Sophia Bush, Yoko Ono, Kurt Cobain, Hillary Clinton, Joan Jett, Madonna. All bad asses, all feminists.
A feminist “advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.” I can get down with that because as a woman in an ever-changing world (Graduation, Obamacare and more in the same year—how did I get SO lucky?!) I want what I want. And what I want is to one day have a well-paying job with benefits and to never be judged sexually, socially or politically. I have opinions just like that annoying freshman pledge in political science that fights with the professor because his Republican daddy loves guns so he does too. I digress.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries feminism was called “first-wave feminism”; women were focused on issues such as marriage, reproductive rights, women’s property rights, and, possibly our biggest issue at the time, suffrage. Women like Susan B. Anthony were influential in getting the 19th Amendment passed, which as we know granted women the right to vote in all states. Susan B. did us a solid and I appreciate that. You go girl! As my support and thanks for her efforts I made sure to exercise my right to vote in the last election; I was so nervous going to the voting place by myself!
In 1969 one Gloria Steinem emerged as an activist when she published an article called “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation” which helped her become famous as a feminist leader. To investigate and help further her cause she went undercover as a Playboy bunny for the opening of one of their clubs. Steinem was trying to get details about how degrading and harsh conditions were for the girls. They had some pretty strict rules about image…I’m no Gisele Bündchen and I certainly wouldn’t want my feet to bleed while also wearing a bunny costume and serving drinks to pervy guys. I don’t know many details about Steinem, but one thing I admire is that she got married. Some people may see this as a weak move that goes against the feminist movement, but I totally disagree. First off, she didn’t even get married until 2000. That’s like, 30 years of supporting women before she even looked at a man. Sidenote: she’s Christian Bale’s stepmom (cool!). But the best part of her marriage is that she was twerking for her cause and didn’t forget her personal desires. She was a big enough feminist to know that sometimes men are awesome. Sometimes.
Then we have people like Robin Thicke who think they’re the coolest ice cube in the tray. (Seriously, please excuse my lame expressions. My knack for the nerdy is a gift from my sweet mother.) Anyways, “Blurred Lines” was the “song of the summer” and it raised a few questions among the public. He made some stupid joke back in June saying “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman.” This is so stupid. But like a good celebrity he listened to his PR people and covered his tracks. The problem is that he said the song is a “feminist movement within itself”, supported by the lyric that says “that man is not your maker”. He said this was supposed to mean that women and men are equals, sexually, and we can only assume he’s trying to push that to other aspects of life as well.
My problem with the song is that it’s extremely overplayed at this point. If I hear it on KISS FM again I might literally cut my ears off. Songs are art and art is supposed to make people question what they are witnessing (hearing, seeing, etc.). So whether this song is pro-feminism, a degradation tool, or simply a song he thought sounded cool and would get radio play, it did its job. The song got in our heads, got us thinking, and got us talking.
The best part about feminism is that you don’t have to be so radical in your views that you can’t enjoy life. These days celebrities like Sophia Bush are changing how we see feminism. I totally think Sophia Bush is a feminist and I totally have evidence to prove it; with so much happening in Washington D.C. lately she has shared her opinions about the kinds of legislation politicians are pushing. Whether it’s the government shutdown or some old codgers telling women how to take care of our bodies, Sophia shares her opinions on Twitter (@SophiaBush) and I love it. Some of her thoughts make sense to me and some I disagree with; how awesome it is to have my own opinion! And to me that’s what feminism is: being informed of what’s happening in the world and knowing or questioning how it will affect women as a group and women as individuals.
In an effort to become better informed I have begun watching the Today show on NBC most mornings throughout the week. In my opinion it’s the best morning show and I’m not willing to discuss it. But the best part of watching the show is that there are interest pieces, pop culture pieces, and hard news. Here is an example of how much I love the show: a while back when the shooting at the Navy yard happened, I was watching a Bobby Flay segment about grilling when Natalie Morales (@NMoralesNBC) popped up and gave me the details. Honestly it’s like gossiping with my really well informed friends.
I don’t identify as a feminist first and foremost in my life, but I think any self-respecting woman aligns with the fact that we are equal to men. We deserve what they deserve because we work just as hard and in some cases we work a lot harder. Ladies, you may not identify as a feminist first and foremost either, but I hope you know what’s going on in the world and how everything affects your life. Knowledge is power!
So we want to know: What gets you fired up? Are you informed and analyzing? Man or woman, are you a feminist?