It’s crazy that even to this day the word feminist in many circles, even among women, is considered negative and dirty. In fact, a quick Google search of the word feminist reveals some pretty crazy results, like “feminists must die,” “feminist should be shot” or “feminists should be illegal.”
Why does believing in equality conjure up such negative reactions?
Probably because the word is incredibly misunderstood. That’s why it’s so important to proudly share your feminist identity with anyone who will listen. If you ask anyone who knows me, I’m sure feminist is one of the first words they would use to describe me. That makes me so happy. So do these 6 kickass female celebrities who proudly claim that yes they are feminists, too.
1. Claire Danes
In the January cover story of Glamour, Claire Danes says the following:
I am a feminist. And I’m so glad that [Girls creator and star] Lena Dunham exists, because she is one too, and she’s quite vocal about it. Yes, women have more freedom and more influence than ever, but it’s hardly equal. It’s just not…It’s really f—king crazy. I’m sorry I’m cursing. But it’s wild that women are underrepresented [in Hollywood]. I have real anxiety about directing, and that’s something to question and challenge and correct.
She also has some great thoughts to share about beauty in Hollywood:
I really have never been concerned about being beautiful on-screen. That’s just not my jam. I’m concerned about it if I’m playing a beautiful character. But it’s not relevant for Carrie. I don’t need to worry about that, and I think that’s really great. I love sitting in the makeup trailer and getting my makeup done in 15 minutes as opposed to an hour and a half.
2. Natalie Portman
In Elle magazine’s November cover story, Natalie Portman shares the following about her views on feminism:
I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible. I want women and men to be able to be full-time parents or full-time working people or any combination of the two. I want both to be able to do whatever they want sexually without being called names. I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a “feminist” story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.
Portman also hopes to encourage girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math through her new role as astrophysicist love interest Jane Foster in the movie Thor: The Dark World. In an interview with CNN she says:
It’s really cool that Marvel — the comic company behind the Thor series — is working on what they call STEM: science, technology, engineering and math…Women are underrepresented in those fields so they are trying to encourage girls to study them more, because obviously there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. And that’s really exciting because that’s exactly what you want with these kinds of movies. They’re big and they’re fun and if you can have a little bit of impact on a young girl seeing them and saying “wait, that’s possible too,” then that would be really cool.
3. Zooey Deschanel
In a video for Makers, the digital library of women’s stories, Deschanel shares the following:
I do consider myself a feminist and almost by accident because it’s not that I am a feminist because I want to align myself with some movement. I’m just a feminist because I am a woman and I think that if you are a strong woman who wants to succeed you have to be a feminist. I think that it’s our responsibility to create a world in which girls can grow up and not have to limit their dreams or possibilities.
She also has some great advice for teenage girls:
4. Rashida Jones
In an interview with The Conversation Jones says the following when asked if she is a feminist:
I would, yes. I believe in the unadulterated advancement of women. And we have so far to go still. I do think because women are so clever and flexible and such good communicators, it been hard for men to evolve and keep up. I think we could do a little better to help them out.
She also shared her favorite female idols, who include Amy Poehler, Elaine May, Nora Ephron, Diane Keaton, Margaret Sanger, Ruth Ginsberg and Oprah, who she says are all “fearless and elegant.”
5. Lena Dunham
Like me Dunham doesn’t understand why women shy from identifying as feminists. In an interview with Metro UK she says:
Women saying “I’m not a feminist” is my greatest pet peeve. Do you believe that women should be paid the same for doing the same jobs? Do you believe that women should be allowed to leave the house? Do you think that women and men both deserve equal rights? Great, then you’re a feminist. People think there is something taboo about speaking up for feminism. I know for a long time that I was embarrassed to call out misogyny because I was then going to be that complaining girl who can’t let it go. But the fact is, we can’t let it go – not until we feel like we have been heard.
For Dunhan being a feminist is all about equality:
The idea of being a feminist—so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex—but what feminism is about is equality and human rights. For me that is just an essential part of my identity. I hope [Girls] contributes to a continuance of feminist dialogue.
6. Mindy Kaling
In an interview with Rolling Stone, where in an interesting twist Lena Dunham interviewed Mindy Kaling, she says:
And I’m a feminist who wants to work with other feminists. I would wager that only a masochist sexist would want to work at a show with an opinionated female lead and showrunner. So I work with people who love women. That’s a nice thing.
In another interview the two ladies did for Rookie: Yearbook 2, Kaling talks about the gender stereotype shattering type of women she loves:
I love women who are bosses and who don’t constantly worry about what their employees think of them. I love women who don’t ask, “Is that OK?” after everything they say. I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances, like my mother when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Or like Gabrielle Giffords writing editorials for the New York Times about the cowardice of Congress regarding gun laws and using phrases like “mark my words” like she is Clint Eastwood. How many women say stuff like that?
Are you a feminist? Why or why not? We would love to hear from you in the comments, respectfully please of course.
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