Celebs Misunderstand Feminism, Make Me Sexist as a Result

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Celebs Misunderstand Feminism, Make Me Sexist as a Result

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | November 15, 2013 | Comments ()


Guys. Courtney Stodden has thoughts on on feminism:

“I think that whether a woman or anybody quite frankly wants to wear combat boots or eight inch heels, I think that’s their prerogative. I think if somebody feels comfortable a certain way with their life choices, how they look, regardless of what it is, if they are not hurting themselves or other people I think it’s fine, it’s fair game. Have at it, enjoy your life, look the way you want to look. I happen to feel comfortable like this, I like the way I look, I love the way I look. I think that’s all that matters. I think that can empower other people too from hearing that. I know people might think this is funny but I actually feel that I am a true feminist because I believe in women looking the way they want to look, I think real women support women.”

She then said, “I don’t have a book coming out that’s a rumor. I don’t read or write.”

Selena Gomez recently got in some spat with Lorde and said, “That’s not feminism. [Lorde is] not supporting other women. That’s my honest opinion, that’s what I would say to her if I saw her.”

Miley Cyrus recently said, “I feel like I’m one of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women to not be scared of anything. Girls are all beautiful.”

On one hand, how freaking cool is it that two young influential stars and one Courtney Stodden admit to being feminists. In a world where my nemesis Taylor Swift won’t, that’s a big deal.

On the other hand, one of my big feminist myth pet peeves is the idea I need to support anyone just because of similar genitalia. That awful Alaskan woman has been all over the teevee lately. I’m not watching thinking, “you go, sister!” I’m changing the channel to literally anything else. Based on Gomez’s logic, am I supposed to support Courtney Stodden in her “career” when what I want to do is support her in a shit ton and a half of psychiatric counseling, a Big Sisters program and supplemental schooling?

Ironically, Cyrus’s quote, while hyperbolic because all 20-somethings are, is the one I’m most comfortable with and she herself has been a shining example of why we need feminism now, still today. People hate her. The vitriol toward her, and others like her and Lady Gaga, is so strong and hateful, the totally real and important conversations regarding racism largely cast aside in favor of taking about her grody tongue, and why? Because they’re women who are being “weird” and “gross” and “trying too hard.” And who is putting that out there as much as other women?

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • crispin

    Why does anyone give a shit about what celebrities say? This article and it's comments are no better than TMZ

  • carrie

    why do i dislike Miley? because she's a huge famewhore who thinks she's the center of the world but at every time i heard her JOLENE version,i forgave her

  • KC

    My problem with Miley is how inauthentic she is. She's trying on halloween costumes and putting on over the top shows utilizing a culture she doesn't seem truly understand. I'm fine with artists having genuine interests in other cultures and utilizing parts of those cultures to express themselves. I don't feel like Miley respects the culture she's taking a part of, she's using it for the "shock factor" and I think that's incredibly ignorant.

  • RobynRobotron

    A couple of folks have said that the reason people don't like Miley Cyrus is because of cultural appropriation and what not, but I think that's projecting on the commenter's part. Yes, that is why you don't like her, (and it is an extremely valid issue that those who care about equality for all people that she should examine), but most of the criticism directed at her has been rooted in misogyny. The internet has space for everyone, and therefore we can sometimes become enclosed in our own little bubbles and forget that there are scads of people out there who are quite different.

  • JenVegas

    "...two young influential stars and one Courtney Stodden..." I totally just snorted with laughter at that. Thank you.

  • Hot Mess Housewife

    Taylor Swift should never say she's a feminist because she isn't. The lyrics to every song she's ever written bears that fact.

  • Jezzer

    A real feminist doesn't go around deciding who is or isn't a feminist.

  • And yet she pulled the "Women shouldn't put down other women" shit when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler dared to make a joke about her at the Golden Globes.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I kind of hate the word feminism now, because it's misused so frequently. I feel like a lot of celebrities (including Miley) use it to defer criticism, and that's not fair. I'm not a bad feminist because I don't like Cyrus' music, and criticize the fact that she can't hit a note to save her life in her live performances, that's legitimate criticism of her work.
    My biggest problem with Cyrus, and Ms Gomez, are their unabashed cultural appropriations. Miley, as a privileged white girl, can don "ratchet" clothes and grills all she wants, but at the end of the day, she can walk into Chanel and know she'll get waited on and fawned over. So really, what she's doing is "playing black" and surrounding herself with paid black dancers that help promote her image.
    Gomez likes to wear Bindis because she thinks they're cool. That's a bit weird and insensitive too, and I'm not sure why me questioning it make me a poor feminist.

  • I read a comment on the Lorde-Gomez thing where somebody accused Lorde of being jealous of a "young talent" like Gomez. It made me laugh out loud considering Lorde is 6 or 7 years younger than Gomez.

    Also, when one song is about how the singer is ready for someone to "come and get it", and the other is about not needing material wealth to be happy, it's kinda hard to simply brush off such criticism as mere jealousy.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    THIS. Feminism isn't an all-purpose protection against criticism. It's supposed to promote equality. Blindly supporting women is no better than blindly supporting men.

  • Modernlove

    I'm taking a class right now that's both undergrad and grad students in a range of ages. It's about social issues and I found it both interesting and a little sad that when the professor asked who considered themselves to be feminists, only about half the class raised their hands. Most of those who didn't were on the younger side (from this 31 year olds viewpoint). A couple who spoke came from a conservative religious background and talked about how they had been taught that to be a feminist was to think that women are better than men and should be in control of everything and that was wrong. Our professor tried to break it down by said a feminist is just someone who thinks that things should be equal--everyone treated the same, regardless of what gender they identify with. It was certainly an eye-opening experience.

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    I have thoughts. So I wrote a thing: https://medium.com/geek-empire... It's about Lily Allen's new song/video, but I think somewhat related to the subject at hand.

  • JustOP

    Everything Stodden said was fairly well thought out until the trite feminist lines ala 'real women support women' (what the hell does that even mean? what is a 'real' woman and who decides on the definition? no true scotswoman yo).

    Also, I kind of hafta sorta agree with Miley Cyrus. If she is a self-professed feminist then she is very likely also the 'biggest' feminist in the world - in terms of how well known and popular she is.

  • emmalita

    The issue I have is with the underlying issues. Why does Stodden feel so comfortable looking like a blow up doll and being sexualized?

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    And the fact that she had this mentality at 16, when she MARRIED someone...There's so much to worry with in regards to Stodden.

  • JustOP

    Yeah, there are underlying issues in regards to how the media affects peoples perceptions of theirselves. Whilst the blow-up doll thing is concerning, I think the sexualized one is a sorta normal? Being considered sexy/attractive/desireable is a genering nice feeling, no?

  • emmalita

    Her tweets have always come across to me as someone playing at being sexy, not genuinely sexy. She seems like she's playing a role that she doesn't quite understand.

  • Haven't read her tweets, but this sounds exactly right for someone who became a child-bride at the time she should have been learning how to be a woman (as opposed to learning how to be a jailbait sex fantasy for a middle-aged man).

  • emmalita

    My BFF is obsessed with her and frequently sends me her tweets. They are often bizarre.

  • JustOP

    Ah right, I see. I've never seen any tweets by her in all honesty, so you may be right. She is a fairly young adult - and young adults don't have many things figured out really.

  • emmalita

    Yes, and it's normal for teenage girls to play at being a sexpot or femme fatale, among other roles. Stodden though seems like she got pushed into committing to a role long before she was ready.

  • dizzylucy

    I find it interesting that most of these young celebrities relate feminism mostly to appearance. To them it's about looking the way you want to look, wearing what you want to wear, etc. Which is fine, but it's a very small part of a much larger discussion.

  • IngridToday

    Personally I'm tired of visual feminists. It's fantastic you stay in shape and wither about. But it's no where near as impressive (or new) as a woman who has something interesting to say.

  • emmalita

    It certainly keeps the conversation off of important issues.

  • JustOP

    That's probably because a lot of the worth these women possess is based on how they look or who they're romantically involved with. It's a shitty truth, but a truth nonetheless.

  • sjfromsj

    Between all of the above and Lily Allen's new video, I have been soul searching my thoughts on feminism and where I stand in the cause, and I am at a point where I think I either have to be all-encompassing, which doesn't feel true to myself and my story and my ideals, or I have to focus on what I know from my experience, which feels like I'm cutting out other people which feels like I'm undermining the cause. And sometimes I just have to remind myself that everyone is different, and no two people are not on fire.

  • emmalita

    I love the phrase 'no two people are not on fire.' I love the way it sounds in my head. But I am unclear on the meaning. I'd love to be able to whip it out in conversation, but I hang out with a well educated and literate bunch. Someone is going to ask me what I mean.

  • Gillian Pilgrim
  • sjfromsj

    Thank you for jumping on that for me as I was not at my computer since Friday!

  • emmalita

    Yay! Something new to become obsessed with.

  • chanohack

    Bless you.

  • FrayedMachine

    Uh. People don't like Cyrus because she's comfortably happy being a casual racist. That and her problematic commentary towards those suffering from mental health issues is enough to, you know, want nothing to do with her. The shade thrown towards Gaga, on the other hand, tends to be more geared towards just taste. It's unfortunate and often times misguided (speaking as one who proudly threw shade in her direction for quite some time), but I think that's a general response when people are so cavalier about insinuating that someone's the first to do something when in reality, many many MANY other people (specifically women) were doing the same thing long before they were even known.

    Can we get over the idea that just because someone decides to brandish the flag of Feminism, that it automatically make them a shining glorifying example of what Feminism is? Feminism isn't taking advantage of your own privilege by objectifying the bodies of female minorities to push your own sense of success and power. Feminism isn't also looking out only for yourself and your own kind. Her idea of feminism is the type of feminism that I honestly can't stand. It's the loud, in your face angsty teen Feminism that thinks power comes from doing what you want, whenever you want, without any need or intention of taking into consideration the repercussions of your actions. Yes, Feminism is about ensuring that women are not being restricted to unnecessary social norms that have set us back for ages, but it's also about ensuring that we do not impose those same boundaries and restrictions on -other- groups as well. It's about actually being capable of being mature, being capable of acknowledging your OWN sense of privilege and being willing to dismantle it in order to help benefit others.

    So no, Cyrus isn't a picture of True Feminism if she thinks it's okay to objectify the black female body to help bolster her own sense of power in society and culture, and she isn't a feminist if she feels entitled to mocking the mental health issues that others suffer from. But she certainly is the poster child for Cis White Heterosexual Able Feminism that adores basking in it's own privilege while coyly trying to assert the false idea that they certainly suffer just as much as everyone else.

  • Jezzer

    Here we fucking go again.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    But...but...black artists text her all the time and tell her how smart and wonderful she is! Some of her best friends are black!

  • e jerry powell

    Now you make her sound like Gwyneth Paltrow. I'm not sure I'm down with that.

  • FrayedMachine

    Dammit. That is the most fool proof defense there is!

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Kanye West told her she was the bravest, best artist in the game! That's totally the same as being black.

    Plus, I bet she totally Netflixed Roots.

  • FrayedMachine

    You - I like you.

  • ZbornakSyndrome


  • bastich

    I've read that "I don't read" bullshit from a few younger celebrities recently.
    I pray that I'm never trapped in a room with them, or I'll just start shaking them violently and screaming "YOU ARE MISSING SO MUCH!!!" into their faces.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I don't understand how you can "not read". I mean do you just never check email?

    And why on Earth wouldn't you want to read? It's so fun!

  • IngridToday

    I thought the exact same thing. So she never uses the internet or texts? Does she just stare at parking signs in confusion and hope for the best?

  • Drake

    In the South, one would say "Why, bless your heart!"

  • grr arrgh

    I think "I don't read" deserves "Bless your little pea pickin' heart".

  • Alice

    I feel like tilting my head and condescendingly responding to them, "Awe, I'm so sorry for you!"

  • Popcorn! Get your popcorn here! Freshly popped! Lightly salted! Popcorn!!

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    This popcorn wasn't made by the patriarchy, was it?

  • emmalita

    I am suspicious of anything that starts with a 'p.'

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    As well you should be, my sister.

  • Why, thank you, kind purveyor of exploded kernels!


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