Sunday, November 22, 2015
This is What a Feminist Looks Like
I think we all remember the trending image of Benedict Cumberbatch wearing a t-shirt with the text, "This is what a feminist looks like."
I remember how excited my fellow feminist friends were to start seeing celebrities bring awareness to the feminist movement and make it less of a taboo. And I can appreciate how celebrities can use their platform to reach a larger and newer audience than the typical feminist circles that seem to be constantly preaching to the choir.
That being said, The Guardian posted an interesting article on the negative side of having celebrities take on the label. David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was asked to adorn the same shirt that Cumberbatch is wearing above. He declined, greatly to the author's satisfaction. "Feminism is not just about wishing for women and girls to have the same rights and opportunities as men: it is a movement created to ensure that it happens. It is about actively working with women to change the status quo."
While there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, for anyone, celebrities included, to claim the title of feminist, they should only do so if they are actually working towards the goals of feminism. David Cameron, an individual who has not put women's rights as a focus, would not qualify to take the title. Feminism should not be a "cool" thing to do because celebrities are doing it, and just be seen as a title that people can take on and off as they please. It should be an active lifestyle fighting towards social change.