brilliant women about feminism. (That was sarcasm.)

The first three are taken from here.

Lady Gaga:
''I think it's great to be a sexy, beautiful woman who can f--- her man after she makes him dinner,'' she says. ''There's a stigma around feminism that's a little bit man-hating. And I don't promote hatred, ever. That's not to say that I don't appreciate women who feel that way. I've got a lot of gay women friends that are like, 'Put your clothes on.' People just have different views about it. I'm not wrong. I'm free. And if it's wrong to be free, then I don't want to be right. Things are changing. We've got a black president, people.''

"There's a really negative connotation with the word feminist. I have no penis envy. I love being a woman, I love women. I think we are special and spectacular in so many different ways, but the connotation behind feminism is generally that we hate men; you know, we don't shave our legs. But if the word feminist just means a female who is comfortable in her own skin and doesn't apologise for it, then yes. I don't apologise for being a woman or being who I am."

Hillary Duff:
"I'm not, like, a crazy feminist. I think women definitely need men. Like, I couldn't imagine having a girlfriend!"

Kelly Clarkson:
Would you call yourself a feminist?

"No, not at all. I mean, that was the first time in my life -- which maybe I'm naïve and I've not been put in any situations like that -- but that's the first time in my life I've ever even heard someone use that mentality. I'm like, "Hey, knock-knock, 2008." Most of the men in my life have been very highly supportive. I've never had to even think like a feminist because no one around me even thinks one [sex] is higher than the other."


It's really interesting how feminism is STILL getting such a bad wrap. And even though a majority of people understand gender bias exists, they can't imagine referring to themselves as feminists. I mean, feminists all burn bras, hate men, and don't shave their arm pits, right?

Needless to say, I don't burn bras (I LOVE BRAS!) I don't hate me (I LOVE MEN...well the ones in my life, at least) and I do shave my armpits (I LOVE 'EM SILKY SMOOTH). I can admit that shaving might just be a tool of oppression, but I digress.

There is an interesting phenomena in the world. And let's call it "I'm not a feminist but..." Basically, women are so afraid of being labeled a feminist, that they'll go to any length to distance themselves from the term, despite holding and espousing feminist values. Just so long as before saying feminist things, they can tack on the phrase "I'm not a feminist but..." they're in the clear. PHEW! That was a close one...someone almost thought you were a feminist. *Insert horror movie scream.*

It all comes down to the denigration of feminism in the popular area. I think the most clever thing that was done to feminists by oppressors was to associate feminism with hating men. It's so simple and seemingly logical. You're pro-woman? Well then you must be anti-men! (Although any reasonable person knows that the world is not so binary as that... there's a lot of "gray," my friends.) This made it less attractive to women and nearly impossible for men to associate themselves with feminism. Which further broke the movement, and let the oppression continue. Think about it...if feminism had been widely embraced, things probably would be much more equitable by now, right? (Of course to agree to that, you'd have to actually understand what feminism is about and not buy the hype.)

Similar things have happened to the black power movement and the gay rights movement. By stereotyping black power leaders as white-hating, militant, and dangerous...fear was created and the mainstream didn't trust them. By portraying gay right activists as people who want to "teach" homosexuality to your children, they were not trusted.

I don't want to get off on a crazy tangent about the man, but come on...can't we see what's happening? Any time a group rises to challenge the status quo, we're made to fear and hate them.

Same holds true for feminism.

I don't know what hopeful conclusions I can draw to end this on, except to say that for those of us who are feminists, we've got to let the people around us know that we are. Eventually they'll have to admit that we don't fit that stereotype.


  1. You gotta love it. I especially love it when people will say they believe in equal rights, but aren't a feminist. Well, I have news for you. You are a fuckin' feminist!

    Ignorance is bliss.

  2. Ignorance is bliss if you like being ignorant :)

  3. is this ur way of saying, "myranda u were right about that kelly clarkson quote"

    ...because that's totally what you're saying

  4. In a way, I suppose. But I do still hold each of those celebrities above accountable for their own thoughts, opinions, and ignorance. You can only blame society for so long...

    As cognitive adults, we each have the personal responsibility to learn and educate ourselves, beyond what we are told by the mainstream. It's one thing to actually disagree with feminism (even if I don't see how any woman could...) but it's a whole other to say feminist things and hold feminist beliefs, but then say "I'm not a feminist!" That means that you:

    1) Believe the stereotyping and negative hype about feminism
    2) Actually have no idea what feminism is AND
    3) STILL speak about it.

    If you don't really know what something is, why bash it?

    On an unrelated note...I think that "I'm not a _______ BUT" statements are hilarious, because the people saying these things ARE always what they say they aren't. For example, "I'm not a racist BUT..." You're probably racist. "I'm not homophobic BUT..." You're probably homophobic. It never fails!

  5. So what is a person who agrees with gender equality but does not subscribe to most of the common feminist beliefs?

    In my experience most Feminists believe things, that they would characterise as symptomatic of their Feminism, that I wouldn't advocate in a million years. For example, almost all Feminists, in my experience, advocate a massive increase in emphasis on (what they see as) a significant and growing rape culture that oppresses women etcetera. I don't agree with this for the most part, however I do believe that people shouldn't rape, and I do believe that people should have equal opportunities regardless of gender.

    I don't call myself, or consider myself, a Feminist because Feminism inevitably entails such beliefs or at least very similar ones. Just as I might be patriotic, but I wouldn't join a Nationalist movement, because for the most part they are insane racists etcetera.

    So what am I then? Am I a Feminist? Because I sure don't want to be one and it's got absolutely nothing to do with the stereotypes annexed to Feminism, it's to do with the actual beliefs that are associated with it.

    1. I'd like to first note that I wrote this in 2009, so obviously, my thoughts and philosophy has significantly grown and deepened in 5 years.

      That said, if you actively do not identify with feminism then you're clearly not a feminist and it's as simple as that. I wrote this in an effort to try to break down the stigma associated with the term for people who otherwise generally agree with the principles.


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