Feminism is not something which can be summed up so neatly, as it’s been a changing and molded concept since its beginnings. Despite this the meaning of the word has always been along the lines of ‘the equality of the sexes’ but that is still far too simple of a definition. (Offen, K 1988)
The “Why I’m not a feminist” trend which has been emerging recently and stars including Kaley Cuoco and Lana Del Rey have both admitted they do not consider themselves feminist.
Kayley’s reasoning is because she likes to cook 5 nights a week for her husband and has had a boob job. Although she claims she does respect the work of the women who came before her, she doesn’t feel the need to fight for equality which she admits is probably due to her not having to experience inequality. (2015)
Lana Del Rey’s response is more problematic, she claims that she believes feminism is just not an interesting concept. Lana responded that she believed a a woman should feel free to do what ever she wants. Which is pretty much feminism anyway. (Selby, J 2014)
Labeling oneself as a feminist as of recent has become a very political staetment, especially as there is not consensus in the public of the actual definition of feminism.
The issues with people of influence claiming they do not consider themselves feminists is the effect on the public. These two in particular have a large fan base of teenage girls. Their ideas of feminism are wrong and disseminating this into the general public is misguiding. For example Lauren Southerns wrong impression that feminism is actually not about equality…
To put it bluntly, feminism has no boundaries or guidelines you have to follow, IS for equality and DOES care about male victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Essentially you can respect yourself as a woman and go after what you want whether it be that career path or cooking and getting a boob job.
Just because these two stars don’t experience inequality, doesn’t mean inequality does not exist. It does not mean that female genital mutilation isn’t thriving in traditional parts of Africa, it does not mean rape culture is not alive and well in western countries and it doesn’t mean child brides as young as 12 are not being forced to marry men three times their age.
Feminism is not about ‘female dominance’.
- Offen, K 1988, “Defining Feminism: a Comparative Historical Approach” Chicago Journals, vol 13, no 1.
- 2010, “Kaley Cuoco: Why I’m not a Feminist” News 1 January, viewed 3 September 2015, <http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/kaley-cuoco-why-im-not-a-feminist/story-fn907478-1227171609655>
- Selby, J 2014 ” Lana Del Rey: Feminism is just not an interesting concept to me” Independent, 5 June, viewed 3 September 2015, <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/lana-del-rey-feminism-is-just-not-an-interesting-concept-9491408.html>