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The problem with feminism

 

 

I’ve had a rocky relationship with Taylor Swift. I go from belting out her songs to shaking my head at some of her choices like she’s my misguided best friend.

 

And sure, it’s not my place to judge, but I've questioned her a li'l: from some fashion choices to her very public and honest breakups, there have been times I wonder what’s going on in her head. One thing I never questioned, though? That she’s one of the ultimate queens of girl power.

 

She’s all about #girlpower, sticking it to the meanies while looking runway ready in red lipstick, taking on the world in a pair of killer heels. 

 

But when she was asked about her views on feminism, aka girl power, her response was, “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.”

 

Uhhh… What? Guys versus girls?

 

And she wasn’t the only one. When Time interviewed Shailene Woodley about feminism, she responded that she didn’t consider herself a feminist because she “loves men” and is “in touch with [her] masculine side.”

 

Quotes like this started popping up more and more in the media, while Tumblrs and Twitters filled with “I don’t need feminism because…” posts. Reasons ranged from “I like men” to “I want to wear lipstick and be a housewife.” When the catchy phrase “femininity > feminism” made it’s round across the Internet, I finally began to realize: people sorta don’t get feminism.

 

Lately, feminism has become another fad. Gals and guys proclaiming whether they like or dislike feminism as if it’s some sort of style. Feminists have gotten a bad rep, as people blur the lines around what being a feminist really is.

 

Feminism is defined as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”

 

Simple, to the point.

 

It’s not about boycotting shaving and burning bras, bashing all boys and saying they're the enemy, or proclaiming women are all superior and that us girls can exist without men, it’s just about equality.

 

Although it’s easy to feel like girls can sort of run the world (it’s very possible that Hilary Clinton will be the first female prez after the next election and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ranks 5th on Forbes most powerful list), sadly statistics say otherwise.

 

We’ve come a long way from not being able to go to school or being denied the right to vote, but the USA is still ranked #23 in the world for gender equality. On average in the US, white women only make 77% (while women of color only make 64%) of what men make and are far less likely to be promoted. Only about 18% of Congress seats are taken by women. There’s even a gap in Hollywood, with only 30.8% of speaking movie rolls going to females.

 

Are guys and gals totally diff and should they embrace that? Sure! But the point is that everyone deserves an equal chance to succeed and prove what they’re made of.

 

Whether you want to grow up to bake for your hubby and kids on the weekend, or dream to become CEO of a major corporation and don't really have any interest in the whole marriage thing, the point is you can be a feminist and live how you wanna. There's no right or wrong way to be a feminist. You go, girl!

 

Beyonce (Queen B) may have said it best, “… I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? I’m just a woman and I love being a woman.”

 

What do you GL girls think about the feminist movement? Is it getting a good or bad rep? Share your thoughts below!

BY KATE RADIN ON 8/26/2014 12:00:00 AM

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