Meryl Streep, not a feminist: ‘I am a humanist, I am for nice easy balance’

Meryl Streep

These are photos of Meryl Streep with real-life daughter Mamie Gummer and Rick Springfield at last month’s premiere of Ricki and the Flash. That film didn’t make much of an impact, sadly, although it also starred one of my favorites, Sebastian Stan. Meryl is currently promoting Suffragette, which also stars Carey Mulligan, and Meryl gave an interview to Time Out London about all sorts of stuff, including women’s rights.

Earlier this year, Kaiser covered the story about Meryl Streep agreeing with Russell Crowe about how older actresses should stop complaining about the dearth of roles in Hollywood. The journalists mentioned how Meryl “literally” waved the question away, mostly because Meryl doesn’t realize (as Kaiser said) that she dominates nearly all of the plum roles for women over 50. She’s swimming in offers and doesn’t understand — although I’m not sure how — that other actresses struggle to continue working after they lose the “romcom” glow. This new Time Out interview is also a little clueless:

Her life motto: “Do what you can.”

Advice to her 18-year-old self: “Don’t waste so much time thinking about how much you weigh. There is no more mind-numbing, boring, idiotic, self-destructive diversion from the fun of living.”

The best advice she received: “From my husband who says: ‘Start by starting.'”

What makes her angry: “Deliberate ignorance of global warming by the richest, best-educated people and institutions in the world, as if it will not profoundly impact on them, their privileged lives and their families.”

Being ladylike is underrated: “I would say it is underrated. Grace, respect, reserve and empathetic listening are qualities sorely missing from the public discourse now.”

Is she a feminist? “I am a humanist, I am for nice easy balance.”

Her least favorite interview question: “‘You often play very strong women… Why do you choose…? Blah blah blah.’ No man is ever asked: ‘You often play very strong men. Why?’ It would be an absurd question.”

How she defines a suffragette: “Courageous, relentless, righteous, and right.”

[From Time Out London]

Sigh. I am as tired as the rest of you with discussing how actresses cope with “the feminism question” in interviews. There’s a “block” with how many women view feminism, and they automatically think it’s something bad because of blowhards like Rush Limbaugh. No one wants to be called a feminazi, you know? That’s understandable, but it’s ridiculous how some people still let Limbaugh dominate the thought process when it comes to women seeking equal rights as men. I do blame him for that word because he still uses it so often. Anyway, I wish actresses and pop stars would finally realize that feminism does not treat men negatively. Then we could stop dissecting every interview like the one Meryl just gave, and I could go back to making fun of Tom Cruise.

Note by Celebitchy: I’m a humanist and a feminist. Those concepts are not mutually exclusive.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Photos courtesy of WENN

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242 Responses to “Meryl Streep, not a feminist: ‘I am a humanist, I am for nice easy balance’”

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  1. Lennox says:

    Oh, Meryl, nooooooo.

    • Addison says:

      I know. So tired of privileged women saying these types of things. If it weren’t for feminism you’d be relegated to the kitchen I always think, when I read these types of things. Sigh…

      • Nancy says:

        “Nice easy balance” says the most successful actress in the last 30 years.
        Meryl needs to get out of her bubble of privilege. I thought she was smart.

      • matty says:

        >If it weren’t for feminism you’d be relegated to the kitchen I always think…

        Addison: go back to 1935 and try convincing young Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Stanwyck, Hepburn, etc to buy that load of crap you’re pushing. That was WAY before “feminism” last I checked, and none of those women felt like “oppressed victims of men” nor were they relegated to any kitchens. They just lived their lives and carved a niche for themselves and other women. No excuses, no whining. And if you had ever actually seen their films or studied their lives (it’s obvious you’re so young you think Streep and Fonda are ‘pioneers’) you’d know those pre-feminism women didn’t take crap off men. They just worked hard until they got what they wanted in life, and usually they did. Your tone of self-victimization is a big part of why most women abhor the word feminist and men run away in droves from marrying you.

    • Mia V. says:

      She really is a good actress by portraying a sufragette and not being a feminist.

    • michelleb says:

      You took the words out of my mouth.

      I think I’m going to stop reading all media articles about actresses not understanding the term feminism/feminist. It is too aggravating.

      • fee says:

        I know that when the word feminism comes up, people picture an angry, manly women who hate men who open doors for them, ridiculous.

    • Lahdidahbaby says:

      CB, I so agree with you, and I’d say that to be a humanist, by its very definition, means that you ARE a feminist. A humanist believes in the intrinsic worth of all, which means that everyone’s essential human rights should be equal. “Feminist” does NOT mean “separatist,” and though a few feminists may BE separatists, by far the majority of us simply want for ourselves and for ALL women equal rights with men.

      • Kalypso says:


        “I am a humanist, I am for nice easy balance.”

        Me too, Meryl. But I also believe that feminism is needed to achieve that nice, easy balance we all want.

    • LA Juice says:

      BOOOOOOO. BOOOOOOO Meryle Boooo!

  2. Lindy79 says:

    Hmmm wasn’t this the Streep who stood up whooping when Patricia Arquette made her comments about equality for women during her Oscar speech?

    You can be a humanist and a feminist.

    • TorontoE says:

      Humanism is about personal agency and feminism is about giving women equal choice/rights so that they can have the same agency in their lives. I would say in order to be a humanist you must be a feminist first.

      It’s sad that someone promoting a movie of suffragettes shies away from using the word feminism, thinking humanism is less polarizing. We need women like Meryl to take back the word so kore people associate it with positive, successful, empathetic women.

      • icerose says:

        This film is a complete white wash anyway -my great aunt was part of the inner circle and wrote speeches for the Pankhursts and they were not working class,.My great aunt was the daughter of a newspaper owner-looked down on the working class,opposed vaccinations and joined the fascist party when the war broke out.My Dad use to call her his cranky aunt.She believed women,s rights could best be won via fascism.My second cousin has written a book about her ” Mosley’s Old Suffragette: A Biography of Norah Dacre Fox (Revised Edition)” I have no idea what the Pankursts were but the book above makes an interesting reading.She also stood for parliament as a representative of the fascist party,
        Her suffragette medal was up on Ebay about 5 yrs ago or more but we could not afford and they do not reveal the buyers probably because it was stolen from her room when she died and her immediate family may have been claims on it.

    • K says:

      It was the very same.

      I don’t really understand why this is the new question to ask famous women but I did love the irony of her talking about her distain for privileged people denying climate change and when she acts like there isn’t a huge glass ceiling problem. Among a host of others.

      Now if her point is she wants to stop spending so much time labeling all this stuff and actually focus on the issues and fix them then fine great but she didn’t express that well at all. Really I think she fell more in the this doesn’t happen to me so I’m not really worried about it crowd then anything.

      • Greata says:

        @k…Totally accuarate…she is being disingenuous. How could she possibly be unaware of the fact that she has first pick of the roles/choices available to actresses in her age group. Deliberately tone deaf is more like it.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “I did love the irony of her talking about her distain for privileged people denying climate change and when she acts like there isn’t a huge glass ceiling problem”

        I share your thoughts.

  3. LAK says:

    What celebitchy said.

    And what you, Bedhead, said.

    • V4Real says:

      I like Meryl as an actress but I don’t agree with what she said when she agreed with Russell Crowe about how older actresses should stop complaining about the death of roles in Hollywood.”

      Maybe 5 years from now when she can’t even get roles playing older women or grandmothers, while her male peers such as Neesom, H. Ford and De Niro are still getting the offers she may feel a bit different. It won’t be long before actresses like Julia Roberts and Cate Blanchet will be suited for those roles.

      Why can’t she see that she and Mirren are two of the lucky ones in her age group that Hollywood is still paying attention to. She, herself is privilege. But there are so many other actresses who have all but disappeared from the big screen because of their age. I think the only reason she doesn’t have a problem with it is because she’s still a working actress.

      • Nic919 says:

        Maybe part of the reason why she and Mirren still get offered roles is because they don’t rock the boat too much for the old boys club. Helen Mirren is a great actress but has said said weird stuff too.
        There are many older women out there who as good at acting as those two but maybe they don’t get recognized as much or offered roles because they are a bit more uppity and don’t mind being branded Feminist and less accommodating to the old boys.
        After all, isn’t the main fear that women have about the word feminism is that it makes them less cool with the boys and by extension less attractive to them? If you notice when feminist is used as an insult it is strongly linked to lesbianism and man hating, which God forbid we can’t be accused of doing that.
        So glad I didn’t waste money on that crappy Rickie and the flash movie. I have also read early reviews of Sufragette and they aren’t great.

    • laura in LA says:

      Celebitchy, Bedhead and LAK +1,000,000

      Count me in as a feminist first and humanist, too. Why can’t these concepts peacefully co-exist? There’s your “nice, easy balance”, Meryl.

      Something tells me we won’t be getting any apologies for this from the Queen.

  4. Moffa says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how many people here give her a pass just because she’s Meryl Streep…

    • LAK says:

      I won’t

      Maya below me: I will call her more dump and stupid than Marion because she should know better having grown up during an era when feminism was making tangible changes unlike the where feminism is making very small tiny almost invisible changes.

    • Maya says:

      Yep let’s see if they call her dump and stupid like they did with Marion.

      • Linn says:

        Did you see yesterdays post about the sh*t Marion has said in the past? What Meryl said about feminism is indeed stupid, uneducated and very disappointing, but Marion is on a whole different level of stupidity.

        I can understand LAK’s view though. Overall I just wish people weren’t so terrified of the word feminism/feminist.

    • Korra says:

      Absolutely not. I was way madder at her for agreeing with Russell Crowe. I mean what in the actual eff. I’m just don’t with her now. She’s obviously not as bright as she wants to believe, profoundly tone deaf, and incredibly privileged. She’s let all the Meryl is the best thing ever go right to her f*cking head.

    • Jenna says:

      I think she is dumber and stupider than someone like Marion for making these remarks. Marion at least has the excuse of not having been around when inequality was more open and glaring. I’m really disappointed in Meryl. I’m a feminist, and it’s not a big political statement or a position that means I want to grind men under my heel…just means I think I (and all other women) deserve to be treated as equally important.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Apparently the name ‘Meryl Streep’ is supposed to mean something. Not to me! But tbh for some reason this doesn’t shock me at all coming from her. She’s the ultimate cliche of the privelaged person who denies anything that doesn’t immediately benefit her. She doesn’t need feminism because her life is peachy, screw everyone else and the structure of society as a whole.

      She’s an idiot.

  5. Ivy says:

    You never know true betrayal until you have one of your faves come out and stab you in your heart with their words. Oh Meryl!

    • Mimimonster says:

      Sadly, I’ve given Meryl the side-eyes since the late ’90’s. I went to Vassar, as did Meryl, and she came and gave a talk while I was there. It was a packed house and she gave one of the worst presentations that I saw in my 4 years at the school. I really hope she was drunk. She certainly seemed like she was. Her speech was meandering and consisted of her complaining about how Vassar was better in the mid-’60s before they decided to let boys attend. Fine, she can feel whatever she wants, but she said she held that opinion because girls were now just trying to behave like boys and were not seeing the value in their femininity. It sounds a lot like her current thoughts on being “ladylike”. She then continued to rant about all the things she didn’t like about Vassar, liberal arts education in general, and any behavior that falls outside traditional gender norms. We were all looking at each other like “is this really happening?”

      So basically, I’m not surprised to read this today. I think she needs to go back to school and pay better attention in class.

      • Nancy says:

        My son graduated Vassar in 2012 and it is an amazingly fabulous school. And Streep still gives about $5 million a year to it, so what was she thinking?

  6. Pies says:

    Her daughter looks like a mix of her and Paris Hilton. (I couldn’t help it, I’m SO sorry)

  7. Lucy2 says:

    Et tu, Meryl?

  8. croissant says:

    tu quoque mi fili 🙁

  9. Sixer says:

    I’m a humanist, too!

    Advice to celebs when asked this question: “Of course I am. Who wouldn’t be? Aren’t you? If not, why not? By the way, use it as an adjective not a verb. I’m lots of other things, too, dontchaknow. My film is great, by the way. You should go and see it. And then encourage other people to go and see it. Thanks. Bye now.”

    • Lindy79 says:

      You should be a publicist Sixer, whip these morons into shape!

    • Kitten says:

      Why can’t they just do that? So simple.

      I’m not a Hillary Clinton fan but credit where credit is due-when she was recently asked if she was a feminist she answered without hesitation: “absolutely”. She didn’t elaborate or qualify, she just answered a simple question with what should be an obvious answer.

    • ell says:

      they don’t answer like that because they’re ignorant. it’s not that because they’re in the spotlight they’re more educated or more interesting as other people. and it shows.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        This, we’re dealing with a class of people who barely read and aren’t invested in the world outside of their mansions and millions. How many of these celebs were consistently getting caught forgoing the water restrictions just so their lawns would be nice and green? In the middle of a record shaking drought?

        THAT’S the quality of people we’re dealing with.

    • Sixer says:

      Oopsy. Correction: NOUN not VERB. I’m useless.

      Kitten – it really is that simple. I mean, if you asked these fools “Are you a racist?” they’d all react with outrage “OF COURSE I AM NOT”. It’s just the same thing but in reverse.

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      I wish they would answer with qualification as well, though.
      I am a feminist in that sense that women are still not getting equal legal representation under the law (especially in divorce and custody issues), that there is an assumption their bodies may be touched, groped and ogled because of their gender and that the fastest growing group of people living in poverty are single working mothers because they are assumed to be the one who should take off sick days, are stuck in lower management positions and have the highest rate of turnover. Access to higher paying middle income jobs that do not require specialization are male dominated (oil rig workers, construction, etc), whereas women are left to become a stripper to make that level of income without training and they are shamed for it. Stripping men are celebrated. This leaves women to high turnover jobs that do not provide benefits, retirement savings plans, and flexibility. When that changes, we can stop talking about feminism.
      And because these actresses are going to be asked these questions, they should get their well-informed answers ready.

  10. suze says:

    Streep is a fabulous actor with a resume as impressive as it gets.

    I find her odd and clueless in interviews.

    • Kitten says:

      She is a very strange, eccentric and quirky woman. I usually enjoy that about her but not in this case.

  11. Maya says:

    I will proudly say it – I am a feminist who wants equal rights to women in every profession, every country and in field of education.

  12. Betti says:

    As much as I love her she’s rather clueless.

    And I’m with Celebitchy – feminism and humanism are 2 entirely different concepts and you can be either or both. Someone should send her some of Simone De Beauvoir’s work (famous existentialist philosopher who’s contribution to modern Feminism was significant). It makes me sad that people will lap up what she (Meryl) says without making the effort to educate themselves.

  13. LAK says:

    ETA: i’m leaving my comment even though the original comment I was responding to has been deleted.

    Meryl is especially dumb in in this answer because she’s from a generation that had to struggle – the GermaIne greer generation. Where women were just getting things like their own bank accounts and being more than a secretary was still astonishing. Rape in marriage was still a thing. Divorce was still a woman’s problem. Etc etc and so forth. She’s seen the strides that the 60s/70s feminists have made.

    Further, she’s played several roles that had a strong sense of gender politics at play including Thatcher, and she’s currently in a movie about the original feminists, and STILL she spews this ignorant rubbish.

    Meryl has no excuse at all.

    • Betti says:

      Particularly so as she’s been a life long supporter of woman’s rights – wasn’t see involved in that ‘Chime for Change’ Gucci campaign amongst others?

      • Elle R. says:

        Yep – and she’s been an outspoken proponent for a national women’s museum in D.C.

    • Val says:

      Yeah but don’t forget how she copped out when talking about gender in Hollywood and roles for older women. I can’t remember exactly what she said (I’m sure you can find it on here), but she was basically saying that there wasn’t a dearth of roles for women.
      I think she’s either doing her best to not be controversial, or she’s really so privileged that she doesn’t see it. My money’s on the former, which makes me sad that she’s not speaking up from her position.

  14. paola says:

    I loved Mamie Gummer in ‘Off the map’, I was bummed when it was canceled.

    I just block out Meryl’s answer about feminism but i agree with her about all the rest.
    Rich people think that nothing can touch them, as though they lived on a separate planet.
    They need a reality check.

  15. Ally8 says:

    Good grief, one would have thought Meryl Streep had more education and life experience than freaking SJP:

    As we discussed at the time, we’re all pro-human. That’s not what humanist means, though. As I wrote then, “humanism values humans above the supernatural or divine. It’s defined in opposition to that, not as some inclusive ‘all humans unite’ creed versus women only. ”

    So Meryl, (A) you’re a dope who doesn’t understand what feminism is (and apparently thinks the pay gap for women that you gesticulated about at the Oscars will magically get fixed without it); and (B) you’re a dope who doesn’t even know what the alternative label you’re using to not be a scary feminist means.

    Seriously, would anyone be OK with African-American actors being asked whether they’re pro- the civil rights movement; gay actors whether they should bother with seeking LGBT rights? Would everyone just shrug or think they were swell if they renounced THEIR struggles for equality?

    Oy vey, Meryl.

    p.s. This humanist-feminist supposed opposition is the same dismissive nonsense as the “all lives matter” response to the Black Lives Matter initiative: it’s opposing something obvious everyone can agree with and that doesn’t even need saying with a movement to right a specific wrong/inequality.

    • soporificat says:

      Fabulously clear and intelligent comment.

      Honestly, I think that a lot of people, including a lot of celebs, are just lazy and fuzzy thinkers.

    • LAK says:

      I really love the examples you’ve given of black vs civil rights or gay vs LBGT rights. I’m going to use them in any future discussions I have on this subject.

    • Betti says:

      “Seriously, would anyone be OK with African-American actors being asked whether they’re pro- the civil rights movement; gay actors whether they should bother with seeking LGBT rights? Would everyone just shrug or think they were swell if they renounced THEIR struggles for equality?”

      Didn’t Madonna say something similar a while back and got roasted for it? But its true that if you’re black, gay, black and gay or transgender you STILL have more rights than a woman.

      • Evasmom says:

        Blacks have more rights than women? Black women and women of color do not.

      • Betti says:

        I meant to put man in the sentence so it should read:

        ‘But its true that if you’re black man, gay…’

        Apologies – my bad typo! I can’t now change it 🙁

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        It’s hard to say whether or not men of color, gay men, and transgender men have more rights than women (white women? women of color? women who aren’t heterosexual? transgender women?) I think people are oppressed in different ways. Somewhere it said that people of color are actually paid less than white women. And there is the problem that men of color have with being racially profiled by police officers and being victims of police brutality (although, there are also cases of police officers raping women and girls.)

        Here in America we just got the right to marry in all fifty states (although the Kim Davises and Mike Huckabees of this world are still spewing their bigotry and wanting to interfere with that). I do think that on the sexual front, there are some ways that gays have it better than women. The biggest example being that some of the same people who will acknowledge how dehumanizing, dangerous and discriminatory it is to call gays and bisexuals derogatory names, use gay as a prejorative, (“That’s so……”) and blame homophobic hate crimes and sexual bullying on gender presentation, dress, and being open are also staunch warriors for the ‘right’ to publicly call women and girls derogatory/dehumanizing names for not fitting their standard of chastity/female modesty, use that to justify sexual bullying and body-shaming, and place the blame on women for sexual violence.

    • Kitten says:

      That’s some five-star commenting right there.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Good point. When asked if they’re a feminist, a lot of people respond by saying they’re ‘a humanist’ or, as a guy once said, ‘an equalist’ (I’ll have to look that one up to see if it’s an actual thing. But judging by the red squiggly spelling error line under the word as I type it, it’s probably not even a word.) Some people assume that because it’s called ‘feminism’, that means it’s about reversing the hierarchy from men on top to women on top, when really calling it feminism is an acknowledgement of the fact that women hold less power in society.

  16. Aila says:

    My God. Hearing that from Meryl Streep is really disappointing.

    • j.eyre says:

      Yes it is, just as it was hearing it from Susan Sarandon or any other of these powerful women who say it.

      Completely side-stepping the fact that she has misused “humanist,” the thing that aggravates me is they speak as if there is a level playing field. We all want everyone to be equal, we all want to advocate for a world in which all voices are valid and heard, but until we have obtained this utopian society that these people think exists, we need feminism; just like we need to still fight racism, religious persecution, ageism, homophobia, etc.

  17. Kate says:

    Does it really matter what word someone uses to describe their views if they hold and are fighting for the right beliefs?

    I don’t call myself a feminist because it encompasses some things I just can’t overlook. There’s rampant racism in some branches, right now transphobia is at a fever pitch within rad fem circles, and just generally I find a lot of policing of women’s choices extremely unpalatable. I’m completely on board with the basics of feminism, but the rest of it is just too messy for me to feel comfortable aligning myself with it. I guess it’s the same thing as someone believing in God but not being comfortable aligning themselves with any particular organised religion.

    I’ve got to say, the fact that so many people calling themselves feminists currently seem primarily concerned with piling on women who don’t want to use the word feminist for various reasons is a turn off in itself. Even in the most privileged circles this is hardly a pressing issue, yet it’s the thing getting all the press, creating all the outrage. Post about FGM and a few people will say it’s sad. Write Shailene Woodleys name and hundreds of people will come out of the woodwork to call her a worthless waste of oxygen. Completely writing off women as stupid and ignorant and uneducated just because they aren’t in 100% agreement over the meaning of a word that represents so many different theories and ideas and movements is if nothing else a poor use of time and energy.

    • Ronda says:

      “Does it really matter what word someone uses to describe their views if they hold and are fighting for the right beliefs?”

      as you can see to most people lipservice is way more important that deeds. Meryl Streep has done so much for women but what she does not put the right label on it? BLASPHEMY. she must be possed by Rush Limbaugh!

      Lets attack another women and feel good about that!

      maybe think about way so many women and men (!) agree with equality and yet dont call themselves feminists.

      • V4Real says:

        I have never outright said I’m a feminist but I do believe in equality for all races, sexes and sexual orientation.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        What has Meryl Streep done for women? Serious question.

      • V4Real says:

        Good question GNAT. I can’t think of anything.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Lol, well Ronds you brought this up now stand by your words.

        Please dear, write down the long list of things Meryl Streep has done for women outside her own body.

        Sadly some of you are happier with lip service than actual accomplishments and women who claim they’re all for advancing and helping others but balk when it comes time to talk about it.

        So while there are issues in feminism, and trust me no one feels that more than me. I still think it’s a cop out by many women to claim they’re agoiding the title because of those reasons when o see the same women rarely actually doing anything for the trans and black community they’re so concerned about.

        See you at the next rally right?

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      If you are completely on board with equal rights and equal pay for women, then you are a feminist. Not calling yourself a feminist because there are other people who have views you disagree with on the same subject would be like me refusing to call myself a Christian because of the Duggars. They do not represent anything about Christianity to me, but unfortunately, I don’t get to say who can and can’t use the term in reference to themselves. I don’t know what it accomplishes to deny being a feminist when you are one. It just muddies the waters further and gives more credence to the arguments of people who are against equal rights and equal pay for women, and believe feminists are man-hating – see? Even intelligent women aren’t feminists.

      There’s also an element of “don’t show that you’re smart or boys won’t like you” about denying that you’re a feminist. The word is associated with powerful women who aren’t afraid to make men angry, and there’s a segment of the population who isn’t comfortable with that. I’m not saying that’s your motivation, but it’s definitely there with a lot of people. “Me, a feminist? Oh no! I love men!”

      So I don’t see how you’re helping anything or fighting anything when you can’t even call yourself what you obviously are. It advances nothing. We need to help people understand what the word means, not cower away from the word just because some people have it wrong.

      • frisbee says:

        “Not calling yourself a feminist because there are other people who have views you disagree with on the same subject would be like me refusing to call myself a Christian because of the Duggars.”
        That is a d*amn good point GNAT, thank you for making it.

      • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

        You’re a Christian?

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yes, I’m a Christian. Why do you ask?

      • kri says:

        GNAT, you are awesome.

      • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

        Because I was suprised to hear you say that you believe in that nonsense.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Mispronounced Name Dropper
        I guess it’s obvious why you asked. I’m sorry you feel that way.

        Frisbee and Kri
        Thanks, I needed something nice. It means a lot.

      • Kate says:

        No, I’m not. It’s actually quite dismissive to reduce feminism to such simple, poorly defined statements. What is equality? No branch of feminism is in agreement on that. Some will say it’s about choice (though some choices are more equal than others), some think the very idea that feminism is about choice is an insult. And that’s just the first hurdle.

        I’m not uneducated on the subject. I’ve read every ‘important’ feminist text, and hundreds of minor works. I’ve taken many women’s studies courses and I’ve worked closely with dozens of feminist organisations. I’m on first name terms with a few of the most influential living feminists (none of whom are thrilled to see their life’s work, their research, their theories, reduced to feminism=equality btw).

        I’m highly educated, brash, and confrontational. I’ve spent my life working on issues like DV and poverty, and I feel I can say I’ve achieved quite a lot as an individual. The idea that because I choose not to fully embrace a label I’m letting down the cause, that I’m just some silly stupid woman who doesn’t want to risk upsetting men, that’s just insulting. It’s that kind of attitude that turns women off feminism. Calling yourself a feminist doesn’t achieve anything in and of itself. Celebrating women for doing nothing more than taking on a word, and belittling others for rejecting that word despite the fact they’re actually DOING something…it’s just ridiculous.

      • Kitten says:


        Cannot be said enough, GNAT.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @ Kate: That’s interesting. Which feminists are we talking about here? I would love at least one name. In the end, you can always define equality for yourself after reading hundreds of feminist works. That would be a start. You don’t have to subscribe to one definition that’s out there, that someone came up with. I highly doubt any – even ONE – of the influential living feminists would say they don’t agree with feminism = equality. Yes, there’s more to it of course but that’s the basic idea. Who disagrees with that?

      • ell says:

        this comment is perfection.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Mispronounced Name Dropper
        Oh. I thought you meant because I’m so evil. It really hurt my feelings. So I guess I’m glad you meant because you didn’t think I’d be that stupid. Lol

        I understand why you think it’s nonsense. And I’m not fundamentalist, I don’t think the Bible comes close to describing what God is, because it was written and translated by man. I won’t try to convert you. I just believe there is a greater goodness that we don’t completely understand, and that Jesus was the manifestation of that being on earth, and that love is the strongest power there is. It gives me comfort and hope. So it’s a good thing, for me.

      • Asiyah says:

        Mispronounced Name Dropper was very rude to GNAT. Show some respect.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        GNAT that was beautiful and MND wow…that was unnecessary, hopefully that was just a misunderstood comment.

      • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

        Yes. My wording was a little abrupt. But I was genuinely surprised in the same way I’d be surprised if she’d come and said the Moon landing was staged.

      • Kate says:

        Greer, Sahoo, Valenti, among others. Unfortunately I’m unlucky enough to know Bindel fairly well, I’m sure she’s as upset about that as I am.

        I’ve never met an academic or even just a writer who doesn’t rage at the reducing of their work to buzzwords. Why would feminists be any different? It’s dismissive of their life’s work. Someone like Greer, her work has covered a ton of ground. To suggest the main takeaway of all of that is ‘yay for equality’ is mindbogglingly dismissive.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Mispronounced Name Dropper
        The moon landing wasn’t staged? 😉

      • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

        No. And sadly there was no man in the Moon. So I hope he wasn’t the one you’ve been praying to. 😀

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      “I’m completely on board with the basics of feminism, but the rest of it is just too messy for me to feel comfortable aligning myself with it.” Sure, I get that. But the same goes for democracy. Do you feel uncomfortable standing up for democracy?
      Also, feminism as a concept doesn’t really leave that much room for agreement or disagreement re the meaning of the word itself. Not that many different theories and ideas there either. Equality for men and women (or all genders, if you will) on every level, mutual respect. There isn’t much more to it and if you get distracted by every single crazy person floating something idiotic under the guise of feminism then of course you wouldn’t want to be a part of that. It’s a distraction. If you don’t let yourself be distracted, it’s the easiest thing in the world to call yourself a feminist. Like you said, the basics are all good. The basics are ALL that counts.

      And this from Meryl: “Deliberate ignorance of global warming by the richest, best-educated people and institutions in the world, as if it will not profoundly impact on them, their privileged lives and their families.” Really? That makes you angry? Substitute global warming for feminism and think about it.

      • Mary-Alice says:

        Well, I completely agree with her on the global warming and may I add, the severe polution we live in. I am deeply concerned what I am leaving to the children after me with many hidden facts about the effect on health and I see no reason to calm down, the opposite. And yes, I find it far more presssing issue than the combating feminism in first world countries which is starting to become annoying already. Shouting is not always the best approach to a cause.

      • Kate says:

        Feminism is incredibly complicated. There are so many different branches, and all have different ideas of what equality means. In some cases the gaps are quite minor but crucial, in other cases it’s just pure and resounding disagreement. There’s always been constant infighting, even within the same branches. It’s really not as easy as feminism=equality, because equality means so many different things to so many different people.

        To use the religion analogy again, plenty of people will say such and such religion is just about faith and compassion and love. And that’s all very nice. But it’s never that simple.

        As for democracy, coming from a country that turned into the most spectacular cluster-&$@? once it was introduced, I’d say it’s the best system we’ve got right now, but forcing it on people is counter-productive and usually achieves the exact opposite of what you want. It’s not something I’d fight for unless it began as an organic movement.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Shouting is not always the best approach to a cause – if you’re a woman, because you’re supposed to be sweet and submissive. Sigh. Maybe equal pay would be a more “pressing issue” to you if you worked next to a man less qualified than you who did exactly the same job for more money. It’s about our worth. About the exhaustion from women being dismissed as less valuable than men simply because they are women. Does this affect me personally? No – I don’t work. But yes – I’m a woman and I want women other women who do work to have the same opportunities and the same reward as men. Why is this so hard? Why can’t women get behind such a simple, fair idea?

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @ Mary-Alice, I think you misunderstood what I was saying with the global warming quote. She’s upset about the people who deny it but thinks does something similar to feminism. From a privileged perspective. It’d be ironic if it wasn’t so sad. And it’s pressing if it affects you. Equality affects everyone, so …

        @Kate: You’re getting stuck on the politics of it again. Of course it is a simple concept, the execution leaves a lot to be desired though. But that doesn’t make the concept itself less simple or important. And I really don’t get how we can have different ideas of what equality means. What’s your idea? I honestly don’t understand your argument because I can’t think of an example unless we get to the politics of the movement itself again. And even then, equality is NOT a complicated concept.

        And btw, feminism did begin as an organic movement. You’re still not willing to fight for it though?

      • Betti says:

        @Kate – Feminism is simple, equality for both sexes. The complication comes when people start to twist it and break it down to suit their perceptions of culture, politics and society around them. It has gone from being a universal cause to one that’s broken down into groups i.e. Feminism for Transgender, Lesbians etc..

        We are ALL women and together we should stand regardless of colour, sexual orientation or whatever. Fighting our own little feminist corner isn’t got to get us to our universal end goal any quicker.

      • j.eyre says:


        “And this from Meryl: “Deliberate ignorance of global warming by the richest, best-educated people and institutions in the world, as if it will not profoundly impact on them, their privileged lives and their families.” Really? That makes you angry? Substitute global warming for feminism and think about it.”

        I was just about to write the same thing.

    • Scal says:

      Yes because humanism is about religion-not equality for men or women. You’re not just changing the meaning of feminist-but ignoring what humanism has been about for hundreds of years.

    • LAK says:

      Names have power. Refusing to name something diminishes it. That’s why the ‘feminazi’ nickname has come to frighten so many women into misunderstanding the basic tenets of feminism and or refusing to self identify as feminists.

      I don’t have to agree with every single feminist on this planet because we are all individual and we all have free will plus different experiences and cultures through which we filter our opinions which bring us to different concerns as far as definition of feminism is – see USA women fighting for equal pay vs Malala fighting for education vs Saudi Women fighting for the right to drive cars. All will say this is the issue that is important to them. And all will be right because at the heart of it is the basics. It’s important to remember we are all feminists despite the different definitions and disagreements. I see women as family. I disagree with my family, but they are still family.

      Or to use Amy M’s examples upthread, would you disavow civil rights as a name or even as a movement just because you disagreed with how some black people went about acquiring said rights or who they allowed in the civil rights tent? In the end, they recognised that it was the same cause no matter how they got there.

      To use your very specific example, irrespective of gender, not everyone is comfortable with transgender people. And they are vocal about that. We don’t deal with that by running away, not confronting them, not educating them so they can come to understand that the transgender struggle is the same as women’s struggle. And just because you don’t approve of that particular strain of behaviour, doesn’t mean the movement is rotten. It just means those people are misguided and they need to be educated. It’s not going to be a miracle overnight understanding. Women have had the vote since 1918 at which point all rights should have been automatically settled and yet here we are, nearly a century later, still struggling in many ways worldwide. And so with transgender rights though I hope they don’t have to wait 100yrs.

    • smcollins says:

      Exactly. Who cares how she chooses or not chooses to label herself (well, apparently a lot of people but anyway…)? She believes in equality for EVERYONE, and that’s the most important thing. Just because she didn’t use the “right” words to express her views doesn’t make her ignorant, blind, or even wrong. Sometimes it gets so exhausting reading the attacks of someone else’s opinions, and the complete dismissiveness of those opinions, just because they don’t 100% align with other people’s.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’m not sure I am expressing this very well, but in my opinion, it does matter if you refuse to identify as a feminist. It’s a denial of the basic concepts of feminism, whether or not you mean it that way. Kate is right, there are many aspects to feminism, and no individual will probably agree with every definition or position that falls under that general umbrella. But isn’t that true of everything? I’m patriotic, but I don’t agree with everything my country does, or everything that’s done in the name of patriotism. I’m Christian, but I don’t agree with anything that you hear from the Duggars. Posters keeps saying so and so believes in equality for everyone, but denies that she is a feminist. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t eat meat, but I reject the label vegetarian because some vegetarians smoke pot. I run every morning but I reject the term runner because some running shoes are made in sweatshops. Ultimately, people can call themselves whatever they choose, but it makes me sad that people, especially educated and influential people, choose to over-complicate something that seems so simple. Maybe we need a new word.

      • siri says:

        @GoodNamesAllTaken: “Rejecting a label”- that’s exactly what Streep does, because that label has so many different contents, and contexts. It’s not HER over-complicating something simple, it happened over the course of time, and according to historical context. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be the many ‘branches’ we’ve come to see over decades. So please don’t blame Streep for that. She also didn’t deny anything. Do we need a new word? Perhaps. But it’s not really the word that’s the problem, but our perception, or understanding of it.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Personally I believe when you see under privelaged groups neglect to name themselves it is because of a lack of understanding of their own identity and parameters.

      A silly example but there are thousands of different species of cats but when you call something a cat a general and unique identity comes to a person’s mind long before they see it is a long/short/Persian/American etc. I truly believe for all those who are afraid to be called feminist that they’re not thinking about the issue logically.

      If the identity of the feminist as a term if flawed and you resist calling yourself a feminist then don’t you actually convict the term to remain just as flawed. I hear the ‘first world’ blather all the time about how feminism has basically been conquered in the U.S. and it exposes such a lack of awareness. White men generally make less than white men under the best circumstances, minority women…generally make even less than them. Poor and under privelaged women are denied basic health care and their rights to make health decisions is constantly being wrestled away from them in favor of forcing them into a world where opportunities and programs to help the disenfranchised are constantly being cut.

      A black person would not deny the civil rights movement, a gay person would not deny Stonewall.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      “…There’s rampant racism in some branches, right now transphobia is at a fever pitch within rad fem circles, and just generally I find a lot of policing of women’s choices extremely unpalatable. I’m completely on board with the basics of feminism, but the rest of it is just too messy for me to feel comfortable aligning myself with it. I guess it’s the same thing as someone believing in God but not being comfortable aligning themselves with any particular organised religion.”

      There’s so much truth in what you said- sites like Feminist Current are just one example of some of the transphobia, misogyny, and victim-blaming within the movement- There literally are feminists who want just as much control over what people do with their bodies as any stereotypical republican or religious zealot, and will bully, attack, and discriminate against already marginalized groups in their quest for that power. Bigotry within the movement is one of the reasons why I respect people’s right to not self-identify as a feminist even though I am one. Whether or not someone is pro-equality is more important than whether or not they call themselves a feminist.

      Still, it’s frustrating to see all these people who don’t know the definition of the word and say that they aren’t one because of that.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Otaku Fairy
        I love that you are so knowledgeable and articulate but you aren’t lecturing and pompous and dismissive of other views. I learn a lot from you because of the information and ideas in your posts, and I keep my ears open because of the openness and fairness of your mind.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        Thank you. 🙂

      • LAK says:

        Otaku fairy: what a lot of nonsense. You point out that some women are power hungry and bigoted and want to acquire as much power as possible as well as fashion the world in their image in the best tradition of all such people, and then say these people speak for feminism and that’s why it’s a good idea to disavow the word and the name well that is where you are reading too much and should be more pragmatic because they don’t speak for the world’s feminists.

        Muslims don’t stop being Muslims because ISIS /Al Qeada exists. Civil rights didn’t stop happening because Malcolm X existed (during his violent struggle phrase). Christianity stopped because the spanish inquisition/Duggars exist. Gay rights didn’t stop because Peter Tranchell (sp) exists to insist on extreme gay rights above everyone. Feminism didn’t stop because some women were super aggressive, and continue to be, about it.

        It’s utterly cowardly, not to mention disingenuous to ALL the people who have gone before us, who have helped the movement to disavow their efforts just because some extremists exist in the movement.

        That is where you and Kate are wrong. You seem to believe the world should be a utopia where all views should hold the same way that you believe and if someone disagrees with you then that makes the entire movement rotten and not worth even naming. You don’t see that what you are doing is the same as the extremists are doing.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @LAK: I’m not saying we should disavow feminism. I’m saying that:
        1.) A person deciding not to self-identify as a feminist even though they are for equal rights (which yes, technically means they’re still a feminist) is still acceptable to me as long as they’re still on our side of the fight for equality and their reason for not accepting the feminist label is something valid (like having a problem with the mistreatment of certain groups and the victim-blaming that some within the movement promote as ‘feminist’ ‘liberal’ and ‘radical’), rather than them rejecting feminism because they don’t know what it is or because they want to jump on the Mike Huckabee/MRA bandwagon.

        2.) That when it comes down to it, I think whether or not a person is for equality matters more than whether or not they call themselves feminists. The transphobic rape apologist railing on about how women not being/seeming so ‘easy’ will reduce rape calling themselves a ‘feminist’ or ‘radical’ is far more dangerous to feminism, women, and girls then the person who believes in equality, is standing up for things that work toward that goal, does not crap all over transgender women on their blogposts, does not put restrictions on women of color that she doesn’t put on white men, and knows never to blame rape on what women do with their bodies but just doesn’t call herself a feminist.

    • amunet ma'at says:

      @ Kate I completely agree with your full statement. Yeesh, once again a person should not be defined as dumb just because they are able to see an issue through all of it’s complexities and still make a strong decision. Streep has done several things for women, she should not be maligned for basically saying she does not agree with the label.

  18. Junior says:

    So disappointed in Meryl.

  19. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Interview with GNAT
    What makes her angry: “Deliberate ignorance of feminist issues by the richest, best-educated people and institutions in the world, as if it will not profoundly impact on them, their privileged lives and their families.”

  20. pru says:

    Ugh! We aren’t asking too much of men when when we ask them to share power equally. You know, sharing; that thing we all mastered in preschool. I feel like too many women don’t like to call themselves feminists is because they think they are taking something away from men. We aren’t asking for anything they aren’t capable of giving.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      “We aren’t asking for anything they aren’t capable of giving.”

      Best quote.

  21. Matador says:

    LImbaugh and the MRA crowd have done to “feminist” what Lee Atwater & Co. did to “liberal” back in 1988, thoroughly demonized a word. It was wrong and ridiculous then, it’s wrong and ridiculous now.

    • pru says:

      And I can’t believe so many women fell for it.

    • Ronda says:

      ever thought the attacaks on stay at home moms from feminsits have done any damage? the anti sex crowd? the racism in the movement? bra burning, statements like “feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice”, attacking of sex workers, stuff like the SCUM Manifesto hastags like “KILL ALL WHITE MEN” and so on.

      lets blame it on the republicans and dont think about ourselves! good way to stick your fingers in your ears. its very easy to point fingers instead of self reflection. feminism was and mostly still is incredibly policing womens choices. choice as a feminist idea is something VERY new.

      you can always underestimate women (ironic, isnt it?) and say “oh they fell for it” maybe just maybe other women have come to different conclusions than you and being condenscending towards them is another point that is not so well received.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Who came up with “feminazi” though? Wasn’t me, that’s for sure.

        Every movement has its waves of crazy and extreme, sometimes even violent. Every single one. What about the civil rights movement? Not everything was/is sunshine and roses but would you argue that they did it to themselves if suddenly people thought fighting for the rights of black people was not something to align yourself with because of that? If you fight for your rights, it’ll sometimes get ugly when a minority group suddenly won’t have it anymore. It often goes into an extreme direction before there’s a balanced approach, that’s nothing unusual and certainly not unique to feminism. But that seems to be the one movement where we “brought it on ourselves”. Sounds about right.

      • Matador says:

        Ronda: I see a wall of words and very little coherence.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        There are always going to be people who do and say terrible things that you don’t agree with but when it’s a majority no one blames the ENTIRE group now do they?

        Dylan Roof went into a church and slaughtered several people yet I don’t hear anyone condemning Christians ONLY the actual racist destructive things he said and did.

        Groups, especially groups fighting against an issue go through waves. Sometimes those waves are peaceful, sometimes those waves are loud. What it tells me is you’ve never felt genuine rage and pain for the nonsense people suffer through simply because they’re born into a body that isn’t white, male, or wealthy. When you FEEL that pain and know how much it can alter the Rose colored glasses of society you’ll probably be less worried about bra burning and cruel phrases on cardboard.

        I think the more accurate reality is you haven’t actually experienced anything that’s effected your world enough to feel passionately about feminism, I say this because as I watch the peaceful marches, riots, and demonstrations concerning Black Lives Matter I don’t feel an urgency of hoping no ones feelings are hurt or sorry they call cops pigs. I understand that when a rage builds up in society it comes out like an earthquake and many times the earthquake is far more effective than the gentle rumble.

      • sofia says:

        I’ll give you an example: Veganism. This word is so heavy for so many people bc some vegans are too passionate about the philosophy and lose perspective of what their goal is. But that doesn’t take away what veganism implies and it’s compassion for all non human animals as far that is possible and practical. This is the definition and it can be put into practice in many different ways and intensity, but don’t condemn the word, but the people who don’t represent the word and its meaning properly.

    • MrsB says:

      Don’t think you can totally blame Limbaugh and that crowd for this, though that makes for an easy excuse and target. The truth is, some “feminists” are so OTT about things, to the point of being upset if a guy opens the door for them, it has given some people a bad taste. Similarly to how “Christians” such as the Duggars will lead people to believe that all Christians are awful people.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Truth. Some feminists are off the top, but I think most logical people who have been exposed to the world know when they’re dealing with an extremist. For instance having children isn’t a crime just because of Jim Bob making his wife a human incubator.

  22. Ronda says:

    so are people really this mad about semantics? this is really why labels are so terrible people demonize others because of them and others, as seen here, demand alligance and are angry when someone does not say exactly what they want to hear. how about judging people by what they DO. there are so many feminists who do not one inch believe in equality or male feminists who use it to sleep with women but yeah they call themselves feminists and then they even get defend because “they are one of us, you know they said the f-word!”

    that is so ultimately silly.

    maybe think about way so many women and men (!) agree with equality and yet dont call themselves feminists. if relubpiclans had won people wouldnt believe in equality!!!

    also quoting a dictionary defintion is rather silly in political discussions.

    • kay says:

      What’s up with you? Reading your comments I’m starting to think you are a man or a very conservative woman.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      What? If the Republicans (I assume that’s what you meant) had won, people wouldn’t believe in equality? So if Mitt Romney had won the election, I would have magically changed my mind? What are you talking about?

    • bns says:

      It’s annoying because refusing to identify as a feminist and calling yourself a humanist instead is perpetuating the idea that feminism isn’t about equality, but about women being the superior gender, and that’s not what it’s about. It’s about equality of the sexes. It’s like when people undermine the #BlackLivesMatter movement by saying #AllLivesMatter.

      • korra says:

        Oh my gosh. This. It is absolutely like when that happens. It’s some rose colored glasses, kumbayah sh-t to make the majority feel better. It’s dishonest and completely undermines the real issues in order to make sure that the majority (the one’s perpetuating this crap) get to pat themselves on the back and talk down to us because we don’t actually care about the world. To make sure that they believe they hear and that we think they hear. It’s to save face and not to actually be introspective of your place in this world at all.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      So you’re going to be one of those posters who people explain an issue dozens of times to and you still write “But why?” comments and claim no one’s listening.

      Yes Rhonda, people care about words because words matter. Our country was founded on words. The pen is mightier than the sword. The philosopher makes more of an impact on society than the fighter.

      Also ugh, you’re part of the labels crowd who thinks labels are the enemy and not the ignorance and discrimination people face from those labels. You worry about labels because society hasn’t already slapped a label on your back. Trans people, blacks, gays, Muslims, we ALL get an identity and we don’t shy away from being proud of our identity because of the destructive actions of others. If we are not proud of our identity than how can we change that identity?

      To be frank I think you forget hat in every group there’s a group of people who think the movement is the enemy and that isn’t shocking to others. When slaves were escaping best believe they were a group of people who said the masters weren’t that bad, at least they got food, that these folks would screw it up for everyone and why they couldn’t just pick cotton and happy.

      Just because you’re not the one hanging from the tree doesn’t mean you don’t fight for the person who is, just because some people want to help but don’t want the title doesn’t mean their efforts are useless but it does mean they willingly take the step back to avoid identification and any consequences that come from being proud of dedication to fix the issue.

      • siri says:

        I’m not sure I got this right: if someone, or society slaps a label on your back, you take that as your identity? I choose to decide for myself who (not what) I am, and I’m not afraid of a label for that reason…because I might get different labels from different people, according to their perception…

  23. pretty says:

    Emma Watson got death threats for daring to work with HeForShe movement. men thinking they are being oppressed by feminazis are the most pathetic bunch.

  24. Prairiegirl says:

    So disappointed. That is all.

  25. frisbee says:

    Nope, can’t think of a damn thing that will excuse her. I can see that it’s a ‘trigger’ question from reporters to address the issue of equality. I can see how it can be a loaded question when asked of privileged white women in the west who generally do not have to face racism, systematic rape, fgm, enforced marriage to geriatrics etc but how hard can it be for these people to educate themselves on wider global concerns that affect women and are the most pressing reasons to fight for equality? Even to deny the movement that allows questions of equality to be raised, questions our mothers and grandmothers fought to have in the public arena seems unforgivable to me. Also getting very tired of having the same argument about the word ‘feminism.’ To me abandoning the word is caving into the extremists of this world who have bastardised it and made it wholly negative instead of the positive force for change it really is. As I argued the other day, we need to reclaim the word in all it’s simplicity and point out it just means equality, equal pay, equal rights, equal opportunities across the board.

  26. kay says:

    The word “feminism” has been hijacked by misogynistic men who have vilified it into meaning “ugly lesbians who hate men”.
    Unfortunately too many women want men’s approval more than that gender equality and are paranoid not to be seen as desirable by those men who claim all feminists are ugly and will never get a man.


  27. Scal says:

    Humanism is a response to theism not to feminism. It’s about religion-not just being about the humans. It has Nothing to do with equality.And responding that way makes people think that feminism is in counterpoint to humanism. It’s like being asked if you like cheese and responding ‘no I drive a Toyota.’.

    Here’s the definition of humanism: “an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings as opposed to a spiritual ones, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.”

    • Naddie says:

      Your answer is very enlightening, but I have the feeling these celebrities have no idea about it.

    • Kitten says:

      This is what’s so confusing to me. Prior to commenting on this site, I had always been under the impression that humanism related to religion. That’s how it has always been explained to me.

      Many, many years ago when I went through a phase where I felt uncomfortable identifying as an atheist, I called myself a humanist as that was the belief system that most closely resonated with me. I had never heard the term used within the context of feminism till I started reading this site.

      Actually the term “atheist” kind of parallels the term “feminist” in that regard. That is to say that it holds negative/extremist connotations for some people*.

      *who don’t understand it

    • Betti says:

      Another description of Humanism is to use reason, empathy, evidence and scientific method to discover the truth of the universe around you and to place the welfare and happiness of other human beings at the center of your ethical decision making process.

    • Asiyah says:

      Thank you for the explanation, Scal. I learned something new!

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Are we really surprised that the people who don’t know what feminism is don’t also understand what humanism is?

    • grumpy bird says:

      Exactly. Her answer makes it sound like she doesn’t understand either one. Also cheese and Toyota made me giggle.

    • Alice too says:

      I’m just going to say that as someone who has no time for religion…any of them…it would never have occured to me that “Humanist” meant anything but “we’re all the same under our skin” because first and foremost we are all human beings. I rather doubt I’m alone in that either, so no side-eye to Meryl for not knowing it either.

  28. tracking says:

    Ugh. Particularly awful since she lived through second-wave feminism, and knows what women had to go through to get their voices heard. I’m disgusted and will not go out of my way to see anything she’s in again.

  29. HK9 says:

    I. just.can’t.

    • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

      Sure you can.

      • HK9 says:

        No I can’t. I’m tired of people trying to diminish an issue by ignoring it or glossing over real issues for half the population. I’m tired of explaining why certain things are important and when I see those who are in a position to help clarify things miss the opportunity completely it just makes me tired…
        I.just. can’t mkay? Maybe tomorrow…

  30. Hollz says:

    I don’t call myself a feminist (though some would) because it doesn’t go far enough.
    I believe in equality for everyone. Men, women, straight, gay, non binary, trans, cis, white, black, brown, purple, rich, poor, religious, atheist. I am an equalist. All humans are equal. So many feminists fight only for the advancement of women like them – usually straight, white and upper middle class.
    I look forward to seeing Suffragette, I think Meryl will do Emmeline Pankhurst justice.

    • Truthful says:

      I love your new definition, because that’s exactly how I position myself, for equality of all! Love it , will use it from now on!

    • Kitten says:

      “So many feminists fight only for the advancement of women like them – usually straight, white and upper middle class.”

      Yeah I just…I’m not trying to dismiss your comment but I’ve heard statements like this so often that it just feels like rhetoric at this point, even if it’s completely valid.

      To explain: it’s just incredibly hard for me to wrap my head around the view that feminism is *exclusive* because all the feminists I know fight for equality in every facet of life. Standing up for the marginalized is such a core principal of the feminism that myself and the people I surround myself with subscribe to. It’s so fundamental in the sense that feminism is simply one portion of an entire way of thinking that stems from this need for things to be fair/equal for EVERYONE.

      Again, it’s not to say that your personal observations aren’t correct, it’s just to say that your experience with feminism is so vastly different from mine. I guess it just goes to show you how multifarious the movement is.

      • Truthful says:

        @Kitten: you are totally making this harder for me because I fully identify with your comment 100%!. This is how I always have viewed feminism, but oddly now people seem to think it’s not an inclusive world.

        Once again co-sign (changed my mind equalism is too soft and try to washes out the feminism)

      • Freebunny says:

        Sorry but there’s many different feminisms and feminists themselves don’t agree about what feminism is about beyond equal rights (prostitution yes or no? for exemple, and many other questions and issues).
        Feminists fight about what “good feminism ” is and it’s often very nasty.
        So no, it’s not that simple.

      • Kitten says:

        @Freebunny-Did you miss the part where I said “I guess it just goes to show you how multifarious the movement is”?

        It’s not that simple for you maybe but it IS that simple for myself and my loved ones who identify as feminists. Who are you to say that my experience isn’t legitimate simply because another feminist may not strive for the same things as me?

        @Truthful-“equalism is too soft and tries to wash out feminism”
        That’s how I feel, honestly. To me, there’s nothing dirty about the word “feminist”. It’s always been a positive term to me, one that I’m proud to identify with.

      • frisbee says:

        Yes exactly, if you believe in equality how can you NOT fight for the marginalized?

      • Kitten says:

        @Freebunny-To add to that, using the argument that feminism isn’t a clear-cut concept to invalidate one person’s view of feminism doesn’t wash, don’t you see that?

        If feminism isn’t one set, homogeneous, distinct way of thinking, then that serves to support the idea that within the movement there exists a multitude of views. So then why would my view of feminism be rendered invalid? If anything, it should be as accepted as any other interpretation of feminism.

        TBH, I’m more surprised than angry when I see women who don’t identify as feminists. It confounds me, but I don’t take it personally. I don’t need everyone to subscribe to the same ideals as myself, but you better believe that I will defend the things I believe in, feminism included.

      • Freebunny says:

        When did I say that your vision or any vision of feminism is invalid, I don’t even know what feminism you’re defending.
        I just say that there’s many different feminisms, each of them coherent and valid by themselves.
        That said, I understand that someone who studied feminism and saw those fights is not at ease with the word feminism and would like to identify as something else.
        And, as a general point, not everything is a personnal attack.

      • LAK says:

        Kitten/frisbee: until I came to this site, I didn’t know there were different definitions of feminism.

        My understanding was that execution could be different according to personal experience and culture giving a kaleidoscope of interpretations, but there was no argument about the basics.

        I was, and I remain, astonished when posters, nevermind celebrities, disavow feminism or even say one needs higher learning to understand this very basic concept.

        The very fact that they are women and able to exercise their own agency, one of the early gifts of feminism, makes their comments more puzzling.

        I’ve read such convoluted reasons as to why they can’t be feminists that I keep having to check what century this is.

        And you know it’s all coming from a privileged position aka #firstworldproblems because if we ask someone like Malala, who was shot for the basic right to be educated just like the boys, something these women don’t give a second thought, she wouldn’t hesitate that she was a feminist or disavow the movement or what freedoms it has afforded her.

      • Kitten says:

        @Freebunny-“And, as a general point, not everything is a personnal attack.”

        Who said it was? I said in my comment that I don’t take it personally, but I will defend it. That’s not being combative, that’s being assertive.


        @LAK-You summarized exactly how I feel. I was raised a feminist. For as long as I can remember I have self-identified as such and it always seemed like a no-brainer to me. I also 100% agree with you about not being able to wash the privileged/First World stink off of Meryl’s comments. I still adore her as an actress, but at the end of the day she shows that she’s still a rich white lady who doesn’t see far past her bubble.

      • Freebunny says:

        When did I say that feminism is invalid or that your feminism is invalid?
        I think that feminism is valid, and I would call myself a feminist.
        But it’s reductive to say that a woman who doesn’t label herself as feminist is against girl education or women right to vote.
        You make all this about yourself and your feminism, when I speak about general views.
        Anyway, this discussion is over.

      • frisbee says:

        Thanks LAK. I’m getting that banging head against brick wall feeling and I needed your and Kitten’s comment to convince me I’m not actually losing the plot!
        It is just semantics? I don’t think it is. The world of academia might argue furiously about the definitions of different kinds of feminism, it’s how they earn their bread and butter after all. Most of us just have to deal with the day to day inequality we see around us and try and forge a way through all the crap.
        I grew up with a single, feminist mother who had to fight every day of her life – just to have a life. In those day’s single mother’s were treated as the root of all evil, raising ‘feral’ kids who were a blight on society. To deny the word feminist to me would be a betrayal of her and all she believed in so I just can’t let it go that easily. I’m not saying that women do not believe in equality because they do not identify as feminists. But denying that they are feminists seems to me to confirm all the negative connotations of the word as promoted by the Rush Limbaugh’s of this world – and god knows we have more than enough of that to go around.

      • Kitten says:

        @Freebunny-“But it’s reductive to say that a woman who doesn’t label herself as feminist is against girl education or women right to vote.”
        Who said that? I never said that.
        Yes I’m discussing what feminism means to ME. You replied to me so I replied back? I’m not sure what your point was, that’s all.

        Beautiful comment, Frisbee. Loved this: “To deny the word feminist to me would be a betrayal of her and all she believed in so I just can’t let it go that easily.”

    • Brittney B. says:

      I think you’re confusing white feminism and intersectional feminism. Genuine feminism is interesectional — as in, it’s an effort to establish equality regardless of sex, skin color, gender identity, sexual preference, etc — but many modern feminists practice exclusionary “white feminism”, which actively ignores everyone who doesn’t fit in a neat little box.

      Also, are you aware that lumping everyone together in groups that include imaginary skin colors — “I don’t care if you’re white, black, brown, purple, or green” — is a big red flag that you’re NOT practicing intersectionality? That it’s as dismissive as saying “all lives matter” or “not all men!”, because it deflects and dismisses instead of acknowledging the reality that race DOES matter, and sex DOES matter, to those who are still affected by institutional discrimination?

      I’d recommend reading up on this, because it sounds like your heart is in the right place, but you’re basically parroting all the people who are actively ignoring or working to perpetuate divisive, privileged policies.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        This tho…

        Where are all the purple people being tripped and hit with water and tear gas while they huddle in the streets?

      • lewissrl says:

        Thank you Britney B for this comment. The lack if Intersectionality is NOT rhetoric it’s reality. It’s also beyond exhausting having to reiterate that fact.

      • Val says:


  31. Lisa says:

    argh Bullet point interview -she probably didn’t want to say anything that would cause her any controversy

  32. Truthful says:

    Meryl… please take several seats and don’t stay in the way of other women that don’t have the millionth of your privileges and opportunities.

    Enough with these ladies that harm women while being comfortably nestled in their very out of this world bubbles !

    You are blocking the way ladies! For us the peasants, the peons who ACTUALLY deal with inequality everyday with things as concrete as our paychecks and having 10% to 25% more difficult than our male counterparts to pay are bills !

    As a lot have said humanism and feminism are two different concepts that can perfectly get combined.

  33. Nancy says:

    As a regular human like us, who knows. Love her acting, particularly her early movies. Falling In Love with DeNiro is on my top 10 list although it wasn’t a blockbuster. Deer Hunter and Sophie’s Choice, in particular, were epic. I think she’s cool. There’s a reason she gets all those academy awards. And….she was engaged to the actor who portrayed Fredo in The Godfather. They worked together and got engaged while filming The Deer Hunter. He had cancer and she never left his side even though he had no chance of survival….what could have been.

  34. Freebunny says:

    Humanism goes far beyond the simple opposition to theism.
    One can argue that today you can’t be a real humanist without also being a feminist.
    Humanism doesn’t oppose men and women. If humanism is about equallity among human beings, it also means equallity between men and women, so feminism.
    The witch hunt we can witness is quite alarming.
    Marion has always been a dumbass, but Meryl Streep doesn’t say she doesn’t believe in feminism, just that she rather identify as a humanist. And if you look at feminist articles, you’ll see that the relation between humanism and feminism is far more complex than “what an idiot to call herself a humanist rather than a feminist!!!!”.

  35. Misere says:

    Of course ahe isnt. Rumors abound that she allegedly slept her way to the top.

  36. Says who says:

    Ah. She may not believe in feminism, but she does believe in nepotism! LOL

  37. kibbles says:

    Like her as an actress although I think she can be quite overrated (she’s good but she isn’t God). But after weeks of seeing Damonsplaining from Matt Damon and Marion Cotillard’s cluelessness, Meryl’s statements are disappointing yet unsurprising. All of these people are extremely privileged. I don’t know anything about Marion’s life before she became a star, but Matt went to Harvard and Meryl went to Yale. They have lived and been around the elitist of circles for most of their lives. They went to school with mostly rich white people and after graduation were extremely lucky not to struggle much as working actors and got big breaks in their 20s. They’ve lived in the Hollywood bubble as A-listers for 20+ years. They are the one percent and have been for most of their lives if not their entire lives. Someone like Meryl would never personally understand what it feels like to struggle in her line of work or be discriminated against because of her age or sex. Yes, she is clueless but what did you expect? People have been kissing her ass and throwing accolades since she was a young adult.

    • Neah23 says:

      this +10000

    • sofia says:

      I just wrote that before reading your comment. Totally agree. And then she (they) plays the humble card and because she is (they are) so likable people take it without even questioning anything. I feel like I finally can roll my eyes at her without being call out by other people.

    • neer says:

      Good point.

  38. Naddie says:

    Makes me laugh. First she says women should not complain about not getting roles when they reach a certain age, then she criticizes the rich ones who are clueless about the weather because of their privileged position. Hypocrisy?

  39. Dawnchild says:

    So disappointed in Meryl. So much for missed educational opportunities.
    But it teaches us that tough lesson again…which is: just because someone is very accomplished and successful in their field of work doesn’t necessarily make them intelligent or wise in other ways. And the ladylike comment… ugh!

    A little story to share with you great commenters here:
    My husband’s reaction to an FB post about feminism that said something like “look down. If you possess a vagina, you are a feminist.” He says to me, “that offends me a little. I don’t have a vagina and I’m a feminist.”
    Probably why we’ve been together more than half our lives now 🙂

  40. original kay says:

    Meryl likes cooking dinner for her husband too. Bless her heart.

  41. mkyarwood says:

    People who say this don’t understand either.

  42. sauvage says:

    Interesting. As I alluded to already in my Marion Cotillard comment two days ago, in my mind being a feminist makes me a humanist by default, you know? Because: equal rights and opportunities for all.

    • sofia says:

      I am a feminist because ALL human beings are worthy of respect and that implies opportunities, rights and yes obligations. There’s the only I can see BALANCE. Ugh I’m so tired of this, maybe I need a nap.

  43. Brittney B. says:

    “Deliberate ignorance of global warming by the richest, best-educated people and institutions in the world, as if it will not profoundly impact on them, their privileged lives and their families.”

    Yeah? How about deliberate ignorance of sexism by the richest, most successful women in the world, as if it will not profoundly impact their privileged lives and their daughters.

    I mean… I totally agree with her thoughts on global warming. And I definitely agree that it’s not okay to ask women about their “strong role”, but when it’s a man, it’s just a ROLE, period.

    But how does she judge the ignorant privileged while ignoring the real experiences of actresses with less privilege than her? How does she notice the differences between the interview questions men and women get, and not support feminism or believe sexism is an industry problem? It just doesn’t add up. Does she even hear herself?

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      A lot of people have a mental block about the way they view themselves and the way they view the world. A great example being Ben Carson, listening to him you realize intelligence can’t overcome a blindspot a mile wide once you research his past.

  44. Andrea 1* says:

    Best comment I have seen on this site in a very long while……

  45. Brittney B. says:

    I, for one, welcome a website that doesn’t think playing roles and believing in equality are mutually exclusive. Would you rather they disappear, and let the most sexist and superficial websites take over?

    Of course Hollywood embraces people who embody outdated archetypes. But the best way to defy it isn’t to step away or stay silent… it’s to try, gradually, to point out hypocrisy. The people who need to hear this message aren’t reading feminist blogs… they’re seeking out celebrity gossip. Pretty strange to tell these bloggers to “quit it”, when there are so many websites actively working to deny sexism and perpetuate objectification.

  46. tealily says:

    Et tu, Meryl???

  47. moot says:

    I love Meryl, but…um… that’s not the meaning of “Humanist.” Humanism is not about easy balance so much as it is about the ability of humans to use their agency, free will, and critical thinking to make moral choices.

    Feminism is more about “easy balance” as it is focused on treating women the same as men are treated. Take note: NOT treating women better than men are treated; just better than women are currently treated, which is worse than men in almost all cases.

    Why WHY WHY is this such a difficult thing for people to grasp in 2015?!

  48. moot says:

    Well, you’re certainly free to choose. A very Humanist stance, by the way, that you have the right to decide for yourself whether this site is where you want to spend time or not.

    And Celebitchy editors are free to choose what they decide to write about.

    Not every opinion is right, but every opinion gets to be heard.

    • KellyBee says:

      The definition of humanism: “an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings as opposed to a spiritual ones, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.”

      What does that have to do with equality?

  49. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    1. If feminism is dead then that means the hope and belief in equality among all genders is dead. I don’t believe that.

    2. The ‘meaning’ behind a word still needs a word. So the term and the word would still end up being important. A banana is a banana not a yellow shaped almost oval fruit.

    3. As a Spanish speaker (but you could easily be white and speak Spanish) one would think you’d be more concerned about the socities where 11 yr old girls can be raped by a parental figure and still have their right to an abortion denied. Since meanings are more important than words this should have you climbing walls rather than gnashing your teeth about a dead term.

    4. Etymologically speaking menstruation has the word men in it but it doesn’t mean little guys in 3 piece suits are swimming out of my vagina on their way to business meetings. You care about meanings of words and then call back on the excuse that two words look/sound similar therefore the one term has to be as bad as the other? Very logical.

    5. It’s always the most comfortable people in society who are terrified of labels. Society has not given them a label so they think the label itself is evil, not the intent behind the label. Others without that choice know better.

    • belle de jour says:

      You have the energy to do today what I myself do not. And I can’t even with the irony of someone claiming terms and words are not important… uh, using words and terms – like etymology itself, for god’s sake – to defend that position.

      (I’d quibble a bit with your own label comment), but thank you profusely for stepping up to swat down the rest of it <3

  50. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Good job ladies!

    Tbh I’m not shocked. I’m not someone well versed on Meryl but I remember when I heard her comments about things being fair for older female actresses I guessed she was this type of person. So be it, her career is paved in gold, we fight for our future and for a world where things can improve. As always others will benefit from these changes even though they were the ones refusing to engage and instead smile sweetly and say everhthings fine.

  51. enastein says:

    We need to reach equality and demolish sexism to be effective humanist. and no its no the other way round.

    unless i have same chances and treatment i would not fully figure how fully human shall act and be.

    What the hell is humanist ? when i am still half crippled woman. No Meryl you need to humanize women first and living it maybe only then you can be a humanist.

    Any world statistics will read women are still treated like sheep and they will sacrifice us in peace and war.

  52. sofia says:

    Maybe now I can say that I think that Meryl is a great actress but that in many levels she is overaterd and people should stop kissing her ass like they do. She isn’t this special being above everyone else, and no, she can’t play every character on earth.

    Now, “Deliberate ignorance of global warming by the richest, best-educated people and institutions in the world”… I wonder if Meryl who is so wise and not the richest apparently knows that animal farming is the BIGGEST contributor to climate change, more than planes, cars or private jets?

    I’m not even going to talk about and lack of understanding of her privilege. I’m just tired of it all, everybody kisses their asses and anyone who disagrees is just mean and ignorant. It’s like people who comment on these gossip websites being completely dismissed bc we are old single women who own cats, right? Or basement demons… I’m sorry, I’m ranting now.

  53. Josefa says:

    Meh. I still like her. She’s a phenomenal actress and seems like a pretty fun woman to be around. She’s not a spokesperson for feminists, let alone a representative of womankind around the world. She’s just an actress. Her opinion on feminism has the same relevance in my daily life than her favorite ice cream flavor. If women are really looking at her interviews and thinking “yeah, feminism sucks, humanism all the way!”, I don’t blame Meryl for promoting ignorance. If you look at interviews in gossip mags as your way of educating yourself on important social matters, you’re more stupid than anyone being interviewed in that magazine.

    • korra says:

      Did anyone say that she’s not a phenomenal actress? Did anyone say she hasn’t been a fun, quirky woman? My god. So article after article after article and talk about how amazing she is, but on her actual quotes (which are said in a very particular societal context) can’t be scrutinized as a public figure because we’re all just stupid and educating ourselveso on social matters from a gossip interview. If you read these comments you’ll see most people aren’t doing that here. The only one doing it is magical meryl. And no I don’t call her that because I dislike her. I call her that because I despise the pedestal she’s placed on for being JUST an actress. Let it be said again and again and again how much I hate the pedestal they themselves place themselves on. Meryl streep ain’t sh-tting gold out of her platinum a-hole.

      Here’s the reality. Why this irks people on such a fundamental level. After the strides the feminist movement made, people are still unwelcoming to using the term and say it’s a dirty word. When in reality most of the criticism I hear is just whoosh by these people like Meryl. I have yet to hear solid criticism of the feminist movement as is beyond the dumbass rhetoric that I hear from haters.

      If she actually stated her opinions in such a way beyond the typical “I’m for a nice easy balance,” (which is EXACTLY what feminism is standing for) but something thougtful and critical I doubt people on here would be sh-tting all over her. It would have ACTUALLY opened up a chance for conversation on these boards. Reality. She didn’t do that. She deliberately obfuscated the issue so that she still sounds enlightened and liberal but in reality she’s sidestepping and addressing these issues on a superficial level. On top of which it shows AGAIN how much she has to kow tow (despite being MERYL STREEP who come on we all believe should have some clout in the industry after her nominations) to the powers that be. And no I’m not just looking at her refusal to take on the label of feminism, but her refusal to really address the russell crowe comments and her eagerness to DEFEND him. She doesn’t talk about the system, she doesn’t talk about the difficult choices actresses have, the power structure, etc. And yet she will stand for equal pay right? Her refusing to accept the label of feminism shows YET AGAIN how hard it is for anyone, especially men, to hear criticism of society and how it continues to harm and hurt women. It’s not about her refusing to label herself feminist. It’s about what it presents on a larger level and it hurts that even in positions of power the fight is damn hard. I hope Emma Thompson schools her ass on this.

      But I won’t disagree that I’m tired of women being asked whether their feminists. A woman apparently can lose her career or lose out on options by labeling herself feminist because some execs don’t like it, but sean penn, terrence howard, dr. dre, jon hamm, etc etc can literally beat the SH-T out of people and continue to have careers. Let’s ask those dipsh-ts if they’re feminists. Get a real answer. Let’s get a backlash going on those f-cks. Make sure THEY realize what exactly it is.

      • frisbee says:

        I can’t add anything so this seems the most appropriate response!

      • korra says:

        My god this was long. Unfortunately, I need to add to my soliloquy. Truth be told I have yet to hear people LIKE Meryl who give good criticism of the feminist movement. It’s definitely out there by others. But the point isn’t to dismiss it as a movement or the work that people are trying to do. It’s a very diverse movement especially in the current era. Good, solid, thoughtful criticism like how woc feel, transgender people feel, and basically how to go about fighting for the causes of all other minorities is a GOOD thing. It helps us grow and get outside our own bubbles of privilege, which I have yet to see someone who dismisses using the label do very well.

        If their criticism WAS actually thoughtful, introspective, and considerate beyond supporting the annoying rhetoric “I support everyone” (no effing duh obviously you haven’t REALLY interacted with feminism) I would be readily open to hear it. People want the extremes to represent, when in reality the extremes are just vocal and are absolutely not representative. You can disagree with those extremists and at the end of the day STILL call yourself a feminist or support the movement whatever. A lot of us do that. So no. I’m done with this man hating image people want to give us. How about leave your ego at the door for these issues and actually LISTEN. Jesus, Meryl gave this same advice about how she listens. Ugh. Sorry Josefa you’re bearing a huge brunt of my frustration with the world this week.

        @frisbee Thank you! I need to learn to be brief though.

      • Josefa says:

        Yeah I dont like putting celebrities in pedestals. Their opinions are absolutely irrelevant to me. They are no authorities on these subjects and their statements should not be seen or analyzed as such.

        I read all of that and I fail to see your point responding to me.

      • korra says:

        @Josefa …okay. Here let me explain why I responded. It’s an unfortunate reality that they are put on pedestals and that their opinions do end up mattering. Which is why it’s important when a celeb comes out, when a celeb supports a cause, why Angelina Jolie’s support for various causes around the world are important, why getting a celebrity to promote your cause is a win, etc. They have clout, they are public figures. They get the word out there. (Here is where I get that. But I’m not going to shower them with praise for it. Especially dumb basic ones…nope)

        So the part where you don’t blame Meryl for spreading ignorance and don’t want her criticised for her comments is what I’m responding to. She can learn to deal and actually be more educated on this topic if she wants to talk about it. She can play a hand in not promoting ignorance, especially since she prefers people not being ignorant or deliberately obtuse about important issues that affect everyone in the world in the first place.

        And as I said you’re just bearing the brunt of my frustration. It’s actually not anger AT you, but annoyance by the ideas that you’ve stated that try to undermine the frustration people feel with regards to this issue.

      • Val says:

        @korra I wish I could give you a more eloquent reply, but it’s quite late here and I’m tired, so I’m going to settle for enthusiastic clapping.
        It makes me really angry and frustrated too, and then my words get all jumbled and I can’t get it all out coherently, lol.

      • Josefa says:


        I get that. What we disagree on is who should be blamed for this. You put the blame on the celebs for spreading ignorance, I put the blame on people who put these people on pedestals and consider them authority figures on these matters when they clearly are not. Actors act. That’s what their craft is. Expecting them to be well-versed and educated regarding politics is like asking a chef to also be a good rapper.

        I really have trouble understanding why anyone would take these people’s opinions so seriously. Just because their opinions are out there for the whole world to see doesn’t mean they are any deeper and well-thought than that of an average youtube troll.

      • korra says:

        @Josefa I’m so tired. Yes. We get it. You are much smarter than the rest of us because you don’t fall for what they say or get into a tizzy about sh-t. Can you please join me the next time someone wants to give extreme praise for these bland af dipsh-ts? Or praise one of the many abusive a-holes?

        In this instance yes. I do in fact blame Meryl. In her position of power. She should know better. A LOT better. Especially considering the people she often aligns herself with who are actually open and out feminists. I don’t always blame actors and actresses though. I’ve spent a large amount of my time trashing fans for their stupidity too. So join me next time love. I need more people on my bandwagon.

  54. Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

    I’m always surprised about the concept of feminazi, because in Portugal, in spite of all the fascism that lasted 40 years up till 1974, the newest generations, my own and my students’ have a very clear and positive view of feminism (especially my students’ generation -high school) . One of gender equality in all aspects. Feminism is seen as the equality between genders and the fight for the rights of women. Considering that before the revolution and the fall of fascism in 1974, a woman had to have written permission from her father or husband to work as a teacher or a nurse, and she couldn’t earn more money than her husband’s, we’ve managed to get really far. Still lots of work to do, of course, and portuguese women don’t have the same rights to paycheck and others as men, but at least the word FEMINISM is not seen negatively. All my friends, including guys, consider themselves feminists and recognize it as a movement for the equality of genders… There’s hope, I suppose… I don’t even recall earing the word feminazi here in Portugal…

  55. Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

    I have one question, aren’t these topics studied at school in the USA? Here in Portugal, we have a subject that focus on Global Citizenship and themes from environment, racism, feminism, human rights, religion, war, etc, has to be discussed, researched and learnt…

  56. BobaFelt says:

    I AM A FEMINIST!!! I’m going to just start shouting this all over to make up the slack.

    What I don’t understand is the perpetuation of the “angry, butch dike, man-hating, bra-burning brand of feminism” that is allegedly driving people from using the word “feminist” to describe themselves. Even women in this thread were talking about that. How about some real examples from life that drove you to leave the movement, not just antecdotes from culture? What specific books did you hate on feminism that drove you to abandon the title? What angry women scared you away?

    Where are these sterotypical angry women? I live in a super liberal, LGBT friendly US city and work on a liberal college campus. I volunteer with a number of women’s issues groups, some really out there. I have never personally witnessed this type of person. Just ordinary women fighting for equal rights. Have all these people abandoning “feminism” because of this stereotype actually interfaced with these types of women? I feel like false stereotypes just get pushed as an excuse, when in reality many women tie their self worth to the praise they get from men. To be seen as pushy or bossy, and lose that (especially for actresses) is too much for them to fight for other women. “Angry feminist” feels grossly similar to “Angry black woman.” It diminishes the struggles and fight for equality that has continued for hundreds of years.

    • Val says:

      I’ve heard professional women say “Women are smarter than men, just learn to manage their huge egos and you can manage them.” Implying that men are morons and think no further than their other head. This is as ‘extreme’ as I have personally seen, but it still shocked and bothered me.
      I would add “communist” as another concept that has been so twisted that now it apparently means that the state controls you (??) or something, and nothing to do with what the original idea was.
      It’s exactly as you said though… women tie their self-worth to how they are seen by men (and this in turn influences how other women view them), and by saying ‘feminist’ all the men are suddenly afraid! Because ewww feminists don’t shave, they are ball-busters, they are angry unattractive women! But this is patriarchy. And it is so deeply part of our culture that we don’t even see it.

  57. Marianne says:

    I dont really care if people aren’t feminists, but it bugs me when their reason against it is something like “I believe in equals rights” because duh, thats what feminism is. I know people find Kaley Cuoco dumb but at least when she said she wasn’t a feminist it was because she personally felt privileged in her career.

  58. Jayna says:

    Good read on Meryl’s declaration. I love this part: “So what is it that’s so undesirable about the word feminist? Why does the myth of separatism persist? Women like Meryl Streep are supposed to be our base, not our swing votes. If we can’t convince Meryl Streep to call herself a feminist in public, how are we ever going to reach women.”

  59. TopCat says:

    I find it disappointing when actresses state that they are not feminists because I can’t help but feel that they have been swayed by a sub-sect of women who detract from what feminism really is.

    The heart of feminism is the protection and elevation of women’s rights. It is the belief that women should be treated equally to men. The majority of these women ARE feminists by the definition but they do not wish to be labelled with the term ‘feminist’ perhaps because they are fearful of the terms affiliated with feminism (man hater, femininazi, lesbian etc).

    I am a feminist. And not that it matters but I also have a university degree, do not want children, am engaged, wear make-up and have waist length hair (I am a mix of conventional femininity and modern woman).

    I think being a humanist is too limiting because there are many sub sects of human beings. It’s like calling yourself an animalist and ignoring the individual needs of factory farmed cows, abused dogs and lions being poached in Africa. Another poster nailed it when they said that it’s like being black and saying ‘black lives matter’ is irrelevant because they are ‘humanist.’

    Women have individual causes; we are still largely sexualised whether we are the funny girl, the businesswoman, the mother, the teen or the girl next door, we are still paid less, we are still raped, forced into marriages and bossed around regarding our reproductive issues.

    These are ‘women’s issues’ not human issues and need to be treated as such. I am still a fan of Meryl’s work. I think she’s a great lady. I just find it genuinely disappointing that she cannot understand that her voice could do so much more for women.

  60. Anna says:

    I’m NOT a humanist (the philosopher John Gray does a much better job explaining why not than myself: , ) BUT a feminist. That combination makes perfect sense for me, too. 🙂

    How can anyone NOT be a feminist?

  61. d says:

    WHYYYYYY is this happening? Just TRY working somewhere where you’re doing EXACTLY the same work as a co-worker (and in fact may be more skilled [soft skills and hard skills]), but the co-worker is male and gets paid more AND gets more vacation and the only visible reason for the difference seems to be that they’re male and you’re not. This is infuriating and I can’t believe she would say this. Pay inequality exists now, discrimination against women in the workforce exists now, at all levels in the workforce, and yet, oh no, don’t call yourself a feminist because god forbid you offend men, or make them feel bad, or make them think, or make them share, or compete, or not be the special snowflakes that seems to think they’re entitled to be. AARRRGGGHHHH! Boo. Hiss. 🙁

  62. Bobafelty says:

    I am an educated, liberal, feminist, pro-choice, humanist, woman.

    I feel like part of America views me as Godzilla rising out of the sea to stomp all over democracy, rip apart some men, and drop a deuce on the American flag.


  63. KatyD says:

    She’s in a movie which promotes the first- wave feminist movement, and their struggles to achieve the vote for women, BUT she refuses to acknowledge nor understand the meaning of the word, feminism? Unbelievable. Some of those brave women would be rolling around in their graves, knowing that such a dim bulb was representing them on film. SAD . . . 🙁

  64. Lea says:

    To be fair she doesn´t say she is no feminist, she can´t because Meryl is a feminist. She is a life long supporter of woman’s rights.

    The problem is Meryl seems to be afraid to use the word “feminist”. She always sails around the word like here. I bet she fears a backlash. It wouldn´t be her first

  65. Narcissist says:

    We can be humanists once woman have attained equality–in pay and rights. How can Streep ignore what is happening to women around the world? Sex trafficking, rape as a weapon of war, women being abused by ignorant husbands…it’s a horrifying. If women don’t stand up for women, who will? Oh how easy it is for her to smugly assert that she wants equal rights for all sitting on her cushy Hollywood throne from her country estate in CT in one of the better countries for women in the world. Actually, it’s narcissistic.

  66. jjjjblegh says:

    not a fan of her but i don’t think she ever mention anything that related to feminist. all she said was that she’s a humanist. also i’m not surprised if people starting to gang up just because she’s not in the group( she never take oath or promised anything to all of you. and it doesnt make sense when you all called her action as betrayal) and yeahh i’m not feminist because i feel people starting to take advantage of the movement. and i also believe you don’t have to claim you this or that to actually do a good things.