Amy Poehler: Feminism questions ‘get us to talk sh-t about each other’

Amy Poehler

I hope you’re not tired of Amy Poehler yet. She’s been everywhere to promote her new Yes Please book. She’s talked about divorce advice and aging. Amy visited David Letterman and wore this cute, red plaid coat. She told Dave how she wanted to set fire to the Parks & Rec set during the show’s final episode. Amy also visited Howard Stern (via Popwatch) and admitted she went on a one-off date with Uncle Jesse John Stamos and “blew it.” Amy says she didn’t realize it was a romantic outing until it was too late. She then admitted to enjoying pr0n and apologized to her father. You can listen to that whole episode here.

What I’d like to talk about is Amy’s visit to AOL Build where she talked about the celebrity feminism discussion. Amy’s referring to the routine questions by journalists with nearly every starlet. Some have passed, but most have failed the inquiry. Here’s what Amy has to say about this popular topic:

“This discussion — the media discussion of who is and isn’t a feminist — is yet another example of the media attempting to divide us, to take us and split us apart, and our view among each other,” said Poehler. “So it’s like, ‘She said she was, she said she wasn’t, now she is, now she’s not, she made her one.’ It’s just bullsh-t. It’s yet another attempt to get us to talk shit about each other, for people to bait you into [responding to] ‘What do you think about so and so?’”

First of all, it’s none of my business what they they want to say or do — that’s what feminism is. And also, what you believe or say at 20 is different at 40, is different at 60. I think as women, we need to continue to constantly celebrate what we have in common and share, and stop letting this society focus on how we’re different. It’s really frustrating. Yet again, the topic of feminism is another example of people cooping it, taking it out of our hands, and we have to kind of take it back.

[From AOL Build]

Amy previously covered Elle and told the magazine that she is a feminist. She says some actors and musicians avoid the term, which is to say, “I don’t really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it.” Amy gets it. She’s also calling all of us out for our scrutiny of actresses and singers. Are we all guilty as charged? A lot of young women are afraid of the F-word. Discussing the term openly can only fix that fear and confusion.

Amy Poehler

Photos courtesy of WENN

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105 Responses to “Amy Poehler: Feminism questions ‘get us to talk sh-t about each other’”

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  1. MSat says:

    God, I love her. Just got my pre-ordered copy of her book! Can’t wait! Go, Amy!

  2. QQ says:

    LOOK AT AMY BEING FANTASTIC! Annie “strange fruit was about all people” Lennox could stand to take the lesson here

    • Wilma says:

      Did Annie Lennox say that?!?

      I love Amy and everything about her. She is such an ‘unafraid’ person.

      • QQ says:

        Wilma Is was like Diarrhea!! And also super horrifying cause WHET?! Strange Fruit was a fuck!ng PROTEST song about hanging BLACK MEN in the south…i invite yall to the AnnieLennoxCoverSongs Hashtag in Twitter she was RIGHTLY Roasted

      • Wilma says:

        I thought her comments on twerking were ignorant, but this is a whole new level. Didn’t she pay attention to the lyrics?

      • Artemis says:

        Lennox is messy as f- as of late and people won’t accept it because ‘she’s intelligent, she’s different, she’s rill y’all unlike the other [insert sexist anti-feminist slur against popstars here]‘. Please. Messy = messy = messy.

        The only reason why people aren’t addressing this is because it’s OBVIOUS and people don’t want to see her comments for what they are: ignorant and typical white feminist crap. You can defend her against evil Beyoncé because it’s easy and cheap but try and explain Strange Fruit away. Don’t touch BH’s classic song if you can’t speak out about the horrible act that is lynching and make it all about people in general. Don’t touch the song if you don’t understand the anger behind it, the desperation and sorrow. Bye.Felicia!

      • jaye says:

        Those hashtag comments made spit out my coffee! “Young, Gifted and a Person” might be my favorite.

      • Wilma says:

        I read her whole comment. I just don’t get why she feels the need to take the experience of a specific group and cheapen it by claiming it for everyone. I hate it when people do that. Please respect the history and experiences of different people, don’t make it all about yourself.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Wow, I didn’t know she said that. That’s so stupid, and now I feel like an idiot because I really thought her twerking gaffe was just a lack of information and maybe a generational ignorance thing. This casts her in a whole different light. Why is everybody always so disappointing.

    • Anna says:

      YES QQ! I was just about to make a comment about the garbage Annie has been spewing for the last few months. The only good thing that has come from it is that it has united younger feminists (and fans of artists who identify as feminists) against women who wanted to decide what is feminist and what isn’t (except in the case for those who say that feminism has to be intersectional).
      and LOL at your strange fruit comment. reminds me of those people saying what happened in Ferguson isn’t about race

      • QQ says:

        Look at you Anna! Thanks for finding me a Silver lining to my former fave turning into the Old nasty man yelling nonsense from the porch…offensive nonsense

    • Kiddo says:

      “strange fruit was about all people”. No. Just…no. I hadn’t heard this quote and this doesn’t make me look favorably upon her.

    • OhDear says:

      Maybe Amy Poehler can sit down with her and explain what feminism is :p

      Also, SMH on that Lennox’ explanation of Strange Fruit.

    • Ginger says:

      I had no idea that she said this. Dang! I really like her singing too. This just makes me want to erase all of her songs off of my IPod now. How can she not understand that song?!

    • Adrien says:

      Wow, really? Now I’m disappointed at Annie. Even a deaf person would know it’s about lynching. Other than racism, it cannot be interpreted as anything else. Why, Annie, Whhahaaaaaayy?

    • Yup, Me says:

      Thank you, QQ. I was hoping to see a rousing discussion about that situation around these parts since folks were so dedicated to Annie’s previous (questionable) explanations.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Wow. Can’t believe Annie actually said that. Talk about disappointing. How can anyone misinterpret what Strange Fruit is about? Seriously, how?

      • paranormalgirl says:

        Has she never read the lyrics? It cannot be misinterpreted, yet she chose to. So disappointed.

    • Katenotkatie says:

      Holy God. Annie Lennox needs to sit the eff down. And perhaps familiarize herself with the topic of racialized violence (and intersectional feminisms while she’s at it).

    • sarah says:

      Annie sounds like a privileged, ignorant woman. Amy should sit down with her & teach her a few things. I thought she was a typical white feminist when it came to WOC but this just makes her sound like a complete idiot. Sit down Annie you are embarrassing yourself!!!

    • Gea says:

      I was watching Tavis Smilley , AnneiLennox explanation on her desision to include that song on her album. Her explanation of understanding background and meaning didn’t make sense, it sounded very delusional to me. Strange fruit is anti lynching, anti rasisam poem written by I think school teacher in 40 s. What is wrong with her lately, rolling her mouth aimlessly .

      • Wilma says:

        And her comment on how she had watched these things in her own life. What?

      • Bridget says:

        @Gea: Strange Fruit is an iconic Billie Holiday song. So Lennox is taking something that is already VERY strongly associated with a particular (and incomparable) artist, but also a song with a very well known and powerful meaning.

      • Gea says:

        @Bridget…Just Google interview. Yes, first writen as poem, letter on rewritten by the same writer to be adapted to a song performed by legendary Billy Holiday. I think that her explanation diminish real meaning of the song, writen back in ’40s. We can slightly associates or think we can with pain and unjustice of that time, but to live and experiance violence comited is completely different.

  3. Sixer says:

    We are guilty as charged but I don’t think that should make us shut up about it, you know?

    And every single publicist out there should go to Wikipedia, copy and paste the definition of feminism and drill their female clients into giving it as the answer whenever they’re asked about it. I’ll help them out with the form response:

    “Feminism is the belief in equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. Of course I’m a feminist. Aren’t you?”

    If they all said exactly the same thing every single time, it would be like collective action against needling journo questions! Rusty the Rocket would love it, the sexist git. (Joke at the end there. Can’t help it).

    • Lucy2 says:

      To their male clients as well.

      • Chris says:

        Nah. They should ask the male clients about MRAs. But seriously, why do people feel that they’re entitled to put entertainers on the spot with these gotcha questions? They’re not running for office.

    • Sixer says:

      Yes! (But then we’d have to mandate that the journos ASK the men in the first place).

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I think it’s important, too. I get what she’s saying, and I agree that journalists have varying motives for asking the question, but I think the discussion is vital. Feminism is a fairly simple concept that has been twisted by some into something complicated and scary for women to claim as their own. I think this discussion has helped set the record straight.

  4. Celia says:

    I love what she has to say about it. Talking about feminism, misogyny and rape culture is extremely important and topical but these journalists aren’t usually interested in discussing the cultural context, just to bait famous women to say something potentially controversial to create headlines and clicks.

    Why not start to ask male politicians about their views on feminism and women’s rights for a change? I honestly think it’s much more important for people to know where those in power stand rather than some young Hollywood star without much of an education who gets asked the question just that people can make fun of her if she says something silly.

    I mean, I have a degree from one of the world’s top 10 universities but I wouldn’t necessarily be able to give an eloquent answer to any potential question I might get asked at a moment’s notice. I would probably ramble a bit at first to get my thoughts in order and the journalist would then shorten my answer and twist it into something I didn’t mean…

    I’d nail a feminism question though. :)

  5. Abbott says:

    Can we still yell about the All About That Bass lady?

    • lower-case deb says:

      speaking about that song, a few days (? — time is a lost concept in my life) ago my son sent me a link to a video of a proper bass singer singing All About That Bass. the video itself looks a bit Benetton-ish, but the change in the singer and voice makes the song sound like a different thing altoghether.

      • Elle says:

        Do you know the singer? I’d love to hear it.

        While I have issues with All About the Bass, I have to admit it’s a catchy song. And much as I hate to admit it, if it had come out when I was a teenager, I would have been all over it. I come from a line of women with well-endowed rears and being a teenager with a booty in the age of Size 0 was traumatic (as in, first-world trauma).

      • lower-case deb says:

        @Elle,
        this is the link that i received. the video is embedded in the link (i’m not sure how to post the video directly).
        http://time.com/3536701/all-about-that-bass/
        the singer’s name is Avi Kaplan.

        i think what makes it interesting for me is that because the lyrics are flipped it becomes a body positive message to men/boys as well. that is why my son, who is in the throes of puberty and dealing with his own peer-induced self-consciousness of his own ‘unconventional’ body seems to like it in a way. (but yes, not the most illuminative lyrics ever, it needs all the help that it can get (i am also studiously ignoring the mountain of junk food in the video)).

  6. Jaderu says:

    Thank you Amy! Dammit, finally somebody calls out this journalist baiting bullshit.
    Like they give a flying fu**
    “Oh I wonder what Kristen Stewart’s thoughts on feminism are.”
    No they’re thinking…
    “Oh, let’s see if we can get her to put her foot in her mouth or insult another actress. Good click bait.”

  7. captain hero says:

    I do think it’s lazy journalism to ask everyone the same hot topic questions, but it is also very important to expose and embarrass the ignorant.

  8. mystified says:

    Many in the media who are trying to divide women are also women. Carol Costello is a good example of this, so is much of the current cast of “The View”. “The Talk” seems to be more welcoming and inclusive.

  9. M.A.F. says:

    I want her coat.

  10. otaku fairy says:

    I agree with her. It just turns feminism into yet another way for women to compete against each other. Sometimes with the things women say about each other related to the feminism question makes me think, Wow, this is the woman equivalent of men comparing penis sizes. “My feminism is bigger than yours, h-! Take that!” It shouldn’t be a contest or an attempt to control other women.

    I’m also over getting annoyed with others just because they don’t understand feminism or identify with it. That doesn’t make their opinions invalid. I think other women not identifying as feminists is sometimes about a combination of having wrong information about it or being exposed to some more negative aspects of it. I don’t think it’s always about internalized misogyny or wanting to be a submissive man-pleaser.

    • Kitten says:

      Well, I have a problem with it when it’s women who are saying “I’m not a feminist because I don’t hate men” because that shows a basic lack of understanding of what the term means and propagates a false notion of what feminism is. I have a problem with that because it’s just f*cking lazy.

      I think not identifying with feminism is fine, but at least understand the basic definition and express why you don’t identify with it in a meaningful, thoughtful way.

      • jane16 says:

        I agree with Kitten, and I love Amy Poehler (and even like Shailene), but but frankly, I think comments like Shailenes hurt the cause of feminism when they say ignorant stuff like “I’m not a feminist because I like men”. Sorry, but I think that needs to be taken on and explained so that the youth don’t get all their ideas from movie starlets who are poorly educated. The fact is, feminism has taken a giant step backwards. I don’t watch msnbc as a rule, but I was clicking by one night and saw Rachel Maddow had a chart which showed all the ways womens rights were being attacked by new and proposed laws in most of the red states. It was shocking. The younger gens, the Gen Y’s and the Millenials need to wake the fuck up. They are throwing away the rights the baby boomers worked so hard for.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      “I think other women not identifying as feminists is sometimes about a combination of having wrong information about it or being exposed to some more negative aspects of it.”

      But shouldn’t they have a chance to learn that it’s really quite simple, and they benefit from it? How will they learn if it isn’t discussed? I don’t think people need to be shamed or bullied, but I think most of the women would want to be called feminists if they understood what it meant. If they choose not, to, ok, but I get the feeling from remarks like the one Kitten quoted that they are just uninformed. What’s wrong with giving them a chance to understand?

      • Brionne says:

        You bring an interesting point. Why aren’t the journalists asking celebrities if they feel they benefit from feminism in any way? Who would dare say they don’t believe Meryl Streep should get equal pay with George Clooney? That Angelina should only own property if Brad’ s name is on it? That birth control shouldn’t be available? That women shouldn’t vote?

    • Elle says:

      I’m conflicted about this current trend of asking actresses about feminism. On the one hand, it feels like there is a legitimate attempt to “take back” the word feminist and stop making into an insult or distorting what it is. On the other hand, yeah, it does feel like it’s become another way to get women (especially young women) to say something stupid or give people (wherever they fall on the feminism debate) another way to judge.

      I’m proud to be a feminist now, but if I had been famous at 20? I wouldn’t have claimed it, because I didn’t understand what it was. And if I had been slammed and denigrated for my position, it might very well have only entrenched my position and made me more hostile to those bitter old ladies who need to wake up and realize it’s not the 1960s anymore (sarcasm).

    • LadySlippers says:

      •otaku fairy•

      Here’s a woman that thinks feminism is just man-hating and this is why (IMO) we need it discussed.

      http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/29/Benedict-Cumberbatch-thinks-feminism-is-sexy

    • Ava7 says:

      The word or definition is so all over the map. How can you blame women who don’t want to identify with it, when most young women who espouse it think it means “I can do any stupid thing I want and judging my poor choices is very ant-feminist of you”. When women act trashy in front of neon signs that say “Feminism” on TV…who would want to identify with that?

  11. RhymesWithSilver says:

    I think young women are reacting to the fact that there’s a lot of BS out there dignifying itself under the name “feminism”, and that if you argue with any of it, there’s an army of people of all genders and backgrounds eager to take you apart. I would have totally been one of those girls holding those “I’m Not A Feminist” signs back in college, because so much of what was promoted to me as “feminism” made no sense to me. It really stuck in my craw, but I couldn’t articulate well enough exactly why back then. But I’ve been through round after round of “feminist” word golf in the ten years since then, and I can now put into words which arguments don’t sit right with me and why. I also know now that not accepting every single thing I hear calling itself “feminist” doesn’t make me unfeminist. But depending what your first exposure to “feminism” is, it’s perfectly logical to me that a lot of young people would say “screw this nonsense”, because a fair percentage of what you read online is precisely that.

  12. Aye Gee says:

    I don’t think she’s wrong. How many of us do that here everyday? We say we want all women to be feminist but we criticize and ridicule women who don’t because they don’t fit our ideals. Somehow Annie Lenox is right and Beyoncé is a terrorist of feminism. Instead of being so tough on people like Beyoncé and Miley why don’t we try to educate? Why can’t we be more helpful to women on their feminist journey? Until we can resist the urge to belittle women at every turn, the feminist movement will never amount to anything. We are our worst enemies.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Well the feminist movement has amounted to a lot I would say, historically.

      I do agree that belittling others who don’t identify with feminism isn’t the solution. However, as I said above, I’m not going to sit idly by and let women say that feminism equals man-hating. Part of being a feminist is being allowed to stick up for the things I believe in, not goaded into silence because I might hurt somebody’s feelings. Feminism means equality between genders, period–that is the dictionary definition of the term. I’m not going to keep pointing that out for fear of seeming divisive.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Exactly.

      • Aye Gee says:

        I can’t say I agree. I am a biracial women with a black mom and I would say the feminist movement has not alway been so inclusive. But that’s for another thread.

        Why do we have to shame and trivialize women? Why does it always have to be a “well, she’s this and that so eff her”. This is not about about holding your tounge. It’s about the fact that sometimes these so called FEMinist are always the first ones to pass judgment and make comments. There was a time in my life (and I’m only in my ear 20′s) were I didn’t want to identify as a feminist. Not because I “loved men too much” or because I didn’t agree with equal rights for other women but because I had personally felt the sting of other women who had called themselves feminist. I was told I was too young, too stupid, that I needed to put on some clothes.. Every damn thing in the planet. And maybe those things were true but to hear that coming from a group of women who were supposed to be part of a sisterhood of some sort turned me off. And I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of young women as well. You have a group of older women like Annie Lennox who are brilliant but instead of being inclusive and guiding the younger girls (like Amy of Tina for example) they point fingers and accuse which a. Divides people and b.makes feminism look like the bunch of bullies the media so often portrays us to be.

      • jane16 says:

        Well said Kitten.

      • Kitten says:

        @Aye Gee-What about your comment contradicts what I said above?
        Firstly, holding the entire feminist movement responsible for the actions of a few self-proclaimed feminists isn’t really fair.

        Maybe the person who is criticizing you for your outfit is just an assh*le who happens to be a feminist-that doesn’t mean that she alone is allowed to solely define the feminist movement. Many many women are feminists, and within the feminist community there exists a vast array of different kinds of feminism–it’s up to you to define it for yourself. As I’ve said here before, what it means to me is an ever-evolving idea–it is not a stagnant concept.

        Anyway, as I said above, if you feel excluded or put-off by feminism, then that is certainly your right. I don’t need every woman to be a feminist, but I do have an issue with women mischaracterizing feminism as something that it is not.

      • Aye Gee says:

        That person does not represent feminism for me. That’s just one of the many examples of why young women can feel excluded by the older women in the feminist movement.

        Ugh
        This is a circular conversation. The older people are saying that we just don’t understand and the younger people are saying no, you don’t understand. Bottom line, womenas a whole, feminist or not, could be a lot kinder to each other. Both on the Internet and in real life.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Aye Gee,
        I hate for you to be so frustrated and to give up. I certainly agree that a certain type of woman in the feminist movement spoke the loudest for awhile, and that strident, finger pointing, political wing of the movement didn’t do anybody any favors, and they were elitist and not inclusive of women of color, or poor white women. Look at what happened as far as support from NOW when it came to Anita Hill (educated, well-spoken, accusing a Republican of sexual harassment) and compare it to Paula Jones ( poor, uneducated, accusing a Democrat of sexual assault). I am very disillusioned with that group as well. I don’t think they represent feminism today, where people are just trying to say that we have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go for true equality. And it’s upsetting to hear things like “I’m not a feminist because I like men,” arguments. But you’re right, of course you have a right and it sounds like many good reasons to not like the label feminist. And I support you in that because you’ve thought it through. I also agree we could be kinder to each other as women as as human beings. But we need thoughtful people like you to help us understand how to include you, and how to avoid the pitfalls of the past. Please don’t write us off. Keep talking and keep open, and maybe we can create something that includes and benefits all women.

      • Kitten says:

        Fair enough, Aye Gee, but I guess I just don’t see where we disagree. I don’t see any contradictions between your comments and mine.

        “The older people are saying that we just don’t understand and the younger people are saying no, you don’t understand.”

        Who’s saying that? Not me.
        This is not an age-dependent thing-many women my age and older have a misunderstanding of the basic definition of feminism.

        I’m only saying that if anyone out there, young or old, is equating feminism with man-hating, you will hear from me. That is simply false and it’s akin to saying black pride=hatred of white people.

        It’s Rush Limbaugh-fueled bullsh*t and I won’t stand for it.

      • Brionne says:

        It doesn’t seem to me that Aye Gee is saying she isn’t a Feminist. She is saying she was initially turned off by the behaviors of those who were loudly proclaiming themselves Feminists and attempting to sort and grade others using superficial litmus tests like style of dress. From what I gather, Aye Gee now identifies as Feminist because she has a broader understanding.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Brionne
        Yes, I realize I made it sound as if Aye Gee was saying she’s not a feminist. I didn’t mean to. I got my tenses wrong – I meant she didn’t see herself as a feminist when she was young. Sorry.

    • Ava7 says:

      Yep. I particularly remember Kirsten Dunst saying something about wanting to have a more traditional relationship and be a nurturer like her mom, and she was ripped apart on here.

  13. Hissyfit says:

    She is right. I feel like the media is asking every actress and starlet out there the feminism question just so they can compare who has the better answer, to make out who’s smart and who’s dumb, who gets it and who doesn’t.

    • jane16 says:

      Well maybe. Or maybe they’re asking it because they’re wondering what the heck happened to feminism and why the younger generations in the entertainment industries seem content to let their hard-fought-for rights disappear.

      • H says:

        Feminism is extremely fashionable these days, especially with the younger generation. It wasn’t like that when I was growing up, and I’m glad to see that it’s changed. But it’s also complex, and it’s not something that can be summed up with a rote response, as some here suggest.

      • jane16 says:

        Feminism is fashionable these days!?! Really? Well, I don’t see it myself, but I’m glad you think its picking up steam again.

    • H says:

      It is clickbait and it can be misogynistic. When we trash celebrities who don’t get it right here, we’re not encouraging a free and open discussion. We’re piling onto women – often very young women – who are already suffering from misogyny. Feminism is a complex topic and it is not a compulsory part of being an intelligent and aware woman.

      • jane16 says:

        @ H, I think celebrities that talk down about feminism are trashing other women, and especially their feminist sisters, who worked hard, without pay, and usually with a lot of grief, to get them the rights they have now. I think Amy, who I am a fan of, has got it backwards on this issue. Which surprises me, I must say.

  14. Katie says:

    Well said, Amy! My thoughts exactly. The media machine has taken feminism from fighting for women to be treated with respect and equality and turned it into a movement that pits women against one another. True feminism, to me, means that all women band together to uphold one another in our choices and to fight, together, against true discrimination and harassment. It should never turn woman against woman for their choices to be a working mom, a stay at home mom, a bottle feeding mom, a career women with no kids, a breast feeding mom, a girlie girl who loves sparkles and bows, a woman who’d rather never wear make up or a dress. We have incredible power and freedom, as women, to be who we want to be. As women we have incredible power to build one another up and fight together. That is feminism. Stop ripping each other apart! (okay rant over. That’s been on my mind for a while.)

    • Zoe says:

      I get what you’re saying here, but women can work on bahalf of the patriarchy just as well as men can. Look at Phyllis Schlafly or Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann or whatever blond blow out is on Fox News this hour. Those women are helping dismantle our hard fought rights just as strongly as the men are, and they embolden the cause because then they can be like “see women don’t even want their rights!”

  15. Gina says:

    She’s cute, funny, likeable….but the only interesting point in this article was that she blew Uncle Jessie! Do tell Amy….

  16. jane16 says:

    I wish you young Celebitchians would take a Women’s Studies class before you think Amy’s 100% right on this. I was born in the 60s and I have two baby boomer sisters, and we can tell you, it was a different world back then. You don’t want to go back there, however fun the music and fashions were. We were raised to be wives and mothers, like our grandmothers and mothers were. Look what the right wing patriarchy is throwing out there to change things back: all the anti-women, anti-gay, and racist legislation being introduced all over the country, putting up people like the Palins or the Duggars and making them rich and famous. Do you want to live in a Palin/Duggar type world? Emma Watson is the star with the right idea on feminism. We all agreed with her stand, not that long ago.

    • Kitten says:

      I’ve said it before–it’s a modern-day privilege to be able to denounce feminism or say “I don’t need feminism.”

      • Diana B says:

        Totally. And many take that for granted. People should know their history and what has landed us where we are today before taking a stand on the issue.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Jane16, I so agree with you. I was born in the 1950s and I was brought up to think my options were marry well, stay home with children, or be flight attendant, nurse, secretary, etc. I said above in my post that feminists of that era did have a more abrasive, aggressive voice in many cases, but it forgot to add that it was at least partially because they needed to, or felt they needed to. I think that’s where the judgmental part began, too – women who fought so hard for the right to have their own life saw women who CHOSE to stay home as sellouts. And I agree, there are people who would love us to go back to the time when women didn’t have a choice. I think feminism needs an overhaul to be inclusive of all women and supportive of different kinds of choices, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted or dismissed as “man hating.” Maybe we just need to communicate better, because we should all be able to get behind something as simple as equality for women.

      • jane16 says:

        I quit working to raise my family myself, did the whole “minivan” routine, as it were, and I’m grateful I was able to do so, so I have never considered stay-at-home moms, or non-working women if they have the means and inclination, as sellouts. I am always supportive of women making their own choices. That’s why I will always be a feminist, because, as you aptly bring out in your comment (“flight attendant, nurse, secretary…”) we didn’t have many choices back when we were young.

      • Kitten says:

        My mom was a SAHM and is also a strong feminist.

    • Zoe says:

      Yes! Everyone go listen to “I’m gonna be an engineer” by Peggy Seeger. It describes this perfectly.

    • Ava7 says:

      Why can’t the Duggars just be the Duggars ? Does feminism mean all women now must march lock-step with the current liberal ideals of feminists? Would you force all Duggar girls to have sex before marriage and limit the number of children they can have and not allow them to practice their faith just because it doesn’t go along with your definition of feminism?

  17. Brionne says:

    I like Amy’s response on this.

  18. Aye Gee says:

    I think I’m being misunderstood. I AM a proud feminist. I’m just making the point that at a MOMENT in my life, I was afraid to call myself one. With education, experience, age and the guidance of a very special woman, I came to understand feminism and accept it. What I’m saying is that I understand why some women find it hard to identify because I’ve walked that road before. IF those of use who call ourselves feminist would take the time to educated like my good friend did, we would avoid a lot of harsh discourse.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, I said this above, but I did understand that you were saying why you felt you couldn’t identify with feminism when you were younger, but now you do, but you understand why some women still don’t. I wrote my response very poorly and it came out as if I thought you weren’t a feminist now. I’m sorry.

    • Kitten says:

      I understood what you were saying and I agree with you.

    • sarah says:

      I agree with you & I also went through the same thing a few years back with so called older feminist bullies.

  19. jane16 says:

    Having re-read Amy’s comment, I think my previous comments about it were too polite, being colored by my admiration of her. The truth is, I find her comments utterly ridiculous, and pandering to the young, like she doesn’t want to not look cool or something.

    Seriously: “it’s none of my business what they they want to say or do — that’s what feminism is.” Amy, I’m really not sure what you’re trying to say here, but no…that’s not what “feminism is”. And: “Yet again, the topic of feminism is another example of people cooping it, taking it out of our hands, and we have to kind of take it back.” wth does that even mean?

    The topic of feminism, which is equal rights for women, can never be brought up too often. That’s how young women will learn about it, since the conservatives are doing everything they can to trash it. And didn’t some of the “not feminist” celebs take back their words after they were roundly criticized for them on sites like Celebitchy? Well, then its a good thing to call them out on it.

    I think its sexist also; I don’t feel the need to agree with every woman, or never criticize their actions or comments. If a man makes a lame comment about feminism, then I will call them out on it, it doesn’t make sense to exclude women who do the same thing. The feminist movement is very important to me, and should be to everyone, but its under a major attack now by the conservative movement, as Kitten mentioned upthread, this is Rush Limbaugh bullshit, and we need to fight back against it. Sorry Amy, but I am not going to be pressured to shut up and not defend feminism because a silly talking young actress makes disparaging comments about it because her PR flacks are desperate to hide her sexual preference.

    • Kitten says:

      “The topic of feminism, which is equal rights for women, can never be brought up too often. That’s how young women will learn about it, since the conservatives are doing everything they can to trash it.”

      Here, here.

      There’s a certain faction of people in powerful positions that would love for all us to STFU about feminism. Not happening.

  20. Alyce says:

    There is often a difference between how a group is defined on paper and how its members act. When interacting with one you tend to judge them based more on their actions than ideals. To be blunt, most of the feminists I’ve encountered are assholes- they constantly belittle men and are extremely condescending when I say I’m not apart of their group because clearly I haven’t read a dictionary and/or given the matter any thought (I have, extensively, but my opinion is never good enough). There is also a difference between 1st, 2nd, and now 3rd wave and in a 21st century first world country, I don’t think feminism is important anymore because the real work has already been done by previous generations, which I do appreciate. 3rd wave seems to be (in reality not on paper) about whining about women not just being given things that have to be earned now, the refusal of personal responsibility (teach men not to rape is the stupidest statement ever, they already know but there are always bad apples in the bunch, its like saying teach women not to be golddiggers), and creating professional victims (a la Anita Sarkeesian who received $150k, when she asked for around 7k, to make 20 or so episodes on youtube about female tropes in video games by 2013. She’s only made 6 or 7 and instead now goes on speaking tours about how much she’s harassed. She’s harassed because her videos are rubbish and she’s a liar- she steals lets play footage from youtube with no credit/contact to the maker and claims to play these games herself- not because she’s a woman like she claims.).

    I do not identify as a feminist because while there are a lot of nice, caring, thoughtful people in the group, I don’t want anything to do with the radicals who push their opinions and hate on everyone else. Feminists can’t even agree on what the movement stands for, everyone has their own version. I do believe in and will fight alongside anyone of similar mind for equality, for everyone, so why is it so terrible that I don’t take that one specific label? What happened to agreeing to disagree on a subject and still being able to get along? I agree with Amy Phoeler, journos asking celebrities these kinds of questions only creates division.

    • Kitten says:

      “the refusal of personal responsibility (teach men not to rape is the stupidest statement ever)”
      What are you insinuating? That women have a “personal responsibility” to not get raped?

      Teaching men not to rape is about putting the onus on men. Of course not every man rapes. The point is to make it clear that men need to be taught by strong male role models that women’s bodies are not theirs for the taking. Not because she wore a short skirt, not because she’s drunk, and not because she’s sharing the same public space. It starts by changing the mindset of men, not by teaching women “personal responsibility”.

      How is it any different to say “most feminists are assholes”?
      Does that really make you better than the women you had a bad experience with or are you really just the same, making disparaging remarks and generalizations simply because you don’t see eye-to-eye with them?

    • Kitten says:

      Also, you are showing your extreme insularity and privilege by saying “feminism isn’t needed anymore”.

      Tell that to Malala Yousafzai.

      • Alyce says:

        You’ve taken me out of context here. I said feminism isn’t necessary anymore in “first world countries”, like the US. Pakistan is not a first world country and Malala Yousafzai’s human rights activism is extremely important there.

        Women need to have the personal responsibility to take precautions against the risk of getting raped (or mugged, drugged, etc.) and not dumping the onus completely on men and high minded ideals. The world is a cruel place and that will never change. I wish I could walk down the street and not get harassed by men passing by, but I understand that it’s an unfortunate truth of human sexuality that I just have to deal with.

        Teach men not to rape is stupid, why? Because we already do (again, speaking in the context of first world). We also teach men (and women) not to murder or steal, and yet it still happens. If someone is going to commit rape, they will do it regardless of what their family, friends, or society tells them. Rape is a combination of many factors (mental health, emotions, sexuality to name a few) and cannot be dumbed down to one simple concept. So again there is a dichotomy between the ideal and the reality. Teach men not to rape is a nice idea, but unfortunately it doesn’t make any difference in the real world.

        I tend to keep my opinions to myself unless directly asked and most of the feminists I’ve interacted with, once they learn I do not identify as one start making below the belt remarks and are not open to a real intellectually honest discussion about our ideals and trying to understand one another. Most don’t ask” why?” they instead decide that I need to be educated, join the club, and if I refuse then I’m labeled as ignorant. I don’t understand how forming an opinion based on experience correlates to me thinking I’m better than someone else, I just dislike them and who wants to be around people they don’t like?

      • Faith says:

        But Alyce what about street harassment, sexual harassment in work places, rape statistics, pay gaps, womens bodies used a political fodder by white middle class men, under representation in government, how a woman looks is more important than her substance, objectifacation within the media just to name a few I do have more examples but I would just keep going on. I respect your choice in not being a feminist but please don’t tell me there is no need for feminism. I had a similar talk with a friend you can’t judge a whole movement on the actions of a few. Even if you never in your life identify as one don’t let it tarnish the majoirty. Also teach men not to rape is surprising helpful since some men don’t even know the basic rules of consent.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        But your opinions are very closed-minded, unrealistic and uninformed. And sad. Very, very sad. People think you’re ignorant because the things you say…are. We no longer “need” feminism, even though women in this country are not paid the same as men for the same work, women are just whining because they have to work for things, women are responsible for their own rapes, but they are stupid for trying to educate men about sexual assault…you are so out of touch with other women, compassion, feelings, except anger. I feel sorry for you. How awful it must be to look at the world through your eyes.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Alyce, remember “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty?” I agree the issues of feminism in a “first world country” (that term sounds awkward and needs to be changed), is less of a big deal now than in developing nations. And “teaching men not to rape” does sound kind of absurd. But I will be focusing on teaching my son that I expect him to treat women with respect, starting with me. I will use my choices as an individual , based on what I teach my children, the music I pay for, the people I associate with, etc. to advocate for the way I think people should behave towards women, and in general. Of course that will be different for different people, and it should be. However the mainstream media that I see around me does not really seem to project respect towards women. The fact that Charlie Sheen is still employed is a case in point. I think things are getting better than in the previous generations and feel incredibly lucky about that, but there’s still a long way to go.
        Especially since the movement is not currently feeling inclusive to all women.

    • ML says:

      There’s been a lot of you gamergate MRA creeps coming on here and trying to troll, I can smell your man baby tears a mile away. I don’t understand how you get through moderation.