Why the Feminist Question Matters

Cucoco & Watson

I recently started contributing articles to “The Thought Erotic,” my friend’s insightful new online magazine about gender, sex, sexuality and so much more. Below is an excerpt from my first piece, “Why the Feminist Question Matters,” on the longstanding, ever-growing list of female celebrities to distance themselves from the term feminism.

Like so many celebrities before her, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting has been making headlines for disavowing feminism. To recap, this is what she said when asked if she considered herself a feminist during a recent interview with Redbook Magazine:

“Is it bad if I say no? It’s not really something I think about. Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around … I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.

“I cook for Ryan five nights a week. It makes me feel like a housewife; I love that. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mom was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off.”

A few things I’d like to point out about Kaley’s comments:

  1. Even if “a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before [we were] around,” that doesn’t mean we no longer need to support the cause for women’s rights. By declaring ourselves feminists, we show support for the women and men who fought for our right to vote, to own property, to work, to pursue any career we wish, to keep the money we earn, to not marry or marry who we choose, to choose whether or not we become pregnant, become mothers, to educate ourselves and pursue a degree, to be friends with men, to wear what we want, to dictate what we do with our bodies. By declaring ourselves feminists, we honor the men and women who championed our rights, show our appreciation for what they did for us, and support the preservation of what they accomplished.
  1. When Kaley says “things are different now,” she implies that gender inequality no longer exists. While things may be different and admittedly better now than centuries and even decades prior, gender inequality still pervades not just our country, but our Given that Kaley makes $1 million per episode of The Big Bang Theory and is currently one of the highest paid actors on television, she may not realize that unlike her, the average woman makes less than men do for the same work. In the United States, women make just 78 cents for every dollar men make.

Read the full article at The Thought Erotic.

Photo Credit: Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting by Dominick D on Flickr; Emma Thompson by Joella Marano on Flickr License 

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