Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting Isn’t A Feminist Except For The Fact That She’s Living An Ideal Feminist Life, But Whatever

Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (of “The Big Bang Theory”) told Redbook that she’s not a feminist, which is fine. I really don’t care whether or not a celebrity or anyone else identifies as a feminist, so long as they don’t object at their core to the existence of feminists or feminism and dedicate their lives to making sure that women stay in our place, or whatever.

That being said, here are the things in Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s Redbook interview that are making me facepalm a little bit:

  • “She loves taking care of her man—and she’s not ashamed to admit it.” Awesome! Feminism is totally fine with women falling into whatever roles they want to have, even if that’s super-conventional gender roles. The point is that women should have the choice to be whatever we want to be, as should men, and everyone, really. Previously, women really didn’t have a choice, and we still face barriers to opportunity that men don’t.

  • “I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.” It’s great that Cuoco acknowledges that the feminist movement paved the way for her to be one of the highest-paid actors on television, but I sincerely hope that she understands that many women still face a great deal of inequality in their work and in academics. Even if she doesn’t feel that she’s ever been treated unequally, I would hope that she understands that many, many women have.

  • “I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him.” OK, seriously, she’s living, like, a feminist utopian life where she has an amazing and practically unbounded career and can choose to do whatever makes her happy at home.

  • “The marital bond seems to work both ways—Kaley thanked her ‘beautiful angel’ of a husband for nursing her after she underwent sinus surgery last week, and the two couldn’t look more in love.” So she’s also in a supportive and equitable relationship, which is also a feminist ideal.

  • “The candid star, who had to take to social media more than once to try to nip nose job rumors in the bud after her recent surgery, also reiterated how great she continues to feel about the breast implants she got in 2004.” And she feels positive about her body and is happy to stand up for the autonomous decisions that she’s made to either alter or not alter it, which is also a feminist ideal.

  • “It wasn’t about trying to be a porn star or wanting to look hot and sexy.” This is the only thing that she says in the entire piece that goes against feminist ideals (specifically, sex-positivity and support for sex workers).

I’m happy for Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, and I’m happy that there are women out there who are able to reap the benefits of decades of feminist campaigning, lobbying, and activism. I’m happy to be one of those women! I’m also very aware that feminism doesn’t only have to do with my subjective and personal sense of equality or inequality, but the inequality that women as a whole face, or the inequality that women face who aren’t white and straight-presenting and cis and normatively-abled. And I’m sure that Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting wants the best for those women too, whether or not she ever decides to call herself a feminist.

[Redbook]

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