Feminism for the Famous

The concept of feminism has changed drastically during the last several decades. The 20th century witnessed the rise of both suffragettes and bra burners. But how should our current brand of feminism be categorized? The so-called “third wave” of feminism is undeniably less extreme and more accessible than the past two, as evidenced by its recent coverage on Betches Love This—the Betches are known for not caring too much about anything, so if they’re fans of feminism you know it’s important. However, many people, including celebrities, seem to be misinformed about the modern definition of feminism. Here are just a few examples of celebs who do and don’t get it.

Shailene Woodley: Time magazine released an article this week in which Shailene Woodley ardently denied identifying as a feminist. The star of girl power-y Divergent justified this claim, saying, “I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance.” Shailene is clearly confusing the more radical “women’s liberation” movement of the 1960s and ‘70s with modern feminism. Rather than focusing on achieving equality with men, this movement sought to completely overthrow the patriarchy. Although Shailene is apparently not familiar with the contemporary definition of feminism, Beyoncé definitely is.

Beyoncé: Mrs. Carter has always given off a strongly feminist vibe, from her days with sassy Destiny’s Child to 2011’s “Run the World (Girls).” Even more recently, Queen Bey wrote an essay entitled “Gender Equality is a Myth!” and her latest album, Beyoncé, has been hailed as a major testament to modern feminism and women's empowerment in general. A great example of this is in the song “***Flawless,” which samples a speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “We Should All Be Feminists.” One of the lines included offers a thorough definition of a modern feminist: “the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”

Katy Perry: In 2012, Katy Perry told Billboard magazine, “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the power of women.” Um hello Katy—that makes you a feminist! She, like Shailene Woodley and so many others, was obviously still associating feminism with the radical bra-burning men haters of the late 20th century. The concept of feminism has taken on a much tamer, although still powerful, meaning lately, and she seems to have finally caught on. This March, she said that she “actually” is a feminist. “I used to not really understand what that word meant, and now that I do, it just means that I love myself as a female and I also love men.” If more people are able to change their opinions and learn the current definition of feminism, as Katy Perry did, we’ll be that much closer to a world of total gender equality.