Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Celebrities as Representatives of the Feminist Movement

Just like Tracy, I like to go on Buzzfeed occassionally and I've been noticing a lot of stuff on Taylor Swift and her 'conversion' to feminism. It's great that there's one more person in the world that advocates for equal gender rights, but I think our focus on celebrities can be somewhat dangerous and misleading. The feminist movement used to be characterized by people like Alice Paul, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash, or Patsy Mink as its key figures/leaders who dedicated their lives to the betterment of women, and I think it's somewhat of a degradation to let singers and actors speak for the movement and its agenda without even fully knowing its history. I am not saying that people who work in the entertainment industry are not respectable; I just don't think they have the expertise to be representatives for such a broad movement. In fact, they do a great disservice to feminism when they are misinformed, as shown in this article. Celebrities like Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga have distanced themselves from the label, stating that they are not 'man-haters'. As people that many young women look up to, these simple characterizations will prove to be a detriment to the advancement of equal gender rights by equating feminism with man-hating.

What do you guys think about celebrities standing in the forefront of the feminist movement? Do you think they can be effective spokespeople?

1 comment:

  1. Some of their comments about why they don't identify as feminists really reflect what we talked about it class about how militant feminism has had a lasting influence on how people perceive feminism in general.

    I really like how the article noted that we don't need every female celebrity to be at the forefront of the feminist movement. At the same time though, I agree with you that with their influence, celebrities should at least have an informed understanding of what feminism is.


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