11:08 pm - 12/13/2012

Katy Perry s Aversion to Feminism Shows Feminism Is Still Radical

Why it's not so bad that the singer, like some other women, doesn't want to call herself a feminist


Katy Perry accepted the Woman of the Year award from Billboard on Friday by declaring, "I'm not a feminist, but I do believe in the power of women."

This isn't an especially surprising statement. As a number of folks have pointed out, many young women—and a good number of not-so-young women as well—are uncomfortable with being labeled as feminists even though they embrace many feminist goals. Last month, for example, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer eschewed the feminist label while simultaneously declaring that she "believed in equal rights." It's tempting to simply dismiss such comments as incoherent, but I think doing so risks missing out on insights and criticism that might be of value to feminism.

Understandably, many feminist writers don't see things this way. Instead, they find such rhetorical contradictions infuriating. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon, for example, explains with barely-restrained snark: "Let me just point out that if you believe in the strength of women, Ms. Perry, or their equality, Ms. Mayer, you're soaking in feminism." Madeleine Davis at Jezebel adds, with less restraint, "the ignorance and ridiculousness of Perry's comments—especially in the context of accepting the Woman of the Year award—is enough to set the teeth of any feminist on edge."

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rolt_me 14th-Dec-2012 04:32 am (UTC)
I don't think that Katy Perry saying she's a feminist shows how radical it is. It just shows that feminism has got her to the point where she doesn't need to worry about feminism.
devolute 14th-Dec-2012 04:55 am (UTC)
it hasn't though, like women are still proportionally underrepresented in politics and pop culture. even if katy perry's made it, feminism isn't irrelevant. i think she just doesn't understand what feminism is.
narco_chan 14th-Dec-2012 04:33 am (UTC)
i think feminism as a word has a lot of connotations with these crazy females, bra burning, ect
but really its just about women should have the same rights as men which, if shes against...
well then shes a fucking twat.
jessepinkman 14th-Dec-2012 04:33 am (UTC)
this clown bitch
lestat 14th-Dec-2012 04:34 am (UTC)
here come mad as fuck white feminists to say how mad they are when a woman says she is not feminist despite feminism shitting on anyone who isn't a rich white female. (even tho, lbr, that's not why katy is denying this label)
noon 14th-Dec-2012 04:35 am (UTC)
m t e
forevergold217 14th-Dec-2012 04:42 am (UTC)
tucker 14th-Dec-2012 04:43 am (UTC)
ontd does open your mind tbh!

I was all set to make a comment like "ugh I roll my eyes at anyone who says they aren't a feminist"

but then I remembered all the comments talking about how it caters to white women and now I don't know anymore lol
lestat 14th-Dec-2012 04:44 am (UTC)
your icon a;lskjf can the host come out already
maitressefleche 14th-Dec-2012 04:44 am (UTC)
yup allllllllllllll feminists are like that!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111
you're as bad as the men and women who think feminist = angry, men-hating, bra burning women with hairy legs
flumes 14th-Dec-2012 04:46 am (UTC)
hahahahah exactly
tiddlywinks103 14th-Dec-2012 04:54 am (UTC)
even tho, lbr, that's not why katy is denying this label

Which is the main point of why they are mad in this post at her and others like her. I've heard no white women in here tell a WOC that they are mad she does not identify as a feminists, come on, now.
devolute 14th-Dec-2012 04:56 am (UTC)
just because earlier generations of feminism did not embrace poc does not mean that feminism as it currently exists is only relevant to white women

feminism is for everyone imo
ritzyroxie 14th-Dec-2012 05:06 am (UTC)
brucelynn 14th-Dec-2012 05:29 am (UTC)
headswillroll88 14th-Dec-2012 06:44 am (UTC)
this comment just isn't true. the feminist movement isn't monolithic.
jazzypom IA14th-Dec-2012 11:00 am (UTC)
Every time a feminist gets on me about not wanting to support the movement, I just make a list of what happened in 2008. From Clinton to Marcotte to (now, Caitlin Moran), feminism is dead to me.
anus 14th-Dec-2012 04:35 am (UTC)
EVERYONE should be a feminist. I don't get this shit omg
flumes 14th-Dec-2012 04:46 am (UTC)
nah. feminists are terrible
anus 14th-Dec-2012 04:46 am (UTC)
that's like saying every religious person is terrible. it's only the psycho ones that are
devolute 14th-Dec-2012 04:57 am (UTC)
research feminism plz
atheistkathleen 14th-Dec-2012 04:59 am (UTC)
ikr wtf
m_pendulum 14th-Dec-2012 04:40 am (UTC)
Feminism has major problems and I have met some feminists that make me remember why I am also a womanist because their shit sometimes sticks, but I've read so many man-pain comments about feminism that it reminds me why I stick with it.
lestat 14th-Dec-2012 04:41 am (UTC)
i wanted to be a womanist at one point but i've found a lot of them have really shitty opinions on interracial relationships :((
m_pendulum 14th-Dec-2012 04:45 am (UTC)
I have issues with both movements (also not a huge Alice Walker fan so that wouldn't make me popular in that circle). I agree with the core ideas, but sometimes when I go on boards I'm just like O.ooo

I just decided that I have to come up with my own priorities and not to allow every idiot to make me want to leave.
thewhowhatwhats 14th-Dec-2012 12:56 pm (UTC)
And the typical issues with xenophobia, racism, ableism, etc.
tiddlywinks103 14th-Dec-2012 04:56 am (UTC)
Ia, though I still take the label of feminist, I just ascribe to the idea of intersectionality.
evil_mom 14th-Dec-2012 04:43 am (UTC)
Well, like it or not, "feminism" does have a negative connotation to it, consciously or not, in the public mind. Is it deserved? I don't think so. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
missjersey 14th-Dec-2012 04:49 am (UTC)
This, unfortunately.
evil_mom 14th-Dec-2012 04:52 am (UTC)
Definitely, yes. I think that it's because when the public thinks of "feminism", they only think of the radicals. Similar to muslims, I guess. All very unfortunate.
devolute 14th-Dec-2012 04:59 am (UTC)
which is why people need to embrace the fact that they are feminists rather than saying "well i'm not a feminist, those bitches are crazy, but [something pro-women]." anyone who thinks women should have equal opportunities and rights is a feminist imo and should not be ashamed to say it.
sassandthecity 14th-Dec-2012 04:44 am (UTC)
Katy dodging that feminist title like it was right notes in a live performance of Fireworks.
ijsutcomeundone 14th-Dec-2012 06:17 am (UTC)
flumes 14th-Dec-2012 04:45 am (UTC)
i don't have time to read all this

katy perry and feminism alike are horrible
evil_mom 14th-Dec-2012 04:53 am (UTC)
Well, then. I agree with one, but not t'other.
wristtattoos 14th-Dec-2012 04:45 am (UTC)
this talentless hack's first song was 'i kissed a girl'.
atheistkathleen 14th-Dec-2012 05:01 am (UTC)
the bar-sexual theme song. i fucking hate her
sastra_fuss 14th-Dec-2012 04:45 am (UTC)
ellenelles 14th-Dec-2012 04:46 am (UTC)
don't blame people for having problems with the feminist movement but i can't @ this
x_rose_tyler_x 14th-Dec-2012 04:47 am (UTC)
I am a feminist, but I must admit there are some feminists which put other women off from actually educating themselves about feminism and its actual meaning.

The other day I had this horrible fight with someone who identifies herself as a feminist who called every man who did not clearly make a statement against rape a rape-apologist and then told some friend of mine she deserved to be treated like shit by men because she had actually called her on her shit on that first statement. She then continued with pearls like "misandry is the way to go" "why shouldn't I hate every man, from all I know all men are horrible humans", etc. I mean, seriously, it is very hard for women with good dads, husbands, grandparents or other good male presence in their life to identify with such a thing and sadly that's what they link the word feminism to.
raised_eyebrows 14th-Dec-2012 04:51 am (UTC)
it is very hard for women with good dads, husbands, grandparents or other good male presence in their life to identify with such a thing

I've heard someone else say something similar to this before. My unsolicited advice to anyone who struggles with this is to keep your heart open and thank whatever/whoever it is you believe in that you have been so fortunate to know the amazing men in your life. Not everyone is so lucky. It may hurt hearing women saying those kinds of things, but know that they're probably working through a lot in their lives. Whatever you choose to believe in is ultimately up to you.

Edited at 2012-12-14 04:57 am (UTC)
x_rose_tyler_x 14th-Dec-2012 05:02 am (UTC)
I know, and I'm not blaming those women for their feelings, even less when they come from bad experiences, but the reason they've grown to hate men is emotional, not related to the fact that they are a feminist. Of course it's hard to tell those people "hey! think twice before you speak" because they probably already have had it hard enough in their lives, but they must be conscious that when they make such statements they are making a generalization based on experience and not a universal truth.
saltireflower 14th-Dec-2012 05:04 am (UTC)
Thank you.
I understand that it might be hard to identify with, but I hope people who have a good male presence in their life really understand how fortunate they are.
zemi_chan 14th-Dec-2012 05:29 am (UTC)
While I understand what the original commenter is saying, you bring up such a great point. 'Very good comment, bby.
dirtyknife 14th-Dec-2012 05:55 am (UTC)
smashy 14th-Dec-2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
Women who actually, honestly hate all men do so not because of feminism, but because of how they have been treated by the men in their lives. They come from a place of pain, abuse, and neglect, and should not be judged harshly by any of us. They deserve to have their experiences understood, their feelings respected, and they deserve to be heard and accepted for who they are, not who we think they should be or should become in the future. If any of this puts someone "off" of feminism... I guess I just can't be convinced to give a shit.

Edited at 2012-12-14 02:16 pm (UTC)
swissbeauty23 14th-Dec-2012 04:48 am (UTC)
settling into this post....let's see what we have here
missjersey 14th-Dec-2012 04:51 am (UTC)
ONTD hates white people. The usual.
infinitycluster 14th-Dec-2012 05:22 am (UTC)
so everything is right where we left it
prophecypro 14th-Dec-2012 04:52 am (UTC)
Thats a lot of analysis on one choice
ladypolitik 14th-Dec-2012 09:07 am (UTC)
The beauty of humans being complex intellectual species.
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