Let’s forget for a moment that having to publish a post on this topic – whether or not feminism is “niche” – is a pretty lame thing to do. Why? Because it’s not, or more realistically, shouldn’t be considered so.
Many millennials – ourselves included – consider feminism to be an intersectional movement; one that encompasses the concerns, rights, and values of groups such as the LBGT community, Black Lives Matter, and more.
Why is it then, that those who call themselves feminists spend more time defending the term “feminism” than being able to further its cause? Worse still, why are influential women with a vested interest in its cause actively dismissing or distancing themselves from the term “feminist” despite voicing beliefs and concerns in line with the movement’s core values?
Take Kim Kardashian for example, who took part in a keynote interview at the #BlogHer16 conference in LA back in August. For those clued-in on all the goings-on within the socialsphere, this case study may be an outdated one, but it’s one that perfectly illustrates the unwillingness of an influential individual to be linked with the feminist movement in an official capacity.
What she said in her interview:
I don’t like labels. I do what makes me happy and I want women to be confident and I’m so supportive of women… But I’m not the “free-the-nipple”- type girl.
Following backlash on social media, Kardashian sought to explain what she meant by this to fans following her blog on her paid-for app:
For me, [a] feminist is someone who advocates for the civil and social rights and liberties of all people, regardless of their gender; anyone who believes that women should have the same choices and opportunities as men when it comes to education and employment, their bodies and their lifestyles. Of course I want these things!
But why do we have to put labels on things? You’re a Republican, you’re Democrat, you’re bisexual, you’re plus-size, you’re poor, you’re a criminal, you’re a mother, you’re a feminist.
I feel that being grouped or labelled can create separation between people who do (or don’t) fall into certain categories, when they may actually share many of the same beliefs and goals.
It’s simply a personal choice that I don’t like the idea of being labelled.
I would share more from her post but with respect to Kim K, I don’t wanna pay for her subscription service and I reckon the above snippet is as good of an explanation we’ll ever get from her on the subject.
What I will say is this: the terms “feminism” and “feminist” piss A LOT of people off and personally, I don’t think Mrs Kardashian-West wishes to be trolled any more than she already has/is being.
Just check this out…
Ultimately, however it came to be that people began to perceive the f-word as dirty, offensive, or even dangerous, it’s tiresome for those in support of what I believe to be an intersectional and egalitarian movement to defend its very name on a constant basis.
It is a real tragedy that bored, misguided, and even some genuinely hateful groups and individuals make good people afraid to engage in activism or identify as “feminist.”
Words by Lily Niu