Another name can be added to the growing list of celebrity feminists– and this one comes with some great commentary about gender equality on the big screen. In an Oct. 11 interview with The Daily Beast‘s Marlow Stern, Kristen Stewart talked about the rarity of strong and complex female protagonists in film and the double standards experienced by many women in Hollywood.
While she admitted she doesn’t see herself as the type of person to “stand up and affect change” when it comes to talking about issues in the news, Stewart did make some great points about why many women are rejecting the feminist label, telling Stern, “It’s a really ridiculous thing to say you’re not a feminist.” Read more on Huffington Post Women…
Ladies, I’m exhausted.
I know, I know — things are better in 2014 then they have historically been for women and gender minorities for generations. Our foremothers’ victories are nothing to sneeze at. They’ve paved the way for us to do incredible things, and in doing so they’ve raised the bar. We now know that we don’t have to accept “realities” like, oh I don’t know, that women aren’t cut out to be CEOS because PERIODS. Or gender minorities have to fit into a narrow, arbitrarily-created boxes. Or that getting drunk and dancing like a hilarious maniac means you’re responsible for putting yourself in danger if you’re raped. Keep reading »
“If you look up feminism in the dictionary, it just means that men and women have equal rights. And I feel like everyone here believes men and women have equal rights. But I think the reason people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture. … People think feminist means like, ‘some woman is gonna start yelling at them. … If you believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re feminist, you have to say yes because that is how words work. You can’t be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a doctor that primarily does diseases of the skin.’ Oh, so you’re a dermatologist? ‘Oh no, that’s way too aggressive of a word! No no not at all not at all.’”
While I don’t think feminism needs to be centered around men, I’m certainly happy to see anyone who understands its basic definition embrace the label, including funny dudes like Aziz Ansari. There are definitely more complex aspects to feminism beyond just “men and women should have equal rights,” and feminists disagree with each other plenty, but Ansari’s analogy (shared on last night’s “Late Show with David Letterman”) for why we shouldn’t be scared to use the word or identify as such is spot on. Welcome to the club, Aziz! [Policy Mic]
As highlighted in Emma Watson’s recent speech addressed to the United Nations, society has ravaged the word “feminism.” For many, the term has become synonymous with “anti-male.” This perception derives from the attempt to view feminism as a singular movement or theory founded by lesbians and promoted by man haters. In actuality, feminism represents an entire spectrum of ideas, many of which address the impacts of patriarchy on both male and female bodies and psyches, directly and inadvertently. The concept of male/female equality, which is the focus and goal of feminism, encompasses a more fluid view of both masculinity and femininity, freeing both genders from socially binding constructs that otherwise limit freedom of individual expression. In that way, feminism as a whole, to a large extent, works to benefit, uplift and free not only women, but also men from the shackles of male dominance and patriarchy. Let’s explore how… Keep reading »
“I think that the term [feminist] has been incredibly bastardized. I am a huge advocate of empowering women — the idea of women supporting each other and supporting themselves and making strong choices that make them happy. I think often feminism gets a very narrow definition. It’s not about making shit-tons of money and running a Fortune 500 company. It’s about doing what makes you feel good as a woman, and if that’s being a stay-at-home mom, you can be just as much of a feminist that way as you can as a fighter pilot. So in that way, yeah, of course.”
It’s a sign of the zeitgeist, I guess, when an otherwise frothy interview with an actress on one of the hottest shows on TV right now turns from face wash and lipstick to feminism? That’s what I choose to believe at least: “Girls” star Zosia Mamet spoke with Allure about makeup tips and fielded a question about whether she calls herself a feminist. Mamet, who writes a column for Glamour, has written a critique of “lean in” feminism before. Her answer was somewhat one-dimensional — I mean, it takes an enormous amount of privilege in the first place to choose to be a stay-at-home mom — but otherwise I solidly agree with Mamet. Women’s equality is about much more than a privileged, elite group of women being financially successful under capitalism. [Allure] [Image via AKM-GSI]
This weekend, Kira Kazantsev from New York won the 88th Miss America pageant at Atlantic City, which was inevitably followed by a slew of blog posts viciously skewering Kazantsev and the Miss America pageant in general. Gawker honed in on Kazantsev’s “rhythmless red-cup percussion“ rendition of “Happy,” inspired by the movie “Pitch Perfect.” Salon, in an otherwise sympathetic post, called the pageant “a collective American Nelson Muntz moment.” And Bustle redubbed Ms. America ”Miss Symbol of Conventional Gender Mores.”
Every year, I read these posts lambasting the Miss America pageant for being sexist, lame, irrelevant, and outdated, and the contestants themselves for being little more than a dumb person’s idea of ideal American femininity, anthropomorphized celery stalks liberally smeared with self-bronzer and Bonne Bell purple eyeshadow. And I agree with them, to some extent. (That flip-cup rendition of “Happy” wasn’t stellar, let’s just leave it at that.)
But mostly they just make my eyes roll into the back of my skull. Keep reading »