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Why I’m Angry Salma Hayek Said She’s ‘Not a Feminist’

I’m just going to come out and say it: it baffles me that some people, especially women, do not identify as feminists. A feminist is formally defined as an advocate for the social, political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men. I can only speak for myself here, but I think that it is logical to want equal rights for men and women. This is the 21st century, after all. Maybe I am missing something though, because numerous women in the media—specifically Shailene Woodley, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Katy Perry—have said that they do not consider themselves to be feminists. Most recently, Salma Hayek has announced that she is not a feminist.

Here’s the real kicker, though. Hayek was featured at Equality’s “Now’s Make Equality Reality” event, as a women’s rights advocate. I can’t be the only person who’s confused. Given the formal definition of the word “feminist,” it seems to me that a women’s rights advocate and a feminist are the exact same thing. So why is Hayek okay with being honored as a “women’s rights advocate,” but not as a “feminist”?

It’s become clear that there is a stigma behind the word “feminist.” For whatever reason, many women do not want to associate themselves with the word, and that really upsets me. I know that some people may be reading this and thinking that I am overreacting. A word is just a word, right?

Wrong. I think that people need to familiarize themselves with the true meaning of the word “feminist,” because once they do, they’ll realize that the agenda of the feminist movement is an important one. Contrary to popular belief, feminists are not “man haters” who refuse to shave their legs, respond to every statement with, “It’s because I’m a woman, isn’t it?” or wish to live in a world in which females are the dominant sex. Once again, feminists are people who wish for equal rights between the sexes. “Feminist” is not a shameful term. In fact, I am proud to call myself a feminist, and I think that all people—women and men—should be proud feminists, too. 

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