An Open Letter to Every Female Celebrity Claiming She’s Not a Feminist
I read a headline today – one is a veritable slew of its ilk – that left me fuming. If I were a cartoon character, smoke would be pouring out of my ears. But this proclamation, as if it were some kind of moral high ground, has been completely in a fit.
“I don’t consider myself a feminist.”
DARLING. Sweetie, perhaps you don’t understand. You see, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. It is not a prompting to burn your bra, eschew all men, and became a man-hating cave troll. Clearly, there’s a gaping chasm between the word and its actual meaning.
As such, let me explain. No, too much. Let me sum up – and I’ll use small words, so you can understand. (Are you catching on to The Princess Bride theme, yet? Good. I’d hate to send the Brute Squad after you.
Feminism means equality – that women and men are equal. It means that you think men and women should be paid the same for doing a given job. It means that women are people and have the same rights as men.
That’s it. Period. It’s not a complicated concept. Feminism is about choices. It’s about making them for yourself, because you have options. If you want to stay home and be a housewife, that’s totally a valid choice. If you want to become an engineer, good for you. Being a feminist means believing that you should have right to make that CHOICE.
So, when a famous woman makes a statement like that? It’s pure ignorance. But what I don’t get is the almost perverse sense of glee that accompanies it. As if you take pride in the fact that you don’t believe that inequality exists — like it is a myth or a child’s fairytale.
Guess what? If I don’t believe in gravity, I’m still not going to fly if I jump off my roof. (Don’t jump off the roof, kids! That’s how limbs get broken.) It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been confronted with the difficulties of being seen as unequal. They still exist, even if they haven’t landed on your head like an anvil. Also, I’d wager that you have encountered them, simply by virtue of the fact that they’re so engrained in our culture that we almost don’t notice anymore.
Yes, I’m a feminist. I believe that I should be paid equally for a job. I believe that it should be my choice to have children or not. I believe that any parent who stays home to raise children is a badass, and I applaud that decision wholeheartedly. Your mileage may vary, darling. Just be careful your closed eyes and open mouth don’t lead you into the Fire Swamp.
I hear it’s full of R.O.U.S. No one wants to build a summer home there, savvy?