Many influential female celebrities declare they aren’t feminists

Julia James, Staff Writer

We live in a society in which mass media dominates. It is easy to keep up with all that is happening in the world around us. If you or I felt so inclined, we could quite simply type in a recent world event, look up how to do a math problem or Google the various opinions on the meaning of life. We have an immense amount of information and opinions at our fingertips, but sometimes those are misleading. This is about feminism and the more negative side shown because of how it is perceived by some in the media.

With the ever-trusty Google, I looked up the exact definition of feminism, just so we all understand that feminism is empowering and should not be met with scorn. The definition of a feminist is this: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equalities of the sexes. Doesn’t that definition sound like a good thing? It’s the ideal and deserved equality that women have been working for centuries to achieve; what is so wrong with it? What is so wrong with advocating and working for the feminist cause of complete equality in every aspect within society?

We know what it means to be a feminist, or at least what it means to be a feminist in the words of Google’s definition. The issue, however, is not with the definition itself but with the sometimes negative connotation behind this f-word. Unfortunately, to some, accepting that title is unappealing thing. Celebrities like Shailene Woodley, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Demi Moore and Madonna all said they were not feminists. These women are incredibly influential and, to me, it seems as though they are disregarding feminism and the entire motive behind it. They are throwing away all of their possible influence on women in persuading them to accept this title and encouraging them to want to change the fact that, for example, we are still paid less than men in many of the same jobs, and that in many countries, women truly are perceived as second-class citizens.

These female celebrities revoking the title of feminism does not make much sense in my eyes, and their reasoning is not any better. Some perceived the term as implying female domination, others want to only call themselves humanists and many claimed the word is too harsh. I do not see the word as harsh, but it is true that it does hold a magnitude of representation and meaning, so  it should be worn with pride and determination.

These famous females figures that many women idolize have the right, of course, to say and believe what they want. But, when so many are influenced and adore them on such a high level, their words really do have an effect, whether positive or not.

My point is this: I think these female celebrities are great, but I think they are missing the real meaning behind the word and its intended meaning. I think many people are. Being a feminist and calling yourself a feminist is not a bad thing. It does not mean that you want to eradicate all men on earth and that you hate them with an intense passion, or some other ridiculous accusation. Being a feminist is about advocating for equality for all, and there is nothing wrong with that.

So, women and men, do not be afraid, like some of your celebrity idols, to accept that feminist title and the goodness and purpose behind it.