9 Celebrity Women Who Don’t Really Understand What Feminism Means

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Rules of Feminism Mean Girls


It seems like every day we read a quote from a celebrity woman answering that classic interview question: “Are you a feminist?” To people who understand feminism and aren't afraid to say they support it, it seems like a silly question to ask in this day and age. Assuming the celebrity believes men and woman are equal and should have equal rights, of course she's a feminist. Because that's what feminism is. But apparently we give celebrities too much credit, because a lot of them just don't know what feminism is to begin with.

They usually show off this ignorance in one of two ways. Either they say outright that they're not feminists… even though they then declare they believe exactly what feminism is all about. Or they say they are feminists, but then give a completely wrong definition for it. Here are nine celebrity women who could probably use a crash course in feminism. Lucky for them it'll only take about 30 seconds and can be accessed through Google. Warning: Your face and palm with both be sore after your read this.

1. Katy Perry


(Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

What she said: “I used to not really understand what that word meant but now that I do, it just means that I love myself as a female and I also love men. I am woman… Hear me roar!”

I'll give Katy credit for finally being willing to use the word “feminist” to describe herself after shying away from it previously. The only problem is that the definition she gives applies more to self confidence and/or sexual orientation. Nice job plugging her song title, though.

2. Kelly Clarkson


(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

What she said: “I wouldn’t say [I'm a] feminist, that’s too strong. I think when people hear feminist it’s just like, ‘Get out of my way I don’t need anyone’.”

No Kelly, that's what you hear when you hear feminist. Just because some people misinterpret a word's meaning doesn't mean you can't educate yourself about it and use it confidently yourself. But while we're on the topic of not needing anyone, what was “Miss Independent” all about then?

3. Farrah Abraham


(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

What she said: “What does that mean, you’re a lesbian or something?”

This is the kind of quote that my fear for humanity is made of. I didn't even include the part where, when the interviewer asked if she's a feminist, she initially answered, “I'm pretty feminine.” I don't even think the word “feminist” has ever crossed her eardrum.

4. Selena Gomez


(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

What she said: “I think she is super talented and I think it’s awesome. But I think at the same time that feminism and that specific thing is very sensitive because in my opinion it’s not feminism if you’re tearing down another artist.”

Lorde gave strong opinions last year about Selena and Taylor Swift's music sending a bad message to girls. But according to Selena, Lorde can't possibly be a feminist because feminism means you're not allowed to criticize other women. That's actually not the case at all. As long as you're not criticizing someone because they're a woman, calling people out is totally fair game.

5. Taylor Swift


(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

What she said: “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.”

Ah yes, the classic “guys versus girls” interpretation. As if we're on the playground in kindergarten worried we'll get cooties. The entire point of feminism is that women and men shouldn't be pitted against each other, but rather be equal. The second part of Taylor's comment is also troubling. It implies that women have to catch up to men, and if they don't get equal opportunities or success it's because they didn't work hard enough.

6. Carrie Underwood


(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

What she said: “I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a feminist, that can come off as a negative connotation. But I am a strong female. My parents raised me to be pretty independent and I grew up – I have sisters but they're a lot older than me – an only child. I feel like that contributes to how I handle myself and how I carry myself.”

Once again, here's the infamous “negative connotation” approach. It's great that Carrie is comfortable being independent and strong. If she thinks that makes her equal to men, then she's a feminist, negative connotation or no.

7. Sarah Jessica Parker


(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

What she said: “I took a page from [the playwright] Wendy Wasserstein's book. She said ‘I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist.'”

Here's the classic “I'm gonna quote someone else because I'm nervous about stating my own opinion” approach. Taylor Swift is guilty of this too. It's actually possible to be both a feminist and a humanist. They're not mutually exclusive.

8. Lady Gaga


(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

What she said: “I'm not a feminist – I, I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars…”

I might sound dumb for saying this, but I actually had more faith in Lady Gaga to understand feminism. She understands what makes someone throwing up on her artistic, but she won't call herself a feminist? I'm so tired of this idea that feminism equals man-hating. Hating someone because of their gender is precisely what feminism seeks to counteract.

9. Shailene Woodley


(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

What she said: “I love males too, though! I like to be a feminist, but I'm also a…maleist? What would you call that?”

I had a lot more faith in Shailene as well, but this quote is pretty disappointing. Feminism has nothing to do with sexual orientation or preferring one gender over the other. Assuming there's a male counterpart to feminism totally misses the point. If she thinks we need to have a new word for the ideals of “feminism,” that's one thing. But it comes across that she simply doesn't get it.