— Carrie Underwood
Last I checked, a "strong female" is still a feminist, Carrie.
— Lana Del Rey
— Taylor Swift
Taylor, what are you even saying? (Granted, she now claims to a feminist, but she still misses the mark.)
— Geri Halliwell
These are just a few of the most outrageous statements I've heard regarding the term "feminism."
Between Sanders' distasteful commentary on Planned Parenthood and Trump's repulsive misogyny along with his daft supporters, this year's presidential election has me enraged, especially with this serious issue.
The fight for feminism is still on, and I want to highlight the dark undercurrent that still exists in 2016: There are men and women who remain, to this day, uncomfortable with the movement of true female power.
That's why it is incredibly maddening and disgustingly offensive when a woman says she is not a feminist.
Ladies, what exactly do you mean when you say you are not a feminist? As a woman, how do you not identify with feminism?
Is it because you appreciate romance? You don't want to burn your bra? You work in the fashion or beauty industry? You want to get married? You're a housewife? You're a mother? You like men?
Newsflash: None of the above statements have anything to do with feminism.
So, if you have answered no to any or all of the above questions, you should be a feminist. If you have answered yes to any or all of the above questions, you should still be a feminist.
Feminism is not the advocacy of one gender over another, so please escape the crude perception that feminists hate men or the ridiculous, asinine notion that they can't be feminine, nurturing or… hairless.
If I fight for my right to earn a salary equal to my male colleagues; if I speak out against rape and sexual assault; if I'm pro-choice and if I challenge patriarchy, then I can — and should — do so regardless if I'm single or married; if I'm a pragmatic or a romantic; if I'm a housewife or the White House Chief of Staff or if I'm wearing a suit or a freaking tutu.
A feminist is (and only is) a believer in the social, economical and political equality of women and men. Period. If you, as a woman, believe you are entitled to the same rights as men to live, say, do, earn, ask, demand and love in any way you please, you are — without a doubt — a feminist.
So, to repeat the wise words of Joss Whedon, “You either believe women are people or you don't.”
It's that simple. And to the ladies specifically: Instead of shaming the idea of feminism, embrace it. This is a cause that affects you substantially.
Educate yourself on the true, pure-hearted ideals of feminism and help push this movement along. That way, our daughters, our granddaughters and our great-granddaughters don't have to.