When I think of “Not-Feminists,” usually images of older men, probably not very educated. Older women, like from my grandmother’s generation. Some people who didn’t go to college, or maybe high school. Hillbillies. The religious right. Sarah Palin types.
What’s disturbing is the new generation of Anti-Feminists are young women. Young women with careers. Seemingly educated.
They also believe that they should have the right to vote. They believe in “equality.” They believe they can be whatever they want without feminist principles.
But they aren’t “feminists.”
Sure, Taylor Swift is one of these not-feminist feminists… back in 2012, she said in an interview:
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.
She’s bubbly, talks about boys, and I get it. When I was younger, I tended to dumb down my demeanor. In fact, it’s a bad habit (drives my father bananas) I still do to this day. (See my video from yesterday). Maybe she knows what feminism is, but knows very well what identifying as one would mean. Maybe she didn’t want to politicize her work because that would cost her the “nice, non-threatening girl” image.
She’s not alone. Lana Del Rey is not interested in feminist issues. Lady Gaga “hails” men. Shalene Woodley says you can’t take power away from men.
“For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept,” she says. “I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested.” says Lana Del Rey, “My idea of a true feminist is a woman who feels free enough to do whatever she wants.”
At first I thought, “Whoa, people need to get themselves a dictionary.” Here’s the Webster definition of “feminism”
: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
: organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests
Do we need a new word for “feminism” then?
Somehow, the word “feminist” got confused with misandry. I’m going to make an educated guess, and say the dominant group (men) felt threatened and mistook requests like, “I’d like to own property and vote” for “I want world domination.” The feminist brand is that of an angry woman, who probably hates men. Has a chip on her shoulder. Doesn’t shave. Wants to be a man.
I’d like to say, yeah, let’s get a new word! Woo hoo! New word! But the fact is, it’s called “feminism” because at the moment, women do not have the same rights and privileges as men. Feminism focuses on how to get women the same rights as men. Not more rights. The same. They don’t focus on getting men the same rights as women, because you know, why would a man want to be subjected to slut-shaming or having his wages cut by a third, even though he got better grades in college.
What needs to happen, like with any misconception, like remember when smoking was marketed as being “good for you?” No? Yeah, because people campaigned heavily for the truth: smoking is bad for you. The truth is feminism means men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
We need to talk about what feminism actually is, rather than pulling a Taylor Swift and saying we’re not feminists, but we do believe in feminist principles.