Is the “F” word Alienating Women From the Movement

In the article, “Post Feminist Radical” it is mentioned that there is a “hesitancy and at times outright hostility to ‘feminism’ on the part of both young men and young women (246).”  I would agree and disagree with this statement, and in particular it calls to mind in interview, Divergent star, Shailene Woodley did for Time Magazine.  In the interview, she tells Time contributor, Eliana Dockterman, after being asked if she is a feminist that she is not. Shailene says, “No because 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. . . And also I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance.”  When I read her original statement my first reaction was “well, I’m pretty sure feminism doesn’t do any of those things” and “You kind have missed the whole point of feminism.”

I believe it is less to do with hostility and more to do with of a lack of understanding of what feminism is and particularly what it is today. Since then there have been many responses to Shailene’s comment ranging from “how can you be a woman today and not be a feminist” to “She doesn’t know what a feminist is.”  I believe that a lot of the hostility toward feminism today is a result of a lack of understanding of what feminism is. Shailene likely thinks that feminist are “bra burning men haters”, but what feminist really advocate is an end to sexual abuse, equal pay, and equal rights across the board.  So is there really a ton of hostility or are people just totally misinformed. People misinterpret this shift from the “F” word as the death of feminism but I don’t believe this is the case.  I just think that a lot of uninformed people don’t know what it means today.

Frith, Hannah. 2001. “Young Women, Feminism and the Future: Dialogues and Discoveries.” Feminism & Psychology , 11(2): 147–151.

Gournelos, Ted. “The Post-Feminist Radical: Jenna Marbles and the Digital Masquerade.”

Is the “F” word Alienating Women From the Movement

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