We humans have this really annoying tendency to care about celebrities’ opinions on topics where they severely lack expertise. We follow diets that models get paid to peddle on instagram, we vote reality stars into political office, and we define our activism based on actors and musicians. It’s human nature, I suppose, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.
Of course, there are upsides. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements within Hollywood are LOUD. These people, for better or for worse, have massive audiences, so their voices are amplified on a level beyond what most more informed activists can access. This means that the change that is happening within the film and music industries is starting to affect power structures in other types of jobs. That is obviously undeniably *awesome*. The female anger in the air is deliciously contagious.
But, when celebrities do anything, it becomes a fad.
I’m not saying that all the effects of feminism as a trend are negative, of course not. It drives me crazy that capitalism has adopted and warped the movement, but a lot of artists with small businesses are selling items broadcasting feminist ideology, which is awesome. More and more people are becoming exposed to the idea that a lot of the aspects of society we accept as normal are actually oppressive to all sorts of groups of people. It’s just that it can’t stop there.
Wearing a “the future is female” tshirt that was produced in a sweatshop overseas is still contributing to that oppression. Using feminism as an empty buzzword without analyzing how sexism interacts with racism, classism, and every other type of privilege is at best useless to the cause, and at worst directly harmful to those it’s supposed to support.
Making feminism more accessible is great as an introduction, but when we only use it as a commodity, we aren’t actually accomplishing anything. Feminism isn’t just “the belief that men and women are equal”. It has to be acknowledged that within our society, equality doesn’t exist. And enforcing more consequences to sexual assault is just the teeny tiny tip of the iceberg.
There are absolutely endless topics under the “feminism” umbrella, and I’m excited to have an outlet to rant about it! Happy Feminist Friday. -Ryn