women's lib

Schooling Shailene Woodley on the Word Feminist


Warning: This post is not Oscar-related. Please feel free not to read it.

I can’t believe I have to do this. Overall, any press that revolves around something someone said is one of the signs of our society’s demise — Gwyneth said this, Beiber said that – WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK? Really, there are far worse things to be outraged by in our country right now — like, global warming, like Citizens United, like the disappearance of the bee population, like the oligarchy our country has become. NONETHELESS someone needs to really set Shailene Woodley down for frank one on one about the word feminism. I guess I’ll join the chorus of those who need to wake that woman up.

It’s bad enough the press is already setting up the good girl (Jennifer Lawrence) against the annoying girl (Woodley), something Woodley hardly sees coming. Think: Shia LaBeouf. Think: Gwyneth Paltrow. When the worm turns on you, when it’s your turn to be stoned, it gets really ugly really fast. But that’s beside the point. I don’t want to see Woodley headed there but I also want to either open a Kickstarter to send her to college — preferably a college like Smith where they will hammer the notion of feminism into her head — or else write this piece to help her understand.

Woodley is a bold and expressive woman and that is just awesome in this day and age. You will never hear, for instance, Jennifer Lawrence say something controversial beyond admitting she farted in public one time. She isn’t nor would ever be political in any respect. So I admire Woodley for being so outspoken. Her problem is only her lack of education and her ignorance. Again, somewhere along the line she followed the very damaging PR campaign against feminism that made it a dirty word, a discriminatory word, a hurtful-against-men word and something our male-dominated society greatly resents. Okay, fine. That is her opinion and she’s entitled to it but if she is going to be a young adult star, if she is going to have a lot of little girls trailing after her and following what she says/thinks — we’ve got some work to do here changing Woodley’s mind. Or die trying.

When asked in TIME if she was a feminist she said:

No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 percent feminine and 50 percent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that is important to note. And also I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance.

My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism. I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t even seem to respect each other. There’s so much jealousy, so much comparison and envy. And “This girl did this to me and that girl did that to me.” And it’s just so silly and heartbreaking in a way.

Take. Men. Away. From. Power.


At first I simply erupted on Twitter about this but now, she just won’t stop. But we’ll get to her most recent comments further down.

“Because I love men.” Da fuq?

Being a feminist doesn’t mean hating men. Oh how I sometimes wished it did! I often lament my own distraction with my obsession with the human male. If I could turn off that continual car alarm for cock I could do so much more with my life. Let’s make it not even about cock but just about loving men. Do we not, many of us, love our fathers and sons and teachers and leaders and artists? Of course we do. It is the silliest of all notions that feminism is about removing men from power as though we’re talking about Catholics and Protestants here. We’re talking ABOUT balance. That’s what equality is. BALANCE, homegirl, balance! Fairness, equal rights.

To give Woodley the benefit of the doubt — because clearly this is someone who doesn’t know what feminism really is –she maybe doesn’t know who Gloria Steinem is, for instance. She might not know what Steinem recently said about the libido to the NY Times on her 80th birthday, “The brain cells that used to be obsessed are now free for all kinds of great things. I try to tell younger women that, but they don’t believe me. When I was young I wouldn’t have believed it either.”

Of all of the things feminism is about the last thing it’s about is hating men. This notion was used as a propaganda tool to dismantle equal rights and laugh at women as many men still do today. If you, Shailene Woodley, do not think you’re being judged on whether you are a hot enough piece of ass to stay relevant in the media you have another think coming.

Woodley’s latest thing was in the Daily Beast:

And the word “feminist” is a word that discriminates, and I’m not into that. I don’t think there has to be a separation in life in anything. For me, bringing up the whole “sisterhood” thing was about embracing each other’s differences. Embrace my point of view even if it’s different from your point of view, but see that our end goal is the same. The way that we’re getting there might be different, but as long as we approach life with kindness and compassion, that’s all that matters. So it made me sadly laugh that a woman who I was trying to say, “Let’s embrace one another,” distinctly chose to do the opposite. But you know what? Everything is out of your control, and you can only be truthful about how you feel.

Yeah, no. Embrace white supremacists? It is not about embracing everyone when you are talking about oppression. Maybe at a crowded party where girls and boys are drinking watermelon shooters you can espouse upon such things but when you have a worldwide audience listening to you you’d better at least have the basic facts straight.

But let’s try now to help the situation before it gets any worse (because believe me, homegirl, it’s going to get worse. A lot worse).

Dear Shailene,

To understand why there was feminism in the first place, or civil rights for that matter, a privileged young woman such as yourself has to understand what oppression is. You have a dominant status quo — here in America that equates to the white male. White men are born into privilege. That means, most of what the American dream promises it promises to them. They get paid more, get better jobs, are listened to. As an example, in my own field which is writing about film and the Oscar race I could make a single point repeatedly for two weeks to crickets and then a male writing the exact same thing could tweet out that point and it would get retweeted dozens of times. I could write an editorial about something and no one would care until a male writer wrote the same thing and backed it up. Okay, we’ll listen to what she has to say because now a man has said it also. It’s valid. It isn’t the ramblings of some crazy bitch.

Moreover, I will never get credit for having launched the whole industry of Oscarwatching starting at the beginning of each year, which I pretty much did in 1999, along with a few others. I’ll never get credit for it because women, in my field, rarely do. Ask Anne Thompson, who completely overhauled Indiewire to turn it into a profitable multi-media power site. Ask Sharon Waxman who did the same with The Wrap. Ask Nikki Finke. Other than Anne, the other two women are regarded as bitches, their success only reluctantly accepted by their competitors. Were they men, their personalities would simply not come into play. Anne Thompson gets away with being a powerful woman in the press because she doesn’t make it political. You have NO IDEA what it is to be a woman trying to work in a man’s field. You are doing it now but you don’t seem to realize it. You won’t realize it until you start to get a little too old to be considered hot anymore. You will realize it when the only work you can get is if you take your clothes off on camera. Prepare yourself by watching the careers of those who have come before you. I wish, for your sake, that you don’t have these obstructions in your path. I hope you can achieve all of the dreams you set out to achieve and that it won’t ultimately come down to how you look or whose boner you’re raising (it will).

I didn’t start out writing about feminism or oppression in the Oscar race fifteen years ago. I didn’t have to. It wasn’t in the sorry state that is in today. But women started disappearing from movies. Black women even more so. To date, only one black woman has won Best Actress in 86 years of Oscar history. Think about that. Think about how few Best Actress contenders there are in a given year. Someone had to start bitching about it. The louder people bitch the more Hollywood has to pay attention. That, my dear, is what the feminist movement was and is.

Maybe you didn’t grow up at a time when your only real option in life would be to marry someone handsome or go struggle against the status quo to try and get a job somewhere. My grandmother, for instance, born at the turn of the century started out as a secretary. You would have loved that as a career opportunity because you would get hit on repeatedly and would never have had the opportunity to be the rebellious female that you are today. You are allowed to speak your mind because a handful of very strong, very brave women fought for your right to do so. You aren’t intentionally slapping them in the face but you are inadvertently doing so with your ignorant comments about the word feminism.

To make this point even more clear, imagine a young black woman, or man, saying “I don’t really believe in civil rights because that’s discriminatory.” And in fact, many people DO say that. They are usually conservative white Americans who resent the rise of minorities in their culture. It is a way of continuing to oppress those who have struggled, fought and in some cases died for their own equality. Clearly you didn’t mean it that way because I know that feminism has fallen prey to a successful campaign to make anyone who associates with the word an angry, hairy-legged, sandal-wearing, man-hating dyke. But really, feminism is a movement to help improve the rights of women, born out of a time when they had none. Because you now have more equal rights (still no legal right to equal pay, honey child) is due primarily to those who came before you to fight for it.

When you buy into the notion that feminism is discriminatory you expose your own ignorance but worse, your willingness to buy into the notion that the rights of women do not have to be fought for. In fact, worldwide, they do.

Here is how Wikipedia defines it, “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.”

Now, to say you aren’t a feminist you have to agree that you don’t stand for equality of women, and that you don’t believe in economic, cultural, and social rights of women. Is that really the case? Or have you bought the line of the women-hating status quo that wants to deflate the power of the feminist movement? It sounds to me like you have.

The world doesn’t need more stupid people in it. It needs more smart people who can really fight for change. Your activist tendencies so far include exposing your vagina to sunlight. Hey, I’m all for the healthy vagina but if you have a strong voice and a willingness to be rebellious, shouldn’t you use it to fight for a more worthy cause beyond your own vagina?

Every time you say a disparaging thing about Feminism, alongside people like Katy Perry and god knows who else, it represents yet another step back in a movement that has had trouble getting started from the beginning. Women like you still want to be attractive to men thus you fear their rejection by coming off like a — “militant feminist.” I can tell you, such is never going to be the case. Any man who would reject you because you were too outspoken or because you stood up for the rights of women and other oppressed minorities is not worth your time, even if his dick is the stuff of Greek Gods. Believe me, been there, sucked that.

Here are a few wonderful quotes by Ms. Steinem — and I am ashamed that she, after all she’s done for the feminist cause and for women, would have to read anything negative about the word feminist in 2014.

“We’ll never solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth.”

Yes, I know so far Shailene, you aren’t really thinking about such things. But believe me, someday you will. When the shimmer of youth vanishes and you are just a female along with the rest of us it will matter greatly.

“If you say, I’m for equal pay, that’s a reform. But if you say, I’m a feminist, that’s a transformation of society.”

Look around, honey. Look at the industry YOU’RE in. Do you have any idea how hard it is just to get a film made with a woman in the lead? THAT will require a transformation of a society and a transformation of an industry. Stop staring at your vagina and look up. You will see terrifying things.

“Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.”

Women everywhere. Take note, Shailene. We’re not talking just about the US. We’re talking about Nigeria where schoolgirls were just kidnapped to be sold off as wives. We’re about clitorectomies. Know what those are? You want to give your vagina a wake-up call? Try having your clitoris removed.

Let’s go over this again:

–Fighting for the inalienable rights of a woman to have a clit is feminism.

–Fighting for the right for Nigerian girls to have an education is feminism.

–Fighting for the rights of women to have equal pay for equal work in America is feminism.

–Fighting for your own right to star in a film without having to be defined by the man you stand behind is feminism.

Why would you ever want to distance yourself from such a powerful word? Because it’s discriminatory? The same way that civil rights is discriminatory?

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”

Is that not you, Shailene Woodley?

On the state of women today, says Steinem:

“Whatever each individual woman is facing; only she knows her biggest challenge. However, if we add up the problems that affect the biggest numbers of women, then issues having to do with physical safety and reproduction are still the biggest. Female bodies are still the battleground, whether that means restricting freedom, birth control and safe abortion in order to turn them into factories, or abandoning female infants because females are less valuable for everything other than reproduction. If you add up all the forms of gynocide, from female infanticide and genital mutilation to so-called honor crimes, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse, everything, we lose about 6 million humans every year just because they were born female. That’s a holocaust every year. It makes sense that reproductive freedom is still the biggest issue – because the reason females got in this jam in the first place was because the patriarchal state or religion or family wanted to control reproduction — to decide how many workers, how many children the nation needs, and who owned them in systems of legitimacy — or even outright slavery. The International Labor Organization says there are about 12 million people living in literal slavery around the world, and 80 percent of them are women and girls.

Are you starting to get it now, Shailene? Are you even close?

My last comment is this — You absolutely have the right to say whatever the hell you want. But when you say things like ‘feminism is discriminatory” make sure you are completely educated on 1) the feminist movement, and 2) what discrimination really means.

Further reading: This is what 80 Looks Like [NY Times]
Interview with Gloria Steinem

Dude, even Camille Paglia calls herself a feminist even if she opposes the Steinem route to get there. Feminism sprang from a desperate need to relieve oppression. Think about it. Please. At least know what you’re talking about before you oppose something so important.

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  1. Kane
    June 2, 2014

    Real talk now…generally I’m not always a fan of the way you view movies and, yes, I do think you will show a particular bias without letting a movie be a movie. That said, this is one of the best things you’ve ever written. I’ll be reading it again because this is the proper way to school someone after they’ve put their foot in their mouth.

    Also…aces on “Lawrence farting in public.” I read that about 4 times and laughed each time.

  2. SFMike
    June 2, 2014

    Right on sister! Seriously, Sasha, that was superb.

  3. El
    June 2, 2014

    I get the point you’re making here, Sasha, but I think that joining the growing “let’s point out what a privileged, ignorant brat Shailene is” posse is not the answer. I have such a problem with the “whack a mole” society we live in right now. Rather than taking apart the machine and figuring out what makes the moles rise out of their holes, we waste time hitting them over the head as fast and as hard as we can. And guess what? They still keep coming up.
    When I first read Shailene’s comments, I thought, is this really what young women perceive feminism to be? If so, why? Is it that we as women are failing to model everything you’ve said above? That’s a huge problem. And if that’s the case, why aren’t we changing OUR tactic, so that young women no longer even think to make the associations that Shailene made?
    And you’re so right – this young woman doesn’t know oppression. But neither does the majority of the population within the US. We know nothing of true sacrifice. And the people here who do are all dying off (my grandparents’ generation). The biggest sacrifice her generation has to make on a daily basis is a restaurant without wifi. Their idea of oppression is having their phone taken away. (And yes, I know I just generalized the hell of out of them).
    Young women shouldn’t have to attend Smith and read Gloria Steinem to understand what feminism is. They should be learning it from the women who have come before them and are with them today, just as my mother and the amazing women I grew up with did for me. With Shailene’s comments, it just makes me wonder if the failure lies with the teacher and not the student. And I honestly wonder if we owe Shailene an apology rather than a spanking.

  4. Bryce Forestieri
    June 2, 2014

    Jesus Christ y’all leave her alone. She loves men. I love men. Her only problem is that she’s smart, successful, beautiful, likeable *and* talented. Go girl. go MAPS TO THE FAULT IN OUR STARS!

  5. El
    June 2, 2014

    Ugh…comment fail. Oppression unknown inside of the US, not out.

  6. June 2, 2014

    [patched that for you, El]

  7. Mel
    June 2, 2014

    She’s just dumb privileged kid who has literally gotten every major role for a girl her age in Hollywood the past 3 years. Of course she doesn’t know jack shit about struggle. The public will be done with her soon, if not already and she won’t get any more roles and have anymore opportunity to say ignorant misinformed bullshit in the press. Then, then she might get it. I’m sure Ann Coulter is already trying to court her for “sisterhood” which should tell her just exactly how much the shit she’s saying is ignorant.

  8. Minus Habens
    June 2, 2014

    @El you made a good point: “With Shailene’s comments, it just makes me wonder if the failure lies with the teacher and not the student.”
    I don’t think that she wants to bash Shailene,I feel her frustration though. Maybe we just have to take a step back and think how we can explain what the problem is and how we can change this perception. We shouldn’t have to rely on actors to explain something like this. But sometimes I just want to rip my hair off.
    I remember that 15 years ago Sarah Michelle Gellar said the same thing (something like “feminism makes me think of women who don’t shave their legs”). Now as then I think: “How is it possible that Mary Wollstonecraft in the 18th century knew more about feminism than today’s youth?”. Quite depressing tbh

  9. Kane
    June 2, 2014

    Mel, there are plenty of privileged people who know what they’re talking about. Being privileged doesn’t mean they don’t know shit. She is misinformed, correct. She defined “feminism” incorrectly, yes. Ok, let’s make her the whipping girl and act like the public will “be done with her” like she’s a prostitute. It’s not like she said, “Feminists are bitchy, man-hating, monkey-legged hippies who are ruining society.” Come on now…if people only knew how many times this “privileged” boy (me), or even his lower income class friends, were misinformed about something at her age, what would people say? They’d say, “Sounds like your average young adult.”

  10. June 2, 2014

    Fantastic piece!!

  11. Jay
    June 2, 2014

    Excellent! Thanks for this, Sasha. As a guy and a feminist I cringed when I heard Shailene Woodley make that comment. As a college instructor I hear many female students utter the same sentiment: feminist = man-hating shrew. Conservatives have done an excellent job over the last thirty years of turning the words feminist and liberal into pejorative terms. Our culture needs to do a better job of educating all Americans about what feminism is and teach them not to be afraid of the word.

  12. Cara
    June 2, 2014

    @Mel – Are you for real? Shailene might be misinformed and even ignorant but why should that effect her right to work? Convicted rapists are allowed to work, women beaters are allowed to work, racists are allowed to work.. but a 22 year old who doesn’t mean to offend anybody should be run out of town? Piss off!

  13. Clint
    June 2, 2014

    @Sasha, and anyone else for that matter:

    I’m not trying to troll or anything, I’m just curious about a semantic issue in this situation and would like your thoughts:

    Would it have made a difference to you if she said she was an “equity feminist” and that her position was just a rejection of “gender feminism?” It seems to me she’s just coming down on the Paglia/Hoff Sommers side of the debate that’s been going on for the last 20 years in the feminist community, wherein certain parts of the women’s studies community are rejecting the notion of viewing everything as an ongoing struggle against the patriarchy, seeing such a prism as impeding the movement. Both of those women, while they identify as subsets of feminism, feel that the word “feminism” itself has taken on something they find distasteful and thus necessary to distance themselves from. Whether Woodley knows the leading thinkers for the ideology she’s expressing or not, the position she’s taking and the thought process she’s using is one held and used by many self-described feminists in the academic community. Granted, she’s responding specifically to the most vocal brand of feminism out there and perhaps not taking into account what the word has meant in the past, but she’s still taking a position shared by a lot of feminists, but it just happens to be one that you disagree with.

    So, if she identified as a feminist but still expressed the beliefs she stated in the interviews above, positioning it as a rejection of the gender feminist approach, as defined by Hoff Sommers, that you hold, would she still need to be educated for ignorance? She would still be under the umbrella of feminism, just a different brand than the one you subscribe to. Is this really just an issue of semantics, that she’s not putting herself under an ideological umbrella and voicing those opinions as a feminist?

    Or would the article then have taken on the tone of the response Steinem gave when she heard Paglia identify as a feminist, with Woodley being like a Nazi claiming not to be anti-Semitic?

  14. caleb roth
    June 2, 2014

    Been there, sucked that. Priceless.

  15. Talie
    June 2, 2014

    You hit the nail in the head–too many if these children stopped their formal education far too soon and it shows when the press comes looking for opinions.

  16. Sam
    June 2, 2014

    I’m tired of the uneducated comments made by SW in every interview. She is not a teenager… she is almost 23.

  17. Mel
    June 2, 2014

    LOL at the people saying I think she should be run out of town. Read my comment. I’m just saying when things go the way they always effing do in Hollywood with female stars, which is that they are hot for a minute and in every movie made for a minute until they are tossed aside for the next hot young female star…..then she might get it. As of now, she’s having everything handed to her, so of course she doesn’t get it. Good lord some people love to put words in others’ mouths!

    And let’s please stop already with the “not all privileged”……it’s as effective and productive as “not all men” and it’s also as pointless, derailing and disrespectful of the issue at hand….which is that SW is misinformed, ignorant and does not get it.

  18. Stephen Mitchell
    June 2, 2014

    Personally I think the term feminism might in lie the problem. If the definition of feminist is to quote the above graphic is about eliminating gender roles completely and ensuring equality for men and women alike then the shouldn’t the term be a “genderist” or something along those lines?

  19. Stephen Mitchell
    June 2, 2014

    Wow I have terrible grammar. What I meant to say was that the term universal humanist or something along those lines would better serve both genders. There is men right’s issues that can be ignored as well. The ultimate goal of feminist according to the graphic above and many of the dictionary definitions that I can find online is to ensure equality for both sexes.

  20. Ligaya
    June 2, 2014

    SASHA, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. SALAMAT, mahalo, gracias, merci, grazie, DOMO ARIGATO, Danke Schöen…for this piece, for the 2 pieces on MALEFICENT/Angelina Jolie, for your principled stands, your passion, heart, fearlessness & fierceness. You’ve been consistent ever since I started to follow you when AD was Oscarwatch.

  21. Clara
    June 2, 2014

    Damn. What a great piece. Honey, I am proud to know you.

  22. June 3, 2014

    Eating clay doesn’t do anyone any good, as we can see.

  23. nolano
    June 3, 2014

    “You will never hear, for instance, Jennifer Lawrence say something controversial beyond admitting she farted in public one time”

    And rape jokes.

  24. Sasha Stone
    June 3, 2014

    Damn. What a great piece. Honey, I am proud to know you.

    Honey, you’re so sweet! :)

  25. Robin Write
    June 3, 2014

    My God. This is some heavy shit. I’ll be honest Sasha, as a writer you certainly have some huge balls. And no filter it seems. But a complete and admirable passion for expressing your views. Regardless of who fucking agrees or not. I know I don’t always, but that is not going to stop me reading your words. As I was reading this ferocious piece I could see smoke coming from your keyboard. In fact, at one point I was a little bit ashamed to be a white male. But that passed. And so there is a vivid power in your writing, no matter how many hornet’s nests you shake with it.

    I won’t lie, I don’t give a fuck either most of the time about what people in the limelight are saying, or supposedly saying. And I too don’t always understand any certain celebrities point of view of any given subject. I take most of it with a pinch of salt. But sometimes, yes, we have to get up, go to the window, open it and cry out that we’re mad. Maybe as mad as hell. Perhaps we should make sure those who hear us know we are not going to take it any more. And I wonder how many people had their screaming heads out of the window after reading this.

    A few things crossed my mind when I read Shailene Woodley’s quotes. Why was she talking about this anyway? Why was she being asked about this? Are they her words or has someone shoved them down her throat? Is she handling being pushed to the forefront quite poorly? How has my opinion of that girl who ducked under the water and continued acting right before our eyes then come across as what I impulsively described in my own head as amateurish and dumb? But then what do I know. Acting is acting. But is that really what she thinks?

  26. Trev
    June 3, 2014

    See, this is why men don’t take women seriously. Females actually fight about what it means to be a female. Pathetic.

  27. June 3, 2014

    You know when I first heard her comments, I didn’t really understand what she was saying. They seemed incoherent. Now reading them again, they still seem incoherent. It seems pretty clear that she doesn’t know her ass from her elbow so once that’s been determined, why would we ever give a shit what she has to say?

    I’m going to just ignore her and stick with the girl who farts.

  28. Bee
    June 4, 2014

    The only reason you don’t like Shailene Woodley is because she’s black.

  29. Bee
    June 4, 2014

    And no, I wasn’t kidding.

    I think Shailene is the next great black hope for Hollywood, not that phony Lupita Nyong’o.

    She is starring in The Fault in Our Stars, which looks like the greatest Jewish man-black woman romance since Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz.

  30. harry
    June 4, 2014


    I love your passion and openness about your views on feminism, but this sort of reminds me of your screed against Lena Dunham a year or two ago. These are young women who are sort of still figuring things out. And you’re coming at them guns blazing essentially because they’re not reflecting truths that often come with age and experience.

    As I recall, Meryl Streep said some pretty dumb shit about feminism early on in her career. But I think in the long run, she’s figured things out.

    I guess, I’m suggesting the next time a young woman under 25 whose lucky enough to get her foot in the door steps out of line, go easier? Save the ire for the older men and women in the industry who should know better.

  31. harry
    June 4, 2014

    …like say…Cameron Diaz?

  32. J.A.H.
    June 4, 2014

    Jane Fonda: “The opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy, but democracy.”

    That’s one very short way to put it.

  33. joeyhegele
    June 4, 2014

    “Jesus Christ y’all leave her alone. She loves men. I love men. Her only problem is that she’s smart, successful, beautiful, likeable *and* talented.”
    –Bryce Forestieri

    I feel about Shailene the same way I do about Anita Bryant. It does not matter how talented or successful she is, I do not support bigots.

    There is really nothing more to add to this wonderful article Sasha wrote, except this great quote from the Dalai Lama himself:
    “I call myself a feminist. Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?”

  34. Razor
    June 4, 2014

    Actually, I must confess that I have a huge problem with the question “Are you a feminist?” since there is no unambiguous definition of the word. Living in Sweden where the feminist movement is very strong, I know a lot of self-proclaimed feminists personally and they basically all have their own definitions of the word, here are some actual examples:

    - Feminism means fighting for everybody´s equal rights
    - Feminism means fighting for women’s rights, while men’s rights are less important (“in fact, men have been privileged for so long so it is their time to suffer now”)
    - Feminism is a left-wing political project (“you cannot be a feminist unless you are a socialist”)
    - Feminism is a sexual political project (“you cannot be a feminist if you are a male heterosexual”)

    So my standard response these days is that I of course support women’s rights, but I cannot call myself a feminist anymore simply because the word is too ambiguous.

  35. Stephen Mitchell
    June 4, 2014

    Best Comment on this article.

  36. Charlotte
    June 5, 2014

    I just cannot warm up to Shailene Woodley and her views on feminism have cemented those feelings for me. Like Antoinette, I’ll stick with the girl who farts.

    Jennifer Lawrence does avoid saying anything political, controversial it’s true…perhaps, Lawrence is wise enough to realize that one shouldn’t shoot their mouth off about something they don’t understand. For all we know, Lawrence could be educating herself (and/or learning from others) about a variety of important subjects and will discuss them at great length, give her opinions on said subjects, when she is ready to give an intelligent answer.

    Woodley apparently, refuses to educate herself or let others who know what the hell they are talking about educate her. Woodley isn’t being criticized for having an opinion…she’s being criticized for having uninformed opinions.

  37. June 7, 2014

    Obviously, what Shailene is saying is misinformed but on her defense, she’s still young and at 21 — including you Sasha — 99% of people in America wouldn’t know what feminism actually means. And part of blame lies on many of the “so-called” feminists themselves, because they propagate feminism in such a way that it looks like they are hating men. What Shailene is saying seems based on impressions she has of those “so-called” feminists rather than the actual knowledge of what feminism is actually. Still, I am sure as she grows old and sees more of this world, she will also learn many things. Till then, let’s not try to jump on her the moment she opens her mouth. It’s precisely why most of the celebrities don’t want to speak regarding anything apart from their work.

  38. Niles
    June 8, 2014

    Sasha, just a little insight there actually have been 31 blacks who have won oscars. Four of which have been males who won best actor and supporting actor oscars, seven who were female, one who was best actress (Halle Berry) , the rest were best supporting actresses. Even if there have been one black best actress, what about best director? The first black producer won this year too: Steve McQueen.

    I do agree that woman do not get enough credit for the things that they do, but neither do some men. Men and woman who work everyday to provide for their families are not given an affordable way to live and survive each day. Men or woman go out and try to establish themselves through finding jobs or going back to school. However, looking for a job is not easy theses days. People would rather see a bullshitter get a job who knows nothing about that job and just does that job instead of a hardworking experience worker who knows everything about that job that he is seeking. Those men and woman are suffering, it doesn’t matter if you are a male or female, the masses of mankind are being dehumanized. Everyday in Pomona, CA I see a family struggling and begging for money off the 10 fwy off Garey Ave. How is that fair, while white men and women or different ethnicity C.E.O’s make millions maybe billions or more.

    The problem here is not feminism itself but the word power. Power, needs to be chopped up into millions of pieces and be thrown away. No one in my belief is better or powerful then anyone else nor should be because by the time we die, how much will we be taking to the grave? NONE. Because money cannot be taken to the grave. However, in order for everything to be balance we must wipe out power from the masses and start working together as human beings.

    Now Shailene Woodley is a 22 year old young woman from Simi Valley and she maybe privilege but isn’t it wrong to judge her ignorance? If we are here to critique her comments should we analyze her comments more logically then use the pathos way of life? Not that I am questioning your blog and how you should write it but in the end, men and woman choose what they want and say what they want. In order to persuade them we have to shove stuff in their face to get to the point, which you have presented very precisely.

    However, It is Mrs. Woodley’s decision whether she wants to go to school and learn about feminism and to teach her about feminism on here is a kind of unorthodox and awkward because it’s really a put down and rant of her comments that may have upset you and the other readers. Now she does have to time acquire knowledge, she is young. Young people do stupid shit. I know I did, and I know many of you did and we have said things in the past. So aren’t we hypocrites for putting her down? Because we have said things that we may have not have thought about and said it. Just saying….Were not perfect.

  39. steve50
    June 8, 2014

    “she’s still young and at 21 – including you, Sasha – 99% of people in America wouldn’t know what feminism actually means.”
    “Shailene Woodley is a 22 year old young woman from Simi Valley and she maybe privilege but isn’t it wrong to judge her ignorance?”

    Is 21 the new 12 when it comes to social conscience? Not so for all the other grown-up things like driving, drinking, owning firearms, financial responsibility and voting. Consider the average age of the participants in Tianamen Square, Stonewall, and the student movements in Paris, Hungary, and the US in the 60′s.

    Her views are and should be considered adult at this age and of course she is entitled to them, just as other adults are entitled to challenge them when she airs them in public.

    And, no, a background of privilege is not a ticket out of responsible thought.

  40. Niles
    June 8, 2014

    Steve50: I like how you quoted me to look cool thanks. I said what I said but I don’t think 21 isn’t the new 12 when it comes to social conscience and I am not saying that because she is privilege we should hand her a break but more like hand her a hand in her own though. I don’t think I need to explain myself but okay. Matter of fact, I don’t think anyone has a social conscience theses days. Everyday is something new to learn, and I am pretty sure all of us went through a spell of foolishness at one point of our life. What happen to free thought? We are imperfect creations in a imperfect world and not everyone is superman. We can change the world through riots and bitchiness but how long does that take? Who knows. This is why people don’t do anything about it because it’s a big pile of brick that are being lay on top of one another one by one over and over again. It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t think she’s a bad person, but then again I don’t know her. So why judge her? Her words, are her own self reliance and what is said is meant to be talked about or riot about then so be it, but if it’s something that is misguided as this, then I say let it go and let her learn on her own accord. By the way, were not in the 60s anymore. If you want to riot about feminism then go out on the streets and riot, no one is stopping you besides the police who are basically contemporary Nazi’s. Go out and riot, what do you got to lose or be afraid of? If this is an issue that needs protesting then protest. Quit talking about it and go out like 60s Paris, Hungary, and U.S.. Oh wait, you won’t? Why not? Because your afraid. Well grow some balls and be a punk rocker and call me in the morning and tell me how your protest on Shailene Woodley’s words went.

  41. Fadhil
    June 20, 2014

    So true. I love Woodley’s acting but I don’t like her as a “celebrity”.
    She tries to be “pedantic”, but does not even have the knowledge.

  42. Unlikely hood
    July 3, 2014

    Great piece

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