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Calling yourself a feminist: who knew it was so damn difficult?


It’s always so clear cut for everyone, it seems. Identifying as a feminist comes with a whole load of misguided and misleading understanding of the word.

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Some of our fave celebs are firm Feminists, others are feminists. Because in this even the capital letter makes a difference. But like the title of Holly Bourne‘s latest book, ‘What’s A Girl Gotta Do?’ and why has it gotta be so damn difficult?Let’s break it down one more time:

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That’s it. No other embellishment required. A belief in equality. For everyone.

There seems to be something about the word that confuses people into thinking that you can’t be married, and be a good wife, and also be a feminist.

Beyonce:

“That word [feminism] can be very extreme… I do believe in equality… but I’m happily married. I love my husband. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are?” (source)

Who knows, maybe she has a different viewpoint since ‘Lemonade’ dropped, but she does make an interesting point about how labelling yourself as a feminist is somehow making yourself into a certain ‘type’ of person, perhaps.

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Kaley Couco-Sweeting:

“I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.  I cook for Ryan [her husband] five nights a week: It makes me feel like a housewife. I love that. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men.” (source)

And if that woman has made an active decision to do that, then why can they not be a feminist too? There’s nothing un-feminist in looking after your home and your husband.

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And then celebs like Lady Gaga come out and say stuff like this:

“I’m not a feminist. I hail men, I love men, I celebrate American male culture – beer, bars, and muscle cars.” (source)

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And you think, fair enough. But why does that not make you a feminist. Men are cool. When they want to be. Beer, bars and muscle cars? Yep. We like them too. What don’t we like? Pay divides, moving goal posts and sexism.

Demi Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker would rather use the word “humanist” which encompasses this idea “to make their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals.” (source)

So sponges and coral are doomed.

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But then there are some prominent male celebs and personalities who have come out and claimed themselves feminist too. Andy Murray spoke on his blog for L’Epique:

“The staggering thing was that she was slated every time I lost, which is something my former coaches never, ever experienced…Her competence was always under fire. I felt embarrassed.”

And then President Obama went and made this speech:

“I may be a little greyer than I was 8 years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.”

The whole speech goes down to great aplomb.

Is it easier, then, for men to stand up and say they’re feminists? Is there less stigma attached to a male feminist? Quite possibly. For one, men don’t have any bras to burn.

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Kelly Clarkson says this on the matter:

“I wouldn’t say [I’m a] feminist – that’s too strong. I think when people hear feminist, it’s like, ‘Get out of my way, I don’t need anyone.’ I love that I’m being taken care of and I have a man that’s a leader. I’m not a feminist in that sense.”

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And it highlights the issue exactly. The stigma attached to the word is the most damaging part. Feminists are perceived as crazed, men hating, lesbians. This is why is can be so confusing.

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Ultimately, if you believe in equality and in a kind of respect and tolerance and love between all sexes and genders, then you’re on the right track. Whatever you want to call it. Feminism. Humanism. Equalism.

If you’re still confused then this video is what you need in your life. It makes it all quite clear:

Where do you stand? Tweet us @maximumpopbooks

Also, you can get yourself a copy of ‘What’s A Girl Gotta Do?’ right here.

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.

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