Everyone’s afraid of the stigma of calling themselves a feminist, but they want to say things that are empowering to women. I feel like I’m back in the 1980s, when I came out as gay, and everyone else came out as bisexual first and then came out as gay five years later. The problem is that every time you do this, you reinforce the untrue stereotypes about what a feminist is by suggesting that those bigot-created stereotypes are true. So no matter what your message of empowerment actually is, you’ve undermined that by suggesting that the anti-feminist crowd has some sort of point when they tar and feather women standing up for basic civil rights.
It sucked when gay people did this shit back in the 1980s, and it sucks when you do it today. If you truly do believe that women and men should have equality, suck it up and own the word “feminist” – it’s a badge of honor that some truly extraordinary women have claimed for themselves over the years, and it’s one that you’ll wish you wore much earlier than you did.
Roxane Gay catalogs a list of women who’ve lately claimed that they are “not a feminist, but…” : You Can Stop Saying “I’m Not a Feminist But” Now..
Former French First Lady Carla Bruni said, “There are pioneers who paved the way for us. I am not a feminist activist at all. On the contrary I am a true bourgeoise. I love family life and doing the same thing every day,” and “In my generation we don’t need to be feminist.”
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo said, “I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that I certainly believe in equal rights, I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so in a lot of different dimensions, but I don’t, I think, have, sort of, the militant drive and the sort of, the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it’s too bad, but I do think that feminism has become in many ways a more negative word. You know, there are amazing opportunities all over the world for women, and I think that there is more good that comes out of positive energy around that than negative energy.”
Lady Gaga said, “I am not a feminist. I hail men. I love men. I celebrate American male culture.”
Katy Perry said, “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women.”
Taylor Swift is not a feminist. Instead, she thinks, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”
Artist Marina Abramovic is not a feminist nor is actress Melissa Leo.
Designer Vivienne Westwood is not a feminist but that’s just because she’s rich. She said, explaining why she’s not a feminist, “Another reason is because I live in the privileged world and I would never accept the idea that somehow I am a victim of society. Just by being born a woman.”
Madonna is not a feminist, she’s a humanist.
Demi Moore is not a feminist. She said, “I am a great supporter of women, but I have never really thought of myself as a feminist, probably more of a humanist because I feel like that’s really where we need to be.”
Dame Stephanie Shirley, a British philanthropist, said, “I am not a feminist but I have always fought for women.”
Fuck that noise.