Today I read about yet another famous woman, former French first lady and model Carla Bruni, declaring that feminism is irrelevant for today’s generation.
Carla Bruni is not the first woman to publically denounce feminism. Katherine Fenton, the young women that asked about pay inequalities in the workplace during one of the presidential debates (this is the question that led to the binders full of women comment from Mitt Romney) has declared that she is not a feminist either. She said, “I’m a 24-year-old woman that lives in the United States and feels like I should be treated the same as anyone else. That makes me a normal human being.”
No, that actually makes you a feminist.
Fenton is not the only woman hesitant to declare herself a feminist because the word has become a negative thing and has become associated with all things radical. Rush Limbaugh famously loves to call feminists “feminazis” — because comparing a movement for equality to a political party that practiced genocide is so appropriate.
While there are feminists who believe there should essentially be no gender (which there is nothing wrong with, they are — in fact — entitled to their opinion) the majority of feminists stand for gender equality: A world where women don’t make, on average, 82 percent of what their male coworkers make, or where when a woman is raped we don’t blame her for the crime.
Wisconsin state representative Roger Rivaud has said “Consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry…All of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’” This is a classic case of slut shaming.
In her interview, Carla Bruni stated one of the reasons she thought feminism is irrelevant is because she loved family life and the monotony of it all. You don’t have to be a career woman with no kids to be a feminist; you can love family life and still be a feminist. There doesn’t have to be a battle between family life, stay at home moms and working women.
Feminism is giving women the right to choose what they want, and not do something because society tells them they have to. If a woman chooses to be a stay at home mom that’s ok, if a woman chooses to not have kids, that’s ok too. Hell, I might one day even be a stay at home mom, or my husband could be a stay at home dad. There are all kinds of feminists out there and we need to stop being afraid to use the word.