Why Are Some Women Still Afraid To Use The F-Word?

06 May 2014

Women everywhere awoke today smelling another public rejection of the word ‘feminist’. When Shailene Woodley was asked the question ‘Do you consider yourself a feminist? she replied: ‘No because I love men’ Sigh.

Yup, looks like there’s still work to be done proving that to be a feminist you don’t have to hate men (or love them for that matter). But with so many female stars being pressed on whether or not they identify with the word, we're wondering if the problem isn’t the concept of feminism (you know, that simple fact that women should be treated equally to men etc) but rather committing themselves to something that will guarantee outrage.

Singer Carrie Underwood will happily say she’s a strong female but “wouldn't go so far as to say I am a feminist”. Kelly Clarkson the same grey area and thinks the word is too strong because when people hear feminist they think it’s all ‘Get out of my way, I don’t need anyone’. Interestingly the women rejecting the label often follow it up with the fact they agree with the core principles of feminism. So what’s stopping them from just saying yes?

Take feminist icon of the moment Queen Bey as an example. She too once avoided identifying herself as a fully-fledged feminist - “that word can be very extreme” she said – but has now confirmed she definitely is – the message was hard to miss during her recent tour where writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDx talk on the subject was blasted out of speakers alongside the accompanying words which flickered across the main screen.

However, for every positive move she makes, there is an onslaught of backlash questioning her feminist status – note the huge eye roll she got when she called her tour the Mrs Carter tour.

So, what do you think? Can women ever win if criticism comes whether we use the F-word or not?

Holly Peacock, Community Editor


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