Don’t Worry: I Am Not A Feminist

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There seem to be a lot of stories coming out lately about female celebrities and politicians wanting to declare themselves specifically NOT feminists. For instance Katy Perry, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Sandra Day O’Connor and Lady Gaga all claim to be something other than feminists. Sarah Jessica Parker claims she is rather “a humanist”. The underlying assumption is that there is something wrong with being a feminist, something negative, dirty, aggressive, and—god forbid—political. Most of these women claim to not be feminists because they like men, or feel that word is too harsh or has negative connotations. I believe that feminism as an identity covers a broad spectrum of ideas, but at the core is a belief that women and men are equal, and an understanding that there are many ways in which women and men are not treated as equal. In some ways, it functions as an alternative to misogyny. The disturbing point is that these women have more social (and political) power than most and they are dismissing feminism either because they believe that the term is culturally misunderstood, or because they themselves misinterpret it (as though you cannot like/love men and be a feminist, for instance). Where would we be if these women instead reshaped the term by using the power of their voice to broaden the cultural understanding of the term? Maybe some big shot men could even get in on this game…

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(You’re welcome, for reminding you that Feminist Ryan Gosling is a thing just in time for Finals…)

 Abbey Roth

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About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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2 Responses to Don’t Worry: I Am Not A Feminist

  1. Abbey,

    I agree with your opinions of feminism. That women (and men) view the term negatively or incorrectly also makes me sad. Since when does wanting gender equality make me a man-hating ball of rage?

    Personally, I think it may stem from the “femi-nazi” trend made popular by (our favorite) Rush Limbaugh. This trend makes absolutely no sense (Nazis were not so great with gender equality) but the term spreads like wildfire. This could be due to the fact that, as you pointed out, feminism is misunderstood. Perhaps men in power feel threatened by women. Perhaps people feel uncomfortable when the status quo is challenged. Whatever the reason, I think the femi-nazi trend is extremely disturbing and detrimental to women across the nation.

    It’s not just Rush, either. Just take a look at the Hypocrite Feminist meme (http://www.quickmeme.com/Hypocrite-Feminist/?upcoming). Slightly more encouraging is the Feminist Nazi meme that actually imploded on itself (http://www.quickmeme.com/Feminist-Nazi/?upcoming).

    Yay ladies,
    Rachel Baer

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