There is an influx of celebrities denying being “Feminists”. Famous ladies like Melissa Leo, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Marissa Mayer, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry have all denounced being “feminists”. While accepting her Woman of the Year award from Billboard Perry said, “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women.” Well, they’re wrong.
I’d like to categorically say that these women are wrong. It doesn’t matter if they want to admit it or not but they are feminists. Any woman breaking boundaries in a male dominated world, any woman succeeding in her choice of career, any woman that says I am more than a “sister, wife, mother I am a person” is a feminist. If you want to sit and say, “I am defined by what a man or society tells me I am” then you are not a feminist.
The problem with saying, “I am a feminist” is it is perceived as “I am a man-hating, unshaved, beast that will cut the sleeves off my t-shirts and refuse to wear skirts”. Feminists have a brand issued. We have a PR problem. There was a radical movement that hi-jacked what being a feminist is. Gloria Steinem is a feminist and is gorgeous. In fact she became the face of the movement because it was a good face.
You can still be pretty, girly, frilly and demand to be treated as equal. Being a feminist isn’t being angry and boorish. It’s not about being hard and masculine. It is about standing up for equal rights because you are a human being and a citizen of the world.
It does a great disservice for Katy Perry to say “I’m not a feminist”. Of course you are! You believe you are worth something! That’s why you beat down the doors of the record industry and didn’t conform to what they wanted to be. In her movie trailer Perry stands on stage and says, “thank you for believing in my weirdness.” But it was Perry herself who trusted her weirdness who knew she knew what she was doing and didn’t let anyone tell her “no, no silly little girl you can’t sing about this, you can’t dance that way, you can’t dye your hair pink”. She said, “Watch me dye my hair, put on a whipped cream bra, dance around Candy-land while singing I kissed a girl and make millions”. In the trailer someone also says, “What are people saying she can’t do? That’s what she’s going to do next.” That’s a feminist.